Updated: 7 days ago
There are generations of parents and grandparents with kids and grandkids being diagnosed with autism right now. If you are one of them, you may be realizing you had (or have) the same challenges as your child - but that you never received the support and interventions your child is receiving.
There are also adults without kids wondering why they struggle so much with things that others seem to find easy, or they have nagging anxiety that won’t go away no matter what type of mental health interventions they try.
If any of the above describes you, you might be wondering, “Am I autistic, too?”
The only way to know for sure is to get a formal diagnosis from a qualified professional. This is usually expensive, since health insurance doesn’t cover adult assessments and finding qualified professionals can be challenging.
For these reasons, a formal assessment is not an option for some folks, at least not at first.
If that’s the case, you may want to consider taking an online autism test.
Online autism tests can play an important role in your journey of self-discovery. They may inform your decision to pursue a formal diagnosis. These free assessments can let you know whether it makes sense to take the next step.
If you’re not quite ready to pursue that formal diagnosis with a clinician, then an online autism test is the best way to help you warm up to the concept.
Of course, for a formal assessment, you’ll want to see a knowledgeable professional who is qualified to assess for autism and will have the skills necessary to come up with an intervention plan, too.
But for now, online autism tests can help bridge the gap. Here are some of the best online autism tests you can take.
Best Online Autism Tests
When it comes to online autism tests, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it is important to remember that these tests are not diagnostic tools. They can provide valuable information about autism spectrum disorders, but they should not be used to make a diagnosis.
Second, it is important to choose a reputable and reliable test. There are many different autism tests available online, so it is important to do some research before selecting one.
Finally, it is important to talk to a professional about the results of the test if you have questions. A qualified professional can help to interpret the results and provide guidance on next steps. With these things in mind, here are some of the best online autism tests:
1. Autism Quotient (and Short Autism Quotient)
There are two versions of this, depending on how much time you want to spend on the assessment. There is the Autism Quotient (statements you’ll respond to with definitely agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, or definitely disagree) and the Short Autism Quotient (the same test, but in a condensed form).
The AQ is a 50-item questionnaire that assesses social skills, communication abilities, and repetitive or restrictive behaviors. The SAQ is a shorter version of the AQ, consisting of only 10 items. Both tests are available online, and they can be completed in about 10 minutes.
2. Empathy Quotient
The Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a self-report measure of empathy, developed by Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge.
The EQ has been designed to provide a quantitative measure of autistic traits, specifically autistic empathy. The test consists of 60 items, each of which asks the respondent to rate themselves on a 4-point scale from "definitely agree" to "definitely disagree". The items cover a range of topics, such as emotion recognition, imagination, and concern for others.
Scores on the EQ can range from 0 to 80, with higher scores indicating higher levels of autistic empathy. The EQ has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of autistic empathy and has been used in a number of research studies.
Autistic individuals tend to score lower on the EQ than neurotypical individuals, and the difference in scores is thought to be due to differences in autistic processing styles.
The RAADS tests for autism are a series of online assessments that can help to identify the symptoms of autism in adults. The tests consist of a questionnaire about social and communication symptoms, followed by a series of questions about repetitive behaviors and interests.
They are a series of self-report measures that assess social and communication symptoms associated with autism. The test-taker is asked to rate how much they agree with a series of statements, such as "I find it difficult to understand other people's emotions."
There is also a version of the RAADS test specifically for children, which can be used to screen for early signs of autism. The adult version consists of 80 statements.
4. Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire
The Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire (CAT-Q) was developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge to help detect autism in adults who have not been diagnosed with the condition.
The questionnaire is designed to assess an individual's ability to mask autistic traits, which can often go undetected by traditional diagnostic tools. The CAT-Q consists of 25 items that measure different aspects of social cognition, including theory of mind, emotional awareness, and social motivation.
Individuals who score high on the questionnaire are more likely to exhibit autistic traits, even if they have not been previously diagnosed with autism. The CAT-Q is a valuable tool for identifying hidden cases of autism and ensuring that individuals with the condition receive the support they need.
5. The Aspie Quiz
The Aspie Quiz is one of many tests used to identify those with autism spectrum disorder. The quiz, which can be found online, consists of a series of questions about social and communication skills. It is one of the longest autism tests you can take, consisting of 121 questions.
6. Repetitive Behaviors Questionnaire
The Repetitive Behaviors Questionnaire (RBQ) is a scale that measures the severity of repetitive behaviors in autistic people. It consists of 20 items, each of which is rated on a 4-point scale ranging from 1 (never) to 4 (severe).
The total score can range from 0 to 75, with higher scores indicating more severe repetitive behaviors. The RBQ has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of repetitive behaviors in autism, and it is frequently used in research studies. The questionnaire is available online, and it takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
7. Systemizing Quotient
The Systemizing Quotient (SQ) is a 75-statement test that measures an individual's ability to understand, analyze, and predict systems. It is often used to diagnose autism and Asperger's syndrome.
The test consists of a series of questions about how well the respondent understands and can work with various systems. The SQ has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of autistic traits.
Scores on the SQ are thought to be heritable and to remain stable across the lifespan. Autistic individuals tend to score higher on the SQ than neurotypical individuals, suggesting that they may be better able to understand and work with complex systems.
8. Toronto Empathy Questionnaire
The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) is a set of 20 questions designed to measure an individual's ability to empathize with others. The questionnaire was developed specifically for use with individuals on the autism spectrum, but it can be used with anyone.
The questions ask about an individual's ability to understand and share the emotions of others, as well as their ability to see things from another person's perspective. In three studies, the TEQ demonstrated strong validity, correlating positively with social skills and self-report measures of empathy.
9. Empathy Quotient
The Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a self-report measure of empathy. It was developed to provide a measure of empathy for both clinical and experimental purposes and has been shown to have good reliability and validity. The EQ consists of 60 items that tap into three different domains of empathy: emotional reactivity, personal distress, and perspective-taking.
10. Toronto Alexithymia Questionnaire
The Toronto Alexithymia Questionnaire is a tool that can be used to help identify autistic people who may be experiencing difficulties with empathy and emotional processing. The questionnaire comprises 20 items, each of which assesses a different aspect of emotional functioning.
11. VIA Inventory
The VIA Inventory for autism is an online tool that helps individuals to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
The inventory consists of a series of questions (96 in total) about different areas of functioning, such as communication, social skills, and daily living skills. You can use the results of the inventory to help set goals and plan for the future.
12. Executive Skills Questionnaire
The Executive Skills Questionnaire for autism is a standardized assessment that can be used to measure executive functioning skills in autistic people.
Executive functioning skills are important for everyday activities such as planning, organization, and time management. The Executive Skills Questionnaire for autism consists of 36 items that focus on three main areas of executive functioning: cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control.
The questionnaire can be completed by parents, caregivers, or professionals who work with autistic individuals. It takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Getting a formal diagnosis of autism isn’t always necessary for everyone. Some people will benefit from the insights that come through self-diagnosis, with no formal diagnosis needed.
And it can be challenging to find affordable, accurate testing for adults.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of autism based on the informal tests above, you don’t need to go on to pursue a formal diagnosis unless you want to - or if you need certain protections and formal supports that are offered to people with disabilities.
And for some people, a formal diagnosis gives value in that you now can say, “Yes, I have this.” You may have spent your entire life trying to figure out why you’re different - and a formal diagnosis can give you a sense of validation and help you reprocess your life in light of the new information.
Ultimately, know that no matter what your test results say, there might be a grieving period after it is done. That’s true whether your diagnosis is formal or informal, like through the autism tests we’ve described above.
But no matter how sad or elated you feel about receiving the information, know that practically everyone who goes through the testing process will view the experience as a positive one.
Now that you have a diagnosis, you can understand yourself so much better - and become the best advocate for your own needs.