Ever wondered if you, or someone you love, could have autism? 

Well, there’s a 10-question quiz that could actually help answer that question.

The tool — used by NHS doctors and backed by Cambridge University academics — does not confirm whether you are on the spectrum.

Instead it is used as a gold-standard screening tool. 

Clinicians who suspect patients to be autistic based on their answers to the test are typically passed on for specialist assessments. 

Questions revolve around someone’s ability to focus on tasks and understand other people’s intentions and emotions. 

If you score six or more, your GP might consider referring you for further tests. This does not mean you definitely have autism, however. 

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, which links to the tool in its autism advice page, says the tool — called AQ-10 — is a ‘good place to start’ if you are looking for a test to see if you may be autistic. 

The trust says the test gives a ‘general indication of whether someone might have autism’.

It says: ‘If you suspect that you may be autistic you can then make an appointment to see a GP.

‘Offer them the results from the AQ-10, if you have done it, (if you have not done the AQ-10 then the GP should go through the questions with you), and ask them to refer you to a diagnostic pathway.’

The first question asks if you ‘notice small sounds when others do not’. Anyone who selects ‘definitely’ or ‘slightly agree’ scores one point. 

There are many adults still unaware they are on the autism spectrum. It's thought this is especially the case with women, with some experts believing that thousands of women, many middle-aged or older, are battling through life with undiagnosed autism

There are many adults still unaware they are on the autism spectrum. It's thought this is especially the case with women, with some experts believing that thousands of women, many middle-aged or older, are battling through life with undiagnosed autism

There are many adults still unaware they are on the autism spectrum. It’s thought this is especially the case with women, with some experts believing that thousands of women, many middle-aged or older, are battling through life with undiagnosed autism

In 2021 TV presenter Melanie Sykes also announced that she has been diagnosed at 51 years old

In 2021 TV presenter Melanie Sykes also announced that she has been diagnosed at 51 years old

Best-known for his work on BBC's Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, Chris Packham revealed he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome back in 2005. Last month he presented the two-part documentary 'Inside Our Autistic Minds' on BBC Two

Best-known for his work on BBC's Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, Chris Packham revealed he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome back in 2005. Last month he presented the two-part documentary 'Inside Our Autistic Minds' on BBC Two

In 2021 TV presenter Melanie Sykes (left) also announced that she has been diagnosed at 51 years old. Best-known for his work on BBC’s Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, Chris Packham (right) revealed he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome back in 2005. Last month he presented the two-part documentary ‘Inside Our Autistic Minds’ on BBC Two

That’s because autistic people often experience sound sensitivity, such as noticing small details, patterns, smells or sounds that others do not, according to the NHS. 

Quiz takers are also asked about their ability to concentrate. 

It asks if you can concentrate in the ‘whole picture’ or just ‘small details’, and if you can do more than one thing at once and switch back to what you were doing if you were interrupted. 

If you respond ‘definitely’ or slightly disagree’ on these questions you score a point.

Many autistic people struggle to understand what others are thinking or feeling. To determine if you have this characteristic, the quiz asks if you can ‘read between the lines’ when someone is speaking to you.

Participants are also asked of they know when someone listening to them is getting board or if they ‘understand characters’ intentions’ when reading.

A keen interest in a particular subject or activity is also associated with autism, the NHS says.

The quiz asks if you like to ‘collect information about categories of things’ and gives examples of types of birds, trains, cars or plants. Those that ‘definitely’ or ‘slightly agree’ with this statement score a point.

The final questions in the quiz asks if you can tell what someone is thinking just by looking at their facial expressions and if you can ‘work out’ people’s intentions. 

It is estimated that around 700,000 people, including adults and children, in the UK have an autism diagnosis. 

However, there are many adults still unaware they are on the spectrum. 

It’s thought this is especially the case with women, with some experts believing that thousands of women, many middle-aged or older, are battling through life with undiagnosed autism.

TV stars Melanie Sykes, Chris Packham and Christine McGuinness have all recently shared their own autism diagnoses as adults, helping to raise awareness of the disorder.

If you think you or your child have signs of autism, the NHS advises you talk with your GP, a health visitor if your child is under the age of five, or another doctor or therapist. A professional will be able to refer you to an autism specialist for an assessment. 

WHAT IS AUTISM? 

Autism is a life-long developmental disability, which affects how people act on a wide-ranging spectrum.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autistic people can have trouble with social, emotional and communication skills.

Others can find bright lights or loud noises overwhelming and stressful, or display repetitive behaviours.

Autism is not an illness or disease. 

How common is it?

It is estimated that around 700,000 people, including adults and children, in the UK have an autism diagnosis.

According to a Newcastle University study published in 2021, around one in 57 (1.76 per cent) children in the UK is on the spectrum.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 5.4million adults, some 2.2 per cent of the population, are autistic.

People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can have autism.

Rates are up to five times higher in men and boys, though.

The exact reason remains unclear, but some studies suggest boys are at greater risk of the varied genetic causes of autism.

Researchers also believe many girls may be ‘flying under the radar’, as they struggle to get a diagnosis, receive a diagnosis late in life or are misdiagnosed with conditions other than autism.

Are there different types? 

Previously, autism was broken down into different diagnoses, including Asperger’s syndrome, autistic disorder, Kanner’s syndrome, childhood autism, atypical autism and pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

As each diagnosis shared characteristics of autism, they were replaced with autism spectrum disorder, which is now the umbrella term for the group.

However, some people with a diagnosis of Asperger’s still choose to use the term.

According to the National Autistic Society, people with Asperger’s do not have the learning disabilities that many autistic people have. The NHS says that some people call this ‘high-functioning autism’.

What causes it?

Despite years of research, scientists do not know what causes autism.

Instead, studies have suggested it may develop from a combination of genetic and environmental influences.

Concerns about a possible link between MMR vaccines and autism were raised in the late 1990s.

But numerous scientific studies have since shown that there is no link at all between vaccines — or any of their ingredients — and autism.

Bad parenting is also not a cause.

Source: Mail Online

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