A Self-Test for Adults Who May Have Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism
Do you have Aspergers (also called high functioning autism)? Has your spouse suggested to you that you may have it? Are you beginning to wonder?
If you have Aspergers and don’t know, it affects you anyway. If you do know, you may be able to minimize the negative impact and leverage the positive. Without the knowledge that one has Aspergers, one often fills that void with other, more damaging explanations such as failure, weird, disappointment, not living up to one’s potential, etc.
It is never too late for an individual to increase self-awareness in order to capitalize on strengths and work around areas of challenge. Knowing about Aspergers gives the individual an explanation, not an excuse, for why his or her life has taken the twists and turns that it has. What one does with this information at the age of 20, 50 or 70 may differ, but it is still very important information to have.
Take the (rather lengthy) self-test below to determine whether or not a formal diagnosis of Aspergers should be pursued. We strongly recommend that you seek a diagnosis from a professional if you answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions:
1. Are you bothered by clothes tags or light touch?
2. Are you easily distracted?
3. Are you poor at interpreting facial expressions?
4. Are you bothered by criticism, correction and direction?
5. Are you hypo- or hypersensitive to physical pain, or even enjoy some types of pain?
6. Are you impatient and have low frustration tolerance?
7. Are you poor at returning social courtesies and gestures?
8. Are you naturally so honest and sincere yourself that you assume everyone should be?
9. Are you often surprised what people's motives are?
10. Are you or have you been hyperactive?
11. Are you prone to getting depressions?
12. Are you sensitive to changes in humidity and air pressure?
13. Are you sometimes afraid in safe situations?
14. Are you somewhat of a daydreamer, often lost in your own thoughts?
15. Are your eyes extra sensitive to strong light and glare?
16. Are your views a lot different from your peer group?
17. As a child, was your play more directed towards, for example, sorting, building, investigating or taking things apart than towards social games with other kids?
18. As a teenager, were you usually unaware of social rules & boundaries unless they were clearly spelled out?
19. Before doing something or going somewhere, do you need to have a picture in your mind of what's going to happen so as to be able to prepare yourself mentally first?
20. Do you easily forget verbal instructions?
21. Do others often misunderstand you?
22. Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits?
23. Do people often tell you that you keep going on and on about the same thing?
24. Do people sometimes think you are smiling at the wrong occasion?
25. Do people think you are aloof and distant?
26. Do recently heard tunes or rhythms tend to stick and replay themselves repeatedly in your head?
27. Do you avoid talking face to face with someone you don't know very well?
28. Do you become frustrated if an activity that is important to you gets interrupted?
29. Do you bite your lip, cheek or tongue (e.g. when thinking, when anxious or nervous)?
30. Do you dislike being touched or hugged unless you're prepared or have asked for it?
31. Do you dislike it when people drop by to visit you uninvited?
32. Do you dislike it when people stamp their foot in the floor?
33. Do you dislike shaking hands with strangers?
34. Do you dislike when people walk behind you?
35. Do you dislike working while being observed?
36. Do you drop things when your attention is on other things?
37. Do you get bored with gossip?
38. Do you dread meeting new people?
39. Do you enjoy mimicking animal sounds?
40. Do you avoid team sports?
41. Do you enjoy walking on your toes?
42. Do you enjoy watching a spinning or blinking object?
43. Do you expect other people to know your thoughts, experiences and opinions without you having to tell them?
44. Do you feel an urge to correct people with accurate facts, numbers, spelling, grammar etc., when they get something wrong?
45. Do you feel an urge to peel flakes off yourself and / or others?
46. Do you fiddle with things?
47. Do you find it difficult to figure out how to behave in various situations?
48. Do you find it difficult to take messages on the telephone and pass them on correctly?
49. Do you find it difficult to take notes in lectures?
50. Do you find it disturbing or upsetting when others show up either later or sooner than agreed?
51. Do you find it easier to understand and communicate with odd & unusual people than with ordinary people?
52. Do you find it difficult to describe your feelings?
53. Do you find it difficult to do more than one thing at once?
54. Do you find it hard to be emotionally close to other people?
55. Do you find it hard to recognize phone numbers when said in a different way?
56. Do you find it hard to tell the age of people?
57. Do you find it unnatural to wave or say 'hi' when you meet people?
58. Do you find it very hard to learn things that you are not interested in?
59. Do you find the norms of hygiene too strict?
60. Do you find yourself uncomfortable in romantic situations?
61. Do you get confused by several verbal instructions at the same time?
62. Do you get frustrated if you can't sit on your favorite seat?
63. Do you get very tired after socializing, and need to regenerate alone?
64. Do you have a fascination for slowly flowing water?
65. Do you have a difficulty knowing the right thing to say or do in social situations?
66. Do you have a hard time knowing how much pressure to apply when doing things with your hands?
67. Do you have a monotonous voice?
68. Do you have a tendency to become stuck when asked questions in social situation?
69. Do you have an alternative view of what is attractive in the opposite sex?
70. Do you have an avid perseverance in gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest?
71. Do you have a lack of interest for the current fashions?
72. Do you have atypical or irregular sleeping patterns that deviate from the 24-h cycle?
73. Do you have certain routines which you need to follow?
74. Do you have difficulties filtering out background noise when talking to someone?
75. Do you have difficulties imitating & timing the movements of others (e.g., when learning new dance steps or in gym class)?
76. Do you have difficulties judging distances, height, depth or speed?
77. Do you have difficulties with activities requiring manual precision (e.g., sewing, tying shoe-laces, fastening buttons or handling small objects)?
78. Do you have difficulty accepting criticism, correction, and direction?
79. Do you have difficulty describing & summarizing things (e.g., events, conversations or something you've read)?
80. Do you have extra sensitive hearing?
81. Do you have one special talent which you have emphasized and worked on?
82. Do you have poor awareness or body control and a tendency to fall, stumble or bump into things?
83. Do you have problems filling out forms?
84. Do you have problems finding your way to new places?
85. Do you have problems recognizing faces?
86. Do you have problems starting and / or finishing projects?
87. Do you have problems with timing in conversations?
88. Do you have strong attachments to certain favorite objects?
89. Do you have trouble reading clocks?
90. Do you have trouble with authority?
91. Do you have unusual sexual preferences?
92. Do you instinctively become frightened by the sound of a motor-bike?
93. Do you have difficulty knowing when it is your turn to speak when talking on the phone?
94. Do you have difficulty knowing when you are expected to offer an apology?
95. Do you misjudge how much time has passed when involved in interesting activities?
96. Do you mistake noises for voices?
97. Do you mix up digits in numbers like 95 and 59?
98. Do you not fit into the expected gender stereotypes
99. Do you need lists and schedules in order to get things done?
100. Do you need periods of contemplation?
101. Do you need to do things yourself in order to remember them?
102. Do you notice patterns in things all the time?
103. Do you often don't know where to put your arms?
104. Do you often feel out-of-sync with others?
105. Do you often have lots of thoughts that you find hard to verbalize?
106. Do you or others think that you have unconventional ways of solving problems?
107. Do you or others think that you have unusual eating habits?
108. Do you pace (e.g. when thinking or anxious)?
109. Do you prefer to do things on your own even if you could use others' help or expertise?
110. Do you prefer to wear the same clothes or eat the same food many days in a row?
111. Do you repeat vocalizations made by others?
112. Do you rock back-&-forth or side-to-side (e.g., for comfort, to calm yourself, when excited or over-stimulated)?
113. Do you see your own activities as more important than other people's?
114. Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?
115. Do you sometimes lie awake at night because of too many thoughts?
116. Do you sometimes mix up pronouns and, for example, say "you" or "we" when you mean "me" or vice versa?
117. Do you stutter when stressed?
118. Do you suddenly feel distracted by distant sounds?
119. Do you talk to yourself?
120. Do you tap your ears or press your eyes (e.g., when thinking, when stressed or distressed)?
121. Do you tend to become obsessed with a potential partner and cannot let go of him/her?
122. Do you tend to express your feelings in ways that may baffle others?
123. Do you tend to get so absorbed by your special interests that you forget or ignore everything else?
124. Do you tend to interpret things literally?
125. Do you tend to look a lot at people you like and little or not at all at people you dislike?
126. Do you tend to notice details that others do not?
127. Do you tend to say things that are considered socially inappropriate when you are tired, frustrated or when you act naturally?
128. Do you tend to shut down or have a meltdown when stressed or overwhelmed?
129. Do you tend to talk either too softly or too loudly?
130. Do you wring your hands, rub your hands together or twirl your fingers?
131. Do your feelings cycle regularly between hopelessness and extremely high confidence?
132. Does it feel vitally important to be left undisturbed when focusing on your special interests?
133. Has it been harder for you than for others to keep friends?
134. Has it been harder for you to make it on your own, than it seems to be for most others of the same age?
135. Have others commented or have you observed yourself that you make unusual facial expressions?
136. Have others told you that you have an odd posture or gait?
137. Have you been accused of staring?
138. Have you been bullied, abused or taken advantage of?
139. Have you been fascinated about making traps?
140. Have you have had long-lasting urges to take revenge?
141. Have you taken initiative only to find out it was not wanted?
142. If there is an interruption, can you quickly return to what you were doing before?
143. In a conversation, do you tend to focus on your own thoughts rather than on what your listener might be thinking?
144. In conversations, do you need extra time to carefully think out your reply, so that there may be a pause before you answer?
145. In conversations, do you use small sounds that others don't seem to use?
146. Is it hard for you to see why some things upset people so much?
147. Is your sense of humor different from mainstream or considered odd?
As a rough estimate, if you answered 'yes' to approximately 80% of the questions above (about 117 questions), then you may want to seek a formal diagnosis, because you're in the ballpark range for having an autism spectrum disorder.
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