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The RBQ-2A Online test, the first self-assessment test for autism spectrum disorder, has been developed by psychologists from the University of Cardiff. The test can also be used to help in diagnosing other diseases that involve behaviors similar to those associated with autism, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette syndrome.

The test measures adults’ response to one of the primary criteria used in the diagnosis of autism — repetitive behaviors.

The psychologists behind the test say that it is a reliable method for measuring whether a person has frequent or severe autism-related behaviors. However, a diagnosis of autism requires more than just one test. The researchers believe the RBQ-2A can be combined with other tests to fully diagnose autism.

The RBQ-2A was tested out on 311 British and Australian adults — some of which had been diagnosed with autism, some of which had not. The researchers found that those with autism scored higher on the test for repetitive behaviors.

“Many measures used for research and diagnoses of autism rely on parents, teachers or caregivers to report the behaviours of individuals with the condition,” said Professor Sue Leekam, Cardiff University’s Chair of Autism and Director of the Wales Autism Research Centre.

“What our research has done is develop a test where individuals can report on their own behaviours, for both research and clinical purposes, ensuring we get a fuller picture of the way that these behaviours affect people,” she added.

The next step for the researchers is to expand the test to apply to all people, not just adults, and from there, they hope the test will be implemented in clinics across the UK.

By Cheryl Bretton