The Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA): A Diagnostic Method

  • Simon Baron-Cohen
  • Sally Wheelwright
  • Janine Robinson
  • Marc Woodbury-Smith

At the present time there are a large number of adults who have suspected Asperger syndrome (AS). In this paper we describe a new instrument, the Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA), developed in our clinic for adults with AS. The need for a new instrument relevant to the diagnosis of AS in adulthood arises because existing instruments are designed for use with children. Properties of the AAA include (1) being electronic, data-based, and computer-scorable; (2) linking with two screening instruments [the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the Empathy Quotient (EQ)]; and (3) employing a more stringent set of diagnostic criteria than DSM-IV, in order to avoid false positives. The AAA is described, and its use with a series of n = 42 clinic-patients is reported. Thirty-seven of these (88%) met DSM-IV criteria, but only 34 of these (80%) met AAA criteria. The AAA is therefore more conservative than DSM-IV.

Key Words

Asperger Syndrome (AS) Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA) Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Empathy Quotient (EQ) 



We are grateful to the Three Guineas Trust for supporting the CLASS clinic (Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service) and to the Medical Research Council during the development of this work. We also acknowledge the support of Lifespan Healthcare NHS Trust, and its replacement, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, for their support of the clinic.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Baron-Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sally Wheelwright
    • 1
  • Janine Robinson
    • 1
  • Marc Woodbury-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Autism Research Centre, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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