If you, a relative or your child are experiencing difficulties that you think may be related to autism, make an appointment with your GP (family physician) or health visitor (in the case of young children) and ask for a referral for a specialist assessment. Take along a list of the characteristics that make you think you or your child might be autistic.
If you are in the UK, details of clinics nearest you are available from the National Autistic Society (NAS). If you are in other countries, the NAS website lists national autism charities in many different countries.
The Autism Research Centre (ARC) is purely an academic research centre at Cambridge University. Therefore we are unable to offer clinical advice. Please contact your GP/family physician. If you are in the UK please contact the National Autistic Society (NAS) for information about where to get clinical advice in your region. Or contact the equivalent charity in your country.
As an academic research centre we cannot maintain an up to date list with this information. The National Autistic Society (NAS) in the UK maintain a list of autism societies in every country.
Information is available on our webpage here: What is Autism?
Tests published by the Autism Research Centre (ARC) are available for free download from the Tests section of our website. Tests developed at the ARC can only be used for professional, scientific or clinical purposes, and not for commercial use. Use of these Tests for commercial purposes violates copyright. Full acknowledgement to the ARC as the source of the material must be given when using these tests, as well as the journal article where they were first described. You do not need permission to use the tests in your research because they are in the public domain. For use of tests with a commercial aspect, please contact Cambridge Enterprise to arrange permission.
All available tests that we have produced and validated can be found in the Tests section on our website.
All the information about each test that will allow you to understand how it should be used, scored and interpreted is accessible from the links that appear alongside each test in the Tests section of our website. These include instructions, scoring keys and relevant scientific research papers where the tests have been used, tested and validated. Please read these carefully to check whether the information you require is contained within these.
We recommend that you do not modify the wording in tests, as this could alter their interpretation and, in turn, affect the validity of the results of the test.
Scoring keys and research papers are placed alongside each individual test on our website. Please check these resources for more information. All the information about each test that will allow you to understand how it should be used, scored and interpreted can be found in the Tests section.
The AQ measures the number of autistic traits an individual has. Neither the AQ nor any of the other tests on the ARC website are diagnostic. Your AQ score simply tells you if you have a low, average, or high number of autistic traits.
Permission is not required to use any of our tests. You are welcome to download these tests provided that they are used for research purposes, and provided acknowledgement of the Autism Research Centre as the source is given.
Translations of tests produced by the Autism Research Centre are available in the Tests section of our website alongside the English versions. If a translation of a test is not available in your language, you are free to create a translation in your preferred language and send your translation to our team to post up on our website.
Please see our terms and conditions for translations of tests for further information and links. Full acknowledgement is given to you as the translator and your translation will be available for free from our website for other researchers to use. See Tests section for more details about how to submit a translated test.
If a language version of a test you want is not posted on our website, this is because a translation in this language has not yet been made.
If two or more translations of a given test in a given language have been made we encourage the translators to communicate between themselves to arrive at a consensus single translation in that language, to avoid confusion in the research community.
You are welcome to search our publications to read more about particular topics of our research.
As a research centre, we are actively enaged in about 30 projects at any one time, so are unable to answer queries on every possible research topic.
If you have a question about one of our research projects, please contact our admin team who will pass your query to the relevant scientist.
You can find out more about our research projects here.
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to explore additional topics beyond what we have been funded to do. We encourage you to publish your idea or your work so that it enters the public domain and so that it can go through peer review.
We only make available articles that are published by the Autism Research Centre. These can be found here.
The articles that we make available must not be for commercial use.
If you and your child (under the age of 16) would like to volunteer to take part in our research, please register here as a volunteer and complete the registration details.
If you wish to register your child, then you need to register yourself first, as the parent. Once you have registered yourself, you can add all of your children.
Your details will be kept in our secure database of volunteers, and every month we will get in touch with details of specific research projects that are recruiting participants for which you and your child may be eligible to take part in.
Some of our projects take part online, and some involve a visit to Cambridge. You are under no obligation to take part in any of the projects and you can ask us to remove your details at any time.
If you would like to donate to research, please do this via the Autism Research Trust.
If you would like to volunteer to take part in our research, please register here as a volunteer and complete the registration details.
After that you can complete some questionnaires and take some fun tests.
Your details will be kept in our secure database of volunteers, and every month we will get in touch with details of specific research projects that are recruiting participants for which you may be eligible to take part in.
Some of our projects take part online, and some involve a visit to Cambridge.
Please do register any children that you may have, and you can also invite your siblings, partner and parents to register too.
If you are a member of our database of volunteers, you will receive immediate feedback when you complete the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), Empathy Quotient (EQ) or Systemising Quotient (SQ) with an indication of how you scored in relation to other men and women.
We are still collecting data on the other tests and will post feedback about these tests in due course. We are unable to discuss individual score results.
We use these tests for research purposes only.
Therapies and Treatment
We are a purely and academic research centre and cannot advise on specific interventions.
Please see Research Autism for information about available interventions. Their website provides a summary of evidence for every autism treatment or intervention that has been through a research evaluation, irrespective of whether the results were negative, positive or neutral.
If you are in the UK you can also contact the National Autistic Society (NAS) for information about services in your local area. Or contact an equivalent charity in your own country.
Multimedia and books
You will shortly be able to purchase Mind Reading from Cambridge Autism Learning.
Contacting the Autism Research Centre
If you wish speak to one of our scientists for media purposes, please telephone the University Press Office on 01223 332300.
We are a busy academic department and regret that visitors to the Autism Research Centre are by invitation only.
We do not have the resources to meet visitors who are not coming to discuss a specific project, and many of our researchers are often off-site testing participants.
If you are interested in learning more about our research, please visit the Research section on our website.
Academic and Work Opportunities
Sadly we are unable to offer work experience to high school/secondary school students very often, because of limited resources.
We are able to offer a handful of places for each academic year. Please contact our admin team, with your Curriculum Vitae.
If any research positions become available, these will be advertised on the University of Cambridge jobs pages.
If you are interested in doing Doctoral or Masters level degree at the ARC, you should send a brief research proposal and your curriculum vitae to the potential supervisor, by email.
The ARC welcomes applicants from postdoctoral scientists in the field of biomedical and cognitive neuroscience aspects of autism spectrum conditions. Applicants should email the Director of the ARC with a research proposal, and should also consider applying to relevant charities or governmental bodies for grant support.
Unfortunately we cannot post your website link on our website due to University regulations.