At NovoPsych we’ve been building our assessment library with measures relevant to neurodiversity (e.g., autism spectrum disorders & attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). While the prevalence of presentations like Autism are only 0.7% in the community, among patients presenting for mental health services the prevalence is 10 times higher (7.8%, Fraser et al, 2011), underlining how important screening is!
NovoPsych includes psychometric scales for children and adults focused on Autism, ADHD and other factors important to neurodiversity, such as:
- CAT-Q for assessing adults who might be camouflaging autistic traits
- RAADS-R for assessing ‘higher functioning’ autism spectrum disorders in adults
- MAIA-2 (and a youth version MAIA-Y) for assessing interoceptive awareness
- AQ for screening for autism in adults and adolescents aged 16 years and over
- ASSQ for screening for ‘high-functioning’ autism in children or adolescents (6 to 17 years of age)
- VADPRS for screening for ADHD in children (6 to 12 years of age)
As always, these scales should never be the sole source of information in making a diagnosis, but they serve as a key datapoint in a comprehensive assessment process. When these scales are administered through NovoPsych we automatically apply the complex scoring rules and compute useful metrics. I hope that’s useful for you!
Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire (CAT-Q)
The Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire (CAT-Q) is a 25-item self-report measure of social camouflaging behaviours for individuals of age 16 and above. It is used to identify individuals who compensate for or mask autistic characteristics during social interactions and who might not immediately present with autism due to their ability to mask. This can be especially relevant for women with autism.
The more an individual can camouflage, the more of their autistic inclinations they are likely able to suppress. As such, a high camouflaging score can also account for lower scores on standard autism psychometric scales.
The CAT-Q measures camouflaging in general, as well as three subscales:
Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale – Revised (RAADS-R)
The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale – Revised (RAADS–R) is an 80-item self-report questionnaire designed to identify adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The assessment is suitable for adult (age 18+) males and females with average or above-average intelligence (i.e. IQ above 80).
There are four symptom-areas assessed by the RAADS-R:
- Social Relatedness Problems
- Circumscribed Interests
- Sensory Motor
With high prevalence of ASD in mental health settings and the fact that adults are being referred for diagnosis with increasing frequency, this instrument is a useful clinical tool to assist clinicians with diagnosis (Ritvo et al., 2011).
Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness
The Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness – Version 2 (MAIA-2) is an 8-subscale self-report questionnaire to measure multiple dimensions of interoception (awareness of bodily sensations). The MAIA-2 is suitable for adults (18+) and there is also a youth version (MAIA-Y) suitable for use with youths between 7 – 17 years of age.
Interoception refers to the sensation, interpretation, and integration of internal somatic signals. There is compelling evidence demonstrating links between poor interoceptive awareness and difficulties with emotion awareness and emotion regulation.
The MAIA consists of 8 scales (addressing 5 dimensions of body awareness):
- Noticing and Awareness of Body Sensations
- Not-Distracting (Attentional Response to Sensations)
- Not-Worrying about Sensations
- Attention Regulation
- Emotional Awareness
- Body Listening
- Trust (Trusting Body Sensations)
Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ)
The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) is a 50 item self-report measure used to assess traits of autism in adults and adolescents aged 16 years and over. The measure is suitable for men and women who have normal intellectual functioning. The AQ measures five symptom clusters important in understanding the profile of strengths and weaknesses for individuals with Autism:
- social skill
- attention switching
- attention to detail
The AQ is intended to be used to screen for autism spectrum and may make up a component of a thorough diagnostic assessment. A score above the proposed cutoff of 29 highlights significant traits of autism.
Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ)
The Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire (ASSQ) is a 27 question assessment filled in by parents or teachers of children or adolescents (6 to 17 years of age).
It is designed to be an initial screen for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) especially in those with high or normal IQ, or those with only mild intellectual disability. It can be used with boys and girls and uses the older conceptualisation of Aspergers syndrome to describe people on the milder end of the Autism Spectrum. It is not appropriate for people with moderate or severe intellectual disability.
Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS)
The Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS) is used to help in the diagnostic process of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children between the ages of 6 and 12.
It has a total of 55 questions, includes all 18 of the DSM criteria for ADHD and should be completed by a parent of the child. As well as identifying inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined subtypes of ADHD, it can also be used to identify symptoms of frequent comorbidities, including oppositional defiance, conduct disorder, anxiety and depression.