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Understanding Language and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Help us understand how autism is reflected in language.

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You can contribute to Autism research.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that affects approximately 1.5% of the population. Although there are overlapping symptoms including impairment of social communication and the presence of repetitive behaviors, ASD is highly heterogeneous in presentation and phenotypically complex. Given this complexity, the application of techniques from computational analysis and “big data” have great potential to improve scientific understanding and clinical diagnosis of ASD. Researchers from the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania have been applying human language technologies to the study of ASD with promising results. However, in order to identify and study the linguistic and communication patterns of individuals on the autism spectrum, researchers need extensive data from neurotypical individuals as well.

You can help advance our understanding by answering the 50-question Autism Spectrum Quotient (AC) questionnaire and participating in a series of language related tasks that will be aggregated with those of other participants to show how the whole population performs on these tasks. This data can then be compared with the performance of clinical populations collected in other settings. Please note that in these tasks we do not diagnose participants and we ask that you please not mention any diagnosis you may have received or suspect.

This AC questionnaire was created by the Autism Research Center at the University of Cambridge.