Autism Journal Club

More in Common: A Cultural Comparison of the Latent Structure of Autistic Traits and Sensory Sensitivities in Typically Developing Populations

Elliot will be presenting his Masters thesis. Abstract Autism and traits related to autism are expressed differently between different people. It is not obvious how this neurodiversity should be examined or whether the diversity is the same across the world. We looked at the responses to the Autism Quotient and Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire from 2968 participants living in China, Japan, the UK, and other English-speaking countries. We found that there are some small differences between the participants from China and Japan and the English-speaking countries that could be because of genuine differences in culture or different translations of the questionnaires. Generally, there seemed to be two groups of participants with higher or lower scores on the questionnaires. Differences in levels of autistic traits, sensory difficulties, and attention seem to be the best way of representing neurodiversity when using these questionnaires. While we find that the structure of autism is stable between cultures, we recommend that these findings be confirmed with further work using these questionnaires and in-depth exploration of the presentation of autism across cultural groups.