The Investigation and Differential Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome in ... Results Centrally important aspects of the diagnosis of AS include an assessment of the patient’s ability to assume the emotional perspectives of others, non-verbal modes of expression, repetitive behavior patterns, and childhood social behavioral history. The autism quotient (AQ) is now established as a simple but nonspecific screening test. Up to 70% of all affected adults have comorbid disturbances, most often depression and anxiety disorders. The differential diagnosis includes personality disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder. The diagnostic assessment should proceed in stepwise fashion, starting from simple screening in primary care and then moving on to evaluation of the suspected diagnosis by a mental health care specialist, followed by extensive further investigation in an outpatient clinic specifically devoted to patients with autism spectrum disorders