© David Rowland

Hyperfocus is the unique and defining causal state of autism that creates all of its observed characteristics.  Hyperfocus prevents someone from dividing attention between two thought patterns or two stimuli at the same time.  An autistic person talking to you is incapable of feeling any emotion in that moment.  The surest way to find out if someone is autistic is to ask these five questions, to which you should receive the following responses.

1. How often do you cry? never” or “rarely
2. How often do you laugh? never” or “rarely
3. What are you afraid of? nothing” or an intellectual answer
4. What are you feeling now? nothing” or an intellectual answer
5. Do you ever get bored? never

Example of an intellectual answer:  “No, I’m not angry.  That wouldn’t be logical.”

Anyone who answers all five questions as above is autistic.  Anyone who answers four or fewer as above is not autistic.   NoteIf the person answers the third question with a phobia (e.g., of heights), then re-ask the question this way, “Aside from this phobia, do you normally experience fear of any kind?”

Reference: Rowland D (2020) “Differential Diagnosis of Autism: A Causal Analysis”. J Neurol Neurophysiol 11:489