Baron-Cohen’s Empathizing-Systemizing theory plays a central role in this study due to its success in interpreting the core impairments and strengths in autism. The theory states that low empathizing skills are responsible for the social difficulties in autism, and that high levels of systemizing are accountable for the restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior in autism. We therefore hypothesized that there is a significant discrepancy between a child’s empathizing and systemizing abilities when autism is present. We developed Dutch versions of the questionnaires that are associated with the theory: the Autism Quotient questionnaire, the Empathizing Quotient questionnaire and the Systemizing Quotient questionnaire. As hypothesized, the scores of children with autism on the Empathizing Quotient questionnaire and on the Systemizing Quotient questionnaire (EQ-SQ Child_NL) show a significant difference. Furthermore, the EQ-SQ Child_NL predicts the score of children in general on the Dutch version of the Autism Quotient questionnaire (AQ Child_NL).
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