There is a need for brief screening instruments for autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) that can be used by frontline healthcare professionals to aid in the decision as to whether an individual should be referred for a full diagnostic assessment. In this study we evaluated the ability of a short form of the autism spectrum quotient (AQ) questionnaire, the 10 item AQ-10, to correctly classify individuals as having or not having ASD. In a sample of 149 individuals with ASD and 134 controls without an ASD diagnosis, we found that the full AQ (AQ-50) abridged AQ (AQ-S) and AQ-10 all performed well as a screen for ASD. ROC analysis indicated that sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve were very similar at suggested cut-off's for ASD across measures, with little difference in performance between the AQ-10 and full AQ-50. Results indicate the potential usefulness of the AQ-10 as a brief screen for ASD.