Collected Aspie Posts

Once upon a time, I learned that a thing called Asperger’s Syndrome exists.  Even though it and most such labels do nothing more than put names on shades of normal - no different from being labeled geeky or athletic or musical - it still provides fascinating insight.  It even makes autism seem less odd, since it adds fuzzy shading to the borderlands between “us” and “them.”

Over time, I have posted on that and related topics, and this is an attempt to collect and revisit that, most notably by reposting the hard to find first post, less than two months into my blogging career, on my rapidly abandoned first blog.  Some of the links are dead, notably those to Dandelion Wine, but are included for the sake of exactness.

This is that first post, which actually post-dates the beginning of my interest, but brought it online:

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Asperger’s Syndrome

A while back, Wired, to which I subscribe, had an issue with an article on ”The Geek Syndrome.” It was a fascinating look at Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism, on the autism spectrum of disorders; sometimes also called high functioning autism. People with it tend to lead a reasonably normal life, and tend to be disproportionately computer/programming/engineering oriented. Thus the article was looking at the idea that a high rate of autism in Silicon Valley and the Route 128 region might be a genetic result of the large number of geek, and therefore possibly Asperger, parents in those areas.

I was reminded of all this by a post on the topic at Dandelion Wine

The Wired article had a sidebar of an “Autism Quotient” test, which purports to measure where you fall on the spectrum. From what I have seen, many people don’t think it’s a particularly viable test. Nonetheless, I found it interesting and so I link to it here:
AQ Test

My score was 30. They say at the top of the test page that “Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher.” Looks like I push the envelope a little.

Related to this, Dandelion Wine also points us to a brain quiz, ostensibly ”how male or female is your brain.”

I took the interactive EQ test and then, clicking from those results, the interactive SQ test. Both require Flash. There’s an option for manual tests as well. From the test pages you can then go to this final page to work out what type of brain you have, using a grid to plot the results of EQ and SQ and see which shaded area you fall into.

For what it’s worth, my scores were:
EQ of 41
SQ of 53
Overall brain type “Extreme Type S”

Fascinating.

The original Wired article and AQ test led me to actually buy books on Asperger’s and to read all about it online, because I seem to approach but not quite cross over to it myself, and I suspected my nephew was so afflicted. That and it was inherently intriguing, as I find anything to do with brain function to be, given my own history. That has always applied to IQ testing as well.

- Jay Solo, 2:25 AM

The next relevant posts I located offhand were at Accidental Verbosity, in the form of:
Autism As Extreme Male Brain
Asperger’s Schizophrenic Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder

That second one points to a related discussion, starting from adult ADHD and going into more in the comments.  It predates Caltechgirl having a blog, rather than being an avid commenter.  Her comments on the set of topics are especially cool.

Again with over- and mis-diagnosis, the attention deficit stuff is as much as anything an excuse for drugging kids into being uniformly submissive, passive bots who can bear not to have recess and won’t have normal traits some people find inconvenient or hard to understand.

These Quizzy Things are only marginally relevant, but I remarked about the Aspie relationship to the perfectionist quiz especially, but even the other two are about being a certain way or collecting certain facts.

In You May Just Be An Aspie... I linked to and quoted extensively the best of this You Might Be An Aspie If page of collected behavioral anecdotes.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Aspieness had me linking a slicker AQ test, on which I scored 32.  These always seem to vary depending on mood and change in thinking over time.  Having written that, I took it again, going on a year later, and scored 36.  Oops.

Most recently, last October 29, in How Aspie Are You? I linked another quiz, which interestingly I just retook and scored 138 and 58, versus 161 and 54 last time, an improvement.  I must have gone less wishy-washy last time.  Basically it’s no/never, or kinda yes/sometimes, or really yes, all the time, with a 4th option for not sure/don’t know.  I saved the PDF, but didn’t bother with a screenshot.

I probably wrote about this elsewhere and didn’t find them all, but basically that’s what I had out there.  Besides any instances where I mentioned autism and slammed the idiots who won’t let go of the vaccine preservative autism nonsense people grasp at like so many straws.  But that’s an entirely different topic, though obviously these posts touch on it because of the clear genetic connection.  Geeks beget geeks.  Sometimes the curve goes too far and we call it autism.

It’s hardly shocking for two high IQ people with geek tendencies (remember, Deb went part of the way toward an engineering degree before resorting to expedience to graduate sooner) to have had Sadie, Valerie - who increasingly seems to make Sadie look normal and ordinary - and even, it appears, Henry.  You never know, after all.  I started out as charismatically sunny, amused and communicative and physically quick as he is.  He doesn’t merely look like I did.  He’s already getting into the “taking things apart” or “seeing how things work” kind of trouble I’d have thought would take longer.  None of which means aspieness, but it’ll be interesting to watch.  And again, nothing wrong with that.  Someone has to fall on that part of the range of human, and it’s not like you can’t function.  Well, kind of.  Mostly.  Sometimes.

Posted by on 06/23 at 12:30 PM

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