31 January 2010

Scoring for Asperger Syndrome

I've a thing about the psychiatric industry's propensity to keep narrowing what it means to be normal by virtue of forever expanding the number of mental disorders any one of us might have. I've written quite a bit about that on this blog.

That said, I just did this test, designed by psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen et al. It appeared in their paper "The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger Syndrome/High Functioning Autism, Males and Females, Scientists and Mathematicians," Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 31:5-17. You can search for the original paper here.

According to the test site "autistic-like responses will show poor social skill, attention switching, communication and imagination, and an exaggerated attention to detail. In other words, geekiness. You scored 41."

So I consult the ranking immediately below this explanation and learn this: "Scores over 32 are generally taken to indicate Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism, with more than 34 an 'extreme' score."

Now we have me explained!

This gal has Asperger Syndrome! She's an 'extreme' 'high-functioning' autistic. And here I thought she was just weird and have said as much too many times to remember.

All levity aside, it's kind of reassuring, if true. I've always struggled with situations that most people take as a matter of course.

ETA: Tried the test again, thinking maybe I'd erred somewhere along the line. Score was higher. Guess that clinches it, huh? No wonder I adore and feel so much affinity with the character Temperance Brennan of Bones fame!

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