Sunday, 24 July 2011

Aspie Quiz

I signed up on the WrongPlanet forum a few months ago (a forum for those with Asperger's or suspected Asperger's, and friends and family of Aspies) a day or two after I started this blog. Sometimes it's good to post there: I feel more able to articulate my thoughts in a way that's 'natural' to me, rather than having to go over what I've written twice or three times to ensure that it makes sense from more than one angle. A few days ago I wrote something on a messageboard elsewhere that was interpreted by almost every commenter as offensive, while I hadn't read it that way at all: now I'm extra-careful when speaking or writing. On the WrongPlanet forum, though, I don't feel obliged to do that, since I'm not expected to have perfect communication skills.

I digress. One of the other commenters on a thread that I was reading (it was an off-the-wall thread about what music we were listening to at that moment: I happened to be listening to a YouTube video of 'Psychotherapy' by Melanie Safka, while right now I'm listening to 'A River Flows in You' by Yiruma) reminded me of the 'Aspie Quiz'. It's an online quiz, with questions such as "Are you often surprised by what people's motives are?" and "Do you enjoy team sports?" The responses to the questions can be chosen from 0 (No/never), 1 (a little) or 2 (Yes/often). At the end of the 150-item quiz, two scores are given out of 200: an 'Aspie score' and a 'Neurotypical' score ('Neurotypical' is a word that I only learned a year or two ago, which refers to non-autistic people. Cat brought up the point that this implies that people with other conditions such as Down's Syndrome would be classed as neurotypical under this definition: but I digress again).

At the end of the quiz, I got an Aspie score of 123/200, and an NT (neurotypical) score of 74/200, and a statement that I am 'likely to be Aspie'. I'm not wholly sure how the mathematics of the test works, nor am I convinced of the validity of the test (I originally typed in 'reliability', then recalled statistics lectures where the difference between validity and reliability was drummed into us: validity is whether or not the test measures what it sets out to measure, while reliability is whether or not the responses are consistent across different people), but I still find it interesting. I'm still on the waiting list for an assessment - it's been about 4 months since I was sent a referral letter saying that I'd have to wait 6 months or so, but I don't mind waiting a little longer.

Earlier I thought that the way I'm writing this blog is a bit different to the way I've written my other blogs, i.e. those I wrote while in Peru earlier this year and two years ago. Here it seems that rather than writing about what happened in a way that I think others would prefer, I'm focusing in this blog on the things that are important to me. Sometimes I digress and go off on tangents: sometimes when thinking I will do this, because the tangent seems important and relevant to me. I can't remember if I started keeping this blog because I wanted my friends to see that I might be Aspie, or if I wanted to share with the wider world my thoughts and outlooks on things, or if I just wanted to write down how I felt, in a way that suits me rather than in a way that suits others. I write stories a lot: the reason that I haven't gotten far in the plotline is that I read what I've written, and rewrite it over and over. It never seems perfect, but I try to write in a way that others will appreciate. I do that with my emails and other blogs: maybe I started this blog because I wanted a space where I didn't have to do that. A space where I could go off on tangents, where I could talk about 'irrelevant' things (I'd have liked to know that I'd been listening to 'Psychotherapy' and am now playing 'A River Flows in You' on repeat, but I'm aware that these don't relate at all to the blog post) and not have to go over everything unless I wasn't happy with it, for my own reading.

Now it feels as though I'm rambling, so I'll stop here.

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