Elijah has autism, that’s no secret to anyone who follows my blog. Tomorrow he will be getting to see a highly recommended autism specialist here in Saskatoon, and hopefully this will allow us to try some new biomedical interventions. Also, if you know me, or more precisely, if you KNEW me 10 or more years ago, you probably know I am not the most social person. I didn’t have many friends for a number of reasons and was generally uncomfortable around new people. If it hadn’t been for BBS’s giving me an avenue to make friends with the distanced social interactions I’d probably be in a totally different place than I am today. Oh, for the days where I would get Transformers as Christmas and birthday presents because I thought they were cool and just leave them posed on my shelf because I had no idea how to play with them, or how I would spend summer vacations reading books inside instead of going out and making friends. The people who barely knew me in early adulthood who thought I was stuck up because I wouldn’t socialize with them at parties and on and on… I have done a lot of work to be more “normal”, but believe me, it takes conscious effort. Even today, right now, I sit in my office with the door closed because I don’t like the thought of people walking down the hallway and intruding into my “private space”.
So, today I was taking a mental break from getting my class notes ready and I started doing some autism reading thinking about how tests are done and high vs low functioning and Asperger and the like, and I came across the Autism Spectrum Quotient test. This was originally made as a test for adults and then modified to make tests for adolescents and children. I got the paper for the kids version to take a look and then I wondered if there was an online version for the adult test. Sure enough, Wired came through with a web version here. I did the test and got my score and then had to go into the literature to see what my score meant. Here is a quote from a paper from 2005 evaluating the effectiveness of this test as a diagnostic tool:
In short, 80% of adults with AS (Asperger Syndrome) or high
functioning autism scored above a critical minimum
of 32, whereas only 2% of control adults did."
Now what, you might ask, was my score?
It sets my mind at ease a bit that if I made it through my oddness to being a truly happy, healthy, and productive person that Elijah might follow the same path; in his way, at his pace.