After writing a post last night where I raised concern over the possibility that I might have some form of autism, I followed the advice of another blog and took an online AQ Test for Asperger’s Syndrome.
I actually took this test twice, through two separate websites (both tests turned out to be identical). My score for the first one was 32 and then 33 after that. To be honest though, I would only have been surprised had a scored a lowly 7 or something.
Here’s some text provided with my results following the second test:
11 – 22 is average for the general population.
22 – 31 indicates that one has slightly higher than average autistic traits.
32 + indicates a high degree of autistic tendencies
Please bear in mind that the results of the AQ test are not definitive but can be helpful in the process of self diagnosis. Professional medical advice should be requested following higher test results of 32 or more.
I assume they’re implying that I should speak to my GP about this. I’ve just mention this to mum as I type and she’s her usual ‘dismissive’ self; ‘I think we all have a little bit of that‘, which obviously doesn’t help. Before I attempt to speak t a doctor again though, I think I should at least try to get the ball rolling on this CBT recommendation, as it’s been two weeks now since he gave me the number! 😛
My interest in this was heightened by the lack-of social events of yesterday, amongst the walking group. My social awkwardness and lacking conversationally skills are all too familiar. I ask questions, I give answers and I do not see how conversations can be anything more than that. Yet, when I listen to others talking, it’s different. Their exchanges are fluid, from one side to the other. If I was to write any of it down, I doubt you would see many question marks appearing on the page. I’ve always found it hard to believe that this is something with me that can improve with more experience in these kind of situations. I always felt that my counsellor never understood me properly, just as I struggle to connect with too many others.
Perhaps focusing on social anxiety is like reaching in to a lake and grabbing whatever floats upon the surface of the water. We may need to dive in deeper. I’ve even found myself beginning to question my experiences with depression. Are these really ‘low moods’ or am I mostly devoid of emotion?
One item I noticed during the test concerns being able to focus on more than one subject or area at a time. Or, in many of my own cases; throwing everything in to one and closing the blinds to shut out the rest. I do struggle with new concepts and, since 2005, I’ve one major hobby that’s practically taken over my life. I did begin to make progress in distancing myself from this late last summer but now, I’m stuck on idea of walking as often as possible. I used to look upon my hobby as a bit of a ‘haven’, in which I could hide away (while appearing to healthily busy) from the big wide world and its people who scare me. Now though, I’m considering whether I just threw too much in to it, because of my traits.
I have always had some obsession with numbers and time in particular. Counting in even numbers (especially fours) has been a regular theme of my mind since I was a kid. From chewing food (equally on each side of my mouth), blinking with both eyes, accidentally scuffing one foot and then, having to scuff the other to compensate, wiggling my toes on each foot… It goes on!
I’ve often challenged myself to do things in the hope that ‘bad things’ won’t happen… At school, I would say that I had to walk (no running) past the tennis courts and through the distant gate in less than 60 seconds or else that it would mean that I was gay (as one example – no disrespect to homosexuals intended). I do stuff like this now at home. I’ve been struggling to sleep since ‘that experience’ on Friday night. As I head through the house in the hours of darkness, I won’t allow myself to look in to an unlit room, or else he might be there. In fact, this isn’t solely related to my grandfather; I’ve forced similar ‘compulsions’ upon myself in the past (I don’t particularly like the dark, you could say).
I don’t wish to give in to the temptation to look up a listed definition of each of the characteristics of autism and then to state how each of them relates to me… That’s far too easy; almost anyone can do that.
My dad’s brother is autistic and has been in care for his entire life (ie. unable to support and properly look after himself alone). Mum often refers to my dad’s ‘clumsiness’ in showing his love and affection for us; she’s often stated that he has never known how to love someone… To me, that’s a possible sign of autism and another potential indicator of something being in my genes. I’ve always suspected I have some form of autism, even though mum insists that I was seen by a psychiatrist (in school) at a young age and that he said I didn’t have it (mum had noticed how obsessively ‘tidy’ and organised I was with my toys).
Guess I should be heading back to doctors’ soon, then!
If you’re interested in the second test website then, I shall ask you to please follow this link.
- Ten ways to spot autism in a crowd. (wonderfullywired.wordpress.com)
- Autistic by any other name? (janstoneblog.wordpress.com)
- Taking the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) Test (musingsofanaspie.com)
- I Think I Might Be Autistic (Part 2) (musingsofanaspie.com)
- Autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith (oup.com)
- Got Aspergers? A Speculative Confessional of Sorts (ramblingrickblog.wordpress.com)
- Aspies Everywhere! (beyondautismawareness.wordpress.com)
- I Think I Might be Autistic. Now What? (musingsofanaspie.com)
- I’m a proud Aspie, but I accept the term ‘Asperger’s syndrome’ has had its day | Joshua Muggleton (guardian.co.uk)
- What is Asperger syndrome? (foodconsumer.org)