Autistic Quotient

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Geoff.D
Posts: 1959
Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby Geoff.D » 1 May 2016, 3:57pm

Very interesting thread,

Freddie
Posts: 2237
Joined: 12 Jan 2008, 12:01pm

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby Freddie » 1 May 2016, 4:36pm

ThePinkOne - to be clear, I wanted to discuss the topic as a point of interest, but I get the feeling you may have taken what I said personally, as some of your responses are to things I didn't actually say. Anyway, let's deal with your reply.
ThePinkOne wrote:OK, so in an ideal world there would be no diagnosis required because people who had different needs would all be accommodated through "empathy."
I disagree; as I said, there are degrees of difficulty and people with less severe problems should be encouraged to try to overcome them, before everyone else makes adaptations for them. How do you distinguish between a want and a need, at any rate? Would you suggest that someone that doesn't like Radio 1 and pop music has a "need" not to have it inflicted on them all day, throughout their work day? Even if they weren't autistic?

How would any workspace accommodate everyone to their liking, I don't see that as either sensible or possible. Hence why I said there are degrees of difficulty; some should be accounted for, some the individual should be encouraged to best the difficulty, some are not serious enough for consideration.

ThePinkOne wrote:Indeed, from my experience of the workplace over the last 20 years, I am of the view that the corporate world is getting steadily less tolerant of "different;" in times gone by the "eccentric but brilliant" was recognised as valuable so tolerated (i.e. accommodated) whereas these days with a focus on "behaviours" (i.e. "how like us are you?"), image and spin, that tolerance is slipping away- along with some really valuable technical/engineering skills and knowledge in many cases.
I think the UK and probably the world in general is less tolerant of eccentrics and otherwise different people, whatever other skills and abilities they bring to bear. I agree that this is a shame.

ThePinkOne wrote:It is unhelpful to imply that someone should be self-reliant rather than have reasonable adjustments
This is where you deviate from what I actually typed. I said people should be self-reliant wherever possible. I suppose the question is, who decides what a reasonable adjustment and what is not?

ThePinkOne wrote:Regarding "less extreme" conditions: tell me, how do you judge "less extreme?" Quite a lot of people who need wheelchairs can actually walk a few steps. Should we also say they are "less extreme" and not give them the support they require such as unstepped access and car-parking nearby?
How absurd. Can you approach this in a sensible manner, as I am actually interested in discussing this.

ThePinkOne wrote:As for the idea that I may use my "less extreme" condition as a get-out clause: that is rather insulting. It implies that I am expected to tough it out if the "conditions" are hurting me.
Again, I said no such thing. This is not about you personally, but the question in hand. People tough out conditions that are "hurting them" every day. Facing difficulties and adversity are a natural part of life. The modern world would not exist without people facing adversity and difficulty.

The question is where annoyance stops and a difficulty, for which everybody else should adapt, begins. You have only suggested that the workplace should adapt for everyone, thus far, something that I find completely unworkable. What if someone is a night owl and objects to getting into work for 9am, do we adapt for them? I don't imagine you think so. So, as I said, where does tolerable annoyance stop and unbearable difficulty begin, and for the sake of productivity and a sustainable workplace, shouldn't we encourage people to face their difficulties as much as possible?

Of course, some will be far too difficult to surmount (the disabled person asked to walk a few steps example you gave) and it would be ridiculous to demand people try, but your position seems to be a person has a condition, in this case autism, and therefore everyone should adapt to them, they should never try to adapt to the world.

Can your position not be applied to other problems - social anxiety, depression and so on. Nobody suggests that people submit wholly to problems for which therapy has been shown to help. Plenty of people have gone from being deathly shy to sociable in their own lifetime. If they did not submit themselves to the "pain" of meeting people, then they would never have got anywhere. Why couldn't sensible exposure to difficulties help someone with autism? Should they admit defeat purely because they have autism.

It may interest you to know that I have also sat the test that Mick linked to, both many years ago and recently, when it made an appearance in this thread. I typically get a score of 35/36, so reasonably high. I imagine I could be diagnosed professionally, if I wanted to, but I don't know if I see the benefit. I know what I can and can't deal with, but my ability to deal with situations I find difficult has increased significantly since my youth, to my mind through exposure to those very situations.

I will never enjoy certain things, but I can now bear them, where necessary, and seeing as the world very rarely stops to accommodate people, it seems to me more sensible to attempt (where possible) to deal with the problems and hand you have been dealt, rather than expect the world to conform to you. Your position seems to be, and maybe you could clarify, that the problems I faced in my youth were insurmountable, I was not going to improve and therefore everyone else should adapt to me instead.

I think the fact that the majority of autistic people remain undiagnosed and have spent most of their lives dealing with their problem without diagnosis, speaks to how people can adapt, even if it doesn't change their fundamental preferences.

By the way, here is an interesting statement from the Embarrassing Bodies website about self diagnosis (http://mindchecker.channel4.com/test-autism.html):

Note: The test is not diagnostic, which means that even if you score over 32, it doesn't mean you've definitely got Autism or Asperger Syndrome. Many people who score highly and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

I don't know if I agree about "no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives", but my point is that some difficulty is to be expected and good for a person. Removing all personal difficulty is not a healthy for a person, autistic or not.

ThePinkOne
Posts: 207
Joined: 12 Jul 2007, 9:21pm

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby ThePinkOne » 1 May 2016, 7:00pm

Freddie wrote:I will never enjoy certain things, but I can now bear them, where necessary, and seeing as the world very rarely stops to accommodate people, it seems to me more sensible to attempt (where possible) to deal with the problems and hand you have been dealt, rather than expect the world to conform to you. Your position seems to be, and maybe you could clarify, that the problems I faced in my youth were insurmountable, I was not going to improve and therefore everyone else should adapt to me instead.
.


I have never advocated removing all difficulty in life. But where difficulties are greater than the "norm" for someone, removing SOME of the difficulty brings the level of down from "unhealthy and damaging" to "reasonable"- not to nothing. The point is that assistance that the majority needs tends to arise in society as a provision for everyone, whereas when needs are for a minority they often go unheeded or dismissed. The issue then is establishing the individual's needs and meeting them- not assuming that if they are not "extreme" they are not trying hard enough and don't need SOME assistance. That takes care of the issue I cited with mobility BTW.

As for adapting to different working styles- well as it happens, the most productive workplaces are where that DOES happen. If a person is a night-owl and this can be accommodated, then absolutely we should do so. Of course, in many cases this happens "by chance"- some workplaces let workers volunteer for permanent night shifts, permanent earlies or permanent lates for example rather than forcing rotation onto everyone; and where this happens, the roster tends to have a lot fewer sick-days!. The point is though that the system of professional diagnosis and workplace assessment (for any "disability") is to identify what (if any) adjustments are appropriate- i.e. "reasonable." So, to answer your question- there is a systematic process and legal definitions that decide what is "reasonable" for a workplace.

As for difficulty and surmounting problems- I have surmounted and dealt with huge problems in life, but everyone has a limit, and sometimes the problems are beyond one's ability to surmount without some assistance. If the difficulty is a "minority issue" then such assistance can be very hard to get. Also, the extent to which problems are caused in life depends partly to what extent adjustments or accommodations are in place whether by chance or design...... such things can have happened effectively by chance, for example someone who ended up in a niche technical role where there needs were met without realising and they were fortunate enough to be in that job for 30 years (more common in the past). Again, accommodation of majority difficulties tends to be built into the way society is structured.

There is also a tenancy in "high-functioning" autism is for "coping" get poorer once past 35 or so, "coping" needs a lot of energy and the natural aging process tends to reduce energy available. There is an improvement from youth because the cognitive conscious processing can figure out "work arounds" from experience, but there is a limit on what that can do. It is not at all the same as someone who overcomes shyness; a shy person with their brain-hard-wired ability to comprehend social interactions intact will learn from exposure and "trying harder"; whereas someone with different brain wiring will never be fully fluent no matter how hard they try (and no matter how much they deceive themselves that they are good at it :oops: ). That is why professional diagnosis is important.

Incidentally- I am not self-diagnosed, I have been professionally diagnosed. As you say, the AQ test is NOT diagnostic- and other personality issues can give a high score. Those sort of "false positives" are screened out in the formal diagnostic assessments.

I am not going to say any more on the matter however. There's plenty places on t'internet where info can be found- both on autism and on the issues around disability and reasonable adjustments- and also around how workplaces can be made more welcoming (safe places) to other minorities including or example whose with non-majority gender identities- and on the benefits that accrue to the organisation when that happens.

TPO

brynpoeth
Posts: 9862
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby brynpoeth » 11 Feb 2019, 5:20am

I think I am on the AS too, I hate music in food stores, walk further to use a shop without music

But I go to the cinema a lot, usually love the music (except when it is played when Winston Churchill is talking), I love it when sinister music indicates something bad is about to happen

And I sing a lot when cycling

Am I normal or not? :wink:
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landsurfer
Posts: 4542
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby landsurfer » 11 Feb 2019, 6:56am

brynpoeth wrote:I think I am on the AS too, I hate music in food stores, walk further to use a shop without music

But I go to the cinema a lot, usually love the music (except when it is played when Winston Churchill is talking), I love it when sinister music indicates something bad is about to happen

And I sing a lot when cycling

Am I normal or not? :wink:


You sound perfectly normal too me, but i do tick all of your boxes listed here .......
“I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.”

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Syd
Posts: 65
Joined: 23 Sep 2018, 2:27pm

Re: Autistic Quotient

Postby Syd » 11 Feb 2019, 7:13am

I’ve ran this test a couple of times in the past decade and always score in the low 40’s which doesn’t come as a surprise.

I hate social occasions and meeting new people. Can also never remember actually having a ‘friend’ who wasn’t a friend of my partner.

I’ve been aware since my very early teens when I woke to find my grandfather, who I’d shared a room with, dead in the other bed and my first thought was “how do I wake my mother to tell her without her getting annoyed! Ended up being cord bearer No. 1 at his funeral, as my father was injured, and felt all eyes on me as I standing there lowering him into the ground sans emotion.

At the end of the day I’m happy and harming no one and no one is harming me so it’s not something I am concerned about.