June 03, 2005


Ah, Friday afternoon meme-age! Courtesy of Ith, it's the How Male or Female is Your Brain Test.

I scored 42 on the "Empathy Quotient" Test which, according to the results table means I'm bang on in the sensitivity department:

33-52= You have an average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. You know how to treat people with care and sensitivity. Most women score about 47 and most men about 42.

Fair enough. I never wanted to be Alan Alda anyway.

As to the "Systemizing Quotient" Test, I scored 60, which apparently means there's something wrong with me:

51-80= You have a very high ability for analyzing and exploring a system. On average, women score about 24 and men about 30. Three times as many men with Asperger Syndrome score in this range, compared to typical men, and almost no women score this high.

Just what the hell is Asperger Syndrome?

Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. It's important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently.

Hmmmm.....I hate change and love routine.....I don't mingle very well.... As for the body language thing, I have a running debate with the Missus about whether other women check me out or not (she says yes, I say no)..... You lot may judge my perceptions of the world for yourselves....I am increasingly intolerant of sensory overload....And those damned Wraith-Rabbits have started taunting me.....

Perhaps I'd better go see somebody.

Posted by Robert at June 3, 2005 02:18 PM

When I read 'Wraith-Rabbits', my brain saw "Welsh Rarebits" and I was slighty more concerned for your sanity than I had been. Now what that says about my sanity... !

Posted by: Ith at June 3, 2005 02:31 PM

Hmmm...I can guess what it might say about your level of hunger, anyway.

Posted by: Robert the LB at June 3, 2005 02:52 PM

Pfui. One man's obsession is another man's intent.

I scored 55 on the empathy scale and 58 on the systematizing scale.

Posted by: Dave Schuler at June 3, 2005 02:53 PM

You don't have Aspberger's, Robbo. My neighbor's kid, however, does. They call it "Little Professor Syndrome" and it's a particularly mild form of autism. He's a good kid, and is as smart as they come, but he has absolutely NO social skills, he has no friends, and doesn't know how to talk to people when he sees them out of the context he expects them to be in. Like his mother will send him over to the store to buy milk, I'll run into him, I'll say, "Hi Ben," and he gets this look of abject terror on his face and runs away. He just doesn't know how to handle it. If he saw me talking with his mother in the back alley, he'd know what to do.

You may not want to talk to someone in the grocery store, but you know how to handle it, I'm sure.

Posted by: Kathy at June 3, 2005 03:21 PM

The peas? The peas? How the hell should I know where the farookin' peas are? What do I look like, the Jolly Green Giant?

(Baby steps.....baby steps.....baby steps...)

Posted by: Robert the LB at June 3, 2005 03:31 PM

See what I mean? There's a difference between Aspbergers and just being curmudgeonly. ;)

Posted by: Kathy at June 3, 2005 03:59 PM

20 on empathy, 53 on systems, for me.

For the record, one of my nephews has been diagnosed with Asperger's, but we don't take it seriously. It's just the way we are in my family. Antisocial, but can read maps like nobody's business.

I am employed largely because of my ability to build Excel spreadsheets that aggregate data that my employers find interesting. My brother is an Army colonel who specializes in force structure and logistics.

I sometimes drive my wife crazy with my need for addressing every possible contingency, but we got around Europe like it was Boston and we never missed a train. I love trains. It's probably the main thing I enjoyed in Europe. The Paris and Rome Metros, the London Tube -- goddamn. I love 'em.

Posted by: The Colossus at June 3, 2005 04:15 PM

Ha! I got a 16 on the eq, 37 on sq. To quote Homer,
"just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't care."

Posted by: rbj at June 3, 2005 04:50 PM

Last time I took that same SQ, I remember getting a 42, which was just high enough to reinforce my long-standing suspicion/paranoia that I had undiagnosed Asperger's.

Well, I retook that test just now and got a 56.

(I think maybe you're rubbing off on me, dude...)

Posted by: LDH at June 4, 2005 12:30 AM

66 on the systematizy thing. Which is no surprise to me. EQ of 48.

Robert, you don't have Asperger's, you're just weird.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 4, 2005 08:48 AM

I scored a 4. A FOUR! What kind of idiot makes a test for people where you can score only FOUR? Fools! And yes, that was on the empathy portion.

65 on the other. Let me know when you find someone to go to. ;)

Posted by: Ogre at June 4, 2005 11:20 AM

When you say "Hi Ben," and he runs away, it may be because he doesn't recognize you. If he sees you at your home or talking to his mother then he has the context you mention. He may already understand he's in for awkward moments when meeting "strangers" like you because he can't remember who you are.

Here's an example. A family with a 13-year-old had an acquaintance with two families by the last name Johnson. When one of the Mr. Johnson's was visiting he said he would give the boy some golf balls.

The boy wanted the golf balls, and knew where one Johnson family lived. He went there, and after a bit asked for the golf balls Mr. Johnson said he would give him. Mr. Johnson was uncomprehending, but the boy was insistent about the promise and in the end went on his way with two or three grudgingly-given golf balls. A few months later, the boy learned through his parents’ conversation that there were two Mr. Johnson’s. Then he knew he had been at the wrong house, talking to the wrong man.

People change their clothes, and that can throw someone with AS off. So to, especially, can women changing their hair. If someone who normally wears it down around her shoulders pins it up behind her head she may be unrecognizable to someone with AS. However, if the person with AS sees her get out of her car he will feel great relief because now he knows who she is.

That may seem a contradiction – people with AS can have extraordinary memory for facts and text – but they may not be able to remember facial features unless they see the same person daily for an extended period. If Bill with AS who works at large corporation X just met Tom and knows where Tom’s office is, then he’s OK when he drops by to see him about something. What worries Bill is that he’ll run into Tom somewhere else in a few weeks, and won’t be able to place him. Someone with AS might walk down the street intentionally not looking at faces or people in passing cars just so he won’t be greeted by someone he doesn’t recognize.

My .02 is to try saying something like, “Hi Ben, I’m Mrs. ABC who lives next door.” That’s different than just “Hi, Ben,” which sets him to anxiously searching his empty memory to try to place you. It that works, you’ll know what the problem is. Then his parents might try some little teaching sessions where they help him know who their friends he might see regularly are. When the parents are aware they’re going to meet the Smith’s, a couple of minutes of refresher about the Smith’s and where Ben met them last time may work wonders about how Ben behaves when the family gets there.

For AS people, relatives can be like that too – just a jumble of names. But AS people are good with information on paper, and if Ben draws a family tree and puts it on the wall where he can look at it regularly he may not only know who his cousins are but start developing his own mental tricks to engineer a way to be able to place people.

He still won’t be able to handle the interaction, but that may be a separate challenge.

Posted by: Lastango at June 5, 2005 01:34 PM
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