What exactly is “Normal” as it relates to human behaviour? We are aware of the dictionary meaning of the word. As teachers you will be familiar with the use of statistics and the bell curve. But how do we assess and analyze complex human behaviour? How do we do this in such a fashion as to allow an analytical statistical determination for the use of any labels? And how do we determine what really really should be considered “Normal”? Perhaps we will find that there is no realistic way for us to even apply the term “Normal” here.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is well-known and has been widely used to evaluate human behaviour. (To head off any misunderstanding, I should point out that as far as I know Myers-Briggs in no way is intended to be used in the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.) I myself have done the Myers-Briggs questionnaire and found the results quite interesting and revealing. It certainly led me to a significant amount of self-assessment and introspection. Of course, in the last few years, Myers-Briggs has also attracted a significant degree of skepticism.
The label “Autism Spectrum Disorder” suggests that this Disorder covers a wide range of behaviours. I am by no means an expert, but the “Spectrum” seems to cover many types and degrees of behaviour.
So, have you ever wondered where your own behaviour fits into the “Spectrum”? Here is a short self-assessment test to determine where that may be. To quote this website:
“The Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test (abbreviated to AQ) is a diagnostic questionnaire designed to measure the expression of Autism-Spectrum traits in an individual, by his or her own subjective self-assessment.
It was first published in 2001 by Simon Barron-Cohen and his colleagues at the Cambridge Autism Research Centre as part of the the widely cited study entitled The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): Evidence from Asperger syndrome/high-functioning autism, males and females, scientists and mathematicians.“
I apologize in advance if the concept of assessing yourself in this way is concerning or upsetting to you. Please bear with me. I suspect that, if nothing else, this exercise may more fully inform you on the subject and its complex issues.
As history has shown, if in fact you do fall in the “Spectrum” you are in august company!