What is your A-number?

Guest post from my lovely friend Taz who used to blog at tazzymania about her experience with adopting twice! and how her lovely little boy Button; just happens to also have autism. Taz is the epitome of Love Stretches - her love for her kids goes twice around the world; and I believe she is planning to go again.

Taz and I agree on how us Autism Mammies tend to have a little touch of the bug ourselves. And we think it is a power for good. She kindly agreed to do the Dr Simon Baron Cohen tests online - to assess ones Empathy, Systemizing and Autism potential. Or as I like to call it, "Whether you should choose the furniture in the flat-pack store, or assemble it" I will disclose my scores at the end. Thanks so much Taz. I am so proud to know you. xx

"Before I get started on this blog, I feel you should know something about me. I love tests! Not
exams, but tests. The ones where the results don’t really matter. In my teenage years the first page
I turned to in my Jackie or Just 17 magazines was the one with the test about “Is he more than just a
friend?” or “Which hairstyle suits your personality?”. If it has an a, b, c or d answer I’m all over it!

So when the lovely Hammie suggested I do a guest blog reviewing the Simon Baron-Cohen
Empathy and Systemizing Quotient tests, I jumped at the chance. Since Button arrived
flapping and spinning into our lives, I have recognised quite a few autie and aspie traits in
myself (not to mention the rest of my family!). So I was interested to see how I would score.

The tests can be found here and consist of a series of 60 statements, to which the respondent must answer one of the following:

Definitely agree

Slightly agree

Slightly disagree

Definitely disagree

The first test is the Empathy Quotient Test, which contains questions such as:
 “I find it hard to know what to do in a social situation” and "In a conversation, I tend to focus on my own thoughts rather than on what my listener might be thinking”.

The average score for women is 47 and for men is 42. People with AS have an average score of 20. I
scored 45. Go me! Nicely average on the old empathy so!

Next came the Systemizing Quotient Test. Sample questions her would be: “In maths, I am intrigued
by the rules and patterns governing numbers” and “If I had a collection (e.g. CDs, coins, stamps), it
would be highly organized”

The average score for women is 24 and for men is 30. People with AS score an average of 40 – 50. I
scored 27. Again pretty average, but veering towards the higher end!

My last test was the Autism Quotient Test. This is the biggie!! The questions include “I tend to have
very strong interests which I get upset about if I can't pursue” and “If there is an interruption, I can
switch back to what I was doing very quickly.” The average score for women is 15 and for men is
17. People with AS would typically score around 35. I scored.....wait for it....31!!!
I knew it! No wonder I can relate to Button so well.

Doing the tests was a bit of fun, but it’s also confirmed what I have believed for the past few years. I
have definite Aspie traits (as do my brother and father in my opinion!) and whether I had biological
or adopted children, autism was destined to be a part of my life. Button is truly the baby boy I was
meant to have.

This is not a picture of Dr Simon Baron Cohen. 

*I scored 37 on both systemizing and empathy. So I get to choose the new futon, AND assemble it.


sharon Morris said…
Scored 28 on the AQ.
I remember being genuinely shocked at friends' results on another test - I thought that they had cheated as I couldn't understand how anyone could be so socially comfortable. I thought everyone was like me, now it looks like I have aspie traits too. Oh and I love the photo caption :)