This time I’ve written my own quick quiz. Ten questions based on Lorna Wing’s Autism Personality Profiles, from her original paper that brought Asperger’s Syndrome to American consciousness. Lorna Wing’s Types are as such:
Most frequent subtype among the lower functioning. Most high-functioning in this group are a mixture of aloof and passive. Limited language use. Copes with life using autistic routines. Most are recognised in childhood. Independence is difficult to achieve. There may be loneliness and sadness beneath the aloofness. Rain Man is an excellent example of this subgroup.
Often amiable, gentle, and easily led. Those passive rather than aloof from infancy may fit AS. More likely than the aloof to have had a mainstream education, and their psych skill profiles are less uneven. Social approaches passively accepted (little response or show of feelings). Characteristic autistic egocentricity less obvious in this group than in others. Activities are limited and repetitive, but less so than other autistics. Can react with unexpected anger or distress. Recognition of their autism depends more on observing the absence of the social and creative aspects of normal development than the presence of positive abnormalities. The general amenability is an advantage in work, and they are reliable, but sometimes their passivity and naivete can cause great problems. If undiagnosed, parents and teachers may be disappointed they cannot keep a job at the level predicted from their schoolwork.
Can fall in any of the other groups in early childhood. Some show early developmental course of Kanner’s, some show AS. Some have the characteristic picture of higher visuospatial abilities, others have better verbal scores (mainly due to wide vocabulary and memory for facts). May be specific learning disorders (e.g., numerical). School placement often difficult. They show social naivete, odd, persistent approaches to others, and are uncooperative in uninteresting tasks. Diagnosis often missed. Tend to look at people too long and hard. Circumscribed interests in subjects are common.
Few, if any clues to the underlying subtle handicap upon first meeting. The features of AS are particularly frequent. Early histories vary. Normal range of ability with some peaks of performance. Polite and conventional. Manage well at work. Sometimes pompous and long-winded style of speech. Problems arise in family relationships, where spontaneity and empathy are required. Poor judgement as to the relative importance of different demands on their time. Characteristically pursue interests to the exclusion of everything and everyone else. May have temper tantrums or aggression if routine broken at home, but are polite at work. Diagnosis very often missed. Most attend mainstream schools. Independence achieved in most cases. This group shades into the eccentric end of normality.
For this test, I have written out my own descriptions of these personality profiles after having observed many Autistics “in the field” so to speak:
Active But Odd is a common personality type among Autistics. In Early development, many active but odd types may fit into Kanner’s profile and many into Asperger’s. Many make persistent but peculiar attempts at reaching people. May be verbally repetitive. This type is great at rote memory and repetition of large swathes of facts.
Aloof is more common in nonverbal Autistics. May appear to be disengaged but really have a very sensory way of processing the world around them. Aloof types may take longer to process input than other types of personalities. Independence may be difficult to achieve. Typical “spikey cognitive profile”. Aloof types are deeply sensory and incredibly in tune with their environments.
Passive: Gentle, suggestible and easily led, the Passive type shares some similarities with the Aloof type, such as seeming disengaged when attempting to process input and a spikey cognitive profile, though they struggle less than the Aloof type with both issues. They are perseverative thinkers and their passivity may manifest through delayed echolalia. This type are introverts and need time to recuperate after socializing. Emotionally sensitive, passive types may react very visibly and strongly when overstimulated, especially through anger and sorrow.
Passives are usually gentle, generous and friendly, but can quickly become distressed.
Stilted: This group almost appears neurotypical. They are often actors and have perfected and practiced the art of passing. They share the same idiosyncrasies as other Autistics and may appear to be slightly “off”. This type holds meltdowns in until they get home. They are more concerned with social propriety than other Autistic personality types, and may not have the insight to see their own emotional reactions.
Take the test HERE to see what type you are. I am the passive type.