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I’ve recently been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) . Among other things this means that I am genetically predisposed to have an interest in solving technical problems and give lectures about how I solved them, but that I tend not to be a “people-person”.
AS is generally regarded as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but there is a lot of debate among the experts about the exact relationship. Some people (such as the psychologist who assessed me) believe that AS is a synonym for High Functioning Autism (HFA), however one theory I’ve heard is that HFA people are more sensory oriented and Aspies differ by being information oriented – in that case I would not be regarded as HFA. I’m not bothered by this issue, I’m sure that in a few years time the experts will have some consistent definitions for such things that most people can agree on.
There is no Boolean assessment for AS, the assessment is based on a sliding scale of number of criteria. People who are almost Aspies but don’t quite pass the test (or more commonly don’t get assessed because they don’t think they would pass) are sometimes referred to as Asperger Cousins (AC), this is a slang term that is not formally recognised but is often used in online discussions. I’m sure that a significant portion of the readers of my blog would regard themselves as being at least ACs if they investigated the issue. The test at Glenn Rowe’s web site  can give you an idea of how you rate by some criteria – but note that this is not at all conclusive and it’s based on the theories of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen , not all of which have general agreement. Leif Ekblad is running a project to analyse long-term changes to the Aspie score of adults . The main quiz for that project seems quite popular for self-diagnosis, but again it’s not conclusive.
I think that diagnosing oneself for an ASD is not nearly as crazy as most things which might fall in the category of being one’s own psychologist, but I still strongly recommend getting a formal assessment if you believe that you are an Aspie. In Australia it costs about $600 and there’s a waiting list of about 3 months. Chaotic Idealism has an insightful post about the pros and cons of self-diagnosis , if you suspect that you may be an Aspie then I recommend that you read it before doing the tests.