1. Are you on the autistic spectrum?
2. If not officially diagnosed, have you ever thought that it was likely that you might be on the autistic spectrum?
4. This question is for everyone, whether on the spectrum or not: How many people with an autistic spectrum disorder do you personally know personally? How severe is it? If possible, what do you think the would be the MBTI type of the person?
I don't think I have ever met someone categorized purely as autistic, although I have had friendships with a few Aspies (one a coworker for a few years) which are considered to be on one end of the autistic spectrum.
I think wc said something similar to this before, but they seemed to be an odd combination of INTP, INTJ, and ISTJ. They are mentally very quick and perception and interested in abstractions... but at the same time, they often seem to need lots of closure/stability to function. The ones I knew also were very detailed. One was an analyst, for example, and despite having an NT mindset would also be sensor-level meticulous with detail in her reports; another was an artist and her work was just amazing -- perfect crafted, very detailed, each line in the right place.
Emotionally and socially there were some big issues: My coworker eventually was fired (after lots of interpersonal frustrations on our team) because she threatened and physically assaulted a visiting consultant who she deemed unprofessional; and my friend and I eventually stopped talking because she would read periods of silence in our online friendship as abandoning her or somehow taking advantage of her behind her back.
It was really as if they just had not received any sort of "social interaction" subroutine by which to understand and process relational situations.
I will still really stress, though, that one of these people was selfless (she has spent her whole life caring for a physically disadvantaged son) and she consistently sends xmas cards despite being gone here for a few years; and the other one experienced concern for others. (When 911 happened, she actually called my house from halfway across the country to see if I was okay.) It was like the emotional/relational thing but in a very childlike or inexperienced form, where the nuances just weren't there but the intentions still were.
I think as far as MBTI types, now that I have thought more about it -- it's like mentally they deal from an NT perspective, but behaviorally they operate in ST mode. Does that make sense? That's why I keep getting mixed reads.
5. If you are NOT on the autistic spectrum, how would you personally describe autism and how you perceive it?
I'm not sure on this -- will get back later.
6. For everyone: What do you think is the cause of autism? Do you think that it is, in fact, a disorder, or rather a difference in brain structure? Do you think there should be a cure? What is your opinion of the neurodiversity movement?
I don't remember many details any longer, but even in the popular lit (Newsweek), there seemed to be some indication that it was partly tied to brain chemistry during development and potential differences in developing structure.
As far as a cure? I don't know. And I don't think it's up to people to forcibly cure someone. In one sense, people are who they are, and trying to "fix" them seems like a violation. On the other hand, there are still social and relational issues that make life more difficult for autistic people and their families as part of dealing with their situation. In those situations, I would not blame an autistic if they wanted to mesh better with society.
As far as in vitro fixes? I have no idea. I generally don't like it.
8. Same as the above, accept for non-autists. Any notable situations that you can recall where the subject of autism or an autistic individual was prominent?
Well, like I said above: My coworker lost her job because she (1) could not compromise, (2) got frustrated easily, and (3) would get very rude and obnoxious, even physically violent, if the frustration was not reduced. And she was a very very smart lady, mentally.
Likewise, my friend could not maintain relationships with other people, had trouble holding down jobs, and just could not perceive clearly enough in social situations to navigate them. So she was very lonely... one reason why her art was so good (because it was one of the things she could depend on and do well).
Still, my coworker was so faithful and giving to her child, and my friend was SO talented artistically in terms of execution.