Taking the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ)

This week I took the Friendship Questionnaire (sometimes called the Friendship Quotient).

The Friendship Questionnaire (FQ) was developed in 2003 as part of Simon Baron-Cohen’s ongoing quest to prove his “extreme male brain” theory of Asperger’s. Consequently, the FQ measures a very specific model of friendship to prove a point about people on the spectrum.

The developers of the FQ say that an individual will score highly on it if they:

  • enjoy close, empathic supportive friendships
  • like and are interested in people
  • enjoy interaction with others for its own sake
  • find friendships important (Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2003)

The questions are based on assumed gender differences in forming friendships. The FQ developers hypothesized that NT women would score highest, with men scoring slightly lower than NT women, and ASD individuals of both genders scoring significantly lower than NT men.

The average FQ scores from the 2003 study were:

  • NT females: 90.0
  • NT males: 70.3
  • ASD females: 59.8
  • ASD males: 53.2

The fundamental basis for the gender-difference hypothesis seems to be that men and people on the spectrum prefer activity-based friendships. Neurotypical women, on the other hand, are assumed to prefer interaction-based friendships, where the act of connecting is of primary importance.

Since every friendship I’ve had as an adult has grown out of a common interest, it’s safe to say I fall into the activity-based preference. Honestly, I have no real idea how friendship works in most cases, so let’s take the test.

Taking the Test

You can take the FQ at the Aspie Tests website. Click the link for the Friendship Quotient and then complete the first three questions (you don’t need to create an account unless you want to) and click the submit button to start the quiz.

There are 34 multiple choice questions.

I found some of these questions hard to answer because there was no “neither” option. For example, on #6 I literally don’t have a wide enough social circle that it requires me to choose between asking someone to meet first or thinking of an activity then choosing a person to do it with. #9: I have no idea. Neither? Why is there no neither option?!

For some questions, I ended up choosing answers based on how I’ve interacted with friends in the past because I couldn’t come up with a current example to base my answer on.

Scoring the Test

After submitting your answers, you’ll get your FQ score. The possible scoring range is 0 to 135. I got 39.

Average scores by gender for the FQ (aspietests.org)
Average scores by gender and neurotype for the FQ (aspietests.org)
FQ score distribution by neurotype
FQ score distribution by neurotype (aspietests.org)

I’m not sure what to make of my 39. I’m not surprised by it. Going down the list of qualities that the FQ tests for:

  • I enjoy close, supportive friendships, but I don’t need more than a couple at a time to feel that I have supportive connections in my life.
  • I don’t really like or have an interest in people as a general rule (sorry, human race).
  • I don’t generally enjoy interaction with others for its own sake, which is different from not enjoying interaction with others at all.
  • I find friendship moderately important, but again I don’t need many friends to feel like I have a satisfactory level of social interaction in my life.

The Bottom Line

The research I read on the FQ doesn’t imply that a low FQ score is “bad”, which is good to see, because I think the FQ is testing for a very specific model of friendship. The research does say that those with low FQ scores tend to have high AQ and low EQ scores.

37 thoughts on “Taking the Friendship Questionnaire (FQ)”

  1. I do not understand the basis for this test at all. I have a problem with the whole “extreme male brain” theory. Why would someone think that an autistic person wouldn’t want to spent a quiet afternoon chatting with one special friend and then wanting to chat with them more then once a week? What is the idea behind thinking that autistic people prefer activity based friendships? Sure, going out to dinner and a movie is fun, but it can also be loud and sensory overloading. Lots of emails, texts, and long telephone conversations every once in a while is really nice when you can’t actually see the person you are friends with. When a person has made a connection with someone and you speak the same language and you have the same interests, you can actually have a really close relationship with that person. As an autistic adult I have all of two friends. I live in Washington state, one friend lives in Wisconsin, and the other lives in Alaska. The one that lives in Wisconsin I have known since we were six years old. The other is was a former colleague. The one in Wisconsin I haven’t seen in person in 19 years. It has been seven months since I saw my friend in Alaska. One shows signs of PDD-NOS or at least shadow traits of autistm, the other shows signs of the minimum PDD-NOS, but is more impacted. Neither has been diagnosed. They are also both men, which I find interesting. They don’t know each other. The really nice thing is that even though we live in different states we are supports to each other. They are always there if I need them and I am always there if they need me and we understand each other. That is what friendship is about.

    I answered the questions based off my experiences with my two friends and I got a score of 80. I was diagnosed with Aspergers over a year ago. I was told that I can function, but am highly impacted. I feel the Friendship Quotient test is flawed and based on flawed logic. If I am missing something, please let me know.

    1. I think it’s highly flawed too. It’s based on a very specific conceptualization of friendship that the test creators are trying to use to prove a point (which is in itself flawed).

      I think the idea that autistic people form activity-based friendships might have some validity to it–not as a way of sustaining friendships necessarily but as a way of meeting people (then again, all people meet at least some of their friends via common interests). Thinking back over adult friendships, I’ve met people through different activities and when my interest in an activity waned, the friendship I struck up as part of it eventually did too. But that could be true of any friendship, since adults tend to move in and out of friendships over our lifespan.

      One thing that struck me in the scoring is that having one or two best friends scores 5 points while several best friends scores 2 points. Maybe they’re trying to say something about the quality of friendship? Like, if you have 2 best friends they’re more likely to truly be close friends where if you have a bunch they might all be such close friends? It seems like all of us here are in the 1 or 2 best friends category, which is right off the bat defying the stereotype.

  2. I found the most challenging aspect of this test to be my definition of friendship: the overwhelming majority of people I interact with socially are what I would call acquaintances as opposed to friends. The latter are those people I have an emotional attachment to.

    I took the test twice for different values of “friendship” – the first included acquaintances and I scored 22 – a pretty low score. I then retook the test giving the answers that were appropriate when only considering one person I would refer to as a friend and I scored 71.

    My conclusion is that while I _can_ form a close friendship based on interaction with and emotional attachment to another person (which would seem to be the standard that this test is measuring against) that is not my normal behavior and indeed it is very rare for me to form any emotional bond with somebody.

    1. I, too, think of everyone else I know as acquaintances, except for the two people I consider friends. My son is the same way and he also has Aspergers. He has one friend and another that he says is almost like a friend. He has made more connections with adults than with his peers. He told his social skills teacher that he considers the other kids at school acquaintances. That is an interesting idea to take the test twice basing it off of different values. I will have to try that and see if I get a different score.

    2. I’m tempted to retake the test using your concept of two different values. The person I would call my closest friend is my husband and if I answered the questions using him as an example, I’d score much higher. So yes, your last paragraph is very applicable to the way I form bonds with people too.

  3. Wow, I hated this test. Very difficult to answer. I think it’s basis for what kind of friendship one has is not only rigidly narrow but corrupted by an assumption that people with ASD have friendships that look a certain way. I’m not buying that. I have 3 friends, 2 I’ve known for nearly 20 years, and another one for 6 years. I do both activities as well as just hanging out chatting with all of them, but not very frequently. I’m not into weekly coffee meetings or things like that – one of my friends lived on my street at one point and I found that to be too much for me. I like having friends, but only in very small numbers and only on an intense, mutually supportive and accepting level.

    1. I hated it, too! I think autistic people’s friendships do look different than typical friendships but not in the way that this questionnaire thinks they do. It feels like the question design is made to line up with the scores on the AQ and EQ rather than to truly evaluate a capacity for developing and sustaining friendships.

      You also hit on something important that comes up a lot with ASD and friendship–the tendency to form intense friendships in small numbers. I bet it would be possible to write a friendship questionnaire that captures a wider range of traits of relationships in folks with ASD and still correlates with AQ scores.

  4. 73. I prefer only a few close friendships. Don’t like to “chat” on the phone. Would much rather text or email. Love being alone with a little social time sprinkled in. I work at the YMCA and have made a point to learn almost all members by name and greet them that way but I don’t want to know all the little details of their lives. Just want to say hi and be there to assist them with any fitness related questions they may have as that is my job and I believe in that mission. Except for my husband, I don’t ask for help solving whatever issues I may have, I usually work stuff out on my own. When I do get together with friends I tend to be the listener to their issues rather than the sharer of mine. I don’t know what that makes me other than contented! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I guess it also means you’re a good listener! I’m not much for chatting on the phone either and it’s annoying that the scoring of the quiz assigns 5 points for being a chatty Cathy and zero points for thinking the phone is a useful way of making plans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I got a 45. My only “close friend” is my boyfriend, which might have skewed my result higher than they would be otherwise because I can talk to him about “feelings stuff” better than to anyone else (although it’s still really hard for me.)

    1. I actually didn’t take into consideration that my husband is my closest friend. I’m temped to go back and redo the questionnaire using him as one of my friends because it would make a difference in my score. This questionnaire was hard and kind of depressing. I think we should all not pay much attention to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I got 58.

    Question 17 is a bit strange. “If I get in a fight with a friend and I’m sure that I haven’t done anything wrong, …” then the other person must have done something seriously wrong to offend me or we wouldn’t be fighting, and I don’t offend easily, so they probably stole from me and left me short on food money or arranged for me to sleep with someone I didn’t want to sleep with or something equally serious and I no longer want to be friends with them. (Those are the only two examples I can think of of times that I got into a fight with a friend and I was sure I hadn’t done anything wrong.)

    31) How easy do you find it to make friends?

    Well, friendships just sort of happen to me. I don’t really seek them out, but when it does happen it’s pretty easy. I made a couple friends back in uni. One of them suggested we go for sandwiches after class and we became really good friends. Another noticed me in one class because the teacher was mean to me and then decided to sit next to me in another class that I was transcribing the lecturers onto my laptop (I could type as fast as the teacher was speaking) and lots of people wanted to be acquaintances with me when they realised that I had transcripts of every word the teacher said — but one girl in particular became a really good friend out of that, not just because I was useful but she liked me as a person and she helped me a lot with some other things and we’re still friends. When she sat next to me, she introduced herself and told me what country she was from, so I typed out some funny sentences I had memorised in her language — I didn’t know many individual words at the time (I’m now fluent) but I knew some amusing sentences, and she was amused and insisted on showing them to some other people from that country who were sitting near us and they all thought it was funny too. And then when I sort of spontaneously learned her language (I’d been watching tv in English with subtitles in her language for a few months and the pieces just sort of fell together and suddenly I could speak the language) she helped me a lot with polishing what I’d learned and correcting my mistakes.

    Other times I met people online and we had a lot in common and we talked a lot online and we just naturally fell into a friendship.

    If I were going to seek out a friendship, wake up one day and say “today I’m going to make a friend! how am I going to do that… I know! Maybe I could be nice to the cashier at the grocery store!” that wouldn’t work very well and I really have no idea how to go about it, but it doesn’t bother me. Friends appear out of nowhere and it’s usually nice, but my alone time is important to, so I don’t wake up saying “I’m going to make a new friend today!” I wake up saying “I want to learn more about echolocation today.” But if a friendship happens, I’m amenable to it.

    So making friends is really easy. I don’t put any work into it and it happens when it happens.

    1. I’ve always made friends completely by accident too and usually because the other person initiated the friendship. I don’t really understand how one makes a friend on purpose. Do people even do that? It seems like real life friendship is also much more complex than this questionnaire makes things out to be.

      1. Well, when I was five, I asked my mother how to make friends and she suggested I go up to people and ask “Do you want to be my friend?” But most people said “no” or “I already have a friend” so it didn’t really work out. I don’t think it works for children and I’d feel really silly trying it as an adult. I guess the way most people do it is they just go up to people and start a conversation. But as an adult, there aren’t as many opportunities to do that, outside of the work place. If someone approached me at a bus stop and wanted a lasting friendship I would probably be uncomfortable. But if I someone I saw regularly wanted to step up from acquaintance to casual friendship to good friends it would just take some conversations, I think. But if I try to think of people I see regularly, well, there’s the cashier at the store, but there are usually other people in line behind me. And there’s the homeless man who lives outside the store, but I never really know what to say. And that’s about it.

        It’s so much easier online. I start commenting regularly somewhere or I start reading a blog and I feel like I get to know the other commenters and get to know the place, and I can start seeing people I talk to frequently online as something-like-friends, especially if the conversation is civil and thoughtful. My positive dating experiences have all started online, all started with friends and mutual friends and talking regularly. It makes for a better relationship because I know we can communicate well and talk things through. I’m in a long term online relationship at the moment, it’s great.

        1. I’ve seen that advice given to kids too and I can’t imagine it working. What kid is just going to say, “yes, be my friend” and then magically enter into a full blown friendship? It seems like some series of events should take place first to create a foundation for the friendship. The conversation starting thing–I can’t imagine going up to a stranger and just striking up a conversation because with my skills, it would last about 60 seconds. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Online is definitely easier, especially when you can read the other comments or posts in a forum and get a feel for whether the people there are similar to you in interests, etc. There’s a much slower pace (if needed) and you can take time to think about your questions or replies. It seems ideally autistic in many ways.

      2. Same, I have never in my life ever made the effort to become friends with others. It has always either been the the other around, or I made a friend by accident.
        I also don’t like it when new people try to join in my friends group too, most likely due to my hatred of change.

    2. I took 17 to be a situation where you’ve hurt your friends feelings somehow but you don’t consider that what you did was wrong. This sort of thing seems to be a frequent occurrence in neurotypical relationships, but happens much less frequently in autistic relationships. That’s actually reminded me of this:

      For 31, I always used to feel like I had no control over whether I made friends with someone I liked and seemed to get on with or whether the initial friendliness would quickly dissipate, I wouldn’t know what I’d do to make friendships work when they worked or what I’d do wrong to make them not work when they failed, they just sort of happened or didn’t. It’s only through realising I’m autistic that I’ve started to piece things together and work out that I’m befriending people who are direct communicators or autistic themselves and very active in keeping the friendship going.

  7. 31.

    But some of the questions made no sense to me. Minimum social contact? I can get through a week without seeing a single person, but that’s not personal preference, it’s that I’m so overloaded from work (where contact with lots of people is compulsory) that coping with the demands of someone in my spare time is near impossible. I could cope if they would make room for me as an autie, but I know that I’m not going to be able to handle 4 hours of continuous conversation. My preference would be for having people around and being friendly but the question makes me look as though I hate people. I also don’t like the term ‘need’, because my autie brain says no one ever died from a couple of weeks of not seeing anyone, so I have to answer none.

    As is mentioned above, I pick locations for meeting someone based on the sensory load and the number of new people I might have to meet, so one person at a cafe is better than sports (navigating bookings, other team members, changing rooms etc) or a cinema full of screaming teens. It’s nothing to do with the type of friendship or what I want to talk about.

    Essentially, for most of the questions starting ‘I like to’, or ‘I prefer to’, I have to replace that with ‘I have no choice but to’, which means usually that my sensory issues are interfering with the kind of friendship I want to have.

    1. Oh, and also several people have made clear to me that I am so bad at friendship that I damage people, which has had a serious impact on the way I interact. I keep friendships superficial and I avoid social events, and I never invite anyone to my home in order to minimize the negative impact I have.
      I think if some of the people I know were prepared to try and understand what being autistic actually means then I might be able to have a friendship, but I’m so scared of getting it wrong I withdraw as soon as someone starts being nice because I don’t want to let them down.
      And I don’t think that kind of tortuous autie logic is taken into account on this questionnaire!

    2. For that minimum social contact question, I chose the “going to a coffee shop but not talking to anyone” option because I’ve had weeks exactly like that and have been fine with it. Also, my social needs vary. Sometimes I need more and other times I need to be left alone. The sensory considerations for interaction is a great point. It’s nice when a friend is okay with, say, taking our dogs for a walk on a quiet trail or doing something during which we don’t have to talk the whole time.

      I’m sorry you’ve had to experience people being so mean about friendship. I tend to keep things superficial too, but often because I have no idea what comes next after the superficial stage and generally jump right to oversharing, which scares most people off. So I preempt them from being scared off by just avoiding them once we get to the point where they start wanting more than superficial, acquaintance type interaction.

  8. I’v got a deep-down-the-abyss 13, and this score kinda surprise me. Even through I’m far from being a chat-addict, I love to spent time talking with my friends, but not on the phone, and not about everyday things. Does that make me and unfriendly person? Guess this test make me one! For school reasons, I usually can’t see my friends more than 1 or 2 time per month at the best, and it’s in the bus. For making plans, most of my friends are living in Montreal, when I’m living like 2 hour at least away of them. Thus, of course I don’t see them often.
    But this test doesn’t take texto/mail as useful way to socialise, nor it count talking about hobbies as socialisation. But talking about feelings and stuff like that always leave me in the mist, as the clueless aspie I am (emotions are complicated as heck). My close friends avoids talkings about that, because they know I’m bad with emotional stuff.

    I guess my low score is mostly due to the stereotypical friendship the creators were trying to use as a base for all forms of friendships… Like always, I just love those Take-a-Test Tuesday!

    1. It looks like this test is treating everything as preferences whereas your socializing is limited at times by your schedule and circumstances. It also doesn’t take into account online or text communication, probably because it doesn’t see that as “real” social interaction. Considering how many of us have friends we’ve met online and never met in person, that seems ridiculous and outdated.

      I think you’re right about your score being the result of the stereotypes held by the creators of the test.

  9. 23
    The questions are completely ambiguous in their meaning more often not and the range of responses have no options consistent with my behaviour and thoughts.

    The worst are those binary choice questions: do you prefer a friend who you can confidein or do you prefer one with whom you can have fun? Let’s see…umm…BOTH. Those few i consider friend, I consider so precisely because they possess both qualitis aes. I dislike talking to people about personal things; but those with whom I do, make no mistake, I want to be listened to and know with certainty that the person will be loyal and trustworthy with the information. That is what separates friends from aquaintances: trust, acceptance and sincerity as opposed to the application of social lubricant. That being said of course I want them to be fun, otherwise their company would be tedious and their “friendship” would be undesirable.

    I have very close friendships with very few but I believe them to be more rewarding than having many friendships that are superficial. That is what aquaintences do.

    I also can relate to be inundated with people to a point I can see anyone, even friends. I work at a University dealing with people all day so there are times when I am too overstimated to do anything with people. On less socially demanding days seeing a friend is fine. Sociallizing with aquaintences still sounds like torture on either type of day. No contact is then preferable to shallow forced conctact.

    1. I agree with there not being enough options. There here at least a half dozen questions that I needed a “neither” or “both” option to answer correctly. So many of the questions feel artificial. Do the people who make these things up live in the real world?

      And you’re right so spot on about this all being situation. It depends on the day, the person, the situation. So many variables. At least we all recognize that we do have meaningful relationships, regardless of what this questionnaire is trying to tell us.

  10. Thank you for another great Take A Test post and you’re analysis. I think I probably found this test even more difficult for you, because I’m a highly sociable extrovert aspie, and I don’t think such a thing fits into Simon Baron-Cohen’s world view at all!

    I find the questions ambiguous and not offering options that reflect my actual preferences, I end up thinking for quite some time and deciding how best to model the reality the question doesn’t let me represent. As a result I took this test twice and have two very different results:

    Test taken by you on 22 September 2012 54.0
    Test taken by you on 3 March 2013 82.0
    Your average score 68.0

    My actual reality is that I work from home with no visitors at all (by choice, I find it very hard to work with distractions), but I almost constantly socialise in an asynchronous way on Twitter during all my breaks. I pretty much obsessively follow what people are doing and interact with them during lots of breaks in my day. That includes people I know in person locally, in person friends who live far away and also online-only friends. I have IM conversations with closer friends where I check in on how they are several times a week. I also go onto the virtual world of Second Life and socialise there almost every evening with people who I almost never meet who are playing at being someone else. I found no way to get this acknowledged at all in the FQ test. There were no options at all to model this – it’s neither writing a letter nor the telephone!

    For in person friends, it’s critically important that they either be on the autistic spectrum or have a direct communication style that’s very compatible with mine. They must also respect my gender identity and not do that awful ‘banter’ thing of teasing or insulting to demonstrate friendship. This outweighs all other considerations. However they must also be interested in at least some of the things I like, and not obsessed with things that I have no interest in, or else the effort of meeting up and communicating will not be outweighed by the content of the conversation. They probably also need to get my sense of humour or they’ll likely find me to be tiresome. We will usually meet about once a week, sometimes once every two weeks for one to one conversations, usually over food. At these I usually talk about what’s been going on in my life and process stressful stuff that’s happened, my friend will do the same thing, we might also talk about shared things we enjoy like recent TV episodes or social groups we both attend. Also if I want to see a film, I’ll find someone locally who wants to see it with me and discuss it afterwards.

    I’ve historically been not all that good at making and maintaining friendships because I seem to need regular agreed structure and the nature of our friendship to be explicitly spelt out and reaffirmed on a regular basis, otherwise I ‘drift away’ from the other person. This seemed to result in me only making friends with people who were very active in maintaining friendships or who initially had what amounted to a meeting with me to negotiate how the friendship would work and at what frequency.

    Because I’m not great at making friendships that last (I am actually good at first impressions), I also go to monthly autistic and transgender social groups, although I’m notoriously bad at developing connections from these into ‘take home’ friendships. My main struggle with in person socialising is that the sensory environment can very easily overwhelm me, I need low background noise and good lighting if at all possible. In group situations, I need everyone to be making an effort to ensure I can hear and follow them or I very quickly get sensory overload unless we’re meeting in a quiet room and there’s only one conversation going on and no background noise. As such I need to be extremely engaged with the subject of a social group in order for my enjoyment at what I get out of the experience to override how overloaded and overwhelmed I’m likely to get due to the sensory environment – unless the venue has been chosen very well.

    My favourite in person group socialising is a weekly boardgames group alternating between my home and a friend’s home, where I play games with friends who don’t mind me being stimmy and echolalic, so I can relax and be myself with others who are as quirky as I am, with the fun addition of board games, chosen because we all enjoy them.

    Virtually all my holiday (vacation) time is booked to go to conventions about identities I hold or subjects, TV shows or genres I love. I go to Autscape (the UK version of Autreat), sci-fi cons, singing cons (actually sci-fi singing cons), BiCon, I’ve also been to trans, neurodiversity and asexual one day events. I love these because there’s structure, timetables, everyone wears badges, there’s a hotel room to escape to if needed and everyone’s there explicitly to talk about a thing I’m hugely enthusiastic about, so I’m well liked for being enthusiastic and knowledgable about it. The rest of my holiday is spent on having a week with family at Xmas and then a couple of days ‘party’ with my oldest group of friends at one of our homes, where we get together to ignore the New Year, play games, read books in each others company, snark at bad movies, play with toys and generally be ourselves in a comfortable environment.

    So I’m clearly a very sociable person, but in a very geeky/autistic way. And not in a way that seems to fit into the Friendship Quotient questions! I’m pretty sure that I’m an extrovert and I really like sharing things with other people, but I struggle to be around people unless the environment is right, the people are compatible with me and there’s some clear structure. If everything is right though then I’ll socialise for hours on end. I spend huge amounts of time on online social interaction and I’ve found or engineered outlets for in person socialising that are compatible with the way I interact with others so I can thrive socially in them.

    I think SBC needs to spend more time in Internet social groups or at in person events like some of the highly sociable, highly unneurotypical sci-fi cons I attend, he seems to have a very limited view of what the options are for socialising in the modern world!

    1. Oh and my friends and I very often cancel and reschedule our meet ups because one or other of us is too tired or has had a bad day and thinks social contact might make it worse. We may switch from a restaurant to one of our homes, or from in person to using IM. Having this sort of flexibility and understanding in friendships is important I think.

    2. I’ve been waiting for your take on this because you’ve talked about being extroverted. When you took the test twice did you use different basic assumptions to work from or did you just fluidly go with whatever you felt at the time? Someone else here took it twice using (I think) an assumption of close friends and then using acquaintances as friends and got very different scores. If I’d answered based on my relationship with my husband who is also my closest friend, my answers would have been quite different. The same if the answers seemed to allow the inclusion of online friends, though some of the “in person” activities suggested in the questions clearly preclude that.

      In general, the test feels outdated and narrow with its mentions of letter writing and supposing the phone is everyone’s primary means of getting in touch. Even in online communication there are varying degrees of intimacy that could be considered, I suppose. IMing with someone one on one is different from keeping touch via Facebook statuses. Exchanging dozens of texts or tweets in a day is different from an occasional, more formal email back and forth. There’s an entire hidden “code” of levels of interaction online that have little basis in face to face communication. Can you imagine calling someone up, saying one sentence, then hanging up and waiting a half hour for them to call you back with one or two sentences in reply? Asynchronous communication feels especially well suited for autistic folks who prefer to have some extra processing time and who may not be up for a big chunk of continuous interaction.

      Your mention of preferring friends who are on the spectrum, and the related concept of autistic space, is I think something that would make SBC’s head explode. He seems to presume in most of his work that autistic people only interact with neurotypical people and even then, that they hardly interact all. But one of the most active online spaces I’m part of (or two if you count here) is autistic space. As a group it is as gregarious and interactive as any mixed or neurotypical online space I’ve been a part of. In fact, if someone didn’t know we were all on the spectrum, it would take a while to catch on to that. (The happy virtual flapping and the sarcasm tags give it away, I guess.)

      I love your idea of “social in an autistic way.” I think that needs to become a more widespread concept.

  11. So one thing I’ve heard is that women also prefer socially one on one, while men prefer socializing in groups, and I prefer socializing one on one as well, as long as it isn’t too awkward. Is this true for other aspies as well? I think it’s wrong to assume aspie socialization is masculine just because it has one masculine trait, being activity oriented.

  12. I scored a 34. Does that mean I am a horrible friend? Could that be why I have trouble meeting new people? More questions than answers came out of this :/

  13. I got a score of 23.0 on that test, which may be due to me not being very good with social situations. Ever since I was younger I have always gotten into fights with my friends over the smallest of things, because everything had to be my way. Now and days I am not as domineering, but I still do get upset at my friends if they do not do things the way I would like it to be done. The only difference is that I hide my disappointment rather than walking out in rage while having an emotional breakdown because of it.
    But in the end, the test is not a good indicator of Autism/ Aspergers syndrome.

  14. I scored highly on this test 87 – but I am obsessed with people! People and psychology are a couple of my ‘special interests’. But I still get overwhelmed sometimes and have to take a break from people. I have actually became quite skilled with people through watching, studying and mimicking people’s behaviour throughout my whole life. It has been and is an ongoing education and effort so I’m glad in a way that I scored 87, it’s like a gold star of achievement for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years to finally ‘be normal’, to ‘fit in’. But it makes me sick to think because I have made this effort, I may never get any help because I seem to be ‘coping’, ‘Ive came this far in life’, – as much as I study these things, despite being almost 30 yrs old I still get interactions mixed up and miscommunicate and process things very differently from a’ neurotypical’ person. It is emotionally and physically painful, scary and traumatic. I have a job, a house and a car. I seem outgoing and ‘quirky’, but most days I am struggling inside, overthinking, panicking, being paranoid or being overly enthusiastic and oversharing. The only reason I have not been in more trouble than I already have for my as yet undiagnosed aspergers (have a referral, awaiting appointment) is because I DO have one or two close friends (mostly family) who manage to talk me down from my outbursts or strange behaviour. I’m constantly asking my younger sister how I should be with guys because I honestly don’t have a clue sometimes! But of course I get obsessive over guys too. I’ve noticed a pattern that I tend to obsess over the things I can’t understand. Mostly people and behaviour! Also, I scored above the threshold on the Ritvo.

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