We watched the Horizon episode “Living with Autism” last night.

I have always been aware that my son and I have certain autistic traits, but I wasn’t sure if we would be diagnosed as autistic. After watching the Horizon episode, I don’t think we would.

As they described it, the number of autistic traits per person across the population follows a normal distribution. The average person actually has quite a few autistic traits. It’s only when the number of autistic traits in that person is >50 (looked like 2 std deviations from the mean) that they would be clinically diagnosed as “on the spectrum” (I’m not sure if they understand what a spectrum is).

I’ve attached an image from this study that shows a figure similar to what they showed in the episode.

So, yes, while many people would consider me socially inept, I do get by okay in life and don’t think I should pursue a diagnosis. On the other hand, my attention to detail has been one of by greatest strengths.

I found the autistic couple in the episode very interesting. They obviously have a great relationship, but I wonder if a better strategy would be to find a not-so-autistic mate who can help to round out your abilities a bit (if you can manage to get along).

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