Understand Yourself by Understanding Autism

Last Updated Nov 28, 2010 5:18 PM EST

I was in Melbourne last week presenting an executive tutorial to 80 members of AMCHAM running an executive tutorial on The Most Useful Sales Technique I Have Ever Used.
When a magazine produced by the Swinburne University of Technology dropped out of the local paper. Inside the magazine was an interesting article: New insights into the autistic brain.

The article contained a number of insights about autism, which is one of the seven Humm components although renamed the Artist. (You can read about the seven Humm components in a recent white paper I published.)

The first point made by the article is that autism is defined by a list of behaviours that occur to a greater or lesser degree in the entire population. We all have some autism inside us and you can find out how you compare by taking this simple AQ test. If you do the test you discover the average is around 16, while people who score above 32 are regarded as potentially clinically autistic. People who are high As find it difficult to socialise, are stubborn in their opinions, are very imaginative and are fascinated by numbers and patterns. All this agrees with the Humm in that seven basic mental illnesses (including autism) drive our temperament and we are defined by different shades of grey.

The thrust of the article was the attempt by the university to discover biomarkers that would distinguish between high and low autistic individuals. The research indicates that people with high A see things differently and how they form patterns in what they see. Again this corresponds to the Humm. People with high A are more sensitive to colour and spatial texture.

As the first step to emotional intelligence is understanding yourself, doing the AQ test will tell you how you compare to the rest of the population. (I scored 27 which is higher that I thought I was so you learn something about yourself every day.)