Neurotypicality

ekthorp's picture

 Riki’s representation of people with Neurotypical Syndrome fascinated me. If research is true, about 9625 out of every 10,000 individuals may be neurotypical. To see if this was really true, I begged all of my friends to fill out a survey that supposedly tells you if you are neurotypical or not. A total of 15 people, including myself, took the quiz. Of those people, every single one scored a result high enough to be considered neurotypical. I realize this quiz is no substitute for a neurotypical test given by an actual doctor, but the results from it are still an indicator of how common the syndrome is.

The results of the quiz were represented in a chart that looked like this:

Emma Thorp’s Neurotypicality Chart

Note: These are my results; I am keeping the anonymity of everyone who filled out the quiz.

The chart shows how intellectual, physical, neurotypical, and close to having aspersers the subject is. The subject of the test was given a score out of 200 to show how neurotypical he or she is. My personal score was 136 out of 200, which means I am most likely neurotypical. Almost everyone who took the quiz scored above 100, with the exception of one person who scored a 99. The average score was 144.733 out of 200.

Additionally, the quiz results also gave a detailed analysis of every question, and what every answer means. To answer a question, one responded to the question with either 0, 1, 2, or ?. A 0 means you never experience what the question asks, a 1 means you occasionally do, and 2 means you always or often do. A ? means you do not understand the question. In the detailed analysis of your results, you can see how much each question indicates if you are neurotypical, Aspie, or both. To take the quiz yourself, go here: http://www.rdos.net/eng/  . For more information on Neurotypical Syndrome, go here:

http://isnt.autistics.org/.

            Neurotypical Syndrome interests me because it calls into question, again, what normal is.  If more than 96% of people have neurotypical syndrome, does not that mean that those who do not have it are the ones who are abnormal? In my first web paper, I called into question what really is a disability, and where the binary lies between abled and disabled. Here, I am curious to see where the boundary lies between the normal and abnormal brain. The chart here shows how it is possible to be between neurotypical and not neurotypical. It shows that there  is a spectrum of how neurotypical one is. I think once people understand that being mentally abnormal, is something we all are, it will be much easier to help those who are severely mentally challenged. 

 

Comments

Liz McCormack's picture

information on a plate

An interesting riff on Riki's panel presentation which certainly provides a rich example extending the binary of normal and abnormal.  It strikes me that associating "normal" to "typical" is a link to examine.  Is that what we mean by normal?  Most frequent?  Are there other possible definitions of normal?  Most natural?, most social? 

The representation of the data in the 2-D plot was intriguing too.  It allows multiple variables to be plotted, resulting in a "shape"  that holistically and visually captures an individual or group. You could represent the entire data pool by plotting the average values along with your own and get a measure of your own "typical-ness" within your data set as well as with reference to the test.

Hmm, what might you conclude about plots that are really rounded?, long and narrow?  Might there be cultural, gender, age, differences that would show up in these plots?  Interesting!

What other information might usefully be displayed with such plots?

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