Many times people often focus on the person’s autism as all of “them” this means that the “autism” is the reason for all of their behaviours, reactions, actions and motivations. If you are on the autism spectrum you may well be aware of autism “stereotypes” such as an overtly logical, literal processor and extractor of information. If this is true in some cases it is far from the bigger picture and is far from the broader palette that is actually out there.
Let’s look at three examples of differing personality types
For the person with a Idiosyncratic personality type not fitting in a running along their own path maybe something that has brought them joy and/or isolation by “dancing to their own beat”, being naturally non-conformist, inventive and intuitive.
The Idiosyncratic Personality Type believe that your interests lie in (Oldham, pg. 252):
- not being like anyone else
- marching to your own beat
- being unconventional
- being original
- standing out from the crowd
For the person with a Conscientious personality type they may be fixed on being productive, useful and striving for success the fear of failure and self loathing could hinder their development for continued perfectionism, however being pragmatic and ordered in nature along with highly motivational work ethic has its benefits.
The interests of the Conscientious Character Style include (Oldham, pg. 62):
- having strong moral principles and being certain
- not resting until the job is done and done right
- being loyal to families, causes, and superiors
- working hard to do well
- achieving and accomplishing things
- loving to work and be challenged
For the person with a Solitary personality type being focused on being alone, in a “inner world” and not be swayed by praise, acknowledgment or criticism this may come with a lack of social and emotional development however their comfortable observations of the world offer patience, tranquillity and healthily reserve.
The interests of the Solitary Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 275):
- not needing anyone but yourself
- being unmoved by the crowd
- being free of the need to impress and please
- being free of emotions and involvements with others
- having clarity of vision rather than sentiment and intimacy
- discovering and recording the facts of existence
The Problem With “Specialism”
Nobody is better than anyone else and that accounts for people on the spectrum too. I strive for balance, objectivity, kindness, empathy and equality. If someone is going to be militant with the focus being that people off the autism spectrum are collectively “wrong” then reverse bigotry is still bigotry and doesn’t into the framework of empowerment it creates more divisions, voices, lost, realties not acknowledged that in not progress but quite the opposite.
Personality types and the richness of them are for all people to share I have noted that mine are idiosyncratic, serious, mercurial and self-sacrificing by narrowing your bandwidth and not acknowledging that personality types have much to about development as the neurological and biological challenges means you are missing the fundamental part of “humanness.”
Promoting equality in difference and diversity, is what I believe in and I’ll strive for the opportunity to do that, wherever I find it.
Any derogatory or dismissive stance relating to non-autistic people as a group is no less a form of prejudice as any in history.
Autism, Personhood, Personality Types and Identity
Theses aspects of a person/human being are different for all but at the same time very real so if someone’s “autism” is just seen as “collective autism” in other words all the “traits” are “autistic” then that reductive way of perceiving will mean that the personhood and associated traits may well be ignored. This will have an impact of self-identity, self-worth and could potentially push these personality types into “disordered extremes” impacting on functioning further.
Looking at the full package of autism that does include personality types and disordered extremes and the inter-relation that have on the person’s perceptions, mental health, identity and reactions to environment.
Paul Isaacs 2017