As I search for answers about my place on the autism spectrum, I found a term that describes me: broader autism phenotype.
A phenotype is a snapshot of a living creature–how it looks, behaves, and develops in its environment. A phenotype the result of nature, nurture and how they interact: genetics plus environment equals phenotype.
The broader autism phenotype (BAP) describes social, behavioral, language, and personality characteristics that are not clinically autistic, but close enough to be correlated to the presence of autistic family members.
If you fit the broad autism phenotype, you have autistic traits, but they are less intense and numerous than an autistic individual.
I googled it and found a quiz, on–heaven help me, OK Cupid:
Your result for The Broad Autism Phenotype Test …
You scored 124 aloof, 123 rigid and 105 pragmatic.
You scored above the cutoff on all three scales. Clearly, you are either autistic or on the broader autistic phenotype. You probably are not very social, and when you do interact with others, you come off as strange or rude without meaning to. You probably also like things to be familiar and predictable and don’t like changes, especially unexpected ones.
Edited To Add:
I revisited this page after two years. Since that time, I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. I leave a message to those who might wonder if they have Asperger’s or be in the broader autism phenotype.
The clinical line you draw around yourself only helps if it improves your life. Everyone has some autistic traits. The stronger and more numerous your traits, the more challenges you must overcome.
Yet, you can manage, especially when others before you lend their guidance. My mother is a good example of the broader autism phenotype. She has some narrow special interests and intense specialized focus, but she also has social and communication skills that elude my father and me.
If you are BAP, a window to the autistic condition rests in your head. Peer in! Educate others through example and experience. Do not fear the spectrum! We are lovely, worthy people.