You have autism AND a personality. You probably know plenty about autism. Want to know more about your personality? Check out these awesome resources.
Autism and Personality
Autism and personality is a topic that sparks a bit of linguistic/semantic debate. But whether you call yourself a person with autism or autistic, whether you think of autism as part of or separate from your personality, however you describe yourself, you probably agree with the following:
With all the focus on autism, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re also a person with a personality!
We all are. We are all unique, different, interesting individuals. It’s what makes life interesting.
You’re Autistic and…and What??
There’s so much more to you than autism.
In addition to being autistic, you no doubt have things you love to do and other things you hate doing. You have some character traits that propel you forward and others that frustrate the heck out of you. There are things at which you excel and things you struggle to do.
I’m sure your diagnosis explains some of that, but only some of it. You can’t be described by only one label, even if it’s a big label like autism.
Where Are You? Who Are You?
Assuming we agree on this point and we agree to leave the debate about specific use of language for another day, let me ask you this:
How much time and effort have you put into getting to know YOU and your personality?
I bet there are some days you feel you know more about autism than you do about yourself.
People push, pull, and stretch us to conform to such an extent that that we learn to blend in with frightening ease. Women with autism especially tend to become experts at masking or camouflaging. We’re so good we’re are even called “chameleons.”
It’s easy to lose yourself in that process.
Does that sound like you?
Or if you have kiddos with autism, how often do you think of them as little adorable people (probably all the time), with a personality (maybe less).
I Want To Learn About ME!
You are so much more than just autism. You may be thinking “just” autism. Huh. Autism may feel way bigger to you than “just” as I worded it.
But that’s part of my point today.
Autism should be a “just” in our lives, it shouldn’t be the defining thing. Even more, YOU are WAY bigger than autism, and if you haven’t discovered that yet, today’s a great day to begin that journey.
I write more about my own journey getting to know myself in my post, “I Stopped Masking My Autism and So Can YOU!”
In that post I talk about the “Get To Know You” resource in the Her Autism Free Resource Library. That post and freebie go hand in hand with this particular post.
So, How Can You Start Learning More about You?
Well, one way is to go to the Her Autism FREE Resource Library and get the resource I mentioned above.
Another fun way is to take some personality assessments.
There are fun assessments out there you can do to get to know YOU a little bit more. You can get to know you without the need to have someone standing over you with a clipboard and an attitude. (In fairness, it doesn’t always come with an attitude, but it does all to often). Without the judgement of another scheduled psychological assessment. Without acquiring another diagnosis. And best of all, with no insurance company involvement. HOORAY!
Because sometimes when we learn about ourselves, it should be FUN.
It should be about who we are in our hearts, in our minds, and in our souls in addition to/separate from/in conjunction with our autism (however you want to say/think about it/describe it/whatever).
Yes, part of who we are is our autism – hard to separate that out, but worth the effort in digging a little deeper.
After learning of my autism, I wondered whether personality assessments were valid for autistics, after all, IQ tests are said to lack validity or at least hard to use in autistic populations.
After taking a few personality assessments that described me perfectly, I decided to recommend them. While autism makes it hard to measure IQ, it remains to be seen whether measuring autism and personality poses the same difficulties. Like I said though, the resources I used were so very close to my own perception of me, that I feel comfortable recommending them.
If something changes in the future, I’ll update!
NO MORE TESTS!
“No more tests!” you might be thinking!
Up until now, you have maybe had LOTS of assessments. Those assessments were probably aimed at determining whether you need/merit another diagnosis…. Sigh.
That’s what I thought when I first considered taking these assessments. But, after taking a few and seeing how well they described me, I found that I liked the experience.
I Am More Than Autism
I discovered that they gave me more words than “autism” to describe myself.
The information they provided was POSITIVE.
They described me as a person, not a stereotype. Yes, they have “labels,” but not diagnoses. EVERYONE fits one of the categories as opposed to labeling some and not others.
No, I didn’t accept every little thing they said about me. A few things didn’t seem to fit at all. Overall, however, they were amazing.
Where I used to worry that I didn’t fit in, I now know there are lots of people like me. These people have my same personality type and characteristics. They’re, of course, not exactly like me, but I’m not alone.
This knowledge helped me to be oh so much more comfortable in public and in social situations.
THAT has been a HUGE time and energy saver to be me. I spent insane amounts of emotional/mental energy being the person I thought others wanted me to be.
It’s Fun for the Family
My kids saw me taking them and, well, they wanted to take them too.
Since most of them were free, I thought, “Why not?” We ended up learning a lot about ourselves AND about how we interact. Super helpful!
So here they are:
6 Awesome Tools for Learning About YOU!
This List contains affiliate links for your convenience. That means there are a few links that I make a small commission on if you make a purchase. The book links are from Amazon. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There’s no additional cost to you. I’ve marked those resources with an “*”. I’m recommending these resources because I’ve used them and loved them.
1. “Get To Know You” – Yep, that packet I mentioned in the FREE Resource Library. If you want an initial baseline where you are in terms of knowing you and your likes and dislikes, this is an easy one. It is where I started my own journey. Simply request the password to the FREE Resource Library to get it (and all the other library resources).
2. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – Sounds fancy and intimidating, but it’s not. This assessment identifies which of 16 personality types you have. Super fun, easy and it’s free. Well, there’s a free version and a paid version. I like the paid version because I feel it’s a bit more accurate, but lots of folks like the free one, and it’s a good place to start.
3. VIA Survey of Character Strengths – As suggested by the name, this fun assessment ranks your character strengths. How cool is that? Again, there are free and paid versions, the free version is plenty.
4. Strength Finder 2.0* – This assessment identifies what you naturally do best. You have to buy the book to the the access code (or you can go to their website and purchase access to the assessment directly), but it’s a fun one. It is also recognized by some employers so it may give you some talking points in a job interview. Nice!
5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0* – Like the Strength Finder 2.0, you have to buy the book. It’s super affordable. Also like the Strength Finder 2.0, many employers like this one so it may give you a few more talking points!
6. Take the Kolbe A™ Index* – This one is a paid assessment. I like it because it gives you your characteristics when you are STRIVING. It’s focus is truly unique. That said, it’s the most expensive, so you might want to try the other ones first. If you want to know what you’re like when you are pushing yourself, this is the one.
A Word of Caution
Don’t tackle all these assessments at once. Learning about yourself, as fun as it is, can be a little stressful. Also, don’t accept everything these assessments tell you.
If you take them, ask yourself how well they fit you. I’ve only given you tools I like and trust, but they may fit you more or less well. You get to decide.
For a few more tips about approaching this subject, check out the post I mentioned above, “I Stopped Masking My Autism and So Can YOU!”
You are YOU. You are not autism. You are not a statistic. You are not a personality type. You are YOU. These tools are nothing more than food for though about YOU – a way for you to get to know YOU better.
You are allowed to have autism AND a personality, in fact, no one can stop you.
And You Are Enough Just YOU.
Ready to get started with the “Get To Know YOU!” packet? Get the password to the Her Autism FREE Resource Library and get it now!
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