At times autistics are said to have low emotional IQ levels and told that they need improve emotional IQ levels, by well-meaning employers and support professionals. In fact, some individuals on the autism spectrum are segregated in work environments and told to take emotional IQ trainings, while their peers are not subjected to such treatment. I know this discrimination occurs, as it happened to me. I ask, if we would dare do this to a different diverse group, such as all blacks or all women.
It’s time we start treating autistics with the same dignity and respect that other minorities demand. It’s time to stick up for ourselves and our people.
This line of thinking, of subjecting autistics to emotional IQ tests, is illogical and outdated, and I’ll tell you why.
I say, if autistics, and other like-minded folks, need improve their emotional IQ levels, based on a theory/test written from the perspective of non-autistics, who have different neurology than those on the autism spectrum, then:
1) Autistics ought to create our own test, an Integrity Intelligence Test, based on what we think integrity looks like; thusly, when we are accused of lacking in the emotional IQ levels, then the general population ought look at what they are lacking on our integrity scale;
2) Furthermore, we need to recognize that when predictors of emotional IQ levels are partially based on self-control and social skill ability, then autistics are set up to fail from the start, by their given neurology;
3) Our Integrity Test ought include our integrity indicators, based on how we live in this world; meaning, high levels of integrity would equate to: extreme transparency, unbridled honesty, and an aversion to lying, bullying, manipulating, deceit, gossip, and the mistreatment of others, particularly for self-gain. This integrity test should be administered to every corporate leader; and they ought be subjected to integrity training courses (taught by autistics);
4) And, as most autistics have an extremely high-level of self-awareness and empathy, which are both used as indicators of high emotional intelligence, then autistics ought be able to tip the scale and earn extra bonus points in those areas, as we are exceptional; and those in the mainstream, who don’t show true empathy, but just pretend to empathize, ought be penalized and lose points toward their emotional IQ score.
I believe it’s time to take a hard look at separating a person from the whole of themselves, and singling out a few definers that classify as enough and normal and worthy.
It’s time we don’t accept this ‘normal’ that has been engrained in us since childhood and reinforced in ribbons of shame, blame, and accusation.
We don’t need to feel damaged, or lacking, or in need of training to be more like the rest of the world. If anything, the rest of the world needs autistics to show them how to be, how to live with integrity.
Samantha Craft, Everyday Aspergers
Side note: We communicate differently. No amount of training can rewire our brains to communicate in a non-autistic fashion — unless we are masking and pretending. We can learn how to better communicate and understand other viewpoints, but, equally, others can learn to better communicate with us and understand our viewpoints.