Saturday, July 28, 2012

INFP and Autism: An Introduction

During this next series of posts on The Voice from the Spectrum, I am going to expand on a topic that has been of great interest to my lately.  A few years ago, I identified myself as an INFP personality type, identified using the "Myers-Briggs" scale (information found at this website).  This personality type is referred to by different resources as an Idealist or a Healer.

To give a little background information, the 16 personality types described on this scale are evaluated using the following criteria: someone could be an introvert or an extrovert, depending on whether they draw internal energy from themselves or from other people; people can take in information  Intuitively by seeing the big picture or Sensory by focusing intensely on the details; people can be driven by logic as a Thinker or emotions as a Feeler; and people can live their lives by Perceiving spontaneously or by Judging in an orderly fashion.

Each of the sixteen personality types presents its own strengths and challenges.  For example, as an INFP, I am very good at writing.  Many of the world renowned fantasy writers, such as J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling have this personality type.  People who are INFP are very creative in general and are interested in helping the underdog through a cause of some sort.  Well, my cause at this stage in my life is to raise autism awareness in a way that only I can.

Some weaknesses associated with this personality type include the following: people who are INFP have an extreme dislike of conflict and will go to great lengths to avoid conflict; people who are INFP view any type of criticism as an attack on their entire character, but might show nothing of this pain to an observer.  These two weaknesses are a very big concern to me right now in my life.

I searched the Web to see if there are any resources that describe how INFP characteristics and autistic characteristics might interact with each other.  Finding none, I am going to try to create a resource myself right here on The Voice from the Spectrum.  This will certainly answer many questions I have about myself, as well as possibly prompting others to see how autism might interact with the other fifteen personality types.

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