Hedgehog model of autism

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I’m still figuring out my identity a bit. So here’s a bash at a model of my Autism based on age & hedgehogs.

The hedgehog profile refers to the shape of a graph showing how I score on tests when drawn as a line chart. I tend to be very good or very bad. The good areas cause spikes so the graph starts to look like a hedgehog.

That hedgehog shape is a snapshot of my ability at that moment. I’m pretty damn sensitive to sensory stuff and routine so it’s a different hedgehog everyday. Today’s hedgehog could shower alone. Tomorrow hedgehog might struggle.

So with the hedgehog graph in mind I shall be good and label my axis.

Across the bottom is the task name. For example, crossing roads, reading, writing, making sandwiches, taking showers.

Up the side is ability. What can I use as a unit of ability?

I think ‘typical age equivalent ability in years’ up to the age of about 18 and then ‘years experience’ after that would make a great unit.

So for examples, my ability to cross roads varies between 5-18 but my ability for programming is about what’s expected for someone with 13 years experience. Ones a peak the other not.

Why age?

I am using age as the unit for ability partly because it’s optimistic.

If I view my autism as meaning I am ‘growing up slowly in some areas’ then the hedgehog model represents that.

My current car driving ability is probably around 10-12… Can physically do the pedals etc but can’t make decisions fast enough. I get rather distracted.

There nothing to say if I give it another few years it might good enough to restart lessons signs a feasible hope of passing. See what I mean? Optimistic.

The hedgehog model embraces the reality of the shifting profile of my ability.

By analysing where the spikes are and what triggers them to change I can understand my autism and how it effects me. Once I understand I can do something about it.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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