United Against Neurelitism
A Self-Descriptive Markup Language for Autists
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
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AutCode™ 3.0 (revised) was inspired by Joel Smith’s Autism Spectrum Code 1.0 (ASC 1.0). (Smith also designed JTalk, an outstanding freeware speech synthesizing program for nonspeaking autistics and others.) ASC, which is supported by Jeremy Reece’s decoder, was originally posted to the Usenet newsgroup, alt.support.autism. ASC was itself based largely on Robert Hayden’s The Geek Code 3.12, which has its own decoders here and here.

AutCode 2.25 was published in 2008. AutCode 3.0, released in 2013, is the first update in five years. I decided to produce a new version because of the publication of the DSM-5 in the United States and the forthcoming release of the ICD-11 (in beta at the time of this writing). In the process, I also included some new traits and variables and eliminated or modified others.

Jay, a guy I met on Wrong Planet, has graciously, and without even being asked, compiled this decoder for use with AutCode, but it currently works only with AutCode 2.5. After producing your own code, you can test it with the decoder. Obviously, you can also use the decoder to decipher the AutCodes of others.

The purpose of AutCode is to provide a human markup language™, consisting of symbolic notation, on how the texts, or narratives, of individuals may partially be structured. (Markup languages precede computers by a few hundred years.) The resulting code can be placed into email, message board, and newsgroup signatures, included in personal profiles and text messages, or used on blogs, social networking sites, and other web pages.

I have not attempted to faithfully reproduce the Geek Code syntax in AutCode. My concern, as a sociologist, is with precision, and loaded, leading, and humorous categories, used in Geek Code, are not found in AutCode. However, after reviewing that earlier code, I ended up incorporating two Geek Code elements not used in ASC. They will be noted.

As to the categories chosen, while the coding is almost entirely original, I kept some of Smith’s basic traits, frequently with new designations, and I added several new ones.

Block Format

The traits are listed sequentially, as in my own AutCode markup (below). If you are familiar with Geek Code, you will notice that I have adopted its block format (not used by ASC). It can be helpful for distinguishing AutCode (including by version number) from other coding systems, cannibalized out of Geek Code, which are seen throughout the Internet.

There are no spaces in the code for a single trait and a single space between traits. All elements of the syntax are case sensitive.

-----Begin AutCode 3.0 Block-----
AC3%(a%2%) BD02271956 CC+ CS^$ COagzr EC^ EDd$ EF=(+$-)<^$ EM^ FR-<^@ GDm GM- HSa HT^ IDl IN^ LG^ MTd MU=(^)@ NT+(^)@$ OCf$ ODs PMs PN-<^ RRn SDi(s) SF+ SI2(4)$ SOs SP+$ SRm(a) SS= ST- SY- VSn, WT=
-----End AutCode 3.0 Block-----
General Variables

@ (at sign) placed after a trait’s specific variable indicates that it is flexible, relative, might change over time and in different situations, etc.

˜ (tilde), while similar to the usage of @, is placed after a trait’s specific variable to indicate an approximation. Therefore, a person might write MTu˜ if riding a bus or coach was the closest option available, but the precise mode of transportation was not listed (a horse and buggy?). This variable was not used in either Geek Code or ASC.

() (parentheses) placed after a trait’s specific variable, like (+), indicates a range. For instance, MU+(^) would be a person who ranges between liking music and performing. () is specific, while @ is flexible. However, @ can also be placed after the () to indicate a flexible range. Also, multiple variables can be used to broaden the range. For instance, MTf(ud) would refer to a person whose mode of transportation ranges between walking, riding a bus, and driving a land vehicle.

& (ampersand) placed after a trait’s specific variable is used to indicate that additional information is required to clarify it. For instance, a person might select HT-& if the individual was, not only short, but, say, a little person or an African pygmy. In other words, most people would not immediately associate being short in stature with either dwarfism or pygmyism. This variable was not included in either Geek Code or ASC.

$ (dollar sign) placed after a trait’s specific variable indicates that the trait strongly influences how the person makes a living. For instance, IN+$ would refer to a person who makes a living over the Internet. MU^$ would be a professional (or semiprofessional) musician. This Geek Code variable was not a part of ASC.

< (less than) placed after a trait’s specific variable indicates a rating which a person would like to have. For instance, MTf<d would be a person whose main mode of transportation is walking, but who would like to be driving a vehicle in the future.

! (exclamation point) placed before a trait is used to draw attention to one’s unwillingness to respond. For instance, !ID would reflect an objection to specifying one’s ideology.

Traits and Specific Variables

All traits (with their specific variables) are optional. Use only the traits you like, but, in order to avoid confusion, please provide them in the alphabetical order given here. If a trait is not applicable, just leave it off.

  1. AC is your Autistic category (although I realize that not all of the following disorders are on the Autism Spectrum): AC1 (Autism Spectrum Disorder Severity Level 1 in the DSM-5), AC2 (Autism Spectrum Disorder Severity Level 2 in the DSM-5), AC3 (Autism Spectrum Disorder Severity Level 3 in the DSM-5), ACa (Asperger’s Disorder or Syndrome in the DSM-IV and ICD-10), ACk (Autistic Disorder in the DSM-IV and ICD-10 or Kanner’s Autism), ACp (PDD-NOS in the DSM-IV-TR, PDD, Unspecified, in the ICD-10, or Atypical Pervasive Developmental Disorder in the DSM-III), ACc (Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder in the DSM-5 and Pragmatic Language Impairment), ACn (Nonverbal Learning Disability and Right-Hemisphere Learning Disorder), Rett Syndrome (ACr), ACd (Childhood Disintegrative Disorder), ACm (Multiple-Complex Developmental Disorder), ACs (Sensory Processing Disorder, diagnosed by occupational therapists), ACx (fragile X Syndrome), ACb (Broad or Broader Autistic Phenotype), ACj (just Autistic; don’t like categorizing Autism), AC* (other), or AC? (uncertain).
    You may, if you wish, add a % (percent sign) for a clinical diagnosis or a # (number sign, pound sign, or hash tag) for no clinical diagnosis. For instance, AC1% would be a person clinically diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1; ACc#<% would be an undiagnosed person with social (pragmatic) communication disorder who would like to be diagnosed in the future; whereas AC2%(3%c%) would be a person who has had diagnoses ranging between Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 2, Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 3, and Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder.
  2. BD for birthday: Include month (two digits), followed by date (two digits), followed by year (four digits). For instance, I was born on February 27, 1956, so mine would read BD02271956.
  3. CC for communications (for example, texting, message boards, blogging, making videos, and chat rooms): CC- (not much interest), CC= (an average level of interest), CC+ (more than an average level of interest), CC= (very interested), or CC? (uncertain).
  4. CO for comorbidities (additional disorders): COz (seizure disorders), COa (anxiety disorders, including OCD), COt (tic disorders), COs (savant), COi (intellectual disabilities), COm (bipolar and mood disorders), COn (other neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD), COb (behavioral disorders), COf (feeding and eating disorders), COy (synesthesia), COg (gastrointestinal issues), COr (stuttering), COl (learning disorders), CO* (other comorbidities), and CO? (unknown comorbidities). For multiple comorbidities, attach the specific variables to the trait, such as, COstmyo. General variables can also be attached to each specific variable, such as, CO@f˜y&.
  5. CS for computer skills: CS- (not too great), CS= (average), CS+ (good), CS^ (excellent), or CS? (uncertain).
  6. EC for eye contact: EC- (poor), EC= (average), EC+ (good), EC^ (excellent), or EC? (uncertain).
  7. ED for highest level of education completed: EDn (has not completed high school, secondary school, or an equivalent), EDh (completed high school, secondary school, or an equivalent), EDt (trade school), EDs (some university-level education), EDa (Associate or Foundation degree), EDb (Bachelor’s degree), EDm (any graduate degree, excluding a Doctorate or Postdoctoral work, such as the Master’s and Specialist degrees and the Postgraduate certificate), or EDd (Doctorate and/or Postdoctoral work, including the Habilitation).
  8. EF for executive function: EF- (hard for me to get moving at all), EF= (can sometimes get moving, as with important tasks, like paying bills), EF+ (can get moving most of the time), EF^ (is always on the go), or EF? (uncertain).
  9. EM for empathy: EM- (poor), EM= (average), EM+ (good), EM^ (excellent), or EM? (uncertain).
  10. FR for facial recognition: FR- (poor), FR= (average), FR+ (good), or FR^ (excellent), or FR? (uncertain).
  11. GD for gender: GDf (female), GDm (male), GDt (transgendered, transsexual, transvestite, psychologically androgynous, genderqueer, etc.), GDi (intersexed or hermaphroditic), GD* (other), or GD? (uncertain).
  12. GM for gaming: GM- (never or rarely participates), GM= (plays one or more games but not very well), GM+ (plays one or more reasonably well), GM^ (excellent at one or more), or GM? (uncertain).
  13. HS for housing: HSa (personal apartment/flat), HSh (private house), HSp (with one’s parents), HSd (university dormitory or residence hall), HSb (boarding house), HSr (with one or more room mates), HSg (group home), HSi (institutionalized), HSj (jail or prison), HSt (rents a room), HSl (homeless), or HS* (other).
  14. HT for height: HT- (shorter than average), HT= (average height), HT+ (taller than average), or HT? (uncertain).
  15. ID for ideology: IDr (far right, including authoritarian), IDc (conservative, such as social conservative, neoconservative, and paleoconservative), IDm (middle of the road), IDb (libertarian), IDi (illuminati or other conspiracist), IDu (populist), IDm (communitarian), IDp (progressive or liberal), IDg (green), IDl (far left, including socialist, Marxist, and left-anarchist), ID* (other), or ID? (uncertain).
  16. IN for the Internet: IN- (not that important in my life), IN= (pretty important in my life), IN+ (very important in my life), IN^ (the center of my life), or IN? (uncertain).
  17. LG for logic: LG- (does not have a very logical mind), LG= (has an average logical mind), LG+ (has a good logical mind), LG^ (has an excellent logical mind), or LG? (uncertain).
  18. MT for typical mode of transportation: MTd (driving a land vehicle), MTp (passenger in an automobile, an SUV, a van, etc.), MTx (taxicab), MTu (bus or coach), MTt (train or trolly), MTa (by air), MTm (motorcycle, motor scooter, or moped), MTf (on foot), MTw (wheelchair), MTy (bicycle), MTr (adult tricycle), MTb (boat), MT* (other).
  19. MU for music: MU- (is not much interested in music), MU= (sometimes likes listening to music), MU+ (listens to music a great deal), MU^ (is a performer), or MU? (uncertain).
  20. NT for neurotypical emulation: NT- (unable or unwilling to successfully emulate neurotypicals), NT= (can sometimes emulate neurotypicals), or NT+ (usually appears to be neurotypical), NT^ (is indistinguishable from neurotypicals in public), or NT? (uncertain).
  21. OC for occupation: OCf (work full-time), OCp (work part-time), OCs (supported by spouse, parents, student loans or scholarships, etc.), OCa (receiving public assistance, including disability), or OC* (other).
  22. OD for diagnosis under an outdated manual: ODh (ADHD), ODs (Schizophrenia Spectrum), ODd (Deafness), ODm (Bipolar and Mood Disorders), ODa (Anxiety Disorders), ODu (Selective Mutism), ODi (Intellectual Disabilities), OD* (other), or OD? (uncertain). Multiple misdiagnoses can be included, such as, ODhsa. General variables can also be attached to each specific variable, such as, ODm&u˜i&.
  23. PM for previous misdiagnosis: PMh (ADHD), PMs (Schizophrenia Spectrum), PMd (Deafness), PMm (Bipolar and Mood Disorders), PMa (Anxiety Disorders), PMu (Selective Mutism), PMi (Intellectual Disabilities), PM* (other), or PM? (uncertain). Multiple misdiagnoses can be included, such as, PMhsa. General variables can also be attached to each specific variable, such as, PMm&u˜i&.
  24. PN for personal name recollection: PN- (poor), PN= (average), PN+ (good), PN^ (excellent), or PN? (uncertain).
  25. RR for romantic relationships: RRm (married), RRu (in a civil union), RRc (cohabiting or living together), RPr (in a relationship), RRf (dates frequently), RRs (dates sometimes), RRi (dates infrequently), or RRn (never dates).
  26. SD for preferred style of dress: SDf (formal attire), SDi (informal attire), SDn (nudist), SDs (the same clothes day in and day out), SD* (other), or SD? (uncertain).
  27. SF for science fiction: SF- (has no interest), SF= (is moderately interested), SF+ (is very interested), SF^ (is devoted to it), SF? (uncertain).
  28. SI for special interests: SI followed by a number (indicating the individual’s usual number of special interests at any one time), such as SI4, which would be 4 special interests. Use SI? for uncertain.
  29. SO for sexual orientation, sexual identity, or sexual preference: SOs (straight), SOg (gay or lesbian), SOb (bisexual), SOp (pansexual, omnisexual, or anthrosexual), SOa (asexual), SOu (autosexual), SO* (other), or SO? (uncertain).
  30. SP for speaking: SP- (does not speak), SP= (occasionally speaks), SP+ (usually speaks), SP^ (has the gift of gab), or SP? (uncertain).
  31. SR for sacred: SRm (monotheist, henotheist, monolatrist, or trinitarian), SRu (duotheist, including bitheist and ditheist, or polytheist), SRa (atheist, agnostic, apatheist, nontheist, or humanist), SRw (Wiccan, neopagan, pagan, or animist), SRd (deist, pandeist, or panendeist), SRp (pantheist or panentheist), SR* (other), or SR? (uncertain).
  32. SS for social skills: SS- (poor), SS= (average), SS+ (good), SS^ (excellent), or SS? (uncertain).
  33. ST for stimming (stimulating) or, technically, (motor) stereotypy: ST- (never), ST= (occasionally), ST+ (frequently), ST^ (most of the time), or ST? (uncertain).
  34. VS for value system: VSo (opposed to curing Autism), VSc (favors curing Autism), VSn (supports only curing Autism’s negative symptoms), VSs (Autistic supremacy), VS* (other), or VS? (uncertain).
  35. WT for height: WT- (thin), WT= (average), WT+ (overweight), or WT? (uncertain).
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Copyright © 2008 and 2013 Mark A. Foster, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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