Autism test results?

Have you taken ” Autism tests” ? What do the results tell you?

There are many places on line that offer free “autism tests” that you can take, from a simple yes and no format to one of those complicated things where you grade each reply to the intensity of response, from greatly disagree, partially disagree, slightly disagree, neutral, slightly agree, partially agree, or greatly agree.
I have a lot of difficulty with many of the tests because they are not specific enough. “what do they mean by that”??? is my response for a lot of questions in these things!

After learning more about assumptions and ideas about autism (which are so rapidly changing today). I got better at figuring out what was intended, and better at understanding the questions and “what they meant by that”.
Some of the tests I took several years ago are being proved to be based on false assumptions or using completely wrong criteria and “double empathy” mistakes in how results are tabulated, deductions of meaning in scores of these tests are made.

More diagnosing professionals are beginning to rely on things beyond test results and “observed behavior” . There is much more emphasis today (at least in up to date diagnoses) being placed on observing and discovering our neurological processing struggles.

In some of the forums I have participated in recently, newly diagnosed individuals report their professional is referring to processing problems in any of the senses.
Proprioception seems now to be playing a much bigger part in informed and up to date diagnosis, with professionals beginning to look especially for processing troubles surrounding proprioception physically, and also with interoception.
(the latter would also have a great deal to do with one’s social interactions!)

We can obtain test scores for most of the available on line (and most are available!) used for diagnosis, but we need to learn the significance and meaning behind the questions to understand what has been tested and how the scores relate to our individual ways in autism.
Most test results give scores, but do not go beyond that to explain the how and why behind them!

Professional diagnosis process usually is summarized at the end, when your diagnosis is explained. Frequently the results are in writing, may even include a graph or chart. Test results may be explained.
The results I got included summary of neurological testing explaining that I had 35th percentile audio processing and 25th percentile visual processing.

This means that I am not good at all when it comes to things I see or hear, especially in “real time”. I had to think a while to understand what a true disability this is! So many painful past “whys” were answered. Autism! Nobody knew!

My word understanding and usage was in the “brilliant/gifted” category.
I have since reasoned that this is because it is the only part of my sensory processing that actually “works”. I have relied on reading and writing a great deal over the years to help me understand and interact in the world. It is my pathway to understanding when so much else has failed me.
I developed my word skills like a heavily used muscle.. it grew with use!

I always knew I loved reading and did better when I read things such as instructions or explanations, maps, graphs, and charts. Now all these years later I can understand finally “why” I rarely succeed in group interactions, “why” I often got so many things wrong when being taught in the class room from lectures and discussions or when movies or demonstrations were done without printed support/supplement. Knowing the extreme weakness of my sensory processing in vision and audio related interactions made perfect sense. ” So that’s why!!!!” Suddenly I understood so much of the painful past when looking at it from this new perspective.

My poor proprioception and lack of facial expression were noted and commented on as was my way of speaking ( stilted, didatic, lacking emotion) Although I feel very strong emotion it doesn’t usually come through in my verbal communication.

The summary has been very useful because it not only interpreted the test results but it explained them in ways I could use to make my life every day easier.

I have been able to understand how so many misunderstandings arose from my autism, so many “whys” answered when I learned how very poor my visual and hearing processing are.

I now know to be extra “wary” and careful if and when I expose myself to potential social or professional interactions. If problems arise I can understand how that might have happened. It doesn’t necessarily keep me from making mistakes when trying to force myself to interact in any setting with people in “real time.” Yes, that really is a handicap or a disability. ( I don’t agree that my autism is a gift as some people claim). Everybody’s opinions may be different.

I know to ask for instructions or communications about directions in writing. I know I will never have much success at interactions with a lot of people in noisy places, so I have figured out how to avoid those as much as I can and substitute other communication or interaction in other ways whenever possible. By doing this, I am better able to prevent myself from becoming overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.

Doing so many social things is incredibly hard when I miss so much. Now I know why!

I hope if you get a professional diagnosis, that you will ask for a written summary and explanation of the diagnosis and what weaknesses and strengths were noted. Talk it over and ask as many questions as you can, if given that opportunity!
By knowing these things we are better able to do self accommodations that will help us every day. By knowing and understanding how autism affects us (this is going to be very different for each of us) we can forgive ourselves and others for life long struggles and hardships, and we can figure out new and better ways of doing things today.

Double Empathy

whose point of view measures autistic responses?

This is extremely important!

Quincy describes the problem very clearly.

Countless studies have been done over the years supposedly measuring autistic subjects responses to emotional situations, to situations regarding “theory of mind” and to measuring empathy and the like. How do we measure emotional response? Can it be done scientifically? Some of the problems regarding the design of “tests” and “studies” of autism are subjective to the views of the testers.
Autistic adults on the “elder autism” forums I attend discuss tests about ‘cold autism’. ‘Lack of insight’ , “Lack of empathy” knowing these tests are completely inaccurate and scoffing at the claims made. Nothing about us without us… time for science to take a second look at some shoddy and poorly constructed “tests” of autistic subjects.

My personal worst gripe is the test that supposedly measures emotions viewed in photographs of eyes. The photographs used in the 2 tests I have viewed use actors and people “pretending” the emotions that are being portrayed. The human “pretending” to feel certain ways is not likely to express themselves exactly as a person who actually feels the emotions. There is a social bias in this test which is outrageous, since cultural traditions and training also have a part in human facial expressions.

The list would be a mile long if we named all the false conclusions “scientists” have presented as truth and reality. Please read and understand what is presented here.
I am Grateful to Quincy for permission to share. His insights and eloquence here are unparalleled. Read it all!

There is an old joke about a scientist who cuts off a frog’s legs, one by one, saying “jump frog jump” and each time the frog jumps with 3, 2, 1 leg, he measures the distance and records it. Then he cuts off the 4th leg and says “jump frog jump”. The frog does not jump. Scientist writes in his little record book “frog with no legs can’t hear”. Think about it.

Summary Report

of my autism diagnosis from 2019.

It finally came in the mail yesterday. I had waited in anticipation for months.

Earlier in the blog I have been telling the story of my struggle for diagnosis. Finally the last bit has fallen into place. It is finished. I have papers now that say a professional has diagnosed me as autistic at just short ( 3 days) of my 68th birthday.

Last visit with the psychologist was the last day of September. He promised at that time to have a written report finished and to me within a few weeks. I waited a couple of weeks before I inquired at the office.. I had not got a bill, I had not got a report from the doctor… I was told that my bill had been sent to insurance and to wait until we heard from them before asking again. I got a call from the Doctor saying he had had a relapse and that he would get the report to me before long, certainly before the end of the year. I felt terrible that he was under pressure to finish this when his health condition is so severe. I waited in growing distress about his health and about gaining the paperwork to finally make myself completely “official”. I did not want to pressure him or add to Dr’s struggles which must be overwhelming and so sad for him and all his loved ones… but I still was anxious about seeing the final report.
There was a fat envelope in my mailbox when we got home from grocery shopping yesterday. 5 pages summarizing both visits and the doctor’s observations, the way I presented myself at the interview and subsequent testing results, all there for me to see in black and white.

There were terms I was not familiar with, and I looked them all up, thought I would repeat them here so everybody can understand them. I knew about ‘flat effect’ but was surprised that he mentioned that I present with flat effect. I had no idea! Flat effect is lack of expressiveness in facial or body movements (reflecting emotions) and can also mean flat tone of voice or odd expression or inflection of voice when speaking.

He said I did poorly on information sub tests… I was amazed at how poorly I scored in visual processing, auditory processing, and he mentioned visual-spatial struggles, motor and sensory struggles.
He said I had ‘cognitive impairment” with these 2 categories. It means I have struggles to understand , something that has been with me all of my life.
I have been aware I had struggles, but the very low scores in both visual processing ( 25th percentile) and audio processing ( 34th percentile) was a bit of a shock… Those scores are very low! I was stunned for an hour or two, and my primary reaction now is to wonder how I have lived life and done as well as I have in spite of those handicaps.

The answer of course, is because I am very good with words. My vocabulary and verbal comprehension came out at 98th percentile… My ability to use and understand words is my real strength.

These things are all things I had understood before and at the time of my tests and diagnosis, but I would like to point out how extremely different my scores were on these tests, either I was quite good, or I was very very bad. One of the primary descriptions of autism’s effects is that it causes uneven neurological development. I’d say this report is a good example to illustrate that description.

I am of high average intelligence and there is absolutely no doubt I am autistic.
I was interested that the doctor said if Asperger’s diagnosis was still in use, that is the category I would fall into. But as DSM 5 does not offer that choice, I am autism level 1. I am autistic

I am so grateful to have my diagnosis through the generous work of the kind doctor; in spite of his failing health and his own personal troubles, he took the time to see my plight and to reach out to me to complete my report. I am to be his final diagnosis. He retired in July of 2019 due to his health, but he offered to work with me for a diagnosis after that. Now the work is complete. He has given me a gift I can never repay. Feeling blessed.