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.