Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test is very poor and unhelpful

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raisedbyignorance
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23 Apr 2011, 11:37 pm

After watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJshPDOe ... re=related and reading all the comments I looked over the ASQ Test and a thought finally occurred to me. As far as accurately diagnosing people who actually have AS versus those who don't, this test sucks and should not be used as an accurate source for people who are wondering whether or not they have AS.

The biggest problem with this test...it's way too personality based and many of the questions and choices could apply to anyone who is NT or aspie. Things like "do you like working alone" or "do I like reading fiction?" are absolutely ridiculous. Preferring one thing over another is not gonna be an ultimate indicator of having AS. There's also the question of "having difficulty making friends". The problem with alot of the questions is that they aren't specific. You need alot more information than just "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" for each question. You need specifics. The one question "I would rather go to a theater than a museum" kinda bugs me because it really depends on what the theater or the museum is showing. Only a small number of the questions could have some indicator of whether or not you have AS but most of the questions are just crock and are set up more like a personality quiz than an actual AS symptom checklist.

Plus the test completely dismissed other symptoms of AS that are completely overlooked such as stiming, pacing, hand flapping, poor sensory processing, poor eye contact, meltdowns/shutdowns, monotone or unusual speech. To me these actually play a heavier role in determining AS as opposed to personality quirks and interests. I know alot of people who are great at visualizing, get irritated easily, and prefer working on projects alone. They're geeks yes but for the most part they are NT. I think it's no wonder why there's a huge mess on diagnosing AS going on. Everyone's confused as to what really confirms you have AS. I remember a bit of the testing I was given was similar to this but I've always known there was far more to my differences than that with the pacing, the speech problems, and poor eye contact. People say you wouldn't be able to tell if a person is autistic but I do think in some cases it is possible. It's not enough to say "oh this guy looks weird and has weird interests, he must have AS". I say you have to look at how he talks to people or what the person's like when he's alone. Look for where the social behavior disconnect and look at his facial expressions. A personality test can't differentiate a person who has AS vs someone who doesn't.

And oh yeah the question about remembering phone numbers is mostly worthless now. Everyone has cell phones now. So who's going to actually remember phone numbers when you can just save them to your phone?

I'm not being harsh btw. This is just my perspective.



Last edited by raisedbyignorance on 23 Apr 2011, 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Verdandi
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23 Apr 2011, 11:45 pm

The AQ is not a diagnostic instrument, but it is very good at identifying who needs to be screened. Generally, anyone who scores 32+ is screened, and someone who thinks they might have it who scores 26+ is screened as well. Apparently, despite the questions being rather ridiculous, the AQ actually is a good pre-screening tool to determine if someone is likely to be on the spectrum.



jedaustin
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24 Apr 2011, 12:57 am

I took all of the tests listed here and they all said the same thing - I have Aspergers.
I was formally diagnosed on Wednesday which confirmed it.
I suggest taking many tests and considering them as a whole.



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24 Apr 2011, 1:44 am

I agree. Lot of people use it to diagnose themselves. I can score anywhere from 28 and up depending on my mood. I do prefer working alone or in groups but that depends. I prefer to work alone because working in groups is very difficult and I don't know what has been done already and what hasn't and I like groups when I need help so I am not behind so I get the job done faster. So I either answer agree or disagree depending on my mood.

And the test does say 80% of aspies score 32 or higher. So that doesn't mean if you score under 32, you don't have it.

Theater, I learned that means a play and I am not into plays so I'd rather go to a museum.

I remember when this test was posted at Babycenter, women were freaking out when they scored above 20. I remember I took it again and scored 33. Someone got a 37 and didn't even have autism but she had other issues I think social anxiety disorder.



babybuggy32
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24 Apr 2011, 1:57 am

psychology in general is pretty poor and unhelpful :wink:


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Jediscraps
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24 Apr 2011, 1:58 am

I always thought the theater meant going to the movies. Then I saw someone say it means a theater like a play.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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24 Apr 2011, 2:19 am

There is a similar test by the same author (Baron-Cohen) which is used (or proposed to be used, at least) as a professional instrument -- AAA, "Adult Asperger Assessment."

The questions regarding a museum vs. a theater are part of Baron-Cohen's conception of Asperger's. He seems to be a fan of the "nerdy, techie, sci-fi and computer-lovin'" stereotype. (Which I fit very well when I was younger, actually.)

That's the upside of being in a position to define what something is. He's got the degrees, he's the accepted expert, so "museum's over theaters," it is.

Someone wrote an interesting critique of the AAA in their blog:

http://autisticcats.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... s-and.html

Quote:
It is this part of criteria (part D) which is most troubling to me, and also the part where Baron-Cohen's ridiculousness is most apparent. See D1:

Either lack of interest in fiction (written or drama) appropriate to developmental level or interest in fiction is restricted to its possible basis in fact (e.g. science fiction, history, technical aspects of film.)
-doesn't particularly enjoy reading fiction
-would rather go to a museum than the theatre


This particular criteria conveniently embodies everything that's wrong about Baron-Cohen's AAA. Therefore, I will analyze it in detail:

1. The wording seems more appropriate to children than to adults. When we're talking about adults, "developmental level" hardly seems like appropriate terminology. You rarely hear people discuss "developmental level" in regards to neurotypical adults. What is "appropriate development" for adults in terms of reading preferences and is it any different at 65 than 22?

2. What defines "appropriate developmental levels" in terms of reading at any age? Is the adult who loves Harry Potter (i.e. me) not reading according to hir "appropriate level"? Is the advanced reader who reads the classics at age 8 not appropriate? What about autistic people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities?

3. Baron-Cohen tries to be more specific than the DSM IV, but ends up being even more vague in many ways. How is it diagnostic to prefer going to a museum rather than a theater? And heck, how are these abstractions meaningful in any way? There are lots of different kinds of museums, and lots of different films/shows shown at theaters. If I were asked this question in a diagnostic assessment, I would say that I need much more detail in order to answer this question. What kind of show or movie would I be attending? What kind of museum would I be visiting? What would the situation be like sensory-wise at both locations? What about autistic people who like going to watch documentaries (non-fiction) or lectures in theaters? Doesn't that totally challenge Baron-Cohen's simplistic ideas?

I may be an Official Asperger's Autistic, but I definitely would not be interested in going to a crowded and noisy museum regardless of what was being exhibited. I certainly wouldn't want to go in a museum with subject matter that I find uninteresting. I do, however, often enjoy going to movies and musical productions if it's something I want to see. Blanket assumptions such as those made by Baron-Cohen are ultimately rather useless.

4. Why are certain forms of fiction (i.e. science fiction) arbitrarily exempted from the category of "fiction"? Because this makes absolutely no sense at all, when we look at it without preconceived stereotypes. How is a book about aliens and spaceships any more "restricted to its possible basis in fact" than a story about living in modern-day New York City? If anything, the contemporary story is clearly more rooted in fact. In his attempt to perpetuate the stereotype that autistics "lack imagination" and don't read fiction, except for those sci-fi geeks, Baron-Cohen ends up producing a diagnostic criteria which is silly and nonsensical. This, folks, is diagnostic gerrymandering at its finest, and it needs to be vigorously opposed.



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24 Apr 2011, 1:08 pm

Jediscraps wrote:
I always thought the theater meant going to the movies.


Me to; in my language "teatro" only apply to plays (movies is "cinema"), but I imagine that in English theater is a place where movies are showed.



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24 Apr 2011, 1:27 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
There is a similar test by the same author (Baron-Cohen) which is used (or proposed to be used, at least) as a professional instrument -- AAA, "Adult Asperger Assessment."

The questions regarding a museum vs. a theater are part of Baron-Cohen's conception of Asperger's. He seems to be a fan of the "nerdy, techie, sci-fi and computer-lovin'" stereotype. (Which I fit very well when I was younger, actually.)

That's the upside of being in a position to define what something is. He's got the degrees, he's the accepted expert, so "museum's over theaters," it is.

Someone wrote an interesting critique of the AAA in their blog:

http://autisticcats.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... s-and.html

Quote:
It is this part of criteria (part D) which is most troubling to me, and also the part where Baron-Cohen's ridiculousness is most apparent. See D1:

Either lack of interest in fiction (written or drama) appropriate to developmental level or interest in fiction is restricted to its possible basis in fact (e.g. science fiction, history, technical aspects of film.)
-doesn't particularly enjoy reading fiction
-would rather go to a museum than the theatre


This particular criteria conveniently embodies everything that's wrong about Baron-Cohen's AAA. Therefore, I will analyze it in detail:

1. The wording seems more appropriate to children than to adults. When we're talking about adults, "developmental level" hardly seems like appropriate terminology. You rarely hear people discuss "developmental level" in regards to neurotypical adults. What is "appropriate development" for adults in terms of reading preferences and is it any different at 65 than 22?

2. What defines "appropriate developmental levels" in terms of reading at any age? Is the adult who loves Harry Potter (i.e. me) not reading according to hir "appropriate level"? Is the advanced reader who reads the classics at age 8 not appropriate? What about autistic people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities?

3. Baron-Cohen tries to be more specific than the DSM IV, but ends up being even more vague in many ways. How is it diagnostic to prefer going to a museum rather than a theater? And heck, how are these abstractions meaningful in any way? There are lots of different kinds of museums, and lots of different films/shows shown at theaters. If I were asked this question in a diagnostic assessment, I would say that I need much more detail in order to answer this question. What kind of show or movie would I be attending? What kind of museum would I be visiting? What would the situation be like sensory-wise at both locations? What about autistic people who like going to watch documentaries (non-fiction) or lectures in theaters? Doesn't that totally challenge Baron-Cohen's simplistic ideas?

I may be an Official Asperger's Autistic, but I definitely would not be interested in going to a crowded and noisy museum regardless of what was being exhibited. I certainly wouldn't want to go in a museum with subject matter that I find uninteresting. I do, however, often enjoy going to movies and musical productions if it's something I want to see. Blanket assumptions such as those made by Baron-Cohen are ultimately rather useless.

4. Why are certain forms of fiction (i.e. science fiction) arbitrarily exempted from the category of "fiction"? Because this makes absolutely no sense at all, when we look at it without preconceived stereotypes. How is a book about aliens and spaceships any more "restricted to its possible basis in fact" than a story about living in modern-day New York City? If anything, the contemporary story is clearly more rooted in fact. In his attempt to perpetuate the stereotype that autistics "lack imagination" and don't read fiction, except for those sci-fi geeks, Baron-Cohen ends up producing a diagnostic criteria which is silly and nonsensical. This, folks, is diagnostic gerrymandering at its finest, and it needs to be vigorously opposed.


What I suspect is that the true difference is not that autistics are only interested in "fiction [with] possible basis in fact", but more that autistics are interested in" fiction where the center of the history is not the interpersonal relations" (about movies, these means that autistics could be interested in sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, horror, but probably not drama or romantic comedy)



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24 Apr 2011, 6:40 pm

TPE2 wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
There is a similar test by the same author (Baron-Cohen) which is used (or proposed to be used, at least) as a professional instrument -- AAA, "Adult Asperger Assessment."

The questions regarding a museum vs. a theater are part of Baron-Cohen's conception of Asperger's. He seems to be a fan of the "nerdy, techie, sci-fi and computer-lovin'" stereotype. (Which I fit very well when I was younger, actually.)

That's the upside of being in a position to define what something is. He's got the degrees, he's the accepted expert, so "museum's over theaters," it is.

Someone wrote an interesting critique of the AAA in their blog:

http://autisticcats.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... s-and.html

Quote:
It is this part of criteria (part D) which is most troubling to me, and also the part where Baron-Cohen's ridiculousness is most apparent. See D1:

Either lack of interest in fiction (written or drama) appropriate to developmental level or interest in fiction is restricted to its possible basis in fact (e.g. science fiction, history, technical aspects of film.)
-doesn't particularly enjoy reading fiction
-would rather go to a museum than the theatre


This particular criteria conveniently embodies everything that's wrong about Baron-Cohen's AAA. Therefore, I will analyze it in detail:

1. The wording seems more appropriate to children than to adults. When we're talking about adults, "developmental level" hardly seems like appropriate terminology. You rarely hear people discuss "developmental level" in regards to neurotypical adults. What is "appropriate development" for adults in terms of reading preferences and is it any different at 65 than 22?

2. What defines "appropriate developmental levels" in terms of reading at any age? Is the adult who loves Harry Potter (i.e. me) not reading according to hir "appropriate level"? Is the advanced reader who reads the classics at age 8 not appropriate? What about autistic people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities?

3. Baron-Cohen tries to be more specific than the DSM IV, but ends up being even more vague in many ways. How is it diagnostic to prefer going to a museum rather than a theater? And heck, how are these abstractions meaningful in any way? There are lots of different kinds of museums, and lots of different films/shows shown at theaters. If I were asked this question in a diagnostic assessment, I would say that I need much more detail in order to answer this question. What kind of show or movie would I be attending? What kind of museum would I be visiting? What would the situation be like sensory-wise at both locations? What about autistic people who like going to watch documentaries (non-fiction) or lectures in theaters? Doesn't that totally challenge Baron-Cohen's simplistic ideas?

I may be an Official Asperger's Autistic, but I definitely would not be interested in going to a crowded and noisy museum regardless of what was being exhibited. I certainly wouldn't want to go in a museum with subject matter that I find uninteresting. I do, however, often enjoy going to movies and musical productions if it's something I want to see. Blanket assumptions such as those made by Baron-Cohen are ultimately rather useless.

4. Why are certain forms of fiction (i.e. science fiction) arbitrarily exempted from the category of "fiction"? Because this makes absolutely no sense at all, when we look at it without preconceived stereotypes. How is a book about aliens and spaceships any more "restricted to its possible basis in fact" than a story about living in modern-day New York City? If anything, the contemporary story is clearly more rooted in fact. In his attempt to perpetuate the stereotype that autistics "lack imagination" and don't read fiction, except for those sci-fi geeks, Baron-Cohen ends up producing a diagnostic criteria which is silly and nonsensical. This, folks, is diagnostic gerrymandering at its finest, and it needs to be vigorously opposed.


What I suspect is that the true difference is not that autistics are only interested in "fiction [with] possible basis in fact", but more that autistics are interested in" fiction where the center of the history is not the interpersonal relations" (about movies, these means that autistics could be interested in sci-fi, fantasy, action, adventure, horror, but probably not drama or romantic comedy)



I think for some people the nature of what and why they are interested in something changes over time. When I was younger watched a lot of soap operas, romcoms etc... largely I think because at that stage I was fascinated with human interaction therefore they served a purpose. These days I watch mostly documentaries with the odd bit of drama here and there. I enjoy theatres though- I like being in the dark!