Assessment: What is this with the picture book story?

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Cinnamon
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29 Jun 2013, 12:32 pm

I am now getting an assessment - well, not at this exact moment, but over the last few weeks.
One thing I had to do was look in a children's picture book and tell a story about those pictures.
What was that about? What are they testing by doing that? Did anyone else have to do that?



NEtikiman
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29 Jun 2013, 1:23 pm

Just a guess: They may be looking to see how you relate to the pictures. Like, does your story stick pretty close to the action being portrayed in the picture or to you extrapolate? And, if you extrapolate, is the extrapolation somehow tied to the action?
I didn't have to do that so much (my diagnosis was based mostly on an assessment of my symptoms and observations of my behavior), but that's what I think was happening.


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Cinnamon
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29 Jun 2013, 1:48 pm

How odd... what would it have to do with Asperger's? It was a very strange book too, so I got a bit confused. Quite a fun book, but strange.



zette
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29 Jun 2013, 3:10 pm

A similar book was used at my son's eval. I think they also look at things like whether you notice the characters emotional face expressions and incorporate reasons for them into the story you are telling.



the_grand_autismo
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29 Jun 2013, 3:56 pm

They are looking to see if

1. you can read the characters' emotions, desires, intents, etc.
2. if you can incorporate them into a coherent story (whether they make sense given context and things like that)
3. if you talk about the characters' emotions, desires, intents, etc. more than other things, like what is in the background or what they are immediately doing


Young children with autism, for example, may not even pick up on the characters' faces and might just talk about what they are doing or objects in the picture (like eating cookies, or the number of cookies on a table) or they might talk about what is going on in each picture separately (instead of making a narrative between them).



hanyo
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29 Jun 2013, 4:00 pm

the_grand_autismo wrote:

1. you can read the characters' emotions, desires, intents, etc.
2. if you can incorporate them into a coherent story (whether they make sense given context and things like that)
3. if you talk about the characters' emotions, desires, intents, etc. more than other things, like what is in the background or what they are immediately doing


I kind of remember doing tests like that when I was a kid but I don't remember much. I don't think I would have talked much about things like emotions. I would have talked about what I could see from looking at the picture.



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29 Jun 2013, 4:23 pm

I had a similar thing in an evaluation. They aren't effective as looking at a real face.


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29 Jun 2013, 7:08 pm

I've had that test done on me, back when I was 12, getting tested for ADD. It went by the name something like "Picture Sequencing Test"; I had to arrange a bunch of pictures left to right and tell a story that goes on in them. I was young and naive at the time, so I did what I felt like: arranged the pictures in the order that made sense to me, and told a story about what happened in each one.

WRONG!! !

I later found out that I did very poorly on this test. The end results, from the total battery of tests, even though they showed negative for ADD, said I had "immature emotional development". (It was 1996, so AS was practically unknown back then.) What I should have done is this: arrange them in the order that made the most emotionally-charged story, use the word "feel" and names of emotions as much as I could stomach it, and talk about things that happened between situations depicted in each picture. Then I would have passed it with flying colors.

And don't say stuff like "there are no right or wrong answers in psych tests." There are right answers. NTs know them; aspies don't. The only reason such a platitude is put out there is to lull test takers into a false sense of security. "But how do I pass the tests?", you might ask. Easy! Ask yourself: "what answers would my bullies give on this test?". Why bullies? Bullies typically have great social skills and high EQs. And that's who's meant to pass these tests. While you shouldn't become a bully yourself, nothing wrong with using their answers for tests.



3point1four
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30 Jun 2013, 3:18 am

I had to tell a story using a picture book at my assessment a few weeks ago. I was pretty rubbish at it and just described what was in each picture. I knew I was doing something wrong because I certainly wasn't telling a story, but I didn't know what to do. The doctor didn't tell me the purpose of that test during my evaluation, but maybe it will be mentioned in my report.



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30 Jun 2013, 6:52 am

A similar test was used on my evaluation, too. The book looked like a children's book, and contained only pictures, no text. I had to tell a story with the series of pictures. I chose both to tell what I saw and what I thought was happening (or rather, might be happening) just looking at one picture at a time. Maybe I should have turned a few pictures ahead in the book just to get a better sense of the implied story, but I didn't. The style of the pictures resembled some of M. C. Escher's graphics, namely 'Metamorphosis', one picture becoming another through a series of gradual change (I told it to them). Somehow I slipped out of time halfway through, and was taken over by one of the evaluators, who quickly finished the story. I think this test was a part of ADOS.


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30 Jun 2013, 7:29 am

Hmmm... I remember talking about the characters' emotions at least twice, but I certainly did not produce a coherent story. I did tell the assessors that if I'd had the chance to 'read' the book in advance I would have come up with a story.
I'm pretty sure I did the wrong thing on one page. The characters were watching tv, but the tv was shown from behind and it had some loose wires, so it looked as if it was broken. I spent quite a long time trying to figure out if the tv was indeed broken or if I just didn't remember what old-style televisions (it wasn't a flatscreen) are supposed to look like from behind. In hindsight, that probably had nothing to do with the story and I shouldn't have paid attention to it.

I hope the evaluation will explain to me why this test was done and how I did.

Another strange thing I had to do was pretend that I was explaining how to make a cup of tea to a person who had never had tea before. I think I did well on that, but again, I don't know what they were testing me for.



InnaLucia
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30 Jun 2013, 7:39 am

Yes I had to do the story book test. I also had to describe brushing my teeth which was weird. I had to make up a story using random objects as well, I found it annoying because the speech and language therapist used a block as a car and a car as a person.



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30 Jun 2013, 10:50 am

Wow, so many people got tripped up by this test. What's even more appalling is that this test, among many others, are designed to set up aspies to fail! Consider the instructions: "Tell a story based on these pictures." So we tell a story based on those pictures. But only after the fact do we find out that the way we did it is wrong! Because...
** We're not told that we have to talk about how the characters (more like stick figures) in the pictures feel.
** We're not told that we have to come up with what happened between situations in the pictures.
** We're not told that we have to make the most emotionally-charged story possible.

Anyone as disgusted by this as I am? It's like being told that Pluto is not a planet, and it's year 1996. (Pluto was disqualified as a planet in 2006.)

I'm thinking about doing a project of sorts: starting a sticky thread in the Members Only forum, that teaches aspies the rights answers (read: the ones loved by NTs) to the traditional psych tests (Rorschach, picture sequencing, what would you do in this situation, etc). OK OK, there are a lot of people out there who still believe that there are no right or wrong answers, so I'll change it to "best answers" instead. Each person can post their experiences with these tests and what they found out to be the right answers. Here are some teaser examples:
** Sally and Anne test, we already know the right answer: in her own basket. The confusion comes from the ambiguity in the English language, with the meanings of words "look for" and "find".
** For Rorschach tests, the best answers are the ones that reference people (except sexual organs), human interactions in non-violent contexts, animals, nature, and famous works for art.
** For picture sequencing, pretend you're making a really confusing Spanish soap opera (i.e. a telenovela). Even if you have to pull emotion words out of your @ss, it's better than saying something like "the boy is eating cookies".
** For what would you do in this situation, think of a bully who's treated you the worst, and think of the answer he would give. (Keep it non-violent, of course.) Bullies have good social skills and EQ, and that's what these questions test you for.

I'm sure there are more tests meant to set up aspies to fail, by using vague, ambiguous instructions. And the new thread will help thwart those tests. They push us, we push back.



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30 Jun 2013, 11:25 am

Aspie1 wrote:
I'm sure there are more tests meant to set up aspies to fail, by using vague, ambiguous instructions. And the new thread will help thwart those tests. They push us, we push back.


I have to ask why you treat screening tests as "pass/fail". I'm not arguing that some service providers (to use a neutral term) do not treat Aspies fairly, but I am asking what is the intended purpose of what amounts to deliberately providing incorrect information on a diagnostic test.

In short, what's the reason behind "pushing back" on tests?

I agree with you that "Sally and Anne" should be either dramatically changed or removed all together.


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30 Jun 2013, 12:09 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
I have to ask why you treat screening tests as "pass/fail". I'm not arguing that some service providers (to use a neutral term) do not treat Aspies fairly, but I am asking what is the intended purpose of what amounts to deliberately providing incorrect information on a diagnostic test.
In short, what's the reason behind "pushing back" on tests?
I agree with you that "Sally and Anne" should be either dramatically changed or removed all together.

The screening kind of is pass/fail. It tests you on how well you're able to do what the instructions tell you. But that's where the problem is. The written question is: "Make a story out of these pictures." The unwritten question is: "Make a dramatic soap opera out of these pictures." But we don't know we're supposed to make a soap opera! So, we make a story: "The boy's mother baked a tray of cookies, and now he's eating them". When what we were supposed to answer is: "The boy's mother spent hours making a tray of delicious cookies. Then she triumphantly brought them to him, and he feels very happy and thankful as he's enjoying bites of soft, warm cookies."

Hence, the pushing back. Those tests don't tell us how we're supposed to do them. They just tell us what to do. But more often than not, our way of doing them is "wrong". If that same test said: "make a dramatic, emotional story out of these pictures", it's be far more accurate. They asked us to do something, and we did or didn't answer it correctly. But when the test says "make a story" and we made a story the way we knew how, only to have the shrink tell us after the fact that we didn't make it correctly. They don't tell us what to do (make the story sound emotional), then penalize us for not doing it. And for "what would you do tests", we actually have to turn to our bullies' ideas for guidance to answering the questions the best way. That's when we gotta push back!

Case in point. When the Rorschach inkblots and the answers to them were released to the public, due to the expiration of the original copyright, the shrink community was in uproar! But for the test subjects, it was a victory, it's an effective weapon against tests that set them up to fail. So if that was done successfully by the big media with the Rorschach test, why not start a grass-roots effort with other tests?



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30 Jun 2013, 1:10 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
Hence, the pushing back. Those tests don't tell us how we're supposed to do them. They just tell us what to do. But more often than not, our way of doing them is "wrong". If that same test said: "make a dramatic, emotional story out of these pictures", it's be far more accurate. They asked us to do something, and we did or didn't answer it correctly. But when the test says "make a story" and we made a story the way we knew how, only to have the shrink tell us after the fact that we didn't make it correctly. They don't tell us what to do (make the story sound emotional), then penalize us for not doing it. And for "what would you do tests", we actually have to turn to our bullies' ideas for guidance to answering the questions the best way. That's when we gotta push back!

Case in point. When the Rorschach inkblots and the answers to them were released to the public, due to the expiration of the original copyright, the shrink community was in uproar! But for the test subjects, it was a victory, it's an effective weapon against tests that set them up to fail. So if that was done successfully by the big media with the Rorschach test, why not start a grass-roots effort with other tests?


In what situations are Aspies "penalized" (bolded section above) for providing the "incorrect" answers to these tests? The concern expressed above may relate more to how various service providers treat Aspies in general.

If there's a problem with a test (ie, "Sally and Anne"), then it should be revised or removed. In that case, the problem is poor language choice introducing an unnecessary risk of error.


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