False positives on Autism screenings?

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Angnix
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21 Nov 2018, 7:17 pm

Part of me can't believe I'm really " aspie" and kinda wonders if my mental health diagnoses explain what appears to be autism. So I've taken every autism screening test imaginable often multiple times and also I was given the RAADS long version and AQ by a master's level therapist before. Aspie test, AQ, RAADS, BAP quiz, some empathy test, and possibly others.... I'm female and each and every one of them says I'm aspie.

I do have qualities like when I was a child memorizing the names of litterally hundreds of plants and animals, later on becoming so obsessed with Sonic I did almost everything possible in the fanbase and I obsessively had to play every new game to the point I wrote guides (I wrote an incredible three guides for the awful game Sonic 2006 they are still up on the internet...) Then there are the devistating meltdowns that no amount of Bipolar or psych meds can stop and the fact that as a child I required social skills therapy.

Anyway the above behaviors especially for a female are not normal! But I cannot believe I lack empathy and I swear I can read people's emotions!

I went on a rant just to ask if autism screenings give false positives...


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BeaArthur
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21 Nov 2018, 7:23 pm

Screenings are just that - preliminary tests to see if further diagnostic evaluation is warranted. Of course, they can give both false positives and false negatives.

The thing to remember though is that the picture gets very messy when you have a co-morbid additional psychiatric diagnosis, as you do. It will forever be difficult to tease apart which symptom belongs to each diagnosis.

How is everything going with you today? I hope you and your husband can have a nice Thanksgiving.


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Angnix
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21 Nov 2018, 7:59 pm

We going to my relatives here in town for Thanksgiving


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sunshinescj
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21 Nov 2018, 10:21 pm

You can have high levels of empathy and be able to read emotions and still be Autistic.



SplendidSnail
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21 Nov 2018, 10:38 pm

Angnix wrote:
Anyway the above behaviors especially for a female are not normal! But I cannot believe I lack empathy and I swear I can read people's emotions!


There's two different kinds of empathy: Affective empathy (aka Deep Empathy), and Cognitive Empathy (aka. Shallow Empthay).

Affective empathy is is the ability to perceive others' emotions and be affected by them. You can tell that someone is sad and feel sorry for them. Sometimes, you even become sad yourself. People with ASD generally have Affective empathy that is comparable to NTs.

Cognitive empathy is the ability to innately see things from someone else's perspective. You know the person is sad, but you have trouble comforting them because you haven't been in a similar situation and can't see things from their perspective. People with ASD generally have significantly worse Cognitive empathy than NTs, although we can often make up for this using logic or our own past experience; it's just not automatic.


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Angnix
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21 Nov 2018, 10:58 pm

I searched "cognative empathy" and found the EQ quiz I took again...

Your score was 27 out of a possible 80.

Scores of 30 or less indicate a lack of empathy common in people with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

Higher scores indicate greater levels of empathy.

I don't do well here and for some reason I can't figure out why based on how I answered the questions...


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Angnix
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21 Nov 2018, 11:27 pm

Ohhh I found a test I never took, the SQ, mine was 58... I took that with EQ included and yeah for sure I'm a systemized according to that one...


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Angnix
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21 Nov 2018, 11:52 pm

I found a test for cognative and affective empathy (iri) and that one places me ABOVE average with affective and average cognative. I was reading on Wikipedia about disorders and empathy, it says psychopaths and narcissists have low affective but have cognative, Bipolar and Borderline is associated with the opposite, autistics similar to above or have problems with both, schizophrenics often have problems with both...

Accckkk this just makes me wonder more lol


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Edna3362
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23 Nov 2018, 8:49 am

I became less 'needy', less autistic-like and relate less to aspies when I overcame anxiety.
But it made me outright never to able to deny my diagnosis, ever more accepting to myself and doubt even less that I'm actually autistic.


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superaliengirl
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23 Nov 2018, 9:09 am

Autists not having empathy is a misconception by NTs with prejudices, I think it derives from many autists having trouble expressing their empathy - myself included - due to our poorer social skills.
I am highly empathetic myself and if I read about an accident in the newspaper or someone close to me is suffering I swear I can feel what they're feeling and it's horrible sometimes, I pick up on other peoples emotions so easily and feel the same thing.

Not all people with ASD are the same, I don't have all the traits myself.



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23 Nov 2018, 10:25 am

I am very similar to you.

I am another person who thoroughly researches a special interest subject. Presently, it is the man who is the subject of my user name, Denis Istomin. Because of him, I have also researched a lot about Russia and Uzbekistan.

I was, until the site got discontinued, also a prolific poster on a Siamese cat-related board. Oh, how I miss it and my friends there. They were very understanding of this "different" woman who happened to be a cat lover.

I am in the middle on empathy, average for a female, and relatively low on the SQ, because I am only average in math and low on technological knowledge, which seems to contraindicate AS. (I do seem to have the more feminine presentation, which involves a love of books and animals).

I would say anxiety, especially in new situations, is now my most negative AS trait, something I'm working to eliminate from my life.



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23 Nov 2018, 3:25 pm

If I understand correctly, you think you may not have autism because you have empathy and autistic people are not supposed to have it.
This misconception about empathy is tied to, and was popularised by, Simon Baron-Cohen's research and work on the connection between autism and theory of mind ( the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, emotions, knowledge, etc.—to oneself, and to others). In his book, "Zero Degrees of Empathy" he mentions autism along with personality disorders, although he does differentiate between them, saying that autistic people lack cognitive empathy, while in instances of certain personality disorders it is affective empathy that is missing.

Now, while I think his work was an important milestone in autism research in regards of identifying the social domain as an area where most autistic people do struggle - and hypothesising the possible cause -, it is increasingly obvious (from research as well as from autobiographies and testimonies of autistic people) that:

- Autistic people do have empathy. Some of them have hyper-empathy. They usually struggle to express/translate their empathy in a way that makes sense for non-autistic people. (However, I beleive this can be learnt, developped to an extent.)
- Autistic people do have imagination. In fact, many of them have excellent imagination.
- They can enjoy fiction. (They can also write fiction.)
- They can be interested in people. (But may express it differently, or not at all.)

I think many autistic people don't get a diagnosis - or are misdiagnosed - because of these misconceptions. Especially women.


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SplendidSnail
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23 Nov 2018, 8:58 pm

Angnix wrote:
I searched "cognative empathy" and found the EQ quiz I took again...

Your score was 27 out of a possible 80.

Scores of 30 or less indicate a lack of empathy common in people with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.

Higher scores indicate greater levels of empathy.

I don't do well here and for some reason I can't figure out why based on how I answered the questions...

Yes, on that particular test I tend to score very low (8-15 depending on what kind of mood I'm in). But yet, on some other emotional intelligence tests, I score somewhat higher.

I think that particular test, since it is geared towards people with ASD, tends to focus mostly on Cognitive empathy, while some others (which I score somewhat higher on) include Affective empathy questions as well.

I have been told by people before that they think I have good emotional intelligence.


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Angnix
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26 Nov 2018, 10:42 am

It's just that there is a lot of evidence there and most mental health professionals tell me I have traits or I probably have it, but I guess I can't believe it until I get official testing.

Out of everything I really want to know what caused my childhood meltdowns, since that basically destroyed my childhood. Most likely autism, a mood disorder (childhood bp or that new one I keep forgetting it's name) or both?


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