Did this shrink purposely set me up to get a bad test result

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Aspie1
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19 Apr 2019, 4:55 pm

This thread isn't about my primary therapist, who I talked about at length already, but about a testing specialist.

Long time ago, when I was in middle school, I was tested for ADD (not ADHD). My teacher sweet-talked my parents into having me tested, and my primary therapist referred me to a testing specialist she knew. The testing specialist creeped me out from the first second I saw her. She was very young, 25 at the absolute oldest, and tried way too hard to act like my friend. (For comparison, my primary therapist was in her 40's.) After some introductions, the testing began. During the battery of tests, she was acting in ways that put me on edge, intimidated me, confused the hell out of me, or all three.

EXAMPLE ONE
What happened: As I talked, she scribbled vigorously in her sketchpad. When I asked: "What are you writing?", she said "Nothing." When I tried to look at her notes, she lifted up her sketchpad so I couldn't see anything.
How I reacted: I became very nervous and panicked. I ended up stammering through most of my answers. Very probably, I gave some answers under duress, because I feared her notes would be used against me. Which meant the answers were inaccurate and didn't reflect the true results.
What I should have done: Bring a small squirt gun, like the kind sold at dollar stores or given as a party favor, and fill it with vinegar and hide it in my pocket. Then when she refused to let me see what she was writing, I squirt the vinegar in her shameless eyes. As she runs to the bathroom to rinse it out, look in her sketchpad to see what she wrote about me. Then pass it all off as an accident. (Well, this is a fantasy, but hey.)

EXAMPLE TWO
What happened: She had me to the test where I had to tell a story about a set of pictures. The pictures looked really childish. The following dialog ensued.
Me: "What is this? This look like stuff from kindergarten?"
Her: (flat tone) "Tell a story about these pictures."
Me: "This is baby stuff!"
Her: (flat tone) "Tell a story about these pictures."
Me: "If this is an intelligence test, you're using the wrong age version."
Her: (impatient) "I want you to tell a story about these pictures."
How I reacted: I became very nervous, because I knew there was a hidden trick. There's no way a normal person would expect a 12-year-old to make up a story from baby-level pictures. It's something I did in kindergarten, for crying out loud. Being afraid of her, I made up a story anyway. She said "OK" in a very flat tone, which scared me even more. What was she hiding?
What I should have done: I don't know.

EXAMPLE THREE
What happened: She had do a test where I had to answer a "What if?" question. This seemed intelligent enough that I went along without resistance.
Her: (flat tone) "What would you do if saw your neighbor's house on fire?"
Me: "Call 911."
Her: (flat tone) "What else can you do?"
Me: "I don't know."
Her: (impatient) "What else can you do?"
Me: "Try to get into the house and put the fire out myself."
Her: (flat tone) "OK"
How I reacted: The completely flat reaction on her part scared the hell out of me, because I knew she was hiding something. I'm pretty sure I got most of the rest "What if?" questions wrong, due to the intense fear on my part. I became very nervous, because I knew there was a hidden trick. Being afraid of her, I humored her the best I could with creative answers. She said "OK" in a very flat tone, which scared me even more. I knew she was hiding something, but what?
What I should have done: Stubbornly refuse to give any answers other than what an NT kid would say.

EXAMPLE FOUR
What happened: She handed me a set of colored pencils and a letter-size sheet of paper, and told me to draw my family.
Her: (flat tone) <blah-blah-blah, draw your family>
Me: "But I'm not good at drawing people. It won't look right, and it'll mess up the test."
Her: (impatient) "It doesn't matter. Draw your family."
Me: "But I can't draw!"
Her: (flat tone) "Just draw."
How I reacted: I must have had my first-ever panic attack. Why? Because my family mistreated me, and my parents always fought with each other right in front of me. So what would I draw? Myself getting yelled at? My parents fighting? I "knew" that I "wasn't supposed to" draw bad things about my family. And yet, there were no good things to draw. It was a no-win situation! She saw how scared I looked, and exempted me from this test.
What I should have done: Practice drawing a "sunshine and rainbows" family portrait ahead of time.

THE TEST RESULTS
Based on the whole battery of tests, this shrink diagnosed me with "immature (or was it inadequate?) emotional development". The ADD results came out negative. Even though she's the one who set up the test that way, by acting in confusing or frightening ways. If she acted like a respectful person, I wouldn't have gotten that result. I tried to talk about my traumatic testing experience with my primary therapist, but all she did was say "uh-huh" and "OK". Basically, she tried to get me to believe that everything was hunky-dory. Which it wasn't. And telling my parents about the testing specialist was pointless, because they always sided with another adult and not me.

Thoughts?



mr_bigmouth_502
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19 Apr 2019, 5:37 pm

Your shrink sounds like a real dick.


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IsabellaLinton
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19 Apr 2019, 6:18 pm

Example One: This does sound odd. She had the right to tell you she is taking clinical notes about her observations and your responses. That's her job. The notes are allowed to be private, so she was likely uncomfortable when you asked to see them.

Example Two: This is a standard test which many people do in ASD assessments. It is used to assess your understanding of non-verbal information from the pictures. The therapist was measuring the relationship between your non-verbal understanding of the pictures and your verbal skill (storytelling / sequencing / reading the body language, emotions or cause-and-effect actions in the pictures).

It doesn't matter how childish the pictures looked. I did the same test in my ASD assessment, but the pictures were a black and white storybook similar to Harris Burdick. I had no idea what the story was and I didn't recognise characters from page to page, but I responded the best I could.

Example Three: She is measuring your problem solving abilities, executive function and possibly your empathy. I believe I had similar types of questions. I remember being asked "How would you wash a car?" I was supposed to list all the steps but I just said "I would go to a carwash".

Example Four: She doesn't care if you can draw, and if you have a traumatic family history she can see that in your response. I was once asked to draw my childhood family eating dinner at a dinner table. I scribbled the page with black crayons, because I felt anger ... our family dinner table was black glass ... and the vision I "saw" in my memory was just chaos because family dinners were awful. My picture was acceptable as a response. It's a form of art therapy to see your emotions (what colours you choose, who you are standing near, who is smiling or frowning).

Your therapist's flat tone is used on purpose. It's so she isn't leading your answers with smiles of encouragement or frowns of disapproval.



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19 Apr 2019, 9:18 pm

You were paranoid when tested in middle school (which might be explained by your family circumstances).

You are perseverating about it all now, with some residual sense of paranoia.

Let it go, is my advice. I do not believe that your impressions of the motives of the tester are accurate. Since you are on an autism forum, more than likely they are not accurate. And we have no other data than your memories of the day, which I've just suggested are likely wrong, there is nothing to be gained by going over them.

Your feeling of being wronged or misjudged is likely accurate. You can fruitfully recall that feeling. But your possible misperceptions of the testers motives or even emotions, such as impatience, have little validity. Perhaps that's why your primary therapist didn't delve more deeply.


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Aspie1
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20 Apr 2019, 12:29 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Example One: This does sound odd. She had the right to tell you she is taking clinical notes about her observations and your responses. That's her job. The notes are allowed to be private, so she was likely uncomfortable when you asked to see them.
That sounds really fishy. It makes me wish I had that squirt gun filled with vinegar. Then I could spray it in her eyes, and see her notes and the answer keys while she's in restroom washing the vinegar out. Knowing her, she'd be more likely to respect a violent delinquent than a meek aspie kid like me.

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Example Two: This is a standard test which many people do in ASD assessments. It is used to assess your understanding of non-verbal information from the pictures. The therapist was measuring the relationship between your non-verbal understanding of the pictures and your verbal skill (storytelling / sequencing / reading the body language, emotions or cause-and-effect actions in the pictures).

It doesn't matter how childish the pictures looked. I did the same test in my ASD assessment, but the pictures were a black and white storybook similar to Harris Burdick. I had no idea what the story was and I didn't recognise characters from page to page, but I responded the best I could.
Why couldn't she just explain to me that the look of the pictures was irrelevant, rather than parrot the "tell me a story" statement in a flat voice like a sociopath?

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Example Three: She is measuring your problem solving abilities, executive function and possibly your empathy. I believe I had similar types of questions. I remember being asked "How would you wash a car?" I was supposed to list all the steps but I just said "I would go to a carwash".
I wish I had told her something off-the-wall, just to mess with her. Like, "Drink a lot of beer and pee on the fire, then call 911, and use the firetruck's hose to wash off the urine." Or with the car example, "Lick the car clean top to bottom, then use a restroom sink to rinse the grime off my tongue." But she totally intimidated me, and an intimidated kid will often act "immature".

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Example Four: She doesn't care if you can draw, and if you have a traumatic family history she can see that in your response. I was once asked to draw my childhood family eating dinner at a dinner table. I scribbled the page with black crayons, because I felt anger ... our family dinner table was black glass ... and the vision I "saw" in my memory was just chaos because family dinners were awful. My picture was acceptable as a response. It's a form of art therapy to see your emotions (what colours you choose, who you are standing near, who is smiling or frowning).
I already knew there were hidden motives/meanings in the test. That's why I was so afraid of doing it. Again, that vinegar-filled squirt gun could have helped me. I'd look up the "right" drawings in her answer key, while she's in the restroom washing the vinegar out of her eyes.

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Your therapist's flat tone is used on purpose. It's so she isn't leading your answers with smiles of encouragement or frowns of disapproval.
It made her sound like a dangerous sociopath who could make me disappear whenever she wanted, rather than a like professional test administrator.



Aspie1
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20 Apr 2019, 12:31 am

BeaArthur wrote:
You were paranoid when tested in middle school (which might be explained by your family circumstances).
...
Your feeling of being wronged or misjudged is likely accurate. You can fruitfully recall that feeling. But your possible misperceptions of the testers motives or even emotions, such as impatience, have little validity. Perhaps that's why your primary therapist didn't delve more deeply.
What the tester did was pretty much emotional rape. She blindsided me with the test, and I got an "immature emotional development" red mark because of her. Even though, for all know, my emotional development could have been fine, and the only reason it came out as "immature" was because of her deliberate actions. That, combined with my primary therapist's lack of compassion, put me on a lifelong alcohol habit. I first got drunk at age 12, from the whiskey I snuck from my parents' liquor cabinet, to cheer myself up after the test. Because I was so upset by the turn of events, I cried for 8 hours nonstop. I drink heavily to this day.

Of course, today, I have my Effexor. It works better than alcohol, that's for sure. Although one time, when I drank alcohol shortly after taking it, I made out with a very attractive woman in a nightclub. Hey shrink, put that in your pipe and smoke it!



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20 Apr 2019, 9:13 am

I can see that you take little or no responsibility for your problems today. I (and Isabella Linton) gave you a neutral explanation for your impressions of the tester, but you continue to blame her, even for your drinking. This is pretty common among alcoholics.

If I respond to your threads in the future, remind me where to get off. I often forget posters that I don't interact with frequently.


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Aspie1
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20 Apr 2019, 9:40 am

BeaArthur wrote:
I can see that you take little or no responsibility for your problems today. I (and Isabella Linton) gave you a neutral explanation for your impressions of the tester, but you continue to blame her, even for your drinking. This is pretty common among alcoholics.
Just because I don't post about a particular problem on here, it doesn't mean I don't deal with it in a "good" (read: non-alcoholic) way. I only post the worst ones, usually, where alcohol does take the edge off. But in this case, that shrink is 100% at fault. She treated me like a bull in a china shop, and shouldn't be allowed near Navy Seals, let alone aspie kids. Well, I suppose my fault resides in being naive enough to believe that the shrink will be honest. And I'm very certain that the main reason I got an "immature emotional development" test result was because of the confusing and intimidating way the shrink acted. Since her goal was to diagnose me with something, she "helped things along".

BeaArthur wrote:
If I respond to your threads in the future, remind me where to get off. I often forget posters that I don't interact with frequently.
Your replies are usually firm but civil. They may be contrary to my beliefs, but you don't act like you know me or try to push your views on me. I have no problem with you posting in my threads.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 20 Apr 2019, 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

BeaArthur
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20 Apr 2019, 9:46 am

When I was in middle school my mother took me to a shrink, who I never established any rapport with. After two visits, the man said there was nothing wrong with me that a good spanking wouldn't fix.

I credit my mother that she never made me go again, nor did she give me a good spanking. Obviously something was wrong with me (which we now know was autism) but this man had no idea what to do with me. This was in the 1960s. I don't blame him for not knowing about Asperger's syndrome, but I do blame him for being an unprincipled jerk.


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jimmy m
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20 Apr 2019, 10:11 am

The terms ADD and ADHD refer to a syndrome found in both children and adults characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. The terms are almost used interchangeably.

It seems that this test produced some trauma in your life. This is because you are still hanging onto these memories. If the tester had determined that you had ADD, how do you think that would have made your life any better?



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20 Apr 2019, 10:34 am

BeaArthur wrote:
When I was in middle school my mother took me to a shrink, who I never established any rapport with. After two visits, the man said there was nothing wrong with me that a good spanking wouldn't fix.
Wow, what a disgusting individual. Still, it seems like he was a different type of "bad". Your shrink, as well as my primary shrink, was destructive to their patients (but not the patients' parents), but also dumb as a box of rocks, and therefore easily outsmarted. Heck, I kept my primary therapist busy with fabricated easy problems for years, and she was none the wiser. My tester, on the other hand, was a dangerous, highly intelligent, manipulative psychopath, like a Mafia boss. Heck, she traumatized me for life and put me on alcohol habit in just 3 sessions. I hope she rots in hell.

jimmy m wrote:
It seems that this test produced some trauma in your life. This is because you are still hanging onto these memories. If the tester had determined that you had ADD, how do you think that would have made your life any better?
Damn if I know! I didn't have ADD; heck, I tested negative for it. If I had anything, it was anxiety and/or depression. Which the tests never detected, and my shrinks, both the primary and the tester, only made much worse. After all, antidepressants don't get prescribed to kids. Or what's even more insidious, they do, but my therapists didn't refer me to a specialist who can prescribe, because... I don't even know anymore.

Instead, I tested for "immature emotional development", thanks to the tester's actions. I have a hunch I'd have gotten in trouble for it at home, since my parents criticized me for not growing up fast enough. But when they saw me crying for 8 hours nonstop, they had a moment of compassion. So they tried to discredit the tests, both to me with words ("it was just a test") and probably in their minds too.



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23 Apr 2019, 7:34 am

You had a crap therapist. Therapy is supposed to be therapeutic. If your therapist made you feel uncomfortable during the whole scenario then I would not give them a very good review on Yelp, now would I? I used to see a psychologist who was a licensed hypnotherapist. I did not realize this at the time, at all, and now that I look back, I wonder why on earth I was subjected to that sort of therapy. Oh rats. There are ants crawling in my hair right now, probably....I just had one on my face! But anyway, I didn't understand what I was doing, and I always felt like I was failing at whatever she was talking about. Like I was giving the wrong answers. I finally realized that she hated me because I recently reached out to her to see if she'd take me back, and I most definitely did not get a response. SO! I am to conclude that your therapist's ego may have gotten in the way of your testing, as was mine. In my case, she didn't like how I didn't play her games, and I didn't respond to her BS hypnotherapy, so she probably thought, this girl is going to make me look bad and spread a bad word and ruin my career. NEXT!



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23 Apr 2019, 8:41 am

Shrinks have many patients frequently. That could be why he/she is a lousy shrink---sheer caseload.

I don't feel it makes sense to me that a therapist would purposely seek to "set you up to get a bad test result." What would be the motivation in this? What purpose would it serve?



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23 Apr 2019, 10:23 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Shrinks have many patients frequently. That could be why he/she is a lousy shrink---sheer caseload.

I don't feel it makes sense to me that a therapist would purposely seek to "set you up to get a bad test result." What would be the motivation in this? What purpose would it serve?


Haven't you ever been picked on because the general consensus of the population of whatever social gathering you are in are not agreeing with you?



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23 Apr 2019, 10:26 am

Of course I have. Especially when I was younger. It doesn't happen much these days, though---except with a few people.

But it doesn't mean shrinks have the time to deliberately "set someone up" for anything.

It's not because shrinks are necessarily good people.

It's because they just don't have the time.