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IsabellaLinton
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28 Aug 2021, 9:12 am

My doctor agreed that the question was meant to be "people vs things". Even if it meant a movie cinema, the idea is that the movie will show stories about people, even if you don't engage with anyone when you're there. Again I think it's stupid because ... aren't museums made of artefacts about .... people and anthropology? I guess there's no human dialogue like there would be in a movie.

But whatever! I think we should collaboratively reinvent all the questions so they actually ask what they're trying to ask!



ToughDiamond
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28 Aug 2021, 9:39 am

I would have taken theatre to mean a play and not a movie, though I'm not sure why. And on reflection, I doubt it would make any difference to my answer, because the experience of going to see a play is fairly similar to that of going to see a film, though not identical - what about this rule some theatre managers have that says if you leave to go to the bathroom they won't let you back in? That could be a deal-breaker for me.

Actually in my case the answer would be that I don't particularly prefer one to the other. It seems a shame that the available responses don't allow for that, also a shame that the degree of agreement is ignored. Surely it would be helpful to have a "neither particularly agree or disagree" response, and a less binary method of scoring?

Here's another question I have problems with:

39. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.

Well, if you're alone most of the time, as many Aspies are, you'd have to disagree. In my case I'm not. I have no doubt that I have a history of talking past the point, which I would think is the trait the question is looking for, but in my entire life I can only remember one person telling me that I was going on and on about a subject. I probably became aware of having the trait through the way people tended to avoid me when it was at its worst. Finding out that it was a common Aspie trait rather clinched my suspicion. So I wouldn't score the point for that question, and would be left with the feeling that it hadn't been very well designed - it fails on the very thing it's designed to detect because it's been needlessly restricted. Surely a better way of putting it would be:

39. I think I'm more prone to talk at length about the same thing, compared with other people I know.

Maybe the NTs who designed the test would have done well to consult Aspies before finalising the wording of the questions. It seems to me a lot of the questions could be refined to make them more successful. The designers don't seem to have realised that Aspies frequently take questions very literally and get hung up on vagueness. Yet here we are with the same test, unimproved since they first invented it 20 years ago. I rather wonder whether politics has something to do with that.



IsabellaLinton
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28 Aug 2021, 10:19 am

Good points TD.

39 - People tell me that I think about one topic too much. They see my collections or my booklists. They see me zoned out. They see me being obsessive about certain topics. But do I talk about it too much? No -- because I'm mute and I don't talk about anything. I don't have verbal conversations with very many people. As a child I was a little less mute, but I spent all my time alone so there was no one to tell.

40 - Yes, I agree that's a dumb question (pun intended for dumb meaning mute). What about nonverbal people? I don't talk more than others, ever. I don't really talk. Again this seems rather ableist. Are they really assuming that all autistic people talk nonstop? I think that's a stereotype for Aspergers but I'm not even Aspergers. I'm Moderate level ASD with mutism. It amazes me when the questions are designed for verbal people with Aspergers. Again my answer would be that "I'm more prone to think at length about the same thing, as compared with other people", but I wouldn't use the word "talk". Why do they assume all autistic can / do speak? In my interview I was able to talk to the diagnostician but she knew my history of mutism which was even documented as a child in speech therapy. Regarding the "talk" questions, I told her that my answers are more reflective of "thinking".



AngelL
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28 Aug 2021, 10:27 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
But whatever! I think we should collaboratively reinvent all the questions so they actually ask what they're trying to ask!


Sign me up! Who would have thunk? For the first time in my life I want to be part of a team... lol

Interesting regarding the theatre meaning in the United States. I've been sitting here wondering why I didn't know that despite living in the United States. I'm undecided if it is because I happen to know what the definition is and I'm having difficulty applying context (i.e. I am in America therefore they must mean...), or because I have travelled broadly and been in so many countries in which going to the theatre meant going to the movie. Anyway, I believe that when taking a diagnostic test, I shouldn't have to know whether the person who developed the test is an American vs a European to give context to words like 'theatre'.

In order to understand people so I could move through the world easier, I have studied their behavior intensely and methodically. Generally speaking, and in addition to words having different meaning depending upon the culture of the country they are in...but even within countries. Get some guy from Tupelo, Mississippi in a conversation with someone from Brooklyn, NY and wait for the misunderstandings to begin. Women tend to phrase questions differently than men do. First generation immigrants tend to phrase things differently than people who have been here for generations - even without language difficulties but because of cultural bleed through from their culture of origin. The professor who wrote the test...did s/he come from an economically disadvantaged group that fought and worked their way through college or are they a legacy student at Harvard? I can imagine sitting down to take a diagnostic test and the doctor informing me, before I began, that it was written by a doctor who is on the spectrum. I suspect I'd lose about 75% of my stress via that statement because I'd expect to understand the questions better.

Anyway, Barry Gordon, MD, PhD who is the head of the Department of Neurology - Cognitive Neurology/Neuropsychology at John Hopkins (and also the father of a 14-year-old non-verbal autistic son) says:

BarryGordon wrote:
The fullest expression of normal human speech and language requires the desire or intent to communicate something. Also, in its fullest form, it also requires an appreciation of what the other individual understands about a situation and how they are supposed to react to what is being communicated.


I can't know what the person who wrote the test understands, therefore I often can't know how they shall interpret my answers. Here's a good case (in which I do know how they'll interpret my answers) in point for anyone familiar with the MMPI-2. For those unfamiliar with it, the MMPI-2 is a 567 statement true/false psychological test. It has four validity tests built in to detect people who are lying, misrepresenting themselves, or just picking answers at random. The first one is the L-test or 'lie' test. Sixteen statements and you're allowed to mark no more than six questions 'false' or the test is considered invalid because you've been dishonest. Statements like, "I have sometimes voted for people whom I know very little about". The idea is that if you can't even admit some small character defect such as this (which is based on the assumption that everyone has done this) then you're not being forthcoming enough to have the test mean anything. Of course, I've never voted...so 'false'. Or, "I sometimes gossip with my friends"...which presupposes you've had one of those.

So, like Dr. Gordon says in the italicized part above - I understand that they aren't going to interpret it correctly. In the last case they were trying to get my feedback on 'gossiping' so that they will interpret a 'false' response as, "I am above gossiping" when what it really communicates is, "I've never had a friend". So, how do I answer this particular question? Truth is, I mark more than six questions false every time - and so the test is therefore marked inconclusive, and I am marked a liar. I really, really hate being marked a liar - but the only way I can avoid that label is to lie. pfft!



IsabellaLinton
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28 Aug 2021, 10:33 am

I believe the AQ test was written by Simon Baron-Cohen, at Cambridge. ^

But many of the other personality inventories given in an ASD assessment are American-based, so I tend to assume the questions are going to be American. That's why "theatre" tripped me up so much.



kraftiekortie
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28 Aug 2021, 10:54 am

There is certainly American-orientation in many of these online screening tools.



IsabellaLinton
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28 Aug 2021, 11:00 am

One of my issues is that I can't understand double-negatives. It's a brain block. I have no idea how to read them.

For example (I'm just making this up - I don't even know what it would mean):

"I don't have difficulty making friends" (True or False)

I really have no idea what that means, because of the word "don't" in a true / false.

The double-negative questions can sometimes be even more complex:

"It is not important to me that my clothes are of the latest style".

Again, what??! I can't decipher what that means.

This one ^ is taken from the following link about double-negatives in assessment questionnaires:

https://i.postimg.cc/rsVLkbsM/ds.jpg

To make matters worse, that question had a sliding scale of response options. 8O

Or, get a load of this one!

Image :evil:

In my assessment, I had to ask the doctor for clarification every time a double-negative question was asked, whether verbally or on a written test. I have a low verbal IQ so I guess that's one of my learning and comprehension difficulties.

I notice it was even apparent when I was six, on this school paper:

Image

The double negative is the only one I got wrong. :roll:
I can see that I erased and changed my answer in confusion! :P



Glflegolas
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29 Aug 2021, 6:40 pm

Am I the only one who's never been to a movie theatre in my life?

I don't even watch movies on Netflix... movies don't interest me.


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