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A better autism test

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don't mind at all how people speak or whether they are obeying some alleged grammatical rules etc. It wouldn't occur to me. I do get puzzled by test questions, but I know enough about autism and how it's seen by the neurotypical people who mostly write and apply the tests, to understand which answer I am supposed to pick.

They mostly wouldn't think about how some museums are less interesting than others, or indeed how some parties could be quite good and interesting to attend, with quiet spaces and interesting pre planned activities. Parties means fun and loud with drunk people laughing, dancing and vomiting and getting off with each other, museums are quiet and involve little or so social contact. Simples.

As adults we mostly have all learned to mask and we also often may be still puzzled about the seeming enigmas of why we don't enjoy the loud parties or why we nerdily prefer the boring dull museums. We may not realise idiosyncratic things like, most people don't still wear clothes that have started to unravel, or most don't have trouble leaving their house with everything they need, or take twice as long to do many things because that's how we achieve an adequate result.
 
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Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I don't fit the criteria for an autism diagnosis based on some of these tests apparently, which makes no sense since I was formally diagnosed in early childhood and have identified as autistic for my entire life.
Every time I take an "autism quiz" it tells me I am likely neurotypical. I've heard the same thing from therapists. That's a ridiculous assessment, considering how obvious it is that I have special interests and how I have never fit into any social groups at all, and was badly bullied for it since I was about five years old (and still am to this day in my late 20s.)
The main reasons I get told I'm "not autistic" are that I very rarely miss social cues and I'm extroverted, gregarious, highly emotional and empathetic, have an obvious sense of humor, and I'm often told that I'm charismatic and have a lot of personality. Doesn't that also sound like it could describe a lot of the other people on here?
These tests, and therapists, often assume that autistic people don't fit any of those descriptions. If they spent any amount of time interacting with most of the people on this forum, they would obviously have to reconsider those assumptions.

I don't have a whole lot to add here other than I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has had this experience, and that there are others who feel like the tests and quizzes aren't always accurate.

I know this has already been said but I think the majority of these tests are based in stereotypes, and they are also not taking into account that there are different levels of autism and that it presents differently in males and females. And also that everyone's experience with their autism is completely individual. None of us are exactly the same and none of us will have an identical experience. Some people will match up with a lot of the answers on those tests, and there's nothing wrong with that either, because that's their experience, it just isn't everyone's.
Hope that all made sense.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
When you are filling out your information form, and you get to the part that says:
Sex_______, write No. Thank you.
Now you have their attention immediately.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I am trying a self-diagnosis on for size, to see if it fits. It was an odd fit at first, not quite right, but I think I am wearing it in. The more I look into it through the lens of believing I am on the spectrum, the more it feels right. However It never would've felt right if I'd just read these descriptions on these tests. Even the tests reccomended by these forums have their problems.

I'll try to avoid specifics, or else we could be here all day, but my experiences don't match what's on these tests, or in the descriptions of austism that you find in medical resources. An example would be that we're described as not understanding social cues; I understand social cues, I understand what they mean, I just don't know what to do with them. The tests and descriptions imply a level of obliviousness, where I am painfully aware of all this stuff.

Of course, speaking to other people with lived experiences of autism would be a much better way of understanding autism, and therefore understanding if I relate to it.

So, the question is: what question would you put on an autism quiz? What is an autism trait that's often misunderstood, or badly described, that might help undiagnosed people relate to autism?
These tests are NOT diagnostic in and of themselves.

These tests may be used AS PART of a diagnostic process.

To date, the only way to receive a diagnosis is via a psychologist that specializes in autism, but more specifically, one that recognizes the differences between male and female autism presentation, pediatric and adult autism, has an actual interview process, challenges the person with a series of cognitive tests specifically designed to tease out the "hallmark" asymmetrical intelligences, etc.

What we may see within the next decade is a transition towards genetic testing and functional neurological imaging. Autism is a prenatal, genetic, medical condition that has secondary psychological, and psychiatric effects.
 

Hylian

Fellow DbD Enjoyer
V.I.P Member
A question that was asked during my diagnostic examination was "How do you cope with US spelling?".

It relates to the way we can be a bit pedantic about things being different to what we were taught. I also can't stand movies where I have already read the books.
I'm American, but use British spellings for words. I learned it from books and the internet since I had to teach myself how to write properly. I didn't change it even when teachers teased me about it, because technically I see it as more accurate and less lazy. I don't mind seeing people use U.S. spelling, but if other people complain about or point out the way I spell things I get really annoyed.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Same way when someone criticises my pronunciation. I very politely that the language name is "English" and therefore whilst noting their inventiveness, my passport demonstrates why I am going to win this argument if they go that way.

Normally I'm saying this with a smile. Occasionally that smile is sincere.
I"M Canadian we use a mixture of US and UK spelling.
 

Ella Spell

Something
V.I.P Member
My autism test would have a lot more sensory questions, and questions about our inner life / experience that isn't observable. Things like rumination, thinking in details, remembering details, remembering sensory, emotional flooding (alexithymia), and racing brains which often lead to poor sleep.

I didn't like questions like "Would you rather go to a museum or a theatre?", because really ... does that mean a movie theatre cinema or a stage play? Movie cinema is sometimes good if it's not too crowded because I don't have to wear uncomfortable clothes and it's so dark I don't have to see anyone. But what if there's noisy kids throwing popcorn or talking on their phones? What if I'm having a bad ADHD day and can't focus on the plot of the movie because I'm staring at the main character's hair clip the whole time? What if something in the movie triggers me? What about the slurping noises of people with drinks? (Also, I can't pour my own drink on those machines for the life of me. I always do something wrong.) At live theatre I'd love a musical but I don't want to be dressed up or have to act fancy. I don't want to see people milling about in intermission. I don't want to travel to the city and have to struggle for parking. I'll spend the whole time thinking I want to go home and get out of my uncomfortable clothes instead of watching the show. Chances are I won't know any of the characters because I'm face blind and the seating is farther away, so I won't be able to follow from scene to scene. If it's a dinner theatre then no way, because I don't like eating around people because of the smells. So, which one do they mean by theatre? Cinema or live? And, compared to museums? Which museums? The idea is good but some of them have bright lights and noisy tour groups. You can't touch anything and you get sore feet. There's nowhere to sit. I like "stuff" and curacy, but depending on the museum I might not like that specific "stuff". Also I don't like big open spaces and some museums have just that in their hallways or foyers. It makes my agoraphobia kick up.

This is the kind of detail my mind experiences on every question. When I did my assessment I asked questions like that for all the test questions. My assessor didn't even know how to answer me.

Another thing that bothers me is all the questions about "friends". Do online friends count, or are they still operating from the Middle Ages and they think all our friends are people we spend time with physically? Do they consider our online friendships inferior, substandard, or irrelevant somehow? Are we "loners" even if we have many very close friends online and we show empathy for them every day? Questions like "Would you help a friend" need context. Online yes I'd help anyone do anything. In real life probably not. I don't even want real life friends tbh because I prefer my time spent alone or with my partner / family. It's not that I wouldn't want to help a real friend in real life but my physical and emotional resources are limited in real time, with social, sensory, and physical factors considered.

American spelling: I'm not American so I don't use it, and I don't like it. My (new old) keyboard right now is set to American by default so I have to figure out how to change it.

Pet peeves: Impact as a verb drives me bonko. Irregardless. Could of, instead of could have.
"Could care less" is annoying too.
 
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Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
If it's a dinner theatre then no way, because I don't like eating around people because of the smells.
This reminded me of a couple of restaurants I really enjoyed going to when I lived in Melbourne many years ago. They didn't allow children and they ran signal jammers to block mobile phones.

I love the smell of foods but can't sit near anyone wearing perfume, male or female.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My autism test would have a lot more sensory questions, and questions about our inner life / experience that isn't observable. Things like rumination, thinking in details, remembering details, remembering sensory, emotional flooding (alexithymia), and racing brains which often lead to poor sleep.

I didn't like questions like "Would you rather go to a museum or a theatre?", because really ... does that mean a movie theatre cinema or a stage play? Movie cinema is sometimes good if it's not too crowded because I don't have to wear uncomfortable clothes and it's so dark I don't have to see anyone. But what if there's noisy kids throwing popcorn or talking on their phones? What if I'm having a bad ADHD day and can't focus on the plot of the movie because I'm staring at the main character's hair clip the whole time? What if something in the movie triggers me? What about the slurping noises of people with drinks? (Also, I can't pour my own drink on those machines for the life of me. I always do something wrong.) At live theatre I'd love a musical but I don't want to be dressed up or have to act fancy. I don't want to see people milling about in intermission. I don't want to travel to the city and have to struggle for parking. I'll spend the whole time thinking I want to go home and get out of my uncomfortable clothes instead of watching the show. Chances are I won't know any of the characters because I'm face blind and the seating is farther away, so I won't be able to follow from scene to scene. If it's a dinner theatre then no way, because I don't like eating around people because of the smells. So, which one do they mean by theatre? Cinema or live? And, compared to museums? Which museums? The idea is good but some of them have bright lights and noisy tour groups. You can't touch anything and you get sore feet. There's nowhere to sit. I like "stuff" and curacy, but depending on the museum I might not like that specific "stuff". Also I don't like big open spaces and some museums have just that in their hallways or foyers. It makes my agoraphobia kick up.

This is the kind of detail my mind experiences on every question. When I did my assessment I asked questions like that for all the test questions. My assessor didn't even know how to answer me.

Another thing that bothers me is all the questions about "friends". Do online friends count, or are they still operating from the Middle Ages and they think all our friends are people we spend time with physically? Do they consider our online friendships inferior, substandard, or irrelevant somehow? Are we "loners" even if we have many very close friends online and we show empathy for them every day? Questions like "Would you help a friend" need context. Online yes I'd help anyone do anything. In real life probably not. I don't even want real life friends tbh because I prefer my time spent alone or with my partner / family. It's not that I wouldn't want to help a real friend in real life but my physical and emotional resources are limited in real time, with social, sensory, and physical factors considered.

American spelling: I'm not American so I don't use it, and I don't like it. My (new old) keyboard right now is set to American by default so I have to figure out how to change it.

Pet peeves: Impact as a verb drives me bonko. Irregardless. Could of, instead of could have.
"Could care less" is annoying too.
I like what you wrote. I have an active mind like that. if a question has multiple answers deemed correct, I will think of one or more they did not have.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
This reminded me of a couple of restaurants I really enjoyed going to when I lived in Melbourne many years ago. They didn't allow children and they ran signal jammers to block mobile phones.

I love the smell of foods but can't sit near anyone wearing perfume, male or female.
I hate walking past the perfume stand, in malls almost kills me. overpowering.
 

Ella Spell

Something
V.I.P Member
I love the smell of foods but can't sit near anyone wearing perfume, male or female.

Same. I get very ill from any scented products especially perfume or scented shower gel. I also get physically sick from the smell of many different types of food, even though I like the food or possibly the smell. Something about cooking aroma is too saturated for me. I can be sick for days afterward, like actually throwing up. The smell of chocolate is the worst for me, and that's not even heated.
 

Ella Spell

Something
V.I.P Member
I like what you wrote. I have an active mind like that. if a question has multiple answers deemed correct, I will think of one or more they did not have.


Thank you. "Active mind" is an understatement isn't it? :cool: I have no idea how other people function without one.

I think there's way too much focus on the social aspect of ASD, or Part 1 of the DSM criteria. Then they look for observable traits at that, instead of hearing our inner struggle.

Part 2 is so often overlooked, regarding Sensory and Repetition. It's just as important as Part 1 but most people seldom talk about it. Even on forums like this, the focus seems to be on social problems. I have huge social "problems" but they don't bother me because I've structured my life so I'm happy at home in my own safe space. I don't have to deal with social issues unless I want to. Sensory, however, will plague me until the day I die whether I'm alone or in a crowded place.
 

Ronald Zeeman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My wife is social, we go to parties together. which I actually enjoy, I'm not a social butterfly watching her socialize is fun. Either way I'm not familiar with how they diagnose never having been diagnosed.
 

Dadamen

Well-Known Member
Well, if tests were with more sensory questions, then I maybe wouldn't be autistic at all. Well, I have some minor sensory issues, like not tolerating hot weather, but NTs have also this problem.
But, when it comes to social interaction and repetitiveness, I most likely am on the spectrum, but I agree that sensory issues are maybe most reliable because they are a physical sign. On the other hand, socialization and interests can also be part of personality.
 

Azul

Active Member
Any kind of question that uses specific examples is a bad question. There's too many variables at play in preferences for it to be truly useful instead of a mere approximation.

About languages, I used to be annoyed by misspellings, grammar and accents, but I came to accept the organic nature of languages. They are alive. There's no book or law of the universe that determines what is right or wrong in them. It's all a question of whether they are convenient/useful for the speakers.

I also don't miss social cues. It's more like that I'm dumbfounded by an unexpected behavior and have no reaction, or take some time in processing it. I like to imagine an analogy for this: it's like seeing a spotted feline passing in your front, and empty-minded thinking "a cat", and then, after 5 minutes, startling yourself because you realized the cat is actually an ocelot.
 

Outdated

I'm from the other end of the spectrum.
V.I.P Member
I have huge social "problems" but they don't bother me because I've structured my life so I'm happy at home in my own safe space. I don't have to deal with social issues unless I want to.
I am finally in the same place. It's all I have ever wanted. I can cope with any other form of hardship but I must have my own space, somewhere that I can be me.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The main reasons I get told I'm "not autistic" are that I very rarely miss social cues and I'm extroverted, gregarious, highly emotional and empathetic, have an obvious sense of humor, and I'm often told that I'm charismatic and have a lot of personality. Doesn't that also sound like it could describe a lot of the other people on here?
From my own perspective, they come and go here and in small numbers. But it's no secret to me that people like yourself do exist and are very much on the spectrum. I suppose at times there are one too many NT medical professionals who prefer to simplify who and what we are and put us in a small box as opposed to the eclectic group of humans that we actually are.
 

Alexej

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
This reminded me of a couple of restaurants I really enjoyed going to when I lived in Melbourne many years ago. They didn't allow children and they ran signal jammers to block mobile phones.
love that - imaging no mobile signal in a restaurant. People having to actually talk to each other!
 

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