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Sanctuary

"Aspie tests" - useful tests related to ASD

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Sanctuary

The website "Aspie tests" has a variety of tests which can give indicators on ASD - useful for someone wondering if they are on the spectrum but also for those who have been diagnosed and want to learn more about their profile of abilities. I think some of these (or maybe the whole site) have been flagged-up here before but not recently. You can find these at

https://www.aspietests.org/ 

Most of the tests are questionnaires based on self-assessment. The Ritvo scale is the best to start with and gives a general assessment of ASD while other tests focus more on specific aspects. The tests though that especially interested me were "Reading the mind in films" and the "Face-Voice" ones. These are very different because they aren't based on self-assessment but involve responding to some short visual or audio clips and choosing an answer about the emotions just displayed, e.g. sad, suspicious. The answers are then checked against the right answers and a score given. While self-assessment is clearly very useful it isn't always accurate and so it is very helpful to have tests that involve judgement against an external standard. Of course there are potential issues with the clips, e.g. some room for debate on the best word to describe the emotions displayed, but all the same it involves some comparison with the judgements of others which is very informative.

My scores on these "emotions" tests might seem surprising. On the "reading the mind" test I scored 17 out of 22, well above even the neurotypical average. I also scored above the neurotypical average on the faces / voices tests - especially the faces test. However my response times did seem to be somewhat slower than the averages so maybe there is some significance there. 

There is a frequent assumption (stereotype?) that people with ASD are less skilled in reading the non-verbal communication of others. Presumably these tests are designed to test that assumption. However I've never felt my skills in "reading" others are particularly a problem. For me - and maybe others with ASD - the far greater difficulty is in my own non-verbal communication. I struggle to convey the "expected" emotions and gestures. I often use the "right" words but without the expected non-verbal accompaniment. I therefore come across rather like an unconvincing or "wooden" actor. Of course it's very hard to test how we project emotions and feelings although it's possible researchers have tried to do this.

I'd be interested to hear other thoughts on these tests - how you scored and / or thoughts about their usefulness.

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