more on autism testing

In reference to the post about testing…

I’m assuming you’re a teen or adult, so I would warn you that a lot of these tests are designed for children and might seem silly.

Some of them don’t have anything to do with autism and are fairly offensive - in addition to the ridiculous Simon Baron Cohen questions, I remember doing Rorschach ink blots and a theory of mind test.

Many of them, such as the fine motor things like picking up little pegs and putting them in a pegboard, are timed and can be stressful.

I personally found the experience to be traumatizing since it was a lot of tests designed to show that I wasn’t very good at specific skills and it was a full day of being asked questions and failing these tasks in an unfamiliar environment.

I was also trying very hard to seem as “normal” as possible (since that’s what I had spent all of my life doing). I was trying not to stim at all or stimming under the table or when the person examining me wasn’t paying attention, and it ended up hurting me in the long run because I was so anxious from hiding these behaviors that they needed to see to confirm my diagnosis.

Some of the tests and the experience overall were triggering and my mom picked me up in the afternoon, I was sitting in a corner crying, and it’s still very difficult to think about the experience. I don’t think everyone goes through this, it’s possible I had a bad tester or something. Even though they will note if you’re scripting or stimming or anything else, don’t try and hide it. Do whatever you need to do to express yourself and take care of yourself, and make sure you have a safe space for after the testing.

realsocialskills said:

Those are all really good points.

My experience wasn’t quite as bad, but it was very stressful and somewhat humiliating. The people testing me were nice to me and were respectful, but the tests still got to me some. It can be draining to have to spend all day showing what you can’t do over and over and over, especially if you have baggage about your inability to do those things. (Most of us have baggage about that to some degree or another, because the world is not kind to people who are unable to do socially expected things.)

If you feel bad after or during the tests, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you. It’s ok to be autistic; it’s ok to be different; it’s ok to be disabled. Going through tests designed by people who think that means there’s something wrong with you can be degrading and painful - but it can’t make them right. You’re ok; the people who design these awful tests are the ones who are doing things wrong.