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Yeah, I think doing the longer, standardized tests would mostly just be going over the same points again in slightly different wording. And the drop in responses over time suggests that one question per day might be a bit too much.

There’s a couple of tests that cover slightly different ground. There’s one about masking that I think is not too long. Also one about monotropic attention, and I think one about demand avoidance. I’m going to think about it and leave some breathing room before jumping in with another.


Here’s the test I was thinking of docs.google.com/forms/d/e/…/viewform

And turns out it’s 50 questions, so I don’t think it would be ideal for the question-a-day format. If you’re interested in a similar sort of ‘let’s try to answer these questions together’ exercise, youtuber I’m Autistic Now What does that in this video


It also had by far the most responses total. Whether that’s because it’s the most relatable, because it was first, or because it’s the one most directly rooted in the physical world, I don’t know.


That is such bullshit, even aside the ableism angle. Whatever impairments you might have, you already had them when you passed the first time. How are they gonna test you differently? Write all the roadsigns as vague hints? Upholster the car with uncomfortable fabrics?


We already had a question about reading subtext, so I guess this one is more about the underlying motivations.

Anyway in the for column, there’s been times when I’ve been scammed or taken advantage of. And I’ve had some “[years later]… Ohhh! She was flirting with me” moments.

In against, I think I’m not bad at spotting when someone is masking distress or discomfort (tho I don’t always know what to do with that information). And out of meatspace, with time to process, I’m much better at spotting bad actors.

Going for Slightly Agree


For those ‘people often say…’ questions, there’s huge cultural variations in how acceptable it is to even talk about one’s personal traits. ‘people say I am very blunt’ - sorry I don’t know anyone blunt enough to say that.

In your case, I think you’d answer Agree for this question. It’s not up to you to tease out if it’s the result of condition X or condition Y. And your health provider shouldn’t be making that determination based purely on which option you picked on a self-report questionnaire.


One weird trick


Or when. They said it was in their history - they could have been 30 years sober for all we know.


Once again, it depends what they mean. What do they mean by ‘collect information’ and what do they mean by ‘categories of things’. Because I like learning about things, I like going on research dives and learning odd bits of information. But I don’t think I approach it in such a systematic way that this question suggests.

I checked against an extended version of the same test (AQ-50), and this question had some added clarification;

(e.g. types of car, types of bird, types of train, types of plant, etc.).

I could be interested in learning about any of those, but it would not be motivated by its belonging to the category. It would be if the particular car, bird, etc had some inherent interest, or was relevant to something else I was involved with

I think I Slightly Disagree


Okay, if I was going to learn about fish, it might go something like “I mentioned to someone about how spawning salmon return to their place of birth. But is that actually true?” *Learns about salmon life-cycle. *Learns about biological study of animal migration. *Learns about migration in different animals. *Learns about how understanding has developed over time. *Learns how it influenced ideas on geoscience, commerce, anthropology

It’s like I’m on a random walk through the tree of knowledge, rather than cataloguing a few select branches.

I do like how the class of lobe-finned fish can be interpreted to include human beings. That just tickles me.


It’s funny, both you and @PancakeLegend were careful to avoid over-literal interpretations (unlike me haha), but still you came to quite different understandings. You - “yes, I have a broad interest in learning”. Pancake - “yes, I am systematic with information”


Not very quickly, no. If the task needed working memory (keeping count or something), that will be gone. I’ll need to take a moment to reassess what I was doing and where I’m up to. If there were X,Y,Z subtasks, I’ll need to check which ones are done and which not. A long enough interruption and I might forget entirely and not return to the task at all. If someone interrupts me by trying to help, and I don’t immediately understand what they’re trying to do, I find that very irritating.

Disagree. I’m leaning towards Definitely Disagree but it’s not a definite definitely haha.


You’re right, it does a bit. I should have worked out referral codes or something 😆


So, I don’t know if you’re criticising me, or just making an observation (either is fine). But here’s my reasoning for starting these posts, copied from the first post in the series.

I thought it could be fun/interesting to go through an autism test question by question, and see what resonates with people, and how we approach thinking about the questions.

I chose this particular test because it’s a shortened version of one I was set by my own health provider, and at only ten questions it won’t outstay it’s welcome. And I chose to link to that particular website because they also include a discussion of the test’s strengths and weaknesses, and also I didn’t see them promoting any outdated ideas about autism (tho I didn’t check thoroughly). If you want to suggest any alternates, I’d be open to hear.

And if these posts really bother you, we’re on question 8 of 10 so it’s nearly done. I’ll take any feedback on board before I do another.


Haha. I have opinions on this one. I think I’ll wait a bit before discussing it so as not to bias anyone else’s response.


a collection of 20 photos of a man expressing different facial expressions

Look at all those emotions! Can you name them all? These pictures are used in emotional intelligence tests where they’ll ask you to do exactly that - name them all.

What they won’t ask you is, how is the photoshoot going for this guy? Is it his normal line of work and how does this particular job compare to a regular day? Are any of the faces difficult for him to make? Is he trying to method act them, does he have some rehearsed, does he have his own reference pictures to look at? Does he have a rapport with the photographer? Is the lighting bothering him? Is he tired? Does the shoot have catering? What’s he planning on doing later?

They don’t ask any of that because, obviously, you can’t tell what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face.

Now, if you could see the context, if you knew something about the guy, could see how he was acting and what he was saying, then you could make a guess at some of this information. Maybe even a good guess. But just from the face alone? No chance!

Here is what emotional intelligence practitioners don’t want you to know about faces;

Facial expressions are live action emoji, that you act out with your face to communicate the idea of an emotion. They are not windows into the soul.

This question is garbage. Definitely Disagree


Ohoh my own updated response is very dismissive of those emotional intelligence tests, and the notion that normal people can read your mind through your face. I very much enjoyed Ponderful’s (very long) video on the subject, and you might too.


I had that thought too. But I remember reading about cave paintings where prehistoric people had painted their hands, and the distribution of lefts and rights was consistent with there being the same proportion of lefties as in modern times. And I doubt the social pressures around handedness go back that far.


Haha, no.

If the meal needs me to attend to more than 1 kitchen utensil, something is getting burned. If you want to talk to me when I’m doing something, the something isn’t getting done. I had a job where they wanted me to talk on the phone and type a description of the call at the same time, and, no way José, not if it’s important that either include coherent sentences.

Definitely Disagree


I’ll do that. Or pull a foot back onto its tiptoes. Or cross heels. Or tuck one foot under the opposite knee. Basically anything except flat on the floor.


So, do you go on too much about some niche topic that nobody else cares about? That stereotype really does not fit for me. My conversational style is to stay mostly quiet, try to look attentive, and daydream about the actually interesting things we could be talking about instead.

Can I actually spot boredom in real life conversations tho? You know, I think I can. And pretty often I’ll be observing a typical NT conversation, and one of them will be visibly bored out of their mind, and the other will be completely oblivious. Could it be that the trait here is not being bad at spotting boredom, but being aware that you have that difficulty?

I’m going Slightly Agree


How do I even with this question? The whole picture is made up of small details, and the details are all in the context of the whole picture. So it’s both. The answer is both and it depends on what the thing is and why you’re having to concentrate on it and where you are in that process. Any project you work on will need big picture perspective to decide what things you need to do, and also need detail perspective to do those things. Any field of study will have its overarching themes and its individual examples.

Let’s look another way. I know they’re not talking about a literal picture (and why use metaphors in an autism test of all things?), but let’s pretend they are. When I look at The Hay Wain I see an idyllic rural scene. Then I see the cart, the house, the horsemen, the dog. I see the whole picture first, then I pick out details. When I look at The Persistence of Memory, I see the face, the clock, the tree, the cliff. Then I wonder what it could mean. I see the details, then (try to) assemble a full picture. It depends. It always flipping depends.

If It gave me specifics, I could answer this. But I’m just floundering with this sort of generality. I am leaning towards Slightly Disagree, only because I am crying out for details trying to interpret this question.


The context for me posting these is I’m working through a pack of dozens of these sort of questions from my health provider. I’m giving serious thought to returning it with an attached sheet of notes and queries.


So, gosh.

Does anyone find it easy to read between the lines? I’ve met people that think they do, but they’re wrong. People who can spot lies, people who can read energies, people who know what you really meant, people who are just saying what everyone was thinking. They’re always wrong and they’ll never believe they were wrong. The only correct answer for anyone honest with themselves is Definitely Disagree.

Here’s some things I know about intuiting unstated messages (“reading between the lines”).

  • people are communicating for a reason, and that reason is part of the intended message. It may be just talking for politeness or to pass the time, or it may be they want you to do something or understand something related to what they’re talking about
  • the demeanor is part of the message. Do they seem happy, sad, angry, excited?
  • sometimes, something being left unsaid is part of the message. If they say you should meet, but don’t suggest a time or place, maybe they don’t really intend to meet

This “asking questions challenges my authority” crap can go die in a fire. Am I asking why you’re the boss? Then maybe I’d be challenging your authority. Until then I’m asking questions because it would be helpful for me to know the answers.

Anyway, it sounds like you’re not safe in that environment. I’m sure you already know that, and I don’t know what options you have in your situation, but you’ll work something out.


Ironically enough, they put a figure of speech right there in the question 🤦


Ohoh. We’ve got some reading between the lines live practise!

Bad day?


I don’t give them eye contact and frankly look at them a little disinterested

I like that it’s ambiguous whether you’re talking about the cats or the jealous people 😄


Compared to the first question, I had to think a lot harder about this one. First stumbling block - ‘difficult’. Difficult compared to what? Second, ‘reading’. Is it ok to also think about characters in films and TV here? Taken at face value, the answer would be no, but the question seems more about interpreting the story than about the medium that the story is in. So film and TV should be ok? I think?

Anyway, characters in stories tend to be pretty explicit in their intentions. Captain Ahab wants to kill the whale, Frodo Baggins wants to destroy the ring, Elizabeth Bennett wants to find a suitable husband. They will explain themselves in dialog, and sometimes even get their thoughts narrated. Sometimes a character’s goals will be ambiguous or misleading, and that’s deliberate on the part of the author. It’s not a problem if you get to the reveal in a mystery novel and don’t yet suspect the killer. So, I think I can follow stories well enough. But…

Is there some aspect to characters that I’m not getting, and that I am not aware I’m not getting? There’s a kind of intrigue type of stories that just go over my head. I never know what’s going on in Scorcese or Frances Coppola movies, for example. And then there’s people in the fanfic space who like to ship characters, or imagine this character in that universe, and I don’t get it. Back in school we had a book report exercise with questions about the characters and how they develop through the story, and I found it unreasonably difficult to apply those questions to the stories I was reading.

So I’m going to say Slightly Disagree. On the face of it, I can generally understand what I need to follow a story. But I have some doubts, and I don’t think I have the insight to assess how relevant those doubts are.

E. After the discussion below, I’m revising this to Slightly Agree. I think there’s more going on with this question than I’m able to fathom.


We can put you down as a Definitely Agree then? 😁


Reminds me of an odd interaction where someone recommended The Outsider to me. Like, not prompted by anything - You, personally, octoperson, should read The Outsider by Albert Camus because You will find it relevant to Your self. What exactly was she trying to tell me??


yodel if


This is a very helpful perspective, thank you. Is this what people mean when they talk about identifying with a character? I’ve never really been sure if I understand that properly.

To maybe lean on the example a bit too hard - there was a part where Frodo started to put his trust in Gollum, and I remember (gosh, it was a long time ago,) being frustrated with him. So, we’d want to think about why he might have developed that trust. And feel, what? Satisfied that it makes sense for the character? Feel the same trust ourselves, despite us knowing it’s a mistake and still being frustrated with him as readers? It’s a complicated tangle to unravel.

TIL that the Māori word for autism is "Takiwātanga" meaning "their own time and space." I also learned that it's not without controversy (see inside). (lemmy.world) en

I thought the word and the definition sounded beautiful, but then I also learned that it was [coined in 2017](https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-40493398) and has been accused of imposing outside culture. Namely, here is a criticism I found on Twitter and Reddit but without further attribution or detail:...


So many times I wanted to talk about ‘el año’, and instead wrote ‘el ano’. 😣

(Spanish. ‘the year’ vs ‘the anus’)


I’m sure the dog would like to thank you for noticing


IRL spidey senses


I don’t know about ‘literally shaking’ (depends if you mean ‘literally literally’ or ‘figuratively literally’ haha). But loud shrill sounds do come with their own unique quality - a sort of pressing/shrinking sensation that leaves a sort of echo even after the sound stops.

It’s tough to know with these sort of things - nobody of any neurotype likes loud annoying noises. But without access to their experience, how can you know if you dislike it in the same way?


Thanks - this is a great answer. With regards to your objections;

Those vague relative words - your 'often’s and ‘rarely’s - they’ll keep coming up as these questions continue. What to compare to? I try to compare to an imagined hypothetical ‘typical’ person, who has a broadly similar life to me. What does typical mean here? Is my idea of typical the same as the question setters’? Am I accurately imagining their hypothetical existence? Could the question setters have avoided this problem by wording the question differently? A big ‘i don’t know’ to all. It gets me to an answer and that’s all I need.

As for the second point, what the question is specifically about, for me it’s significant that they used the word ‘notice’. It’s not ‘do you often hear sounds’ or even ‘are you often aware of sounds’, it’s ‘do you often notice sounds’. And I think to notice something you have to assign some meaning to it. Whether that’s as a coherent thought, associating it with an object in the environment, having an emotional response, getting a physiological reaction. It needs to be in your awareness as a piece of information you can do something with. If you ask someone “do you hear that?”, and they furrow their brow for a moment, then go “oh yeah!”, then they could hear it the whole time, maybe were even bothered by it, but only in that moment noticed it.

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