Is this typical re being an autistic and/or SMI person?

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firemonkey
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11 Aug 2022, 5:33 am

Is this fairly typical re being an autistic and/or a SMI person? Good performance on psychometrician created and/or normed tests of intelligence, but don't do well when it comes to multistep tasks. Organising and planning being primary EF deficits.


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Dillogic
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11 Aug 2022, 8:16 am

Yes, simply because of executive dysfunction as you mention, which is highly prevalent in those conditions. So, those that have relatively spared intelligence, can still show cognitive impairments. This isn't to say the people with spared intelligence didn't lose something from said condition/s when it comes to such (I'm pretty sure IQ does drop a little with at least schizophrenia, and there's a baseline to compare it to so they can test such).



firemonkey
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11 Aug 2022, 10:00 am

Dillogic wrote:
Yes, simply because of executive dysfunction as you mention, which is highly prevalent in those conditions. So, those that have relatively spared intelligence, can still show cognitive impairments. This isn't to say the people with spared intelligence didn't lose something from said condition/s when it comes to such (I'm pretty sure IQ does drop a little with at least schizophrenia, and there's a baseline to compare it to so they can test such).


Based on pre teen estimates and tests created and/or normed by a psychometrician(since 2020)mine has stayed very much the same. Digit symbol substitution has never been good. Ditto mental rotation and visual short term memory. Those difficulties were there pre developing SMI.Pattern recognition ability has improved significantly but the opposite may well be true re mental rotation.

I've always been somewhat inconsistent when it comes to cognitive performance. That pre-dates the SMI.Good and bad performance with Slobrain

Good -about 40 minutes ago would be 7 and 3 /37 . Bad, about a fortnight ago, would be 20 and 28 /37. I'm significantly older than most of the others that have done it.

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Fenn
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11 Aug 2022, 12:17 pm

My full scale IQ test is highly above average on all subtest except the two subtest which are associated with executive function: rote processing and working memory. The other sub-tests are mostly high 90s in percentile. The two EF sub test are below 50 percentile. One is (I think) 19th percentile or perhaps lower - going by memory and not consulting documentation.

Mathematically when all subtests are average out using a simple mathematical average

(T1 + T2 + T3 + ... Tn) / n

The high subtests pull up the average enough to hide the low subtests. Just looking at the average (called the "Full Scale IQ") I am not only "fine" I am "above average"). But the number is lower, much lower, than if you threw out the two lowest scores then calculated the average.

So, to the untrained eye, I am "fine" or "above average" and in need of no supports.

But in school with multistep projects the working-memory problems become apparent. The EF in supposed to be in charge of the items of "chunks" of memory stored in working memory, specifically to keep things (like a list of steps, or the amount of time available and used already) in "the front of my mind" while still keeping other things (like the substeps needed to complete one part of the project) in mind, and not getting lost in the process. If WM is poor, or the number of "chunks" that can be kept in mind at once without "dropping" other things is smaller than the national average, the project tends to get off track and it can be very hard to get it back on track again.

Picture a game of scrabble where each person has a tray that can hold 9 tiles. To make words you have to work the tiles on your tray (and ONLY the tiles on your tray). Now imagine that my tray only can hold 3 tiles, but everyone else still has a 9 tile tray. Further picture my extra 6 tiles sitting face down on the table next to the try, and what will happen as I pick them up one at a time and try to add them to my tray - obviously other tiles will "fall off".

That is what happens when you have WM problems.

Suppose further, someone else keeps reaching over and rearranging the tiles on my tray, or randomly picking up tiles and replacing tiles on my tray. Or suppose every time you happened to glance at a tile on the table you automatically picked it up and replaced one of the tiles on your tray with it.

That is what happens when you have EF problems.

EF problems and WM problems compound each other. If you have a "9 tile tray" of working memory and a erratic EF function you will still have problems. If you have a "3 tile tray" of working and a strong functioning and reliable EF, you will still have problems. Both EF and WM difficulties at the same time is obvious not good.

The "rote processing" issues are "downstream" of the WM and EF problems. Things cannot get into long term memory when you cannot reliable load them into WM or if your EF keeps scrambling them. For things to get into long term memory they have to start in working memory, then move into short term memory, then long term memory.

To extend the Scrabble Tile analogy, you could say the try is WM the tiles face down next to the tray (in my hypothetically modified Scrabble game) are in short term memory and the tiles in your own personal "tile bag" are in long term memory.

So: WM and/or EF problems will inevitably result in problems with rote learning. In some models WM is considered "part of" EF - so they are both considered EF together. This "ambiguous definition" compounds the trouble people like educators, politicians, parents, or people on the spectrum have understanding what EF is and what WM is and how it might affect an individual. Further, even in expert usage, sometimes the term "short term memory" includes "working memory" and sometimes it does not.

Here is another analogy I use. Suppose you have a rubber-stamp and a pad of ink and a blank sheet of paper.
You if you apply the rubber stamp to the ink pad and then to the paper it leaves a mark, and we will call this mark an "impression". If the first impression is faint (let us assume the ink pad is old and a bit dry) then a more vivid, a clearer impression can be made by again applying the rubber stamp to the ink pad and then again to the paper, on top or the original impression. This second impression reinforces the first and makes the image clearer, and less faint.
If the image is still a bit faint you can repeat the process and the third impression should leave a very clear image, and very true impression.

This analogy describes the process of rote learning. Each time you read a word, recite how to spell "chief" or see a flash card leaves an impression in your mind. Repeating the same original experience makes a second or third impression. More impressions tend to leave a clearer and clearer memory. This is how a lot of school subjects are taught. More impressions tend to reinforce learning.

If you then add this idea of EF: poor WM and or poor EF are like moving the paper left and right and up and down. Constantly. Erratically. All the time. You can see immediately how this will tend to make it harder to make a clean impression.

EF and WM issues tend to change the intended "things to memorize" to make the information that gets from WM to short term memory to long term memory a bit unreliable. A bit unpredictable. It tends to increase the number of impressions needed to result in a clean long term memory impression.

If the school uses the "average student" as the rule to determine the "number of impressions" needed to teach a concept, this will tend to be too low a number for those students who have EF and/or WM problems. This can result in less learning.

And this (I believe) is why I never learned the multiplication tables. It is also why my son never learned the multiplication tables - that is until we started to use the Kumon method and materials, which don't use a "average number of impressions" but instead keep giving impressions and measuring learning until there is evidence of a clear memory impression in long term memory, then they move on. And this is always, always, always done on a per-student basis, not on a hypothetical "typical student" basis.

Learning the multiplication tables is a good example of rote learning (in real life, not just in the abstract).

So: if you have a high IQ or usually do well in some kinds of standardized tests but have problems with long term projects or some kinds of learning this is really not that surprising. EF issues associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder are well documented and have been studied and mentioned in many peer reviewed journals.

My two sons also have very similar IQ sub-test score spread to myself - this indicated EF problems, and possible ADHD or Autism (both of which are associated with EF problems).

The level of detail in my post to this thread also shows my "persistent preoccupation with parts of objects" (or concepts) :D


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Last edited by Fenn on 11 Aug 2022, 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

firemonkey
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11 Aug 2022, 3:31 pm

Thank you for that long but interesting reply. My WM is within the average range. A simple averaging of the psychometrician created and/or normed tests I've done gives a 147 result, with a range of about 142-152. This is a better method, and would possibly give a higher result, but I lack the data needed to use it.

These are my results from https://embrace-autism.com/esq/#test

Response Inhibition:
15

Working Memory:
15

Sustained Attention:
14

Time Management:
13

Emotional Control:
12

Metacognition:
9

Goal-Directed Persistence:
9

Task Initiation:
7

Flexibility:
7

Planning/Prioritization:
5

Organization:
4

Stress Tolerance:
4


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 133 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)