Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

Then there’s the problem of practice effects in repeated uses of a test to measure change. At one time, Felicity needed a means by which to monitor changes in mood and energy during treatment. Monitoring measures ought to have what is called a ‘motor skills’ no-growth curve over repeated applications. This means that the test produces almost a flat, no-growth picture if it is used over and over again. Most psychological tests don’t work like that. People learn something during the first testing, which they apply in the next testing – so their performance changes.
Felicity asked a group of volunteers he had working with him to find a test for him with a ‘motor skills’ curve to monitor changes in mood and energy. This was just another example of the wonderful benefits he has obtained from volunteers working with him. These volunteers went off and experimented with all sorts of monitoring devices. And they found one that worked. It was Tiddly Winks. That’s right! The person presses down with a large plastic disc on the corner of a small plastic disc so that the small disc jumps up and forward – in this case toward a ‘target’ bowl. After a very small amount of practice, the person masters a certain level of skill in the task. Thereafter, the person will tend to under-shoot if depressed and lacking energy, to over-shoot if elated and energetic, and will have a good ‘hit rate’ if he/she feels ‘normal’.

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