Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

Fresh from this experience, Felicity encountered another case with the same kind of jagged, high scoring MMPI profile, also with radically elevated L and F scale scores. Accordingly, he met briefly with the inmate to determine the nature of the response set adopted. The inmate stated that the ‘X’ had been used to indicate the response pole which applied, indicating thereby that there had been no communication difficulty at the response end. On consulting the test file, no reading test could be found. It was discovered that the inmate had appeared late for the group testing session, and that no reading test was administered. The reading test was administered, and the inmate was found to be reading at the grade 4.5 equivalent level. Had this been discovered prior to the administration of the MMPI, the MMPI would have been administered orally. The difficulty in the validity of the MMPI profile in this case was due to communication difficulty at the stimulus end – the inmate simply could not read well enough to understand the questions being asked.
Within a week, another inmate provided an MMPI performance yielding extremely high L and F scores, suggesting an invalid profile. In this case, the reason was marked clearly on the profile by the computer input clerk. While entering the inmate’s True and False responses into the analysis programme, she had detected a rhythmic pattern of responses, which changed from T T F F, to T T T F F F, to T T T T F F F F, to T F T F. Clearly the inmate had elected not to take the time to read or to understand the questions asked, and had responded at random [Well, hardly at random, but at least not honestly. RR]. Part of the task of understanding the results from a test include reaching an understanding of any difficulties of communication between the client and the test questions and instructions.

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