Wednesday, September 19

Test Subject

At the beginning of the summer I learned about a research study being conducted at UMass Amherst that was looking for children volunteers.

The study was in regards to the communication characteristics of Asperger and High Functioning Autistic children versus nuero-typical children and was being conducted by a doctoral candidate as part of her thesis.

RR fit the criteria, and after getting more information on the study I asked him if he would like to participate.

He eagerly agreed.   RR loves doing little tests and showing off for people.  RR loves talking.  Oh, and he really loves money (yes, I told him he could keep the stipend).  

So he got all signed up and we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  The study was suppose to happen in two sessions over the summer.  When September rolled around I thought it had been called off; and then we got the e-mail with dates and times.

This past weekend we ventured off to UMass - and what a venture; apparently street signs are not allowed in Amherst.... and RR got to go and do his part.

We sat in a sound booth with a two way mirror.  He sat on one side with the assistant that preformed the test and I sat on the other side (so cool to watch him and hear him in stereo) with the doctoral candidate (DC).  He got to wear a microphone that would have made Justin Bieber jealous.   

aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh  - he went
ppppppppeeeeeeee ppppeeeeee - he

He made up stories based on pictures they showed him.  What a story teller that boy is.  DC commented about how you could tell he had a superior IQ based on the words he chose and how he told the stories (she had a copy of his profile which included his IQ scores and diagnosis).

They sang Happy Birthday... he forgot the words.  Oh wait, he forgot the words to the "regular" version... but he knows the one when you sing about people smelling like monkeys.... happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you smell like a monkey and you look like one too.

45 minutes later he was done.  Done and jazzed, so excited.

He signed his first consent form, and I signed as well.  His voice recordings have been released (with no identifying information) to be used in conducting research and shared with students for educational purposes. Man, did he feel like a grown-up signing the form.  His chest was all puffed out and he wrote as neatly as possible.

So proud of my boy.

And many thanks to John Elder Robinson for turning us on to the study.  You can read more about it here.


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