Taking the SPD Checklist

This week’s test is more of an inventory of traits than a quantitative test. The SPD checklist is intended to help identify areas of atypical sensory processing, including hyposensitivity, hypersensitivity and sensory seeking.

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a stand alone diagnosis, however, there is substantial overlap between SPD and the atypical sensory processing that autistic people experience. In fact, now that sensory sensitivities are included in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for autism, we may start to see fewer kids getting diagnosed with SPD plus an alphabet soup of other conditions. Because the odds are really high that a kid with concurrent diagnoses of SPD, ADHD, and ODD is really just an autistic kid in disguise. But that’s a rant for another day. . .

I’ve written quite a bit about atypical sensory processing, so I’m going to get right to taking this week’s test.

Taking the Test

There several online versions of the SPD Checklist. The one I’m linking to for this post has a couple of nice features: it’s (mostly) worded as an adult checklist, it’s printable so you can complete it on paper, and the links at the top of the page allow you to filter the questions by type, in the event that you want to focus on just one area of sensory processing.

To get started, go to the SPD Checklist webpage. This a “paper and pencil test”, so your options are: print it out and sharpen your pencil, create a tally sheet to add up your scores, or copy/paste into a word processing application.

Edited to add: Anna very kindly made us a spreadsheet that totals up the scores for each section: SPD Checklist (recommend that you save it to your computer or make a copy before using it)

To take the test, read each item and numerically score it as follows:

0 – Never (not at all)

1 – Rarely (a little)

2 – Sometimes (moderately)

3 – Often (quite a lot)

4 – Always (severe)

I assigned words to the scale to help me better understand how to use the numerical scores. The instructions also say that you can score an item as P for “previously experienced but no longer present” however there is no explanation of to interpret P numerically.

Interpreting the Results

The checklist has 138 total items, for a total possible score ranging from 0 to 552. There are no guidelines available for interpreting the numeric scores and I think that’s because this checklist is meant to be a qualitative guide to a person’s sensory processing rather than an indication of a diagnostic threshold. Of course, I still couldn’t resist adding up my numerical scores.

The items on the checklist are divided into 8 categories:

General Modulation (scoring range: 0 – 36): The 9 items in this category are broad and were some of the hardest to answer because they felt so vague. I scored 22.

Over-Responsiveness (0 – 100): The 25 items here cover hypersensitivity to sensory stimulus, with a heavy emphasis on tactile and auditory sensitivities. I scored a 61, with the highest scores on tactile and general environmental items and the lowest on vestibular and taste items.  No surprise there–I’m tactile defensive, easily overloaded by stimulating environments and a vestibular/proprioceptive/taste sensory seeker.

Under-Responsiveness (0 – 36): These 9 items cover hyposensitivity, mostly in the interoceptive category. I scored 13, with high scores on the interoceptive items and low scores on the rest.

Sensory Seeking (0 – 80): The 20 items in this category measure tendencies to intentionally seek out strong sensory experiences. I scored 48 + 1 P (knuckle cracking, which I did habitually as a teenager and have stopped doing). Most of my high scoring items are in the proprioceptive, vestibular and taste categories.

Sensory Discrimination (0-104): These 26 items relate to our ability to filter sensory information. I scored 42. This feels like the weakest area of the checklist. I know from experience that I have significant difficulty filtering sensory information but the items in this section didn’t accurately capture the difficulties I have. Difficulty licking an ice cream cone neatly? Not something I encounter on a daily basis.

Sensory Based Motor Abilities (0 -80): The 20 items in this category are related to fine and gross motor skills and would probably be more accurately described as such. I scored 41. Most of my high scores were in the area of fine motor skills.

Social and Emotional (0 – 88): I would classify this entire category as secondary traits because I think they’re more a product of having sensory sensitivities than “symptoms” of SPD. Also, this is where the line between autism and SPD becomes really fuzzy. There isn’t a single item among the 22 here that isn’t also an autistic trait or is strongly present in many autistic people. I scored 48, mostly due to high scores on the social and resistance to change items.

Internal Regulation (0 -28): This is another weak section. Difficulties with interoception are common in people with atypical sensory processing and the 7 items here were clearly written by someone who doesn’t experience interoceptive weirdness. I scored 17, with moderate scores on everything, simply because the questions are worded so vaguely. More questions with more specific traits would create a better picture of a respondent’s interoceptive issues. For example, “do you not realize that you need to use the bathroom if you are engaged in an interesting activity” or “do you sometimes forget to eat until you are feeling weak, dizzy or nauseous from hunger” would be much easier to answer than the current “under sensitive or over sensitive” wording.

Overall score (0 – 552): For what it’s worth, I scored 292 out of a possible 552. The overall score seems useless because, like an IQ score, it’s an aggregate of a set of disparate subscores.

The best approach is probably to look at the categories we score especially high or low on, and then drill down into the subsets of high/low scores within each category. For example, within the over responsiveness, under responsiveness and sensory seeking categories, there were clear patterns in my answers that identify which areas I’m hypo- and hypersensitive in.

This test also suffers at times from imprecise wording, making some of the questions hard to answer. I had no idea how to score “hates to be barefoot or hates to wear shoes/socks” because I prefer being barefoot and generally dislike shoes and socks, expect in situations where being barefoot would be painful. So is that 4 for disliking shoes and socks or a 0 for loving to be barefoot or what? Seems like a completely useless question. Same for “love to touch and be touched, have to touch everything.” Anyone who is simultaneously tactile seeking and tactile defensive knows that those are three completely different things.

The Bottom Line

The SPD checklist would benefit from the input of people who experience sensory sensitivities. A few of the questions felt unanswerable and some of the others could use refinement. However, completing the checklist can help someone with atypical sensory processing identify which areas they have the most challenges in. For those new to the concept of atypical sensory processing, it can also be a good introduction to the potential ways that atypical sensory processing affects our daily lives.

——-

Note: Take a Test Tuesday will be on hiatus for a while after today. I’m moving and not sure how long it will take for me to get settled in. Also, I’ve run out of test ideas again. If anyone has ideas for other tests that might be, let me know in the comments and I’ll start rebuilding a queue.

50 comments

  1. Kmarie

    Hope the move goes smoothly!
    Ok so test scores:
    Total:429
    General Modulation: 25
    Over Responsiveness: 95
    Under Responsiveness:5
    Sensory Seeking : 22
    Sensory Discrimination: 95
    Sensory Motor Abilities: 80
    Social and Emotional: 81
    Internal regulation: 28
    I thought this was very accurate. Esp in Motor Abilities and Under Responsiveness ( although I did not know those things would be considered under responsiveness) I felt I could understand each question but I have taken so many assessments I now interpret them differently…for instance the barefoot one I just chose barefoot and ignored the rest of the question so it was a 4 as I am always barefoot. Socks make me feel very disgusting….and I live in minus 40 degrees celcius at times! yet still no socks (I buy warm boots)
    I am REALLY sensitive an I often say that I would not want a cure for Autism and the way my brain works but I would love to cure some of my sensory issues and motor skills and anxiety ( the stuff that really gets in the way of living) but i guess no one has it all…generally I like myself but it makes life hard…I mean that motor skill ability scores is not an exaggeration…I really scored four on every question and it makes life really hard because people assume I am not trying or do not get how hard it is for my brain to connect to my body to do those activities. More than 80 percent of life seems to require motor skills that I am not fully equipped for but I don’t look disabled so I am expected to do each task and mocked at my levels…I am actually not as equipped in motor areas as my nine year old. It’s really actually quite hard as I face ableism everywhere…sometimes even including myself as I expect myself to perform better than I am in some areas.
    I didn’t realize it but taking this test was a trigger for me. I felt kind of like a failure. These are the areas in which I tend to have my strongest struggles…
    I wonder why that is and why so strong in me?

    • musingsofanaspie

      I wasn’t sure if anyone would take the time to do all the math, etc. that this requires.

      Motor skills are a constant problem for me too. I can’t imagine the total cost of things I’ve dropped, broken or ruined over the course of my lifetime, not to mention all the bizarre ways I’ve injured myself. My husband now knows to expect pretty much anything.

      I’m sorry the test turned out to be so difficult for you! I kind of noticed that as you wrote your comment, your tone was changing drastically, especially toward the end of that second long paragraph. It’s definitely not a failure to have struggles in these areas. (Perhaps there’s something about the wording of the questions that the test designer needs to take into account to lessen the potential dent in our self-esteem from taking it?) Just this morning I was beating myself up for being such a failure at social skills so I totally get how you can be triggered into feeling so bad by thinking about an area that is particularly hard for you. Some days are tougher than others when it comes to being okay with our difficulties.

      About your last question, I think the areas we’re most vulnerable to beating ourselves up in are our oldest, deepest wounds. The ones that started early in life seem the most likely trigger those old “tapes” that play in our heads, filled with harsh judgmental words. Sometimes just recognizing them as tired old recordings helps a bit.

      I hope the yucky feelings don’t hang around too long for you. Sending virtual hugs and warm comforting beverages of your choice.

      • Kmarie

        Thanks:) You made me smile and had very good points…as for what an NT would score I had my two best friends take it who are neurotypical…We have interesting relationships and I adore them and they adore me…Anyway, these are their scores and they are not on the spectrum nor do they have any other diagnosed difference or difficulty interactions ect.:
        “17 general, 46 overesponsiveness, 8 underresponsive..although this one was hard for me….
        28 sensory seeking, 45 sensory discrimination, 31 sensory based motor skills, 32 social and emotional
        22 internal regulation…”
        And the second NT friend’s scores:
        “8General Modulation, 31Over-Responsiveness, 3 Under-Responsiveness, 22Sensory Seeking, 44Sensory Discrimination26,Sensory-Based Motor Abilities, 33Social and Emotional, 7Internal Regulation, TOTAL192″
        Anyway, I thought it would be interesting for reflection. I asked them to take it because I wanted to see if my scores were only high compared to most people on the scale taking the test or if there was a similar gap…

        • musingsofanaspie

          It’s interesting that my scores aren’t very much higher than your NT friends. I wonder if I score things on the low side because I rated my experience in comparison to other autistic people’s rather than in comparison to what I imagine the average person experiences (in terms of severity).

          • Kmarie

            Yea. Lol both of them say I have changed them in seven years and they are both more aware of sensory things because of me pointing them out all the time and now they naturally know if I am going to be uncomfortable so maybe they have slightly higher scores because they have more sensitivity due to their compassion and empathy and friendship with me? I know I am less ( believe it or not!:) Then I was before due to my friendship with them…and more socially aware.
            I think probably you did get lower scores thinking in comparison like that because when I scored myself I thought of a few friends who were neurotypical and their experiences and then rated what I feel in comparison.

            • musingsofanaspie

              My husband is the same way – way more sensitive to not only my sensitivities but his own as well. Actually, I think this is true of my daughter too. We’re such good influences! :-)

  2. Aspie Kent

    First, hoping the move goes smoothly for you. I don’t think I’ve quite “recovered” from our last move, and that was nearly seven years ago!

    My scores:
    TOTAL: 263
    General Modulation: 21
    Over-Responsiveness: 56
    Under-Responsiveness: 7
    Sensory Seeking: 36
    Sensory Discrimination: 32
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 27
    Social and Emotional: 72
    Internal Regulation: 12

    One general observation, I had more uncertainty in assigning values to the items on the checklist than I expected to. I think that may be related to not necessarily having an accurate understanding of “normal” for several of these, and therefore not being comfortable in saying that any particular thing was “rare / a little” or “often / quite a lot” when compared to the population as a whole. For many of the motor abilities section, I answered “2 – sometimes / moderately,” because I don’t really have an accurate reference to indicate that my experience is more or less than that…

    I was probably harder on myself in the “Social and Emotional” category, because that’s the broad area that I’ve been focusing on most with my counselors recently.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kent

    • musingsofanaspie

      Thank you for the good wishes. We’ve moved 4 times in the last 3 years. Gah. At least I don’t have a lot of stuff to pack

      I felt the same way about assigning values to some of the questions. The ones that I experience to a great degree or not all were (of course) easy but the “sometimes” or “kind of” items were hard to score. There was some crossing out involved and still I wasn’t always satisfied with my answers.

  3. L. H.

    Took the test!

    Scores:
    Total: 232
    General Modulation: 20
    Over-Responsiveness: 55
    Under-Responsiveness: 6
    Sensory Seeking: 42
    Sensory Discrimination: 14
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 27
    Social and Emotional: 60
    Internal Regulation: 8

    This was kind of difficult to score, though. Some things, I wasn’t really sure what “a lot” would have been. (Didn’t know whether to score 2, 3, or 4.) Other things, I can tell that if they would have asked slightly different questions, I would have scored higher. Like, I don’t have trouble tying things…but often find myself totally unable to unscrew caps and lids. Also, there were many questions geared towards things that I simply haven’t experienced–for example, a few questions about my experience while driving. I scored these as “zero” because I have no experience driving…but, the very fact that I do not know how to drive is likely something in and of itself!

    Still, it was a really interesting test, just realizing how many aspects there are to sensory issues. Thanks!

    • musingsofanaspie

      Yes, some of the questions were frustratingly specific. I’m good with tying stuff to, but give me a package of cookies to open and I’ll send up completely destroying the package, spilling everything or hurting myself. :-)

      • merelyquirky

        Same here, with the variations of interpretations.. I averaged them out (eg, tying shoes 1, opening packages 3, answer:2. )

  4. phogg1953

    Very interesting topic, I have briefly gone through it and got 219, but I am going to do it again when I have more time, so I can think about how I was as a kid. Long time ago requires effort. I had not been aware of SPD before this but I am going to investigate it.
    If you have time in the future have a rant regarding this .. “Because the odds are really high that a kid with concurrent diagnoses of SPD, ADHD, and ODD is really just an autistic kid in disguise. But that’s a rant for another day. ” I think with your experience it would be useful to many people including myself.
    Regarding future tests, If you get a chance perhaps think of one yourself. Because so many of these tests are seriously flawed because the test designers are not autistic themselves, and or do not understand with enough depth the nature of autism.

    • musingsofanaspie

      Oh gosh, I have strong feelings about the quote you pulled out. :-) SPD gets used in ways that are sometimes useful (getting kids access to services sooner, as an interim step to an autism diagnosis) and in ways that seem detrimental (to avoid an “autism label” or because clinicians don’t think certain kids are “autistic enough” for a diagnosis).

      I would love to create a collaboratively designed test for something like SPD with the input of people here. I’m trying to think of how that could work and not be a gigantic mess of a project. But that’s a great idea!

      • Adair

        I vote we put out a call for a psychology student or students who need a research topic. We provide them with questions in a forum where we can easily test drive and offer feedback/refinement on each other’s questions. Then the student locates a group of not-us autistics and not-us neurotypicals and has them take the test in order to run statistics on which questions are correlated with which neurotype.

  5. merelyquirky

    Some of my spazziness (like routinely spilling my water b/c I tip glass/bottle too soon or too much) don’t fit well in the questions as phrased, but given that I can usually walk or chew gum no problem (just not at same time), I’d say my motor-abilities score still feels representative.

    And seeing these things quantified actually makes me feel better about it all. My self-assessment was about right, I don’t need to worry that being hyper-critical. Or that I’m doing what my family says about me– just being melodramatic, skewing results to get the answer I ‘want’, or whatever.

    General Modulation 22
    Over-Responsiveness 74
    Under-Responsiveness 12
    Sensory Seeking 31 +p
    Sensory Discrimination 52
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities 62
    Social and Emotional 69 +p
    Internal Regulation 25

    • musingsofanaspie

      “Or that I’m doing what my family says about me– just being melodramatic, skewing results to get the answer I ‘want’, or whatever.”

      I’m sorry to hear you’re getting told that. It’s not all in our heads! :-)

      • ciancurran

        yeah I’m getting the same thing too. I’m getting pretty good though at relying on myself when it comes to acceptance or understanding. Maybe this particular type of [unintentionally] disrespectful attitude is an ‘NT’ thing?!

  6. Rae

    Total: 275
    General Modulation: 21
    Over-Responsiveness: 62
    Under-Responsiveness: 8
    Sensory Seeking: 47
    Sensory Discrimination: 40
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 34
    Social and Emotional: 45
    Internal Regulation: 18

    It seemed like several of our numbers were pretty similar… Cool test. I’d be interested to know what the average NT person would score on something like this. I think I underscored myself in a few areas because of the vagueness of the wording (this clearly needs to be rewritten by someone who actually has sensory issues) but overall I thought it was pretty accurate and caused me to think about some things that I wouldn’t have really considered sensory processing issues before now. If I think of a new idea for a test, I’ll be sure to share! Happy moving! I was a Navy brat growing up and have lived in 16 houses/apartments over the past 24 years, so I send lots of good wishes and I hope you get settled in quickly. And speaking of not realizing you’re hungry…I need to get off the computer and get myself some dinner before I pass out or get super hangry. :P (Hangry = hungry + angry…my new favorite word and so applicable/relatable.)

    • musingsofanaspie

      There are some NT scores posted a little higher up for comparison. I was going to get my husband to take it but he was busy and we couldn’t find the time. And I agree about the test needing to be written by someone who actually experiences sensory issues.

      16 homes in 24 years sounds daunting! The getting settled in thing is getting easier with each move. It no longer feels quite as stressful but it’s still a lot of upset to my routines. :-)

      • Beth

        Did the test. Scores are:

        General Modulation: 12
        Over Responsiveness: 62
        Under responsiveness: 13
        Sensory seeking: 24
        Sensory Discrimination: 18
        Sensory Based Motor Abilities: 33
        Social and emotional: 54
        Internal regulation: 4
        Total: 210…I think (I did the math in my head)

        I think that my marks would have been higher if it were not for the above mentioned unclear and contradictory questions. I love showering but hate being splashed. I also wasn’t sure how to rate things so I gave allot of 2s. I figured that if it was a consistent problem but not crippling, no matter how strongly I felt about it, it didn’t warrant a four … but maybe it did? So I think I ended up under reporting a bit. Also the reactions that I have are not consistent with some of the reactions in the questions. They asked if scented products made me nauseous, and they seldom do, however scented products do make me irrationally angry, anxious, irritable, and sometimes give me a sore throat or a headache. So if the question about fragrance had included other reactions I would have given it a 4 instead of a 0.

        • musingsofanaspie

          however scented products do make me irrationally angry, anxious, irritable, and sometimes give me a sore throat or a headache.

          Exactly! Also, sometimes they make me dizzy but rarely nauseous. And I think answered that with a low number too. It would make more sense to word it something like “do you have a strong negative reaction to scented products?” with maybe a few representative examples in parentheses.

  7. RatherUnique

    You move out of apartments faster than light. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
    Grand Total: 406
    General Modulation : 28
    Over Responsiveness: 75
    Under Responsiveness: 19
    Sensory Seeking: 63
    Sensory Discrimination: 48
    Sensory Based Motor Skills: 82
    Social and Emotional: 72
    Internal Regulation: 21

    May movers not place your items for the house in storage and your items for storage in the house. Good Luck.

    • musingsofanaspie

      Fortunately nothing is going into storage this time so it won’t be a month late like it was two moves ago. That was a special circle of hell.

      I’m feeling like I scored really low based on the scores you all are getting.

  8. alexforshaw

    Hope your move goes well. xx

    General Modulation: 21
    Over Responsiveness: 59
    Under Responsiveness: 14
    Sensory Seeking: 23
    Sensory Discrimination: 43
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 49
    Social and Emotional: 70
    Internal Regulation: 15

    This is similar to what I expected. I experience more difficulties day to day with social situations and anxiety than I do with sensory problems. Having said that, I do find my attention is easily distracted, and I am also often heavy-handed and clumsy.

    • musingsofanaspie

      Thank you – it’s approaching quickly . . .

      I’m starting to wonder if the Social and Emotional category isn’t there as a sort of undercover screener for autism. We all pretty much scored in the upper third on that one, regardless of our other scores. And Kmarie’s NT friends scored a bit on the high side for some of the sensory stuff but in the lowest third for the Social/Emotional. Hmmmm . . . .

      • Adair

        That seems pretty likely, actually. And if they’re not using it as such, maybe they should!

        General Modulation: 17
        Over Responsiveness: 31
        Under Responsiveness: 18 and 1?
        Sensory Seeking: 28, 1 P and 1 ?
        Sensory Discrimination: 40 and 2 ?
        Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 37 and 1 ?
        Social and Emotional: 50
        Internal Regulation: 18 and 1 ?

        The ones I couldn’t answer were:
        “difficulty being able to smell dangerous smells, i.e., smoke, noxious/hazardous solvents, or if something is burning in the stove or oven” — This doesn’t happen very often, hopefully? Sometimes I suspect there’s a dangerous smell but other people say there isn’t, or I just don’t trust my senses enough or don’t know what to do about it so I hope it’s nothing. But in general my smell’s not very sensitive and I have memories of other people pointing out burning smells but none of me being the first to notice (but my memory’s not so good anyway). So I’d definitely be able to score the question if it was, “difficulty distinguishing between dangerous and non-dangerous smell situations,” but that would be in another section anyway.

        “seek out crashing and “squishing” activities” Literally don’t know what this is asking.

        “can’t identify objects by feel if your eyes are closed” I’ve never tried measuring my ability at this, and it seems like it would be hard to run a quick experiment because if I got an item to test it on, then I’d know what it was beforehand.

        “difficulty organizing and grouping things by categories, similarities, and/or differences” Too vague for me to understand. Now that I’m thinking more on it, does that mean something like my tendency to walk into a parking lot and exclaim that almost all the cars are white (happens with silver too), or that several are bright tropical colors mean I’m GOOD at this?

        “significant difficulty learning to type without looking at the keyboard” I learned to type in the first half of elementary school and don’t remember whether I started off having to look at the keyboard or not.

        “heart rate issues, including: unnecessary speeding, not slowing down when at rest, or not speeding up for tasks that require a higher heart rate” This would require that I (a) knew what heart rates are expected to do and (b) paid attention to mine all the time. Actually this whole section was pretty ambiguous, as you pointed out. I was sure about the temperature regulation and sleep ones, but the others seem like I’d need to be a doctor to evaluate.

        There were others that I felt were way too closely correlated. For instance,

        “bothered by “light touch”; someone lightly touching/rubbing your hand, face, leg or back”

        and

        “distressed by others touching you; would rather be the “toucher” than the “touchee”. May lead to difficulty “snuggling” with your partner”

        The second kind of implies the first, but is so much larger in scope that the first seems unimportant to me. And also implies NOT

        “love to touch and be touched, have to touch everything”

        A lot of these are change over time/change over context things. For instance, I had a hard time finding the place to order at a coffee shop I went to for the first time last Saturday, but I’m unlikely to have sensory discrimination problems like that at a place I’ve been to often. And I’m naturally clumsy, but in my late teens I loved to dance and learned to use my clumsiness and the unintended movements of my body as part of a larger intentional pattern of motion, the upshot of which is that I’m MUCH less likely to run into things these days.

        • musingsofanaspie

          “can’t identify objects by feel if your eyes are closed” I’ve never tried measuring my ability at this

          My thoughts exactly! This must be a common OT exercise or test, though, because I remember it being part of a sensory sensitivities DVD that I ranted about way back when. It seemed like a silly irrelevant thing to do then and still does.

          There is definitely some repetitiveness on the questions and that could skew the outcome if someone just happens to very over or under responsive in that particular area. Also agree that most people will not know how to answer the heart rate one based on general life experience. The only reason I was able to answer that with a 4 is that whenever I go to the doctor (very stressful situation for me) I have an elevated resting heart rate to the point that it gets remarked on.

  9. Cin Vhetin

    General Modulation: 15-17
    Over-Responsiveness: 33-34 (P 28-31)
    Under-responsiveness: 12 or 16–not sure how to score, because I can identify most foods being rotten by smell–just not milk, which always smells rotten to me.
    Sensory Seeking: 43 (P 60-61)
    Sensory Discrimination: 13-21 (P 14-23) out of 96, as I don’t drive
    Sensory based motor abilities: 16-28 (P 22-34)–I feel like I should count the older scores on this section, like my handwriting was atrocious until I found a type of handwriting I liked, and I worked to learn it on my own, and I started learning calligraphy practices.
    Social and Emotional: 50-60 (P 59-69)–the OCD type qualities question was hardest to answer, like the only thing I can think of is my food not touching, but except in very rare circumstances where I was planning to mix them later, I won’t eat the portions of food that touched each other. Also, for the finding/maintaining friendships, I have several neurodivergent friends and NT friends with neurodivergent friends other than me, which may have made that score lower.
    Internal Regulation: 13-16 (P 18-20) Hard to answer currently because I don’t know what the norm is, but easier to answer for previous because of hearing my mother complain about my lack of giving notice for needing to use the restroom and nausea. Also, for the temperature regulation question, I notice it’s different on my period. Normally I just radiate heat, but on my period, it’s more similar to a fever or to what I’ve heard of descriptions of menopause.

    Total: 195-235 (P 229-260) out of 552
    Parts of it were really hard either because I wasn’t sure where normal was, so I had to guess where I fell, or because I was looking at how things were before I worked on changing them, like the writing. And some of the questions were unclear on how to score–which to count more, number or severity of relevent symptoms/aspects. A lot of the previous was actually easier because I didn’t have to think about the norm because my mother identified how far from the norm I was.

    And because I have to tell someone, the misspelling of “enunciation” bothered me. Though I got to learn that “Annunciate” is a word.

    • musingsofanaspie

      There was another misspelling that bugged the heck out of me. Don’t remember what it was but it involved 2 t’s where there should have been one or the other way around, completely changing the meaning of the word. So I feel your pain. Also, yes, Annunciate is very different from enunciate. Unless you happen to be an angel. :-)

      Normally I just radiate heat, but on my period, it’s more similar to a fever or to what I’ve heard of descriptions of menopause.

      Same here. I’m a furnace a few days a month but am abnormally cold most of the rest of the time. I guess to truly answer accurately, we have to do some inference of not only what the question is literally asking but of the intent, which can be hard.

  10. Anna

    I couldn’t help myself, had to try. My results are:

    Total: 216
    General Modulation: 16
    Over Responsiveness: 35
    Under Responsiveness: 4
    Sensory Seeking : 37
    Sensory Discrimination: 30
    Sensory Motor Abilities: 33
    Social and Emotional: 53
    Internal regulation: 8

    I think the “total” number is useless. Total number of what, sensory weirdnesses? The other sums aren’t that useful either – for example, within each category there were a few where I scored high, namely the ones related to the senses that I am “big” on, whereas on all the questions the related to other senses I scored 0. So the numerical score depends on how many of one’s sensitivities are being asked about, and how severe those are. Some of the question were also a bit vague/ambiguous/unanswerable/illogical. The “social and emotional” section appears ASD-like.

    I think it is on purpose they have made it a checklist with a numerical scale for each question, and didn’t provide the option to add the points together – it is because they are not meant to be added together, it is perhaps meant more like a “map”, to make it easier for e.g. an occupational therapist to get an overview over which kind of SPD symptoms a person has and how severe they are. So perhaps the numerical aspect of the score (likely to get all the attention): like adding the numbers together, is not what it meant to be done with it, and it is perhaps not really a test at all.

    That said, I made it easier to add the scores up by pasting it into a spreadsheet. It is free for use, here: SPD Checklist (Google Drive – sign in not required). Please feel free to copy & use if for yourself (or edit. I am not planning to use it again).

    • musingsofanaspie

      Thank you for the spreadsheet – I’ve linked to it from within the post. :-)

      The numeric totals do seem rather useless, unless someone is at the very low end (indication of little to no atypical sensory processing) or the very high end (person in need of extensive accommodations to improve their quality of life). For those who fall in the middle, I think a color coded answer sheet would be more useful. Something like a slider that goes from red (very severe) to green (do not experience) that would create a visual chart of “hot spots” within each category. And then an option to group within each category from red to green so that like responses were grouped together. That way the person taking the test or an evaluator could quickly zero in the areas that need the most attention.

  11. wicked which

    Let me add just some more numbers of two diagnosed with Aspergers in their fifties, two adult children, more than 25 years of partnership:
    General modulation 22/28
    Over-responsiveness 68+1P/61+1P
    Under-responsiveness 9/14
    Sensory seeking 45+1P/38+2P
    Sensory discrimination 59/46
    Sensory-based motor abilities 34/58
    Social and emotional 82/81
    Internal regulation 21/21
    Total 338+2P/347+3P
    Even if these figures might not mean a lot because of adding apples and pears, it was fun for me seeing partner responding on the same piece of paper and trying to predict his answer.
    One of the questions I answered with ‘P’ was about car/air sickness: Learning not to get sick in those circumstances for me has always been a very conscious exercise about moving with the vehicle using my eyes, willfully using techniques for calming myself down including singing stupid children’s songs audible to others; that kept me breathing instead of getting into all sorts of convulsions. It just was more important to me in difficult circumstances not to loose it when in charge of my then small children as opposed to being visible/audible to others as being weird/mad/off; partner choose not to be remarked upon and I had to fetch him after that terrible flight from the airport’s first aid post, after having reported lost luggage and retrieved the car from a parking in driving rain with two toddlers that had been sick on the plane without being bothered about what others might have thought about them; once on the ground, they and I were fine whereas partner was taken off by first aid staff.
    I used more ‘P’s for thrill seeking because I don’t do that anymore in that physical sort of way as I did when young. Nowadays, these daredevil things are different, I’d rather explain to someone that I’m autistic (well, describing the symptoms in detail) without ever saying the ‘A’ word.

    • musingsofanaspie

      Your numbers are quite close. I think that taking this with a partner is a great exercise even in partnerships where only one person is on the spectrum. If nothing else, it could increase awareness of specific sensitivities.

      Reading your comment about the thrill seeking, I realized that I’m still a thrill seeker at heart, even though the opportunities are much less frequent now as a middle aged woman. ;-)

  12. JK

    “Because the odds are really high that a kid with concurrent diagnoses of SPD, ADHD, and ODD is really just an autistic kid in disguise. But that’s a rant for another day. . .”

    Please do write about this once you are re-settled. It’s a subject I’ve thought about a lot because i had several of those labels plus a few others over the years before finally being diagnosed with ASD/aspergers syndrome a couple of weeks ago. I finally feel comfortable with who I am and can start the process of understanding and accepting myself. I think improper or incomplete labelling can be devastating to self esteem, when the label doesn’t explain ones experiences or difficulties it can led to feeling like a failure.

    • EA

      I’m so glad you finally got an explanation that’s helpful for you. For you to feel so comfortable so quickly after being diagnosed says a lot about the power of these things. I, too, am eager for this issue of misdiagnosis to be addressed in greater depth because I have for two and a half years been a participant / observer in the school system, watching powerlessly as kids get wrong labels, or no help at all. It has been hard for me to accept the circumspect approach teachers feel they have to take.

      • JK

        Thank you, it was a massive relief. I had six months to study aspergers and autism before the assessment and so had time to think and reflect on it before hand. I was fortunate to have a very thorough assessment that followed NICE guidelines precisely so I can have confidence in the diagnosis. I have a lot of work to do on self acceptance, but already I can sometimes catch a negative/critical thought and tell myself “it’s ok not to be able to cope with X, Im doing fine”. For that alone correct diagnosis is very powerful.

        Sounds like your in a tough situation at school. It’s a shame it’s still like that many years after I left the system. I hope things improve – people like you caring must be a start.

  13. jo

    Thanks for this, I did it in a hurry, so just numbers rather than comments about the test. However, it is really interesting to see the variation in our difficulties.

    Total: 290
    General Modulation: 20
    Over Responsiveness: 60
    Under Responsiveness: 4
    Sensory Seeking : 32
    Sensory Discrimination: 53
    Sensory Motor Abilities: 59
    Social and Emotional: 56
    Internal regulation: 6

    (diagnosed ASD at 48yrs)

  14. Julia Clark

    Just got round to this:
    My scores:
    TOTAL: 299
    General Modulation: 15
    Over-Responsiveness: 61
    Under-Responsiveness: 8
    Sensory Seeking: 28
    Sensory Discrimination: 58
    Sensory-Based Motor Abilities: 54
    Social and Emotional: 56
    Internal Regulation: 19
    I found sensory discrimination the most contradictory. While I scored high on general clumsiness I am good at maths, maps and categorising. I think every category had items at both ends of the scale.

    With some of the internal regulation – I have a lot more problems than touched on here, and it has been suggested I have something called POTS – do you know anything about this?

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