During the time that Aaron was in school, we were already exploring what several agencies might have to offer for his future. We worked with Vocational Rehab for awhile to see if Aaron would meet their criteria for services. They did a great job but their program really wasn’t what Aaron needed. As part of the process with Voc Rehab, Aaron had to undergo a type of psychological testing. He had been given quite a few psych evals over the years and so I wasn’t at all concerned about it. Little did I know.
We entered the psychologist’s office and the receptionist handed us the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test. I expected someone on the staff to usher Aaron to a room and begin administering the test. Instead, I was told that Aaron would take the test by himself! They obviously knew nothing about Aaron. I told them that this was impossible, so they handed me a tape recorder and told me that the test questions were on the tape – so Aaron could listen to each question out loud, still by himself. And still impossible, I told them. So I told them that even though Aaron could read quite well he would still need the test administered to him orally by a person who could help keep him on track. They were totally unprepared for that, so they informed me that I could give him the test. I was shocked. “His mother can give him this test?” I asked. They said yes, so they led us to the test room – down 3 flights, ALONE, in the basement area with a door that led outside to a busy street. They were going to have Aaron come down to that room by himself to take this test – a test that had over 600 questions!! I was not happy. I later learned from my good friend, Dr. Athalene McNay, that this test should never had been given to Aaron in the first place, by anyone. Even the web site tells you that.
And so we began the long, drawn-out test. I would ask the question out loud and Aaron would blacken the correct answer. I didn’t offer any help – until we started coming to questions that Aaron took literally and would have painted him in a very questionable light. For example, one question said: I like men. Aaron was getting ready to circle yes when I stopped him. How do I explain this to him, I thought? I told him not to circle yes yet and he said, “Well, why not? I like Dad!” Oh brother! So I said, “This means that you like men like you would like a girlfriend.” He looked at me like I had three eyes, and then with great disgust said, “That’s STUPID!!” There were others – one statement said: I smell funny odors. Again, Aaron would have circled yes, saying to me, “I smell skunks!” On and on it went. After sitting there for over 2 hours we were only a little over half-way through. He was very tired and ready to go home when we were called up to his actual doctor visit. I met with the doctor first, voiced my concerns and frustrations, and was met with a patronizing lecture by this doctor as he slouched in a chair and swung his jeans-clad leg over the arm of the chair. Then Aaron met with him by himself. I would love to have heard that conversation! Afterwards, we had to go BACK downstairs and finish the test. UGH! It was a long and frustrating day – and I knew that this test wouldn’t show much at all of any validity about Aaron.
At supper that night, Gary and I were talking about the day but didn’t want to further frustrate or question Aaron. Finally I asked Aaron, “So, what did the doctor talk to you about?” Aaron rolled his eyes and said, “He told me to repeat some words after him.” “Really? What words?” I asked. Aaron said, “He told me to say apple, onion, nut.” “So what did you say?” I asked. And with a very exasperated sigh, Aaron replied, “I said apple, onion, nut…………you’re a NUT!!” We had to hide our delight but we were thinking – YES, YES, YES!!!!!! Touche, Aaron!!