How to know if you're retarded

Postby cnidocyte » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:32 am

When I first meet people they often think I'm "simple" as in mildly retarded, they don't say it to my face but friends and family members have told me a few times that someone asked them if I was retarded after I first met them. My brothers have told me countless times that its the way I act and talk that gives people the impression that I'm mildly retarded. All my family members and just about everyone I know who made a statement about my intelligence tells me that I'm very smart and highly intelligent and all that but the way they deal with me makes me suspect that their words don't coincide with their opinions. These observations must have been seeping in over the years cuz when I think about myself nowadays I can't help but view myself as "simple". I view myself more like a child than someone in his early 20's. What I'm wondering is how would one know they are retarded if that were the case? Firstly when I say retarded I mean having a lower degree of overall mental capabilities than the average human.

Some abnormalities of mine which are blatantly obvious to others, are invisible to me. I find I view myself with far less objectivity than I would any other person and as a result I don't see the things that give others the impression that I'm retarded i.e. the fact that I speak very slowly with a real deep voice while others I can spot i.e. the fact I don't generate rapport with people like I see others do. I was diagnosed with high functioning autism a few years ago and this explains things far better than me being retarded could but I still can't get rid of this self image. Maybe if I confront my subconscious with incontrovertible evidence that I can't be retarded, it will seep in. How does one measure their intelligence though?
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Postby Unreasonable » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:07 am

Well cnidocyte, usually people like to measure their intelligence by comparing it to other people.. This is widely known as an IQ test, which stands for Intelligence Quotient. This simply means what I just said, it is not a value of intelligence, but rather a measure of how you compare to others who have taken the test.

There are many free IQ tests online, but beware, they are usually not very accurate. I have taken several in one day just to check this, and the scores I got differed by around 30 points, which is significant. But if you find one that seems more or less legitimate, I recommend checking it out, even if just for fun.

But just IQ alone can not determine what you are asking..

The word "retarded" literally means "slow" or "lagging" (as I understand).. So is that how you are using the word? Meaning, slow of mind?

My suggestion is this: First, check for yourself your ability to understand, try to read difficult articles or textbooks, or some scientific or philosophical journals.. If you can understand even the most weirdly written stuff: that would be a good sign :)

Then, check how quickly you think on your feet, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you. Do random tests, for example: Ask them to throw in a "curve ball" in a conversation.. something like: You - "That was a good movie :)", Them - "Just kidding, I hated it, why'd you like it at all?", You - (taken aback by this) "*insert your response here*".. see what I mean by thinking on your feet? There could be other stuff too like: Them - "really? you like that band too? What's your favourite song by them having (name here) in the background of the music video?".. could be other unexpected things that make you think on your feet, like random math questions like: Them - "Hmm, the meal cost $15.95, whats the 15% tip?", and if you can answer any of these and more fast enough, you will know that you are an average thinker in speed :)

But even if you prove to yourself that your mental abilities are not below average in understanding, memory or speed, there is more to check..

Check your emotions.. Do you have fairly good control over your emotions? Are they appropriate for certain situations, or are they out of place? How often are you emotional and how often are you calm and collected? What kinds of emotions do you most often experience? Are your emotions similar to those around you or not (there are ways to tell)? etc etc..

Naturally the biggest question here is, even if you check and test all these things, and everything is fine, then still, why do people think you are mildly retarded?

Several ways I can suggest testing this:
1 - When you are alone, look in the mirror and pretend you are looking at a person you just met, don't speak, just look. Act as you would when you meet someone new... try (and I know it's hard) to imagine that is not you at all, to forget that it is just a reflection, use your imagination... Then after a moment think to yourself.. What would I think of this person if I saw him for the first time?...... The answer might surprise you, if you pay attention and forget completely that it is you :)

2 - Pay close attention to what goes through your head when you meet new people, and I mean REally close attention, still have your conversation and do what you normally do, but pay attention to what you are thinking.... Not only that though, but also pay attention to what you are feeling.... And what you think of the person, and what you think they think of you, and what you think of yourself, and what you think they think about themselves.. While you two are talking......... Turns out that thoughts and feelings come out in an obvious way through the tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. You may not be aware of it, but your subconsciousness will tell you the truth, just pay attention to how you feel about the encounter.... If you need practice, simply learn to pay attention to how you feel toward things, but don't let feeling steer your actions, let them be simply advisers, but not rulers :)

I had more to say, but I have a tendency of leaving enormously long posts, so I will stop here.... I hope what I said will help, if not, perhaps there are other sources out there. If there are any problems still, you can post, and I will try to help when I see your post (tho I am not on here every day).
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Postby Anarchywolf46 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:36 am

I've always wondered myself if I'm "retarded", but don't really care enough to get checked because it means nothing to my person so long as I can function with what I need to. It's funny that you mention slow speech, retarded does mean to slow or hold back, but rate of speech I would not think could be evidence of ones IQ. I speak slow because I was taught to annunciate my words. My school thought my long island accent was a speech impediment and in turn they created one for me to where I cannot talk fast without slurring all my words.

My way to measure intelligence is ones ability to adapt to a new situation. Some of the "smartest" people I've met are dumbfounded when hit with something new and have no time to adjust. In daily life everyone is met with new situations to react to, many of them different each time. To look at an exaggerated example, it can be illustrated through simple math with units:
1 flibber = 36 flabbers
How many flabbers are in 7.5 flabbers?

To some it may be obvious, but by a foreign set of units, most people get stuck at trying to work through what the question is asking. The exact same question can be asked using common (to an american) units:
1 yard = 36 inches
How many inches are in 7.5 yards?

Chances are I would not even have to tell many people that 1 yard is 36 inches because it is just known and memorized without understanding even your own process to get from a to b. Most attempts people create to measure an IQ that I have come across work on the same principle, take something basic and make it look foreign then see if a person can still rationalize it. Then of course, it is compared to others and I suppose it is scaled... not all to sure how the scoring works on it. I've never taken an official IQ test and doubt I would "match up" to the "norm", but I am still considered to be smart... and obsessive, but we all obsess over something, it's always nice to have something to fixate on.

I hope that others thinking you are "simple" does not cause too much of a problem, I find it intelligent that you question your own intelligence, much as a sane man questions his sanity. To be able to question your own attributes, I believe, is a true strength. The "simple" do not question themselves, but signs of intelligence show through the most when someone or something questions its very self.

I'll cut it off there without diving into personal philosophies too much and say that I hope you find what you are looking for. If I were you, I would start by trying to find a definition for intelligence, I doubt you will find one true definition but instead find many that in parts or whole would define you as an intelligent being, perhaps even a few matches on being a genius.
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