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Could anyone help me understand IQ (DAS test) and WIAT testing?


Terabith
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Catherine is 5.5. She was tested by OT, ST, and the developmental pediatrician. Based on those results, the developmental pediatrician wanted to diagnose her with Aspergers. I requested that she be given the ADOS as well as IQ and achievement, because that did not seem to me to be an accurate dx, and I was seeing some major difficulties with academic work in comparison to her intelligence.

 

When she was three, she was given the Stanford Binet and tested at i40. On the DAS-II (early years battery- upper form), she tested at 120. Her "special nonverbal composite" was 106 (66th percentile), her verbal ability was 136. (99th percentile, and the psychologist thought that might have been the ceiling. He had never seen a score that high.) On the spatial ability test, she scored 100. The way this test is computed, there are three main composites (verbal, nonverbal, and spatial) as opposed to the two on most other IQ tests. The psychologist said that this weighting on nonverbal type activities might account for the significantly lower IQ than on the Stanford Binet.

 

In terms of core subtests:

 

Verbal Comprehension: Standard score 67, 96th percentile

Naming vocabulary: Standard score 75, 99th percentile

Picture similarities: standard score 64, 92nd percentile

Matrices: Standard score 48, 46th percentile

Pattern Construction: standard score 54, 66th percentile

Copying: Standard score 46, 34th percentile

 

Diagnostic Composite/ Clusters

Working Memory: standard score 94, 34th percentile

processing speed: standard score 117, 87th percentile

 

Diagnostic Subtests:

Recall of sequential order: standard score 62, 88th percentile

Recall of digits backwards: standard score 31, 3rd percentile

Speed of Information Processing: standard score 63, 90th percentile

Rapid Naming: Standard score 55, 69th percentile

 

They did say that she had some significant scatter in abilities. (Well, duh.)

 

On the WIAT, her total achievement was 106.

 

Oral Language: Standard score 121, 92nd percentile

Listening Comprehension: standard score 122, 93rd percentile

Oral expression: standard score 114, 82nd percentile

Early reading skills: standard score 104, 61st percentile

Written expression: standard score 99, 47th percentile

alphabet writing fluency: Standard score 92, 30th percentile

Spelling: standard score 104, 61st percentile

Math overall: standard score 97, 42nd percentile

Math problem solving: 110, 75th percentile

Numerical Operations: 86, 18th percentile

 

They said that while they would have expected her achievement would be much higher, based on her IQ, that she is still within the normal limits, and so she would not qualify for any help. The suggestions involved looking carefully at different schools, therapy for anxiety and social skills, maybe some OT for sensory, and consider medication for the anxiety. They don't see fine motor problems, but it seems to me like they are pretty significant. They pushed the importance of an enriching environment. I don't think they see how enriched an environment she has, despite my attempts to describe it. That also does not show the amount of work we have put into getting her early reading skills up to 104. We have worked doggedly at it for a year now. This is a kid who knew all her upper and lower case letters and sounds at 18 months and has had decent phonemic awareness since she was two.

 

To me, this SEEMS like some pretty big discrepancies indicative of a learning disability. She has struggled with all academic skills, and is starting to develop a poor self concept about it. (All my friends can write their names. They can read. My sister can read. Why can't I read real books?)

 

While the suggestions they gave were good, they don't give me a lot of help in how to teach this kid. They kept saying she looked like she might in the future have a nonverbal learning disability, but that she was too young for any sort of dx, and she was still in the average range. They didin't say, "What are you worried about?" But I got the impression that that is what the schools would say, and that maybe that was what they were thinking about.

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Well, I am not sure I can be of much help. I keep rereading your post and I am not sure what you are asking. My son, also 5, just took the DAS test as well. He scored just as high on the verbal etc etc. He also topped out the test in all verbal subtests. it's can't be that unusual, right?

 

My son gets speech therapy, OT and PT and has since he was 15 months old. THis is due to motor issues. He has a significant motor delay and is usually in the 5th percentile in motor tests etc. There is no concern about spectrum issues. He gets services through the school district because in NY homeschool students are eligible for services for free, like any public school student. He was eval'd last month because in NY all students who get special ed services have to have a three year evaluation to make sure they are still eligible for services.

 

So, I also expressed some concern about learning problems. My son has been working hard to learn to read and we have seen some stagnation. Last year he was seen by a ped. neurologist who declined to make any diagnosis because my son is just too young.

 

The school psych was actually very, very helpful. She was very open to my concern about my son's reading issues as well as my concern about other learning problems. Part of that was because the neurologist said that the psych evals, over the years, might give some clues as to what is going on with my son.

 

So, one thing the psych told me is that high scores don't translate to easy reading. She says she has to explain that to parents all the time. It is not unusual for kids to have very high verbal scores and have trouble learning to read. She also said that she was not willing to say that there were no learning problems just because my son is so young. It will take time for any issues to really show themselves. For example, he has expressed frustration with his reading skill but many kids his age don't even know all their letters, much less the sounds.

 

She also said that very often bright kids with good verbal skills find begining readers plain boring. My son doesn't want to read "the fat cat sat on a mat'. He wants to read The Hobbit all by himself. It is frustrating for him. I am sure your daughter finds it frustrating as well

 

My son had a few suprises. His visual processing skills were dead average. That was a surprise because everything else was in the high 90s. But, it's hardly going to get professionals concerned, kwim? I was also told that as he gets older it will get easier to tease out any learning problems.

 

So, I am not sure what I have to share is really helpful. I do understand your frustration. It is so painful to see our kids struggle and not know why or how to fix things. It soundsl like you are doing a great job and created an environment that is working for her to blossom. There is every chance that even if you did get more information the only way to help her would be to do 'more of the same'

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She just doesn't seem to be able to learn ANY academic content. She doesn't know our phone number, which we have gone over for TWO YEARS. She doesn't know the months of the year, the seven continents, and she has a hard time with counting above ten. She can't write her name. She can't spell it without singing it.

 

I don't know. It's not just limited to one thing like reading. It is a consistent pattern. She's in the average range overall, but in several areas she is below avg. Coupled with being so very smart, it's just so frustrating, for both of us. She has severe anxiety and is so frustrated, she is pretty oppositional about school stuff.

 

Does anyone have any ideas how to teach this kid? How do you improve working memory, for instance?

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Again, I don't know what to tell you. My 5, almost 6, year old doesn't know our phone number, the months of the year or the days of the week. Well, he knows the days but can't remember their order or what tomorrow is etc. He can now spell his name. He's a little shaky on the order of the seasons. He knows the name of his town but he doesn't understand the relation of the town to the state or the country. When asked what town he lives in he is just as likely to say our street name. I am guessing I could teach him to maybe recite the continents but there would be no actual understanding of what that really means.

 

There are def kids who know such things at this age but lots of very bright kids don't and it doesn't stand out.

 

I am not trying to dismiss or minimize your concerns. I am trying to say that when they tell you that she is young and it makes it hard for them to know how best to help her, they are prob telling you the truth. It doesn't lessen your frustration or concern though, does it.

 

Maybe you can focus less on what is challenging to her and focus more on helping her cope with her anxiety and frustration. Maybe if that part of her life were easier she would have more resources to devote to academics? I only say that because that is what we do for my son. he has to devote such a lot of resources to just not falling out of his chair or not biting his tongue that it gets in the way of his learning. Once we make those things easier he can focus on what we want him to learn.

 

 

 

She is lucky to have such

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