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SilverBrook

Evals to request for 16 year old?

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Hi,

 

We are getting ready for a nueropysc appointment and would love to have recommendations for testing for suspected dyslexia. I have tried to search and did see the norms are different for a 16 year old, I really appreciate that people posted that, I had no idea. It makes me wonder what else I don't know.

 

I have to admit acronyms are diificult for me and when I look at previous posts, it is quite confusing. I am guessing an IQ test , is that WISC? And some sort of receptive/expressive verbal/ visual/ reading test to see the discrepency between that and IQ? Any specific tests I should request? All help is appreciated!

Edited by Silver Brook

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At 16, she’s going to be bumped to adult norms for a lot of tests. Probably WAIS. Stanford Binet is the other big IQ option. I’m not sure that one is better than the other. I do think Woodcock Johnson is much more academic of an IQ test. My daughter who scored 130-140 on WISC and SB scored 80 on WJ. Even the evaluator was like that’s not right. ALL the sub tests on the WJ involved a lot of processing type stuff that my kid can’t do.

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I don't know much of anything about dyslexia. But when we had then 17 yo DS evaluated for autism the psychologist used the WAIS-IV (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) to measure his cognitive abilities. It can be used on people 16 and older. The WAIS-IV (like similar tests, I believe) provides scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed. There are subtests within each of those four categories:

 

Verbal comprehension - Similarities, Vocabulary, Information

Perceptual reasoning - Block Design, Matrix Reasoning, Visual Puzzles

Working memory - Digit Span, Arithmetic

Processing speed - Symbol Search, Coding

 

The evaluator uses the scores from each category/subtest to compute IQ and GAI (general ability index) scores. My understanding is that it's discrepancies between category (and perhaps subtest?) scores that indicate a learning disability.

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The neuropsychologist will choose which tests to use based on which they feel are most appropriate for your child and the referral question. They really do not expect parents to know anything about these tests walking in, or to be involved in choosing which tests to use. That said, it's awesome that you're taking the time to understand them ahead of time - you'll be in a great position to ask intelligent questions and make sure you're getting the most out of the evaluation!

 

The assessment will include an IQ test, and they almost always start with this piece. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC; age 6-16) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS; 16+) are most common IQ tests, but there are a number of others as well (Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive, Stanford Binet). 

 

They will also have him take a full academic achievement test (reading, writing, spelling, math, possibly oral language). The most common tests for this are the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-3), Woodcock-Johnson Achievement (WJ-IV-Ach), and Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA-3). 

 

Based on the results of these two tests and the concerns you present, they will use other tests to look more deeply into areas where he struggles. For example, the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2) tests phonological processing and rapid naming, which can be impaired in dyslexia. The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery VMI) is used when there are concerns about fine motor skills and handwriting. They may do some further testing around memory or language, and/or a more thorough reading assessment.

 

You are absolutely right that they traditionally have looked at the discrepancy between IQ and achievement to diagnose learning disabilities. In the last few years, psychologists have shifted toward looking at the cognitive processes that underlie learning disabilities when making diagnoses, and neuropsychologists are especially well-educated and trained in this area. They will be looking for processing deficits in the areas that underlie reading achievement (phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, etc.) along with evidence that he struggles with reading itself. Most of these areas are included in the IQ and/or achievement tests, but some may require extra testing.

 

I know that this is a lot, and that I've just thrown even more acronyms and technical terms at you. Sorry!  

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I would encourage you to get some tests of higher level language skills as there can be "hidden" weaknesses in those even while the person's speech seems fine. We've had some posters on this forum whose children fell into that category. A speech & language pathologist might have a better selection of language assessments and would definitely be cheaper than using a neuropsych for this type of testing.

 

Some tests to ask about when calling around to SLP's: the CELF Metalinguistics, the Social Language Development Test-Adolescent, the Test of Narrative Language (norms only go to 15 years 11 months but it can still be used out-of-level as a screening tool), and some of the subtests on the CASL.

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I would encourage you to get some tests of higher level language skills as there can be "hidden" weaknesses in those even while the person's speech seems fine. We've had some posters on this forum whose children fell into that category. A speech & language pathologist might have a better selection of language assessments and would definitely be cheaper than using a neuropsych for this type of testing.

 

Some tests to ask about when calling around to SLP's: the CELF Metalinguistics, the Social Language Development Test-Adolescent, the Test of Narrative Language (norms only go to 15 years 11 months but it can still be used out-of-level as a screening tool), and some of the subtests on the CASL.

:iagree: That would be me she's talking about, lol!

 

If the TONL or Social language tests come back with issues, then maybe the TOPS-2 as well.

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