It is hard to fill in the blanks about test scores without knowing more about the child's profile and the strengths and challenges in the classroom and daily life.
Looking at the WISC, I do have some initial observations and resulting questions.
The child has a TREMENDOUS amount of scatter between his Working memory score of 68 and Perceptual reasoning of 120. Even the differences between his other index scores are statistically significant. Given this, his full scale IQ score is meaningless and most likely underestimates his potential.
Working memory is quite low. It is very closely associated with a person's ability to hold on important information or input in memory long enough to manipulate and then do something with it (output). Even though he is quite smart - he has a big roadblock in this area. I am guessing that he often has a difficult time getting things done, processing directions and completing multi-step tasks.
His Verbal Comprehension is also much lower than his perceptual reasoning . Plus, there is much variation within the verbal index with sub-tests ranging from 8 to 4. The index of Verbal comprehension is ones ability to think and reason in words, perceptual reasoning is ones ability to think in pictures or non-verbal means. Even with PRI there is lots of variation - scores ranging from 8 to 16. He has some amazing strengths in this area, but some weaknesses as well.
How are his language skills? Was their a speech and language evaluation? His word reasoning on Wiat is also low - I'm sure there is a relationship. I'm surprised that listening comp and oral expression are so solid - I would ask more about this and what skills the test measures and under what conditions. Sometimes the conditions are so structured, that the "good" scores are not reflective of how the child would perform in the real world such as a classroom when there is more ambiguity.
Kids with wide variations among their cognitive and academic scores often have learning disabilities. While they have a ton of potential, the glitches and irregularities often play havoc unless the child learns compensatory strategies.
I'd like to know a bit more about this child. Are their concerns with his attention? How are his speech and language skills? How well does he organize himself and plan his approach to tasks? What is his pace compared to others? Does he have motor skill difficulties? Is he able to follow along in a fast paced conversation? What subjects does he succeed in? Which are difficult?
Who made the referral for the evaluation? What did the evaluator recommend? Does the child have an IEP in school and what are ther services.
Overall - there is reason to pay attention to this child. It appears that he is a bit complex. If you can share more info - we'd be better able to give you some ideas of what might be going on and give you questions that you should ask the evaluator.47960
Hi again, Lesley12. I'm glad you reposted in this group. As I mentioned before, I sense that your nephew is a strong visual-spatial, likely hands-on learner, who probably has attentional difficulties. At the very least, have your sister look at www.visualspatial.org In one of your other posts, you mentioned that an intern did the testing...that still should mean a more experienced psychologist oversaw the process. Was the evaluation done by the school, or by a private evaluator? I'd be curious if they came up with a diagnosis, and what recommendations they suggested.47961
Thanks for your suggestion, I'll send her that wedsite. The assessment was completed at school and the recommondations were: 1. Whenever and wherever possible, visual supports should be used to enhance learning and to reduce distration. 2. Preferential seating close to the teacher and away from the wondow as he requires gentle prompting to stay focused on a task. 3. To have a study buddy to help him with organization and clarification of what needs to be doe. These were the only three recommendations....nothing else47962
Thanks Michelle, I'll try to answer as many of your questions as I can. 1. His focus and attend does wander and he does come across as a child with attentional issues. However, no medical diagnosis. She's planning on taking this assessment to her Dr to further evaluate this concern. 2. No SLP assessment and one was not recommended at the parent /teacher meeting. Maybe this should be done? 3. Task planning and organization is very poor and very difficult for him...interesting point. 4. I don't know if he can follow along in a fast pace conversation...I'll check with my sister. 5. He enjoys math, and really dislikes reading, spelling and writing. 6. His classroom teacher made the referral because he was having trouble with letter sound association and beginning reading. He continues to have trouble in reading. 7. The IEP was started in Kindergarten and his assessment took place in grade three
Do you think he has a Learning Disability? Do you have any suggestions of what she can do with him at home to help? She's afraid his motivation will decrease if his frustration builds...and it's beginning to this year. Thanks Again 47963
Lesley, the fact this evaluation was conducted by a school explains why they didn't come up with a diagnosis of ADHD. (ADHD is a medical condition, and school personnel generally don't have clinical psychology credentials.) I'm glad to hear that your sister is going to follow up with a doctor. She might want to ask the pediatrician for a referral to a child psychiatrist or neuropsych, who are specialists in children's mental health issues.
The other thing to be aware of is that schools (unless you live in Texas) generally don't refer to dyslexia, but instead make references to things like "Reading Disorder" and "Disorder of Written Expression." It's quite common for children who have one issue, like ADHD, to have other learning disabilities. In your nephew's case, they really didn't delve into specific tests that could further identify a reading or writing problem (such as the GORT for reading or the TOWL for writing)...It seems like they just looked at "averages," but in your nephew's case, that's insufficient.
I know this is a lot of info at once, especially since you appear to be "relaying info" back and forth between your sister and us, but she should probably submit a written request to the school, and ask for an IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation) which is basically a "2nd opinion" at the school's expense. The evaluation that was done simply doesn't seem adequate. You can direct your sister to sites like www.concordspedpac.org to see what a sample IEE request letter might look like.
Once she really knows what her son is dealing with, then she can better work with the school to develop an approach that helps him...It seems like he should be a candidate for an IEP (Individual Education Plan), not just the few "recommended" accommodations that they mentioned.47965
Hi Lesley, I agree with Healthy, that a more formal diagnosis from a neuropsychologist would be very helpful. You said that his biggest challenges are in reading and writing - yet there was not an in depth evaluation in this area. Here is a link to show you what tests are often used in a full reading/literacy evaluation. http://www.concordspedpac.org/Whichtest.htm
While some of the subtests within the WIAT test reading skills (and overall he seems to be in the average range), I would want more information from more speicalized tests. A neuropsychologist could administer such tests.
I am not suprised he enjoys math - his non verbal skills are very good and these are the skills often associated with math. However - if he has difficulty with working memory, planning and organizing, this may cause difficulty with computation as things get more advanced. Something to keep an eye on.
I would look into attention issues. While no one test can rule in or out ADHD, often times kids with this condition score poorly on the WMI of the WISC. Your nephew's scores were very low - especially compared to other areas of cognitive ability. It is a red flag worth pursuing.
I do think a speech and language would be in order. His VCI was low in comparison to other sub tests - making me wonder if he has a language disability that is impacting both his attention and reading.
I would also recommend that you and your sister read a bit about executive functioning. These are the skills that we use to plan, organize, monitor our performance, come up with new approaches. Working Memory is embedded in these skills. Poor executive functioning make it hard for kids to juggle work, projects and independently learn within classrooms (and life!). Skills and strategies can and must be taught to help these students learn how to manage. Deficits in this area often point to ADHD, but it is possible to have Executive functioning challenges and not have ADHD (but not the other way around). These might be interesting: http://www.addconsults.com/articles/full.php3?id=1407 http://www.tourettesyndrome.net/ef_overview.htm http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/3153
I know we have thrown a lot of info at you. And, we keeping asking more questions! Here is an overview of the action plan I'd take if it were my son: 1. Get a more in-depth evaluation from an indpendent neuropsychologist and speech and language pathologists. You can pay for this privatly or request an IEE via the special ed process. WWW.wrightslaw.com will give you info about IEE's. 2. Meet with the child's pediatrician regarding attention issues. Try and get a referral to a pediatric developmental neurologist or pediatric psychiatrist specializing in ADHD and LD. 3. Become educated in the special ed process and laws. Many states offer parent training This site can put you in touch with local resources http://www.taalliance.org/. Spend some time on www.wrightslaw.com. THeir book "Emotions to Advocacy" is a must read. 4. Keep in touch. You'll have more and more questions and you learn more!47966
HUMMM! I am goign to look into these sites for my son. He was diagnosed with ADD and I might have another with ADHD. I have my hands very full. We don't have and IEP yet. They want him to be so far behind that it shows he really needs one. Moving into 3rd in the fall might create this gap that they want. I am looking into food changes and herbs to help calm and sleep at night and stuff like fish oil , Omeg3, oh yeah no food dies too. LOL I am so confused. But I am goign to take a look at the sites so thanks!47968
nederfamily, it's not a matter of "creating a gap that they want" ~ if your son is struggling, and you believe it could be more than just an attentional issue, then you should submit a written request for a comprehensive educational evaluation now. The sooner remediation is begun, if he has a learning disability, the better the outcome is likely to be. Rather than confuse Lesley12's situation with your sons, please start a new discussion with background about their issues, and then we can give you specific suggestions, too.47969
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