The evaluation began. First the evaluator and I had a detailed interview and went through all of my son’s history and records. Then I was asked to leave the room so testing could begin.
IQ testing was performed. Ones of the tests she chose to do was the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children– IV (WISC-IV). In addition to doing the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children- IV (WISC-IV) she also chose to do other forms of IQ testing. The WISC-IV is a standardized test, which measures the full scale intelligence quotient and is a heavily language-based test. Since my son was suspected of having a language-based learning disability his overall full IQ score may not be an accurate reflection of his overall cognitive abilities using this test measure. Therefore, his performance on this particular test although a wonderful measure may be detracted from. In any event, language disability or not he did manage to still score in the average range.
However, with that said, she also chose to administer two other IQ tests. One was the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test which offers a quick yet relatively thorough estimate of verbal and nonverbal intelligence. The other was the Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence Test which was a language-free assessment of nonverbal intelligence and reasoning abilities. On these two tests he scored above average.
Then as a another measure the evaluator can also take into consideration the WISC–IV General Ability Index also known as the “GAI” which is a summary score that is less sensitive to the influence of working memory and processing speed since children with learning disabilities are often impaired in these areas. My son’s GAI score was more in correlation with a child functioning in the high average to above average range. And this was more in line with the two non-verbal IQ testing which placed him with an above average IQ.
For those of you who don’t know IQ testing is important for the fact of diagnosing a child with a learning disability because the the aim of the test is to measure the intelligence of a child, which is an indication of the child’s true potential. However, regardless of how high one’s IQ is this does not guarantee they will have success in life.
Jumping ahead a bit when the doctor explained her results she said, “Your son has an Albert Einstein profile.” Was she just trying to make me feel good? But then she explained that he was gifted in some areas while having a severe learning disability in other’s.
Certainly, I had never claimed my son was gifted nevertheless to compare him to Albert Einstein. I just knew my kid was smart and had potential. That was my claim. That was my fight.
Many years later I came across research that stated of the four indices, on the WISC-IV the Verbal Comprehension Index is clearly the best indicator of giftedness and the Perceptual Reasoning Index is the second best.” I also learned many times gifted children are NOT fast processors. Gifted children also may not perform well on short term memory tests and tasks and show a preference towards more meaningful test measures and materials. It made sense. I mean wasn’t it smarter to take time to process your thoughts.
It was a whole other concept that I think the public schools have a problem comprehending. In other words a child can be gifted or smart with a learning disability.
And the six most prudent sections of the WISC-IV to determine giftedness or higher end cognitive abilities are the subtests for Vocabulary, Similarities, Comprehension, Matrix Reasoning, Picture Concepts and Block Design.
My son scored in these percentiles on those particular subtests: Vocabulary sixty third percentile, Similarities thirty seventh percentile, Comprehension ninety first percentile, Matrix Reasoning fiftieth percentile, Picture Concepts seventy fifth percentile and Block Design eighty fourth percentile.
Next the Jordon Left-Right test was administered which was a test that assesses letter, number and word reversals. My son scored very poorly on this test leaving him in the ninth percentile.
Another assessment that was also administered was the Bender Motor Gesalt Test which is used to evaluate visual-motor functioning and visual perception skills and can also be used to identify possible organic brain damage and the degree of maturation of the nervous system. My son scored in the first percentile.
She also did the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration which screens for visual-motor deficits that can lead to learning, neuropsychological, and behavior problems. My son scored in the fifty fifth percentile.
Then she had my son complete the Draw a Person Test which is used to elicit information about the child’s anxieties, impulses, and overall personality. It indicated he was impulsive, had perseverative behavior tendencies, disorganized, assertive, and was gregariousness in relating to others.
The next test was the Halstead_Reitan Psychological Test Battery which is used to determining functioning of the nervous system and brain to process and interpret information received through the senses. He was “seriously impaired” in three areas. The first was the Speech-sounds Perception Test which measures the child’s ability to match a spoken sound to the correct similar printed sounds. The second was the Seashore Rhythm Test which evaluates auditory attention and concentration, and the ability to discriminate between non-verbal sounds. The third was the Trail making test, part B which measures executive functioning control.
She also did the Assessment of Lateral Dominance. He was found to be dominant right handed for writing and left eyed. This mixed dominance is frequently found in children with learning disabilities and causes directional confusion in reading and writing. They also often display reversal of letters, numbers, and sequences, especially at an early age. They often have problems with the mechanics of writing such as punctuation and spelling although the content of the writing may be good. They frequently display various learning style characteristics which may be problematic in a conventional classroom situation.
The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test was also administered which tests receptive vocabulary achievement and verbal ability. My son scored in the seventy seventh percentile.
The next assessment she did was the Expressive Vocabulary Test which measures expressive vocabulary and word retrieval. My son scored in the thirteenth percentile.
The last test she completed was the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (AKA as C-TOPP) which is used to identify children who need help in developing phonological skills. The Phonological Awareness portions tests the child’s awareness and access to the phonological structure of oral language. My son scored in the twenty first percentile. The Phonological Memory test measures the child’s ability to code information phonologically for temporary storage in working or short-term memory. My son scored in the eighth percentile. Lastly was the Rapid Naming portion of the test that measures the child’s word retrieval and phonological information from long-term memory, as well as the ability to execute a sequence of operations quickly and repeatedly.
After the testing was scored and the report was completed she formally diagnosed my son with Double Deficit Dyslexia, Disorder of Written Expression and Phonological Disorder along with his already diagnosis’ of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Integration Disorder.
It is not uncommon to have co-morbid diagnosis’ when you have a child with learning disabilities.
Strange but true it was a VERY HAPPY day in my life. My longtime suspicions were confirmed. I wasn’t crazy. It was actually a very big relief. My kid had Dyslexia!
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT