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NEWBIE--JUST DIAGNOSED with huge Verbal/ Performance Discrep

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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48
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Posted Jul 07, 2005 at 8:21:13 PM
Subject: NEWBIE--JUST DIAGNOSED with huge Verbal/ Performance Discrep

I am a 21 year old female college student who has just been diagnosed with NVLD as well as a reading disorder (I have no trouble with decoding but comprehension is an issue and thus slows me down tremendously). I have always been considered a good student because my family espouses a very serious attitude towards education and, ironically, partially because of my weaknesses. I have always had a fragile self esteem and thus craved recognition from teachers and peers for academic achievement and had always been preoccupied with grades. However, neither school (especially English and history) nor social relationships ever came easily to me and I had never had any time for anything besides homework. The lack of interests as well as ignorance of popular culture had further aggravated my social issues and lack of non-school experiences had thwarted my maturation and made me abnormally dependent upon family. My biggest academic problems are slow thinking processes coupled with perfectionism and lack of internal organization and thus a necessity for an external in-built one. I also have a super hard time finding my way due to poor visual memory: I memorize one way to get to a distination but if I accidently exit from a different side, etc. I am lostTimed tests thus had always been difficult, but I have managed to cope. I also can't draw for my life due to poor visual memory. In addition, I have anxiety and take Zoloft. I guess all of these are consistent with my diagnosis. I am also a preemie (born at the end of 33rd week weighing 3lbs 15.5 oz in severe respiratory distress) and I guess that's the source of my difficulties. I guess I am looking for a pep talk but do you trully think I have an LD and NVLD in particular.

Here are my test results:

WAIS III

VCI--145
WMI--109
POI--71
PSI--79

Vocabulary--18

Similarities--19

Information--15

Arithmetic--13

Digit Span--11

Letter-Number Seq--11

Picture Completion--2 timed/5 untimed

Block Design--5 timed/6 untimed

Matrix Reasoning--10 (my examiner pushed me to give an answer faster but I generally tried to take as much time as I needed)

Coding--5

Symbol Search--7 (because of perfectionism double check mentality but I can't explain it to anyone)

(Comprehension, Object Assembly and Picture Arrangement weren't administered).


Woodcock Johnson Achievement 3 timed--atrocious given decent school grades

College Norms:

Math Fluency--100

Reading Fluency--83

Writing Fluency--86

Word Attack--89

Calculations--101

age norms are in the 90s

(examiner discontinued my WJ math test since this was the last test she gave me and I was doing fine, she saw no need to continue. I don't know if that affected my math score)

Nelson Denny Reading Test--Form H timed

abysmal--161 below 1% ile (need to reread multiple times to comprehend)

Weschsler Memory Scale III ed.

Prose Passages Immediate Recall--7

" ---" Delayed Recall--6

(tended to add in info that made sense but was not presented when forgot )


California Verbal Learning Test (memory for words heard) really abysmal despite multiple trials anywhere from --.5 to -2 SDs.

So what do you guys think?

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Ronnie
Joined Jul 08, 2005
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It is obvious. You have an aquired brain injury. Did anyone ever tell you that or even say that they suspect it?

There is rehab available. and there is much better treatment than zoloft for your "anxiety" You have been misdiagnosed. for sure.

You have processing problems and a poorly trained shrink (that a contradiction in terms. They are all poorly trained) will screw up that dx everytime. Neuro-feedback would improve things in about 20 treatments.

I bet that certain visual and auditory situations trigger your anxiety attacks. Zoloft simply masks the symptoms and it is a dangerous drug with many side effects.

Your neuro psych is typical of a developmental brain injury. Did your mother drink and smoke while she was pregnant?

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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No, my mother never smoked or drank. However, she had a difficult pregnancy with me (as I understand there was always a threat of prematurity) and as I mentioned in the previous post, due to prolonged labor on 33rd week, I was born in a severe respiratory distress (never cried at birth, etc) and had to be ventilated for 15 hours. Probably, as a consequence, I have a weak right side (leg and hand with leg being the most severe). In particular, my right leg is shorter than left and I have a tight heel cord which create a slight limp.

I also don't think Zoloft is the solution to my anxiety. Furthermore, I've just noticed that it makes thinking slightly more difficult. Although I definitely have psych issues--no doubt, I believe that part of what drs call anxiety is some physical problem (maybe heart--I know I sound crazy). I have been having shortness of breath and chest pain episodes that are accompanied with dizziness and fatigue at their peak and that last for days at a time since I was 9. However, multiple diagnostic tests done repeatedly have all been normal, and the general consensus is that they are a component of my anxiety. Furthermore, my psychiatrist now wants to put me on a different med. because she thinks Zoloft is not working. I really dread the new med and consequently the upcoming appointment.

I understand I sound hypocondriac but I just feel a need to vent my feelings on this anonymous public forum. I am afraid Zoloft would damage my cognitive function, but I really don't know what to do. My parents, although aren't thrilled with my being medicated, feel that my anxiety is severe and warrants treatment.

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Ronnie
Joined Jul 08, 2005
Posts: 3

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You don't sound like hypochondriac. You sound like someone whose procesing problems are causing the anxiety. I would also bet that you sometimes have panic attacks.

A shrink onnce told me that the most dangerous thing in the world is a psychiatrist with a presription pad.

You can treat your anxiety with relaxation and by consciencely changing your thought patterns. You need to know that worry will not make things better nor will it prevent bad things from happening. Meds may help you to achieve that to some degree because it will change your thinking patterns but this is something you can do yourself without a shrink.

Most shrinks really suck.

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TammyCat
Joined Aug 04, 2005
Posts: 38

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Quote 408ab28229="Ronnie":

You don't sound like hypochondriac. You sound like someone whose procesing problems are causing the anxiety. I would also bet that you sometimes have panic attacks.

Quote 408ab28229="Ronnie":

A shrink onnce told me that the most dangerous thing in the world is a psychiatrist with a presription pad.

Quote 408ab28229="Ronnie":

You can treat your anxiety with relaxation and by consciencely changing your thought patterns. You need to know that worry will not make things better nor will it prevent bad things from happening. Meds may help you to achieve that to some degree because it will change your thinking patterns but this is something you can do yourself without a shrink.

Quote 408ab28229="Ronnie":

Most shrinks really suck.

Ronnie I could not agree with you more. Shrinks are deadful!

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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Any insights regarding my neuropsych testing/results?

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bgb
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 330

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Ronnie,

Since you seem to be diagnoising people on line, I wonder if you would post your credentials.


Itsmethere,

I don't have the education or experience to comment on your scores. I strongly suggest you make an appointment with the tester to go over the scores. Ask if you may tape record the session. I find it helpful to go back and listen to things again in a less stressful enviorment.

As for the meds, I approach things with an open mind. You are legally an adult. If a new med is prescribed ask the doctor as many questions as you would like....perhaps even go in with a list of question. Research the med with a reputable site like WebMD. Post on forums but know that anyone can post anything...take forums like this with a block of salt. Make up your mind if you want to take it. If it were me, I'd give the med two months to work, unless my research indicated a longer or shorter period of time were necessary. THEN decide if you feel it is helping you.

Good luck,
Barb

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Anything new going on, itsme?

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
Posts: 28

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I have very similar LDs and I was a perfectly healthy and intellignet baby from day one. There were no comlications during my birth and no head injuries. Even my pschologist wanted to rule out brain injury but couldn't justify an MRI without medical concerns. I personally wouldn't assume your disability is from premmature birth. And guess what...I also have a heart arhythmia that causes shortness orf breath and fatigue yet has no emotional connection whatsoever. If you don't think you are having panic attacs maybe you aren't. My heart problem wasn't found during any in-office cardiology test. They found it by giving me a 24-hour heart monitor that I wore home. I made a note of what I was feelin and when and Ta DA!!! "Oh yeah we can see the problem. You're right!!!" Then I was offered a beta blocker. :)

~*totallygenius

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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The reason I am implicating my birth in my learning problems is because I was not only 7weeks early, but also was born after a very prolonged labor, and was stuck in my mom's birth canal for many hours. My mother believes that the nurses were negligent since they dismissed my mother's concerns and had a generally "we know it all" attitude. She believes that the neurological injury which caused my mild CP happened during the birthing process. I emerged in a very deep asphyxia and had to be ventilated for 15 hours. Besides these initial challenges, the rest of my 31 day long neonatal hospital stay was normal; I just had to gain weight. My birth happened in Russia in 1984; my family is immigrant and we immigrated to the US 11 years ago when I was 10.5 years old.

As a result of the prematurity/asphyxia, I have a mild (indeed mild) CP which affects my right side only. My right thigh is tight and my heel cord is absolutely tight (I can't do heel walking with my right foot at all). The right arm is only slightly affected with my upper arm just a bit tight and my right fingers not as dexterous. I am a genetic right-hander, though, and write with my right hand. The left side is completely normal. I can totally walk and run. I just have a slight limp. As a result of spasticity, my right leg is also an entire inch shorter than my left; it is also thinner. I have recently had an MRI and the neurologist said he did find white matter destruction in a specific region of the brain which correlates with my spasticity and my birth history.

Of course, my performance IQ is probably higher than borderline in reality. My examiner said that she believes it herself. Yet, it is still very low, especially in comparison to my verbal scale. I went for my neuropsych completely cold and thus did not even know that the subtests I was administered were IQ subtests (except subtests from the booklet like Matrix Reasoning, Blocks and Picture Completion). I also exerted more effort on the "reasoning" subtests, which was stupid since now I know that everything counts. My examiner is also very strict in administering the tests (perhaps they all are like this. I went to her because my college routinely sends students to her and because she has an excellent reputation and was recommended). I also showed severe memory problems and severe problems with reading comprehension. I have always had a difficult time in school and got good grades for excruciating effort and for being highly motivated.

As for my "shortness of breath", I started feeling it at age 9 and it can be very, very bad. Yet, the doctors haven't found anything yet. I did have a 24 hour EKG once and it showed "extra beats" as my cardiologist put it, but nothing which they believe can cause my symptoms. They also saw a small hole "PFO" between my atria on the echo, which is a normal fetal opening which failed to close, a situation that happens in 15% of the population, but again they told me that it can't be causing my symptoms and is generally benign; nothing needs to be done. My mitral valve leaks "trivially" which is in the normal range. I've been told that I can't be having my symptoms from my heart but it strongly feels as coming from the heart. I guess, I'll try to pursue the situation further. I've had it all for so many years; at times I feel absolutely great and at times, I feel atrocious. I apologize if I seem to talk too much.

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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The reason I am implicating my birth in my learning problems is because I was not only 7weeks early, but also was born after a very prolonged labor, and was stuck in my mom's birth canal for many hours. My mother believes that the nurses were negligent since they dismissed my mother's concerns and had a generally "we know it all" attitude. She believes that the neurological injury which caused my mild CP happened during the birthing process. I emerged in a very deep asphyxia and had to be ventilated for 15 hours. Besides these initial challenges, the rest of my 31 day long neonatal hospital stay was normal; I just had to gain weight. My birth happened in Russia in 1984; my family is immigrant and we immigrated to the US 11 years ago when I was 10.5 years old.

As a result of the prematurity/asphyxia, I have a mild (indeed mild) CP which affects my right side only. My right thigh is tight and my heel cord is absolutely tight (I can't do heel walking with my right foot at all). The right arm is only slightly affected with my upper arm just a bit tight and my right fingers not as dexterous. I am a genetic right-hander, though, and write with my right hand. The left side is completely normal. I can totally walk and run. I just have a slight limp. As a result of spasticity, my right leg is also an entire inch shorter than my left; it is also thinner. I have recently had an MRI and the neurologist said he did find white matter destruction in a specific region of the brain which correlates with my spasticity and my birth history.

Of course, my performance IQ is probably higher than borderline in reality. My examiner said that she believes it herself. Yet, it is still very low, especially in comparison to my verbal scale. I went for my neuropsych completely cold and thus did not even know that the subtests I was administered were IQ subtests (except subtests from the booklet like Matrix Reasoning, Blocks and Picture Completion). I also exerted more effort on the "reasoning" subtests, which was stupid since now I know that everything counts. My examiner is also very strict in administering the tests (perhaps they all are like this. I went to her because my college routinely sends students to her and because she has an excellent reputation and was recommended). I also showed severe memory problems and severe problems with reading comprehension. I have always had a difficult time in school and got good grades for excruciating effort and for being highly motivated.

As for my "shortness of breath", I started feeling it at age 9 and it can be very, very bad. Yet, the doctors haven't found anything yet. I did have a 24 hour EKG once and it showed "extra beats" as my cardiologist put it, but nothing which they believe can cause my symptoms. They also saw a small hole "PFO" between my atria on the echo, which is a normal fetal opening which failed to close, a situation that happens in 15% of the population, but again they told me that it can't be causing my symptoms and is generally benign; nothing needs to be done. My mitral valve leaks "trivially" which is in the normal range. I've been told that I can't be having my symptoms from my heart but it strongly feels as coming from the heart. I guess, I'll try to pursue the situation further. I've had it all for so many years; at times I feel absolutely great and at times, I feel atrocious. I apologize if I seem to talk too much.

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
Posts: 28

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Yeah I woud stay adamant about the heart thing. We know more about ourselves than doctors do...just like your mom did. Find another doctor if you have to. I think when a doctor knows he's the second opinion, it strokes their ego and they pull out the books and consider some of the more rare explanations. I will tell you that my doctor told me my level of discomfort was caused by my weight. I guess heavier people don't feel those scary heart beats and just assume the shortness of breath is because of their weight.

As for your LDs, you sound like you know where they come from. My psychologist also thinks my IQ is higher than the tests show....thats normal. I bet you're really smart. Don't lose your drive. I believe that God doesn't let any effort go unseen.

By the way, I was also born overseas in Italy. My mother didn't have much prenatal testing until the last couple weeks when she could no longer feel any movement. They said it was because I was to big of a baby to move!!! LOL I don't think this could have caused all my LD mess but who knows. I also got an intestinal parasite as a baby. Did you ever have parasites? Just curious....although they said the parasite couldn't have contributed.

~*totallygenius

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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The problem is that I have seen 4 different cardiologists and had the same office tests repetitively with different doctors and basically a few times with each doctor. Perhaps, although the symptoms are severe, they aren't life-threatening. However, I'll try to get to the bottom of it.

No, there were never any parasites in my life. My mother simply went into premature labor. Why was that? We don't know exactly. I was her first pregnancy. She went into premature labor after me too, even earlier and that baby didn't survive (there was a placental problem in this pregnancy and therefore the baby was born with a hole in her intestine). My younger brother was her third (and last) pregnancy and he was born full-term and completely healthy. However, my mother stayed in the hospital during her entire third trimester, had cercalage and was given labor-supressing drugs. Understandably, since her previous two pregnancies were problematic, she actively sought the best high-risk pregnancy care possible.

If you don't mind my being nosy, what are your LDs? Do you have a severe verbal-performance discrepancy too?

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
Posts: 28

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I also have a major discrepency between verbal and performance although my verbal is higher. I have extreme difficulty navigating and organizing...math is obviously difficult. I also have poor reading comprehension and supposedly slow writing but....the writing promt used for my last evaluation was utterly stupid. My current pschologist says my writing is phenominal. Basically, I have some very selective intelligence and a lot of trouble organizing the abstract (except on paper). I also have ADHD...although I have never been hiperactive. Treating my ADD takes the edge off but I still have my LDs. Aside from the pages of documentation,I personally wonder if I have something called Irlen syndrome or scoptic sensitivity...Just a thought.
My strengths:strong insight about things and the ablity to relate with people (...although this doesn't necessarily mean I have an easy time in relationships), street smarts, Self taught at many artsy things, good singer, and writing (things I feel like writing of course). :)

~*totallygenius

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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It's funny how NLDers are supposed to have math difficulties. My math isn't great, but it's definitely not a deficit either. Organizing, writing, research papers, independent projects, reading comprehension, quick intake of new material and visual-spatial stuff are hard though. Understanding is also very laborious. I am much more of a sequential rather than a simultaneous processor.

I feel jealous. Do you have a super high VIQ?

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
Posts: 28

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VIQ...? I'm assuming you mean verbal IQ. My verbal IQ is 105. I think my performance is 32. My psychologist said he thinks my over all IQ is higher because of the way I seem to interview.

~*totallygenius

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
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Is it possible for someone to score that low on the performance portion of an IQ test and be functionally literate? I'm not trying to sound insulting I'm just curious..

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 48

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Yes, it sounds like you've misremembered your PIQ. I don't think there is a score that low on the test; it's like scoring negative.

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
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LOL! well maybe that was just my math score or perhaps that number is just altoghether wrong. But hey I'm telling you they all look at me wierd ....that would explain it! :)

~*totallygenius

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itsmethere
Joined Jul 07, 2005
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Do you have your subtest scores somewhere? These are basically the most important ones. The summary scores are simply a summary of subtests.

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
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I don't have a copy of the most recent scores but I was told what they were verbally in a consultation.

~*totallygenius

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