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Test Confusion


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Joined: Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 28
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Posted Dec 01, 2007 at 11:23:37 AM
Subject: Test Confusion

We just had our daughter tested by a private psychologist to try to get a better handle on her learning issues. The testing confirmed that she has a math disability with a 27 point gap between her composite IQ and math performance scores. However, her verbal scores on the Woodcock Johnson III indicate that she should be performing at or above grade level in all language arts areas including reading, comprehension and writing. I am perplexed about this. I had a speech language pathologist evaluate my daughter last spring and she also found her verbal abilities to be normal. Despite this, my daughter is in the lowest reading group in school. She got a D in language arts in the first quarter of second grade. We had to hire a private tutor who used Orton Gillingham to help her learn to read. Every teacher she has had with the exception of her music teacher last year says she has trouble following both verbal and written directions. When she answers comprehension questions, she often does not answer the question asked. Sometimes her writing is fine, but other times she writes sentences that make absolutely no sense. She sometimes puts sentences in the wrong order when she speaks as well. She often forgets basic rules like beginning sentences with a capital letter. She has a hard time organizing her thoughts as well. Despite all this, her teachers are now saying that they think my daughter is just being "oppositional" when she does not perform well in the language arts. This worries me. My daughter does have some anxiety issues, and is very afraid of getting in trouble in school. She does tend to daydream, but I don't think she ever intentionally would perform lower than her abilities. Her testing also indicated that she should have no attention issues as well, despite her auditory problems, so again they are blaming my daughter's personality. I keep thinking there is something being missed or that her auditory problems are worse than believed. The tests that the psychologist performed are the WISC=IV, The Woodcock Johnson 3, the Bender Visual Motor Test, the Rorschach Exner System, the Gordon Diagnostic System, and the BASC profile. Does this sound normal for an evaluation or do you think something was missed?
[Modified by: rogomom2 on December 01, 2007 01:33 PM]

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Mermaid
Joined Oct 31, 2007
Posts: 16

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Posted:Dec 01, 2007 11:37:50 AM

I am wondering if she could have a processing problem. Do you have any test results regarding that? What did the psychologist think was preventing her from succeeding in language arts? It sounds very frustrating!

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Dec 01, 2007 11:41:09 AM

She may have problems with executive functions. This could interfere with her ability to organize her thoughts properly. Anxiety can also interfere with performance. It might be worth having a Neuropsychologist retest her and also have an Audiologist check her auditory processing.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

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Posted:Dec 02, 2007 12:44:16 AM

Hi Rogomom,
I run a Forum for the maths disorder Dyscalculia, which could be relevant?
Where a main sub-type is Visual-Spatial Dyscalculia.
With difficulties with Visual and Spatial thinking.

Which is associated with difficulties with organizational thinking.
Where I wonder if your daughter hasn't developed her visual-spatial thinking?
In terms of 'comprehension', the value of visual-spatial thinking, is expressed in the words: 'A picture can say a thousand words'.
Where we take a flow of words, and build a 'mental picture or movie'.
Which importantly, provide a way of organizing words and thoughts.

Though visual-spatial thinking is most important for doing 'Mental Maths'.
Where if we picture the calculation in our mind, then it is more like doing it on paper.
If we recall a number in our visually, in our mind, such as: 147.
We recall it as 'single' image; 147.
Though with verbal recall, it becomes a 'series' of words: 'one hundred and forty seven'.
Anyway, I just wonder if perhaps she hasn't learned how to use Visual-Spatial thinking?
Geoff,

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rogomom2
Joined Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 28

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Posted:Dec 09, 2007 8:46:09 PM

Thanks for your replies. I forgot to mention in my original post that my daughter was previously tested for auditory processing and was found to have some deficits. I know that would explain some of her difficulty, but it wouldn't seem to explain why she did well on her testing but is not necessarily doing well in some areas of her schoolwork. I was wondering how a person is checked for problems with "executive functioning." I think maybe the problem may be that my daughter may actually have a so-called "sequencing" disorder, as mentioned in the book A Mind at a Time (if I remember correctly). I would think that would help explain her problems in math and in organizing her writing sometimes. I've noticed her writing is generally better when she is freer to write what she wants, then if she has to answer specific questions or summarize something she's read. As for general "processing," she did well in that subtest area on the WISC, scoring in the above average range. I was told that the WISC processing test is mainly visual. In general, my daughter seemed to do well in many of her visual related tests. Auditory is definitely weaker. I am meeting with the psychologist tomorrow to see if she has any more insights aside from what I've already been told. I also talked to the school counselor about helping with anxiety. I looked at the dyscalculia forum as well. Thanks for that information. I don't know yet what subcategory of math disability she would have. She struggles the most with word problems, but also has great difficulty generally with number sense, and computation, along with understanding time and money. Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts about executive functioning, let me know. Thanks!

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Dec 09, 2007 8:54:38 PM

There is a test for executive function but I can't remember which test has that section. You can ask the psychologist about it when you meet.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Ppear
Joined Mar 16, 2008
Posts: 2

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Posted:Mar 17, 2008 10:37:43 PM

Hi I don't know all of the terms that go along with the testing, and LD. problems... (I forgot most of them) But your daughter sounds like she has many of the problems my son had when he was in school... (he is now 22)

I do know he had a problem with his short term memory. So it seems like they are not paying attention, but the problem is they don't remember what was said to them, and even less of what they read... (Maybe someone else can explain how things go into long ter memory, and skip right over short term. I could never understand this...

Some of the things I use to do with him was to color code all of his work. exp. Math work would be put into a red folder, L.A a blue folder... YOu could even talk to her teachers about using colored pens. the colors seem to make more of an impact when it comes to memory.

When trying to write something out the writing process was so difficult for him he would forget what he wanted to say, or what the math problem was... When he was in high school I was called in for a confrense with his math teacher... they were doing calculus and using a calculater. the teacher suggested he be moved to a simpler math class. Not because of behavior or ability, but because he couldn't remember the buttons on the calculator. therefore he couldn't do the problems...

what I did for his writing in the earlier grades was to type his work out for him... He would tell me what he wanted to say, and I would type. I also taught him keyboarding at a young age, so he could type most of his work out.

Even his spelling...

For money, I had a friend of mine come over with her pricing gun, and she marked a bunch of change. I then put a magnet tape on the back of them. and we would count out the money on a daily bases... And believe me he knows his money...

I rember being called in by the science teachers when he was in high school. She thought he was lazy, and didn't want to do the work... So I requested small classroom placement. the only small class she had was an honors class, and was hesitant, but I told her it wasn't carved in stone, and that we could change it if it didn't work. At the end of the school year she called me to apoligize. (he took his tests verbally in a resource class). Not only did he pass his final exam, but managed to get the highest grade in the class. the teacher couldn't believe how much he knew, yet couldn't transfer it to paper... But the reason he did so well in this class was because honor students are treated differently, they have more discussion than writing. And for the first time he could take an active rool in his classroom, and boy did he feel good about himself...

Good Luck, I hope some of this helped.
And hang in there, because there is light at the end of the long tunne.
Ppear

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