When to use the GAI score vs. FSIQ score on the WISC-IV? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-16-2010, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest dd is 6 ½ and in 1st grade. I would describe her as:

- a novelty learner
- has issues with anxiety
- is left-handed
- sensitive and emotionally mature for her age
- is a perfectionist
- creative problem solver, good at making something out of nothing (i.e. created an elevator system to lift objects to her bunkbed out of a bin, rubber bands, ribbon, and hangers)
- inattentive and daydreams in class
- absolutely loves science, history, nature (always asking me to research things for her on the web)


She took the WISC-IV and the WIAT-II at a technical institute that has psychology major students (studying for their Masters) who do IQ testing for a small fee. I was concerned she could be dyslexic and possibly have an auditory processing problem or ADD. Her FISQ score was in the average range. On the Verbal Comprehension she scored a high average and on the Perceptual Reasoning she scored in the gifted area. Her Working Memory and Processing Speed scores were much lower than her PRI and VCI scores (one was a 29 point difference) but still considered average according to the tester. On those she scored in the 27th percentile and 34th percentile respectively. Her GAI score on the WISC-IV would put her at mildly gifted.

The results of the WIAT-II was only one point lower than her FSIQ score so the tester concluded that there are no signs of a learning disability. Her weaknesses on the WIAT-II were reading (particularly the pseudoword decoding) and math, and her strengths were on the written language and oral language. Dh seems to think we should leave it at that. I feel that she could still have mild dyslexia. She struggles with writing, i.e. spacing problems, letters above/below the lines, fatigues easily, transposing, irregular letter formation. She occasionally will still write an entire word backwards and mirror image. She also has difficulty with reading. She will often misread easy words, i.e. how is read as who, there is read as three, what is read as that, etc… When it comes to big words (immediately, somewhere, instead, etc…) if she has memorized them she knows them and reads them quickly. But she struggles with decoding words she doesn’t know. She will stare at the word for an extended period of time and when she starts to sound out the word she doesn’t start out correctly. For instance, she will try to start sounding out the word ‘sniffed’ but it will come out as finsed or something. And because of her personality if she struggles with something she gets frustrated easily and gives up. She already compares her reading and writing capabilities to her classmates and puts herself down.

So I know that the GAI is sometimes taken into consideration for entrance into gifted programs, but can it be compared to WIAT-II results for diagnosing learning disabilities? If so, how much of a point difference is considered significant?
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#2 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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anybody?
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#3 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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Is she in school? If so, could you ask the SN/resources teacher if a district psychologist could analyze the results for you?

Is there a supervisor to the tester? If so, you could graciously ask for their analysis.

The other thing is that it could be a matter of maturity. It's easy when reading here to think that gifted kids are universally able to do all things, across the board, at an early age. But that's part of asynchrony - perhaps her motor skills/hand-eye coordination/heavy reading load skills aren't properly lined up with some of her other abilities and a bit of time will allow the lagging areas to catch up.

I don't know if WISC assesses Visual Spatial; we used the Stanford-Binet. Some of this sounds like it may be VS issues, and with time many VS's develop standard skill sets. DS is highly VS and we noticed a real jump at 7-7.25 in his standard skills.

Have you read The Mislabeled Child, by the Eides? It's a very good read regarding subtle, and not so subtle, variations.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#4 of 11 Old 02-17-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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From the manufacturer, the instances in which you would want to consider using the GAI instead of the FSIQ include the following:

• a significant and unusual discrepancy exists between VCI
and WMI;
• a significant and unusual discrepancy exists between PRI
and PSI;
• a significant and unusual discrepancy exists between WMI
and PSI; or
• significant and unusual intersubtest scatter exists within
WMI and/or PSI.

Google "WISC technical report #4" and you will get info on use of the GAI as well as table to calculate that GAI yourself if you have the raw scores from her testing.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post
Her Working Memory and Processing Speed scores were much lower than her PRI and VCI scores (one was a 29 point difference) but still considered average according to the tester.
Now that I have a little more time, I'll answer a little more extensively . If I could get it to link, I'd just link that report for you, but if you google "wisc technical report #4," like I mentioned above, the first link will give you a PDF that you can download. A score discrepancy of that size should warrant using a GAI. My eldest had about a 26 or 27 pt difference and they calculated a GAI. Her WMI, PRI, and VCI were all in the mid-upper 90s (percentiles) & her PSI was at the 42nd. My youngest had PRI & VCI scores at the 99th percentile and above and WMI and PSI indices at around average.

Quote:
So I know that the GAI is sometimes taken into consideration for entrance into gifted programs, but can it be compared to WIAT-II results for diagnosing learning disabilities? If so, how much of a point difference is considered significant?
Yes, if you scroll down to page 12 and on on that technical report, you'll get tables for expected scores on the WIAT based upon the GAI. PG 16 will tell you how much the actual WIAT scores would need to differ from the predicted scores to be considered statistically significant. If the actual scores are that much below the expected scores, you can suspect a learning disability. If you need specific help trying to compare scores and figure it out, feel free to pm me. We've had some experience trying to figure this out with dd#2 who is a confusing kid and I've taken some psychological testing & assessment courses.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 03:35 AM
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Just wanted to chime in on the dyslexia concern. Your concern seems valid. There is a great yahoo group for dyslexia. I am constantly recommending it--so I apologize if I have already given you the link.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dyslexiasupport2/

I have liked "reading reflex" (a book you can find at your library) But, ABeCeDarian is supposed to be similar and is more laid out. Here is their yahoo group. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...guid=215953130

If my dd wasn't progressing with this, I would be looking into the Susan Barton program. It is a bit expensive for us though so we are trying the above first. After using the assessments in the back of the reading reflex book, I was able to work on my dd's weak areas and saw tremendous improvement.

And, of course, it has to be mentioned. . . has she had a recent eye exam by someone who could diagnose such things as tracking problems, etc. I believe you are looking for a developmental optometrist?

Amy

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
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#7 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Is she in school? If so, could you ask the SN/resources teacher if a district psychologist could analyze the results for you?

Is there a supervisor to the tester? If so, you could graciously ask for their analysis.

The other thing is that it could be a matter of maturity. It's easy when reading here to think that gifted kids are universally able to do all things, across the board, at an early age. But that's part of asynchrony - perhaps her motor skills/hand-eye coordination/heavy reading load skills aren't properly lined up with some of her other abilities and a bit of time will allow the lagging areas to catch up.

I don't know if WISC assesses Visual Spatial; we used the Stanford-Binet. Some of this sounds like it may be VS issues, and with time many VS's develop standard skill sets. DS is highly VS and we noticed a real jump at 7-7.25 in his standard skills.

Have you read The Mislabeled Child, by the Eides? It's a very good read regarding subtle, and not so subtle, variations.
Unfortunately her school is a small charter school and they really don't have any resources that I'm aware of. I've spoken to a mom whose dd was behind in reading and they had one of the employees work with her one on one a few times a week. But I believe the employee was just an administrative assistant or something like that. I've also called the district and they told me since she goes to charter that the charter school has to take care of her. They would *maybe* have her evaluated if she is switched to public and the teacher there feels it's necessary. I'm not willing to change schools (the one we're zoned for isn't great) and lose her spot in her charter school for 'possible' testing.

It could be an issue of maturity with her. The only recommendations the tester made (re: the WMI and PSI) is to keep careful observation over the next academic year to see if the issues continue or worsen. And then reevaluate if necessary.

I'm currently reading "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World" which is helping me to understand her more. Mislabled Child is next on my list to read.

Thank you for your reply and the recommendations!
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#8 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post
Now that I have a little more time, I'll answer a little more extensively . If I could get it to link, I'd just link that report for you, but if you google "wisc technical report #4," like I mentioned above, the first link will give you a PDF that you can download. A score discrepancy of that size should warrant using a GAI. My eldest had about a 26 or 27 pt difference and they calculated a GAI. Her WMI, PRI, and VCI were all in the mid-upper 90s (percentiles) & her PSI was at the 42nd. My youngest had PRI & VCI scores at the 99th percentile and above and WMI and PSI indices at around average.


Yes, if you scroll down to page 12 and on on that technical report, you'll get tables for expected scores on the WIAT based upon the GAI. PG 16 will tell you how much the actual WIAT scores would need to differ from the predicted scores to be considered statistically significant. If the actual scores are that much below the expected scores, you can suspect a learning disability. If you need specific help trying to compare scores and figure it out, feel free to pm me. We've had some experience trying to figure this out with dd#2 who is a confusing kid and I've taken some psychological testing & assessment courses.
Thank you so much for all the info! There's a wealth of information in the document and I was able to understand it for the most part.

So I went by her GAI score and used that to find her predicted score on the WIAT.

On the subtests she was:
- 9 points less on the Numerical Operations than predicted she should
- 8 points less on the Reading Comprehension " "
- 14 points less on Pseudoword Decoding " "
- 10 points less on Math Reasoning " "


On the Composite Scores she was:
- 12 points less on Reading
- 11 points less on Math

On all the others subtests/composites she was 2-4 points higher than predicted. And the total predicted score was only 6 points less on the WIAT than on the GAI.

I hope what I've typed out makes sense. So if I'm reading the document correctly on some of these there is a statiscally significance on the differences? Or not?
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#9 of 11 Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AAK View Post
Just wanted to chime in on the dyslexia concern. Your concern seems valid. There is a great yahoo group for dyslexia. I am constantly recommending it--so I apologize if I have already given you the link.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/dyslexiasupport2/

I have liked "reading reflex" (a book you can find at your library) But, ABeCeDarian is supposed to be similar and is more laid out. Here is their yahoo group. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...guid=215953130

If my dd wasn't progressing with this, I would be looking into the Susan Barton program. It is a bit expensive for us though so we are trying the above first. After using the assessments in the back of the reading reflex book, I was able to work on my dd's weak areas and saw tremendous improvement.

And, of course, it has to be mentioned. . . has she had a recent eye exam by someone who could diagnose such things as tracking problems, etc. I believe you are looking for a developmental optometrist?

Amy
Thank you for the advice Amy! I never thought to look into checking her eyes. I know she sees well from a distance but never thought of ruling out a tracking problem. And I'll definately look into the group you posted.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-19-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post
I hope what I've typed out makes sense. So if I'm reading the document correctly on some of these there is a statiscally significance on the differences? Or not?
I'm truly not ignoring you . I'm short on time right now, but will take a look at the specifics later tonight & post back as to which areas are far enough from the expected #s that you would want to investigate further.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-20-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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Okay, so I'm back and taking a closer look at the info you gave now . My responses are parsed into your quote in blue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post
So I went by her GAI score and used that to find her predicted score on the WIAT.
You are looking for a statistical significance of at least .05 which means that there is only a 5% chance that the occurance was purely chance or error. If her scores were different enough from the predicted scores to reach that .05 level, that would indicate that in 95% of the instances when that happened, it was due to an actual issue. If you are at .01 statistical significance, then there is only a 1% chance that the score difference was error or chance.
On the subtests she was:
- 9 points less on the Numerical Operations than predicted she should
This does not reach the .05 significance level for a 6.5 y/o

- 8 points less on the Reading Comprehension
A 7 point difference is at the .05 significance level, so this is definitely something that would raise a red flag for me.

- 14 points less on Pseudoword Decoding
This is huge. A 7 point discrepency would be at the .01 significance level.

- 10 points less on Math Reasoning
Again, this is one point more of a difference than would be needed for the .05 significance level. I'd also be concerned here.


On the Composite Scores she was:
- 12 points less on Reading
7 points is all that is needed for .01 significance, so this should certainly warrant further testing for a reading LD.

- 11 points less on Math
This reaches the .05 significance level, but not quite the .01 level. This is still enough of a difference to be of concern, though. It just appears that reading is more of the issue & I wonder if a vision or reading issue may have affected all of her scores on parts where she had to do pencil & paper tasks or read instructions. I don't know how much reading the math sections of the WIAT require if any. That could have been a confounding factor on her math scores if reading or visual acuity was necessary, though.

On all the others subtests/composites she was 2-4 points higher than predicted. And the total predicted score was only 6 points less on the WIAT than on the GAI.
Six points on the total score is still at the .05 significance level, though, so it should have raised the question of a learning disability for the tester, though.
I'd be pursuing testing for dyslexia & vision issues with these scores. It is quite possible that she has some twice exceptionality going with this degree of variability in her scores.
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