I have been reading along here for a little while but now I have a question of my own and hopefully someone can help me understand.
My son has been diagnosed ADHD (inattentive). Today the school is testing him for Dysgraphia. His writing is not legible and he has problem putting his thoughts on paper but can verbalize them with no problem. He was tested for TAG program and was given the WISV-IV test.
I was only given his composite scores. They are:
Verbal comprehension 116 86% high average
Perceptual Reasoning 135 99% very superior
Working Memory 135 99% very superior
Processing speed 126 96% superior
What could explain his verbal comprehension being so low compared to his other scores. Also his processing speed is high but still low compared to the other. Should I be concerned? I am wondering if any of this can help me understand or points to Dysgraphia.
thanks for helping me to understand these scores.
I'm not an expert on such things, but I don't think his verbal score is low. I think that your concept of what I big range is off, and that you are worried about something that you need not be.
ALL of his scores are all high. You seem concerned about the ones that aren't in the 99%. Let it go.
but everything has pros and cons
I doubt it, as the verbal scores are largely oral verbal measures, which you said he doesn't have trouble with. The WISC-IV tests: vocabulary, similarities (verbal concepts and reasoning), comprehension, information (factual info), and word reasoning. There's little or no writing.
I don't know anything about dysgraphia, but if your son's verbal scores are in the 85th percentile, I don't think that's significantly different from the other scores to be considered a learning difference. What that means is that it's probably not overall verbal skills that are contributing to his inability to write (legibly or coherently), but something else.
Somewhere I remember reading a really good article on gifted kids and writing -- it's often a problem because their ideas often outstrip their ability to physically get them down. Learning to type can help that problem, but I don't know if it would help dysgraphia.
Verbal comprehension vs Perceptual reasoning is like the left brain/right brain thing people used to talk about; it is far less common to be strong in both than it is to be strong in one and a little weaker in the other. I believe that as long as the scores are within one std deviation (about 17 pts if I recall) it's completely unremarkable.
It is often the case tho that LD kids score considerably lower on the working memory and processing speed parts. For instance, my dd scores similarily to your son on the verbal and perceptual scores, but her working memory and processing speed are in more like 65%. Even tho her scores on those 2 indexes are higher than average, being 30% off her other scores is a big enough gap to create some serious cognitive dissonance.
I'd be looking pretty carefully at the rationale for the ADHD diagnosis if I were you, as it is very common that gifted kids will look like ADHD kids if they are not being challenged, and if you throw in something like a learning difference then is can get more pronounced. It very well might be accurate, but there are quite a few kids who get misdiagnosed. There's some books about it if you're into reading - Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults is probably one of the best of them.
You don't have enough information yet.
The verbal comprehension, as Lynn said, is oral. So this is a test of his ability to think and process words without having to deal with writing or reading it.
Next he should be tested with a standardized achievement test, generally either the WIAT or the Woodcock Johnson. It's then based on the difference between that VCI and the associated writing and reading tasks on the WIAT that are used to diagnose the dysgraphia. A complete testing should also include evaluation of visual motor integration and dexterity and phonological testing, depending upon what weaknesses crop up.
My daughter has a diagnosis of dysgraphia in part because of her high VCI. The difference is what then comes to matter.
Those are all really high scores. Don't read too much into the small differences in the processing speed vs working memory.
Thanks for the information. I will read the book that is suggested. I have not medicated him for the ADHD because I have often wondered if he was just misdiagnosed. He does have problems focusing whenever he has to write something. It is so frustrating to have to sit with him for hours to finish a sheet of math problems or write a paragraph when it is obvious he has the ability to complete the task but for some reason he can't. I am at a loss trying to understand why it takes him so long. I asked the school to test him for Dysgraphia because the TAG teacher has indicated that he has problems writing his thoughts out but he has no problem if she allow him to tell her what he wants to write. I noticed this same problem with him when doing a sheet of multiplication problems. It can take him an hour to complete a sheet of 10 math problems but if I let him just blurt out the answers and I write it for him, he can finish in less than 10 minutes. There is a problem and I have no idea what it is. I am not sure how the school tested him for the Dysgraphia but I was wondering if I should have noticed a problem in the difference in his scores on the IQ test. I feel better knowing that I did not overlook something I should have paid more attention to. I know that all of his scores are high but I was thinking that maybe the differences in the scores indicated something. Glad it does not.
Has he had an OT eval? It seems possible that this is a fine motor issue.
I believe (but am not sure) that kids with ADHD are more likely to have issues with handwriting. May be someone else can shed light on that.
If your insurance will pay for it or you can afford it, getting a complete neuro psychological evaluation done privately might not be a bad idea.
This was a long process for us as the wait were we live is about a year, but we got far more detailed information about what is really going on with our 2E dd that way than we did through the school.
but everything has pros and cons
Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely look into the neuro psychological evaluation to see if it is something we can afford. That may be the best idea to find out what is really going on with him. The OT is the one that evaluated him a few days ago. I have not heard back from her yet but my son seems to think the test went very well. We will see. I am just at a loss. He is such a smart child but to see him not be able to do something that he should be able to do is bewildering. I have been thinking all along that he is lazy and only after his TAG teacher mentioned the problem did I realize that there could be a real issue. The school has been no help because none of his other teachers has mentioned this problem but it is evident when you look at his written work. He writes as little as he can and the quality and content of his writing is so far below his intellectual ability. The school does not really care but I know I need to get him some help before it becomes a real problem down the line.
I think it is not unusual to have adhd comorbid with dysgraphia. My ds has adhd and dyslexia/dysgraphia. There are services that your school can offer, if you get him an iep. Gifted children can also require special educational services, such as accommodations for writing for dysgraphia. This might include allowing him to dictate information for tests and writing assignments; ds has this accommodation and I can write for him on his homework, if he is unable. Although alternatives to writing, like typing can alleviate the problem, not all kids are going to find typing any easier to write than the actual task. You need to ask the school to do an evaluation even if you choose to have private neuropsych evaluation. I think you need to write a letter requesting they evaluate his writing ability, and they will have a period of time in which they can initiate the process. There are some parents in the special needs board that are very knowledgable ieps.
You may be interested in this link http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/PDF_files/NewWISC.pdf
with an article by Linda Silverman about how processing speed, VCI and PRI do not seem to be correlated. It appears that your son in fact has quite unusually consistent test scores. There are more links the gifted development page.