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Old 09-16-2014, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Confused by IQ test: Not 2e just ASD?

My DS(5) had an eval for autism with a psychologist. The psych spent 1.5 hours with both of us discussing history, then an hour with DS. During this hour she did an IQ test – the Stanford Binet 5. I wasn’t present so I’m not sure if he was given the entire test or just portions, and I also don’t know how well he was engaged with the tester and paying attention. He tends to be impulsive when asked questions.
I had a follow up visit with the psych yesterday and was given a mild to moderate autism diagnosis and an IQ score of 118. I don’t have the subtest scores in my hand but I remember a verbal score of 126 a working memory score of 120 and some reasoning scores around the 106 to 108 range.

I was not surprised at all to get the High Functioning Autism diagnosis, but the IQ scores are throwing me for a bit of a loop. This is a kid who, with little to no formal teaching, is reading 4 grade levels ahead and doing math 2 grade levels ahead, knows everything about everything, memorizes everything he reads or hears, understands complex scientific processes, and has a drive for learning like no other kid I’ve ever seen! Is it possible to outperform your IQ by that much? He is so far ahead of where I was at his age, yet my IQ comes out a full 12 points higher than his. It’s not making sense to me.

So he’s technically not 2e because he’s not actually gifted. ? or is he? The psychologist kept saying things like “this is what you are seeing as so smart. These are autistic splinter skills”

What worries me the most about the IQ score is how the school will deal with this. How am I going to advocate for the subject acceleration it is obvious to me that he needs, when he doesn’t come close to qualifying for the gifted program?

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Old 09-16-2014, 10:27 AM
 
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Hello. It is really, really hard to get a good IQ score for a kid on the spectrum, and some argue that the IQ score system doesn't work at all for people on the spectrum, but that is a whole nother subject. It might be interesting to do another test in 3-5 years. I don't feel like we got really good IQ scores for my DD until she was 13.

A lot of kids have their IQ subtest scores close together, for kids with wide scatters (20 points is a big scatter) then the average becomes a bit meaningless. His average really doesn't indicate any thing about what is appropriate for his education, nor can it be compared to anyone else's score.

Your son is not, at this time, official 2E. However, you can still advocate for appropriate work for him based on his performance. Reading acceleration should be based on his reading level, not IQ. Depending on how the gifted program is set up, it may or may not be appropriate for him. Keep focused on meeting his needs, not on a specific label or program.

I think that part of the trick is to find ways to nurture his social development. This is the struggle, and the thing that will most impact his ability to function as an adult.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 09-16-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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I know you were bracing yourself for the ASD diagnosis but it still must feel like being thrown for a loop. Give yourself time to process this.
Given how similar this feels to our history, I have to ask: how experienced was this tester in the ASD filed? And how experienced in the gifted field? (YOu may have told us in anearlier post, but i cannot recall at the moment). And what exactly did she do? 1.5 hours discussion with you, one hour with your DS, part of which supposedly were an IQ test? No ADOS? No ADIR? If you recall our history, our psychiatrist, supposedly an expert in her field, was SO sure of herself suspecting high functioning ASD after an hour with me and an hour with us together, and only the subsequent formal eval showed them how off the mark that was.
He may be mildly on the spectrum anyway, and you'll deal with it as you have dealt before, his challenges don't change, they have just been given a name. But I'd be highly suspicious of someone who calls what your son can do "autistic splinter skills".
I would seek confirmation from a tester who specializes in giftedness.

MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:19 PM
 
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I obviously don't know your DS or history, but I can speak from my experience only... first, it does sound like (unless there is more to the evaluation? like extensive records review?) the evaluation was somewhat short. I'm a neuropsychologist, and I would usually do more than you had done with a 5 year old to get an ASD diagnosis (it sounds like they spent 2.5 hours together, I'd usually spend about 5, plus another 5-6 scoring/writing the report and reading any other records). Anyway, there are cases when the child is much more "obvious" for lack of a better term, but I can't tell from what you've said if this is the case for you... or if your history and possibly rating scales you did helped confirm the doctor's clinical observations.

As to your other questions, I've absolutely, 100 percent for sure tested many kids who had extreme academic advancement but weren't technically gifted. I came across them fairly frequently when testing for admission to a district's gifted program (the kids were screened by academic advancement and scores on standardized district testing).

It sounds like your DS has some strengths and weaknesses (verbal strengths and possibly visual spatial weaknesses? not sure which processing scores you were referring to). I'd do as a previous poster referred to... focus right now on differentiating for his academic strengths in the classroom (which should be done regardless of giftedness), focus on any ASD-type issues that you are seeing (social skills, attention, etc.... which also should be addressed regardless of ASD diagnosis)... and then consider re-testing in about 3 years.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pranava View Post
My DS(5) had an eval for autism with a psychologist. The psych spent 1.5 hours with both of us discussing history, then an hour with DS. During this hour she did an IQ test – the Stanford Binet 5. I wasn’t present so I’m not sure if he was given the entire test or just portions, and I also don’t know how well he was engaged with the tester and paying attention. He tends to be impulsive when asked questions.
I had a follow up visit with the psych yesterday and was given a mild to moderate autism diagnosis and an IQ score of 118. I don’t have the subtest scores in my hand but I remember a verbal score of 126 a working memory score of 120 and some reasoning scores around the 106 to 108 range.

I was not surprised at all to get the High Functioning Autism diagnosis, but the IQ scores are throwing me for a bit of a loop. This is a kid who, with little to no formal teaching, is reading 4 grade levels ahead and doing math 2 grade levels ahead, knows everything about everything, memorizes everything he reads or hears, understands complex scientific processes, and has a drive for learning like no other kid I’ve ever seen! Is it possible to outperform your IQ by that much? He is so far ahead of where I was at his age, yet my IQ comes out a full 12 points higher than his. It’s not making sense to me.

So he’s technically not 2e because he’s not actually gifted. ? or is he? The psychologist kept saying things like “this is what you are seeing as so smart. These are autistic splinter skills”

What worries me the most about the IQ score is how the school will deal with this. How am I going to advocate for the subject acceleration it is obvious to me that he needs, when he doesn’t come close to qualifying for the gifted program?
1 hour seems pretty quick for the SB5. I think the average length is between 45-90 minutes, but that's just testing time. It does not include establishing rapport. For a 5 year old, especially one who might be on the spectrum, establishing rapport is critical to a valid test.

I'm gathering from your post that the 1.5 hours was without DS. If he was present for this time, I suppose it could be a way to establish rapport, but it doesn't sound like that was the intent/focus of this time.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:02 PM
 
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Pranava, I am no expert in the world of "giftedness" but my daughter was "diagnosed" as gifted during the neuropsych testing she had for her ADHD diagnosis. That testing would have been grueling if she hadn't liked the tester so much and thought it was fun - about 6 hours total over 3 different days. I think we got a very good idea of her strengths and weaknesses, which was what was helpful about the testing for us. We were able to pursue very relevant therapies.

For example, the testing identified that she had trouble with vision (how she uses her eyes together, not acuity) and visual processing, and she is doing so many things more easily since we did vision therapy. Without that testing, we would have kept floundering and probably blamed the ADHD for why she could not keep her eyes on a page long enough to sound out a word.

It just sounds to me that you did not get an equivalent testing.

I am not at all a fan of generic labels like "gifted." Even if they identify a group of kids with IQ's above a certain level, they don't tell you much about the specific kid. I really think that the most important part of any label is if it helps to get your child the specific things that help him/her develop to his/her best potential, without getting ground up psychologically in the process (either you or the kid). If you don't feel you got that kind of information from the testing, it's probably worth getting it done by someone else. How did you find the first person? We really researched and phone-interviewed, and ended up finding someone with a ton of experience but no evidence of burnout, who was recommended by someone whose opinion we respected. That meant we had to go to the private sector - our local academic medical center would never go for the phone interview thing.

Edited to fix a grammatical error
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He was there for the 1.5 hour history interview with me, but he was clearly agitated because he spent the time being really loud and crawling all over me while trying to lick me(he knows this irritates me and finds it funny). He doesn't like it when I talk about him, and I don't blame him. I'm surprised that she doesn't do this part without the kid present. Her only interaction with him in that 1.5 hours was to ask him to calm down so we could talk. That was the extent of the rapport she established before testing.

Maybe she wasn't trying to get an accurate IQ score, but was just trying to see the differences in points values from one subtest to another. I don't know. I had no idea an IQ test was going to be given and I think I was unprepared for how much the results have messed with my perceived reality. The label, talk of autistic splinter skills, and test scores have left me feeling like I don't really know my kid.

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Old 09-17-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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I think you should try to Set up a full neuropsych Evaluation, one that gives you a comprehensive picture of his strengths and weaknesses and possible disabilities. He could take the WISC V, for instance, as soon as he's six - with a tester who understands kids like him I and establishes rapport. You suspect there's vision issues lurking there, too - there is just to much going on here to be evaluated within one hour. No idea about your insurance status, but if you can swing it go for it! HAnd in the meantime use the ASD dx to get as many useful accommodations for K in place as you can.

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Old 09-17-2014, 02:17 PM
 
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I don't have a good overall view of how easy it is to accurately test a 2E kid, but I will share my anecdote. DD was IQ tested at almost 5 and again around age 8.

At age 5, she had little to no interest in playing along with the tester, and some undiagnosed special needs. She spent much of the test period under a table. The tester noted that she would probably test higher in the future. The IQ test alone took 2-3 hours, including age-appropriate breaks.

At age 8, she was medicated for ADHD, liked the tester (a neuropsychiatrist who sees a lot of gifted kids), and had discovered a serious love of taking tests. Her scores from "mildly gifted" to "profoundly gifted", though the latter was more in tune with her demonstrated abilities.

Also: At age 8, the IQ test took about an hour, and an achievement test another hour. Evaluation on a different day for ASD took 2 more hours. So total time spent with child was 4 hours, PLUS I filled out a ton of forms about DD and sent over piles of records from previous evals and the school.

You should get a written report with the IQ test results, including subtest results, and the tester's impressions of how the test went. This may give you more insight as to what went on in the room during the test.

So two thoughts: it's worth considering testing again later; it's worth considering testing again as part of a full assessment by a specialist. The school "should" provide accomodations for academics based on your DS's actual performance; though of course, what they "should" do is not always the same as what they will do. :/

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You suspect there's vision issues lurking there, too - there is just to much going on here to be evaluated within one hour. No idea about your insurance status, but if you can swing it go for it! HAnd in the meantime use the ASD dx to get as many useful accommodations for K in place as you can.
Interesting that you bring up the vision issue. I hadn't considered how that could play a significant role in this kind of testing, but while looking into the causes behind large differences in verbal and performance scores, I found this on a Hoagies page explaining testing. . .

"Verbal items require reasonable speech and language skills (including good hearing and auditory processing). Performance items require good visual processing, visual acuity, and visual-motor coordination and speed. So, the first thing to rule out when Verbal scores are higher than Performance is visual problems. Frequently, young children are somewhat farsighted (longsighted) and may have trouble seeing detail. Children may also have good distance vision and healthy eyes, but may have some visual processing problems. Perhaps their eyes don't easily track words on the line of a page (they inadvertently skip to the next line) or they have difficulty changing from far-point to near-point focus (these children have trouble copying from the blackboard). Or they may have difficulty copying designs, reproducing angles in the wrong direction."

I think his vision problems are sensory in nature. He also has significant fine motor delays, so if any of the test was copying designs, or even filling in circles for that matter, he may have just quit. I can barely get him to write for more than a minute or two at a time, and that's with lots of encouragement. I think we will spend this year getting some serious help for the sensory and motor issues and maybe try a full evaluation with the WISC IV again in a year or so. The psych seemed to think that the SB5 scores confirmed the diagnosis, but if the scores are off due to vision and motor skill issues, I think he needs further ASD specific tests.

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Old 09-25-2014, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One more question for those of you who know testing and scoring I got the full report today with subtest scores. This is the SB V. His verbal scores are 2 to 3 points above the non verbal for every subtest, but his working memory scores show a huge difference. His verbal working memory score was 17 and nonverbal was 10. I'm not finding good information on what the nonverbal working memory test is measuring. Anybody know? Does this mean he remembers everything he hears, but struggles to remember what he sees? I'm wondering what this means for his learning style down the road and if he will do great in lecture based classes, but not so great if asked to read a text and take a test?

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Old 09-26-2014, 02:57 AM
 
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This is raw scores you are talking about, right? Because in raw scores, at the end of the bell curve 2 or 3 points make a big difference, too.
You know I am no testing expert, and am not familiar with the SBV, not used in my country. But as you know, verbal lots >nonverbal is correlated with either Aspergers (yes I know there is supposedly no such thing any more, but classic Autism is correlated with exactly the opposite profile so there must be something fundamentally different about these two variants, JMHO) or visual issues or both - or it could be something else altogether, as Aufilia pointed out a few posts down.
I also wanted to come back to clarify that by likening your history to ours, I was talking about 2 hours simply not being enough to understand a very complex kid, not that I specifically doubt the ASD diagnosis - nor do you, and I'd trust your gut feeling on this.
I'd highly recommend heading over to the Davidson forum where they do have a resident testing expert who is amazing (I think she's a neuropsych working for a school district, HG+ gifted and rasing HG+ gifted kids herself). Post the full profile (people tend to delete the very specific info later) and ask for aeh's advice.

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Last edited by Tigerle; 09-27-2014 at 02:45 AM. Reason: to incorporate clarifications by Linda and Aufilia
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip Tigerle! I will post in the Davidson forum and see what they think. The scores of 10 and 17 are scaled scores with 10 being the mean with a standard deviation of 3. I just thought it was unusual that Verbal working memory was his highest score of all subtests and nonverbal working memory was the lowest.

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Old 09-26-2014, 03:15 PM
 
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I'm pretty disappointed by the tester on your behalf.

First: that's too short an assessment period for a complicated, young child.
Second: 126 Verbal score on SB5 means he's gifted in the verbal domain (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm).
Third: SB5 on its own is insufficient to determine an ASD.
Fourth: Visual and fine motor issues can totally mess with IQ scoring.
Fifth: There's now a WISC IV version that can be used with kids with processing issues, it's called WISC IV Integrated, though it starts at 6.0 yo.

I have a son who sounds like your son in many ways. He is not on the autism spectrum, but he is HG+ and complicated. He's had a lot of testing done over the years, and results have changed over time. No one score is definitive, and it just gives you an indicator, and is only as trustworthy as the tester and the results achieved that day (ie kid is really young, was overtired, whatever).

I recommend Hoagies and Davidson forum, as well.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.


Last edited by joensally; 09-26-2014 at 07:35 PM. Reason: fixed error
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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But as you know, verbal lots >nonverbal can mean either Apergers (yes I know there is supposedly no such thing any more, but classic Autism shows exactly the opposite profile so there must be something fundamentally different about these two variants, JMHO) or visual issues or both.
I'm NOT disagreeing with Tigerle, who knows a lot, but when we had a test that had a huge discrepancy in verbal/non-verbal, it correlated with testing fatigue and a poor tester. That discrepancy on a RAIS given last November is what drove me to get DD tested with the WISC-IV in March with a highly reputable private neuropsych. Those test results showed almost no discrepancy at all (even though she has been dx with ASD).

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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I'm pretty disappointed by the tester on your behalf.


Third: SB5 on its own is insufficient to determine an ASD.
Fourth: Visual and fine motor issues can totally mess with IQ scoring.

I really agree with this. Using an IQ score and nothing else to Dx autism is just..... wrong. Although certain IQ patterns *tend* to appear with people on the spectrum, its just a correlation. It's not diagnostic. A person can have those patterns and not be on the spectrum, and someone on the spectrum can have a different pattern. Your person didn't use quantitative measures for any of the traits that are disagnostic for autism.

I also agree that the other issues (like vision) need to be clarified. Schools call this a "multi-factored evaluation."

Back to the scores -- all the academic tasks you listed related to the use of language, and therefore I believe they all relate to verbal intelligence. Although we think of verbal as meaning "outloud," in this context it relates to the underlying ability that help with language - which includes speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Non-verbal intelligence is used in much of math, in hands-on learning, in understanding physics concepts, etc. It relates to the ability to put a 3-D puzzle together. People who became engineers tend to be really good at these things.

This link gives examples:
http://learningdisabilities.about.co...rbalintell.htm

My DD, who is both gifted and on the spectrum, has this pattern (high verbal, low nonverbal). The only subject she struggles with is math.

However, like the others, I really question the testing that was done and the conclusions that were drawn from it.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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