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<p>My son is going to be having a neuropsych exam later this month and they asked for all his previous test results. So i started going through his IQ test from when he was almost 8 years old. (he is 11 now).  He scored in the 99.7% for verbal comprehension tests, the 95% for the  percecptual reasoning tests, the working memory sections he scored in the 84% for Digit Span but the 91% for L-N sequencing.  The discrepancy is in processing speed.  His symbol search score was in the 37% and the really concerning score was his Coding, which was in the 16th percentile!!! </p>
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<p>What does such a low coding score compared to such high verbal an perceptual reasoning suggest?</p>
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<p>I am not an expert, but I do know that subtests should not be interpreted individually.  It might indicate an area of lesser ability, but this subtest combines with others to give the complete "Processing Speed" index, from my understanding.  If I remember, this subtest differs from the others in that index because it requires a lot of back and forth looking, then scanning and copying.  I think the others focus more on scanning in different ways and eliminate the jumping from one part of the paper to the top and back.  This may be an area of increased difficulty for your ds, but his performance could also have been impacted or exaggerated by other factors like fatigue or motivation.  If he seems to compensate for any increased difficulty, then I wouldn't worry too much about it but just keep it in my head as something to know about his learning style. Everyone has areas of strength and need and some discrepencies are vast; it's how we deal with them and compensate that makes or breaks us. </p>
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<p>Hopefully people who are more knowledgeable will chime in.  Hope his testing all goes well!</p>
 

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<p>Thanks. He does seem to compensate in his school work just fine, with the exception of copying things off the chalkboard. He has trouble with that. However, the reason I was even looking at the scores again is that he is having (and has had) severe behavior issues....SPD, Bipolar, and some kind of high functioning autism spectrum disorder have all been mentioned.  I was wondering if this type of score would have anything to do with that.</p>
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<p>As for the other subtest in that area, that was the symbol search test, which was in the 37th percentile, also well below his other scores.  The notes from the psychologist do say she thinks that the scores are accurate, and at the time she said he seemed to truly have a processing speed deficiency. I just never really knew what that was, and as he was a straight A student I didn't worry about it. Now with everything else going on I'm wondering if it factors in at all.</p>
 

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<p>Well, the copying off the board would totally be related to the Coding subtest difficulties, I would think.  I think a processing speed difficulty could go hand in hand with SPD or ASD.  My ds (6) has SPD and I'm sure his processing speed is slower, while his verbal and perceptual abilities are strong, although I've not had him tested. </p>
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<p>Again, maybe someone more knowledgeable will post, but I also wonder about a <em>developmental</em> optomitrist to look at the vision piece. It seems like I read that some vision problems (not the near-sighted, far-sighted kind) can greatly affect behavior.  If I find that information, I'll let you know.  That could certainly account for his difficulty with the coding and the symbol search, too. </p>
 

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<p>It's totally common for gifted kids to have lower processing speeds.  This article speaks to scores not percentiles, but this may be of interest:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/PDF_files/NewWISC.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/PDF_files/NewWISC.pdf</a></p>
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<p>I don't know if your DS's scores are lower than typical or in line, but this is interesting info.</p>
 

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<p>His coding score was about half that listed as average for gifted children. Heck it was about half that listed for average children.  This despite having higher than listed scores in everything else.  So more of a discrepancy than what they show as typical.</p>
 

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<p>You might want to look into "Non-Verbal Learning Disorder". If I recall correctly that is indicated when the verbal scores are very good, but there is a discrepancy in other scores. That is to say is a Learning Disorder, but NOT Verbal. I can't really remember the criteria, but it might be worth looking into. Here's one site:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.nldontheweb.org/" target="_blank">http://www.nldontheweb.org/</a></p>
 

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<p>Hi, neuropsychologist here!</p>
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<p>First of all, a pp was right that one or two subtest (and only 2 make up the Processing Speed Index) should not really be interpreted in isolation.  That said, a slower coding speed can be "caused" by many,many things... starting with something as basic as distraction during that particular subtest.  Was it given when he was hungry? Had to use the bathroom? Getting tired?  A lower score there can also point to (relative) fine motor, attention, or other motor skills.  However, your son's Processing Speed Index, while certainly a weakness for HIM in relation to his other Index scores is still, at 37th percentile well within the average range.  So, although he may percieve this (accurately) as an area that is not as strong as his others, compared to the world (and to his classroom) he is still working at a speed that is well within the expected range (so he is not likely to be finishing last, for example).</p>
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<p>I've tested and worked with some very gifted children who end up displaying behavior and academic problems in school partly because they are SO used to things coming extremely easily to them (and always finishing first, always understanding right away, etc.) that when there is an area of RELATIVE difficulty (i.e. something in the average range like your son, or maybe difficulty with an algebra unit) they really struggle with how to cope with this challenge on an emotional level. (Not saying, obviously, that this is anything that is happening for your DS, just something that I've seen).  In addition, even the most gifted of people are really unlikely to be equally excellent at everything.. and the higher  your son's many strengths are, the more likely it is that something will be significantly below them... since almost any score is way below them.  Does that make sense?</p>
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<p>So, unless the Processing Speed Index (which, again, is solidly average) score exists in the presence of other issues (i.e. ADHD, behavior problems in school, difficulty completing work in expected time frames, fine motor skills issues, etc.) I wouldn't worry much about it.  The coding subtest, which requires both processing speed skills, fine motor skills, and even some memory skills doesn't always relate well to board copying, which also requires far more concentration and visual skills.</p>
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<p>Also, just wanted to comment briefly on the question of non-verbal learning disorder.  Your son's IQ scores are definately not consistent with that diagnosis... especially if there isn't a history of math learning disablity, social skills deficits, anxiety, motor skills deficits, visual spatial deficits, etc.  Though not all of those symptoms are found in every kid with NLD, having gifted-range visual processing skills on an IQ test and above grade level math skills would make it extremely unlikely.  (although, off topic, there is some discussion in the field about there being a sort of variety of NLD which does not include math type deficits, but is more of a social learning disability.</p>
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<p>Hope some of that helps!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<p>Thanks.  I do think the test was pretty accurate, as the psychologist I used specifically gives them breaks, keeps an eye out for boredom, does the tests out of order if need be, etc to avoid scores that are effected by boredom or hunger or what not.  That's actually why we went with her :)  </p>
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<p>He does have major behavior issues, as well as difficulty copying things off the board, has always hated to color, and makes letters improperly. which is why we are taking him to the neuropscyh.  The overall 37th percentile didn't seem too distressing, it was the 16th percentile for coding that was so shocking to me.  But I guess that doesn't matter so much?</p>
 

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<p>Its not that a borderline score in Coding (in our practice, we consider 16% in the borderline impaired range) is or isn't concerning... it is just that it has to be viewed in context.  What I mean by that is... in a neuropsych battery, there will be multiple tests assessing multiple areas of function.  And some subset of those will involve working under time pressure (i.e. processing speed) and another subset of the tests will involve fine motor skills (both direct tests of motor skills and those- like Coding- which use such skills). If there is a pattern of weakness in areas that are assessed, that is something that needs to be addressed and considered (both as a CAUSE for behavior/academic problems and as areas to focus on for remediation).  In and of itself, one low(er) score on Coding would NOT concern me if I was writing up a report and the child didn't have any other scores/patterns of weaknesses.</p>
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<p>Definately mention your concerns (about the copying issues, behavior, coloring, etc.) to the doctor.. and it would be really helpful to bring in a copy of the old testing and report.  Highlight any scores or narrative that you really want them to take note of- and point them out.  I find old reports very, very helpful when working with a child--- it allows me to directly compare some test results (like how he does on Coding this time around) among other things.</p>
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<p>Good luck! I hope the evaluation answers some questions for you and gets you guys pointed in a helpful direction!</p>
 

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<p>thanks, that makes sense to me. And to be clear, we are not doing the neuropsych testing because of his IQ scores, I just happened to find those while preparing for the visit. We are going on the advice of a school psychologist and his pediatrician because of behavior problems.  Bipolor, SPD, and the autism spectrum have all been mentioned as possibilities.  The testing seems the best way to find out for sure.  I'm not sure if I linked this in this thread, but this is his list of issues: <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp4m3zfwJlsgpVcr0bRc5xRduXvQZcRSn8kZFcvZNE/edit?authkey=CLPmnbsP&hl=en#" target="_blank">https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp4m3zfwJlsgpVcr0bRc5xRduXvQZcRSn8kZFcvZNE/edit?authkey=CLPmnbsP&hl=en#</a></p>
 

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<p>I don't have an answer specifically about Coding but my son has been identified as having a slow processing speed.  His Coding score was in the 9th percentile.  He also had some scores at or below the 1%!!!  For example, on the CTOPP he scored <1% on the Rapid Naming Test.  H consistently scored in the 1-2% on all speeded testing.  When the tests were done without being timed, his scores were average or even above average.  His official dx is SPD/ADHD.  Here is what the neuropsych said about his processing speed:</p>
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"Additionally, Alec's difficulty with speeded output, including motor and verbal formulation, have also likely contributed to his difficulties in school and with peers.  For instance, at Alec's age, children may quickly change activities or interest if Alec is unable to express his ideas or thoughts at a pace that is consistent with their expectations.  In addition, given that Alec has many abilities within age expectations, his perception or self-awareness of his relative weakness, combined with evidence or deficiencies in his emerging executive skills collectively put him at-risk for emotional difficulties and academic underachievement.  In particular, Alec's consistent and specific weakness in speeded basic naming suggests that he may have future difficulties in reading fluency and comprehension." </p>
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<p>Suggestions for him include:</p>
<p>Alec should be given additional time for assignments and accuracy (not speed) should always be emphasized</p>
<p>Alec's homework may need to be modified</p>
<p>Alec should be given additional time on standardized tests</p>
<p>Try not to give Alec muliple-part commands all at once</p>
<p>Make sure Alec understands verbal instructions before beginning assignments</p>
<p>Whenever possible, pair verbal instructions with visual cues (lists, written directions)</p>
<p>Lengthy tasks may overwhelm Alec so large tasks should be broken up into smaller parts</p>
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<p>Let me say that your son's scores in general are higher than Alec's.  A's scores are for the most part pretty average; he is not gifted.  The processing speed problem puts him at below average performance in the classroom.  Just thought I would share this info.  Finding out my son has a slow processing speed has really made many things about him make sense.</p>
<p>Good luck!!</p>
 
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