can't get my head around this thing

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can't get my head around this thing

Postby rita » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:22 pm

er ok, this is something that i don't get. most of you here, i assume from what little i've read don't have too much trouble with language related skills. in fact, it's often a strong point. so i'm curious to know fror those of you who have been assesssed proply( if you took one of those test with the odd acronym i can never rember) it has several part i believe and it has a verbal thingy and in it, if i'm ,not mistaken, there's a bit with maths , easy stuff for most i'm sure like problems.

now my question is how is it possible to get something positive in the verbal skills pert if ye can't do the bit with the problems?

do you get a dent in you report, how is it done? it sound weird to me that it be graded anyhow but i just can't get my head around that last notion, how can the tet be reliable?
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Postby parnassus » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:08 am

You're talking about the Weschler tests. It is perfectly possible to gain a good overall verbal score if your maths result is weak. Bear in mind, though, that the maths test straddles the verbal assessment and the performance assessment. Some of the questions are verbal (they are more like logic problems that require you to use process of elimination, etc.) and some are distinctly non-verbal. In this way, the tests are sensitive to the different types of dyscalculia.

You do receive a cumulative score, but the psychologist is not overly interested in that. He or she will list your scores component by component, commenting on which side of average they fall. He or she will also compare your overall result to the average results yielded by people of your age, and then work out what percentile of the age-related population you fall into. Discrepancy is the greatest overall indicator of learning difficulties.
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Postby monkey » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:57 pm

Parnassus siad:
'He or she will list your scores component by component, commenting on which side of average they fall. He or she will also compare your overall result to the average results yielded by people of your age, and then work out what percentile of the age-related population you fall into. Discrepancy is the greatest overall indicator of learning difficulties.'

please explain more
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Postby fuzzy » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:03 pm

Basically if you have a high verbal percentile but but a low non-verbal percentile or vice versa, this is an indicator of learning difficulites- it shows that although you have a high IQ, you find it difficult to get the ideas out of your head and express them in the form of constructed speech/ writing.

PS- percentile..... if you were in the 98 percentile, this means that only 2 percent of the population have better skills in the area that you were tested on than you have.

Hope this makes sense to you! :D
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Postby fuzzy » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:07 pm

PS- for example

I got 27 percentile one area of the Welscher test but 98 in another- ie. a huge discrepancy!
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Postby monkey » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:19 pm

ok. its starting to make more sence now. it was confusing with all those numbers, when you dont know what they stand for.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:09 pm

Fuzzy is right. Just to clarify a little further - when I said 'component by component', I meant the different tests that fall into the two main categories.

For instance, the verbal assessment contains spelling, reading, comprehension, general knowledge questions, similarities, and some maths.

The performance assessment contains pattern recognition, jigsaw puzzles, coding, and more. You get a different score for each separate test. This is because averages are very dangerous - someone might be brilliant at reading but terrible at spelling, and their poor spelling mark would pull them down overall if the psychologist didn't list the separate components of the verbal assessment. Once they've analysed each component, they can work out which percentile you fall into.

I am in the 99.9th percentile for verbal ability and the 4th percentile for performance ability. That has improved dramatically with occupational therapy and special education - in my first assessment, when I was fifteen, I scored in the 0.3 percentile for performance skills. The educational psychologist and OT seem to think that I have improved as much as I can, so I don't think I will ever have another assessment unless I need one for university or work.
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confused

Postby rita » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:07 pm

when I said 'component by component', I meant the different tests that fall into the two main categories.



i'm unsure what that means,i read up a bit and basically all the components(subtests) from each of the two main categories(verbal scale and performance scale) are averaged to form a full scale IQ( a composite of both scores)

the subtests in the WISCII(Verbal Scale :

Information
: oral, "trivia"-style. general information questions. Scoring is pass/fail.

Similarities
: explaining how two different things (e.g., horse and cow) or concepts (e.g., hope and fear) could be alike. Scoring is 2-1-0, according to the quality of the responses.

Arithmetic
: oral, verbally framed math applications problems without paper or, for most problems, any visual aids at all. Scoring is pass/fail.

Vocabulary:
: giving oral definitions of words. Scoring is 2-1-0, according to the quality of the responses.

Comprehension: oral questions of social and practical
understanding. Scoring is 2-1-0, based on quality.

Digit Span
: repeating dictated series of digits (e.g., 4 1 7 9) forwards and other series backwards. Series begin with two digits and keep increasing in length, with two trials at each length.


based on those subtests you obtain a

#Verbal IQ
is based on Information, Similarities, Arithmetic, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.


did the educational psycologist ignore the maths part of the verbal scale? or did you score extremely high on the maths part as well?without writing anything down? without visual aid?

what about digit span? ( from what i just read the norm is between 6 and 7 numbers) it tests short term auditory memory and ablity to concptualise numbers(in ones head)

If one were to score high in the following subtests(keeping in mind that mistakes can be made even in higher ability areas):

*Information
*Similarities
*Comprehension
*Vocabulary

and yet score dismally low in the following:
* Arithmetic
*Digit Span

would those two subtest "mess" up the overall Verbal IQ?

would the eucational psychologist ignore thoes two very low scores on the maths and digit span subtests when scoring the overall Verbal IQ? if not, then, clearly the perception of the persons verbal abilities won't be accurately assessed(unless one looked solely at the individual subtets, which are somewhat limited in range, from what i've just read)


98 in another

99.9th percentile for verbal ability

i have a very dear friend who is exceedingly intelligent, he often says that he's never met anyone who was nearly as smart as he. I used to think he was quite arrogant until he finally told me that he really meant that he was perfectly aware that plenty of people were wiser, more knowledgable, and more experienced in many areas than he but he had never met anyone who was intellectually intimidating to him, i guess he's just really confident in his ability (he's two years ahead) so i guess he should be.

I got 27 percentile one area of the Welscher test but 98 in another- ie. a huge discrepancy!


I am in the 99.9th percentile for verbal ability and the 4th percentile for performance ability


how do you stand the discrepancy ,parnassus, fuzzy, between what you can do psysically and what you can achieve with words and in other areas?

i suppose wa must all contend with our foibles and in a way it keeps us balanced in a way i think my friend wil never understand; it makes us richer, in some strange, twisted way.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:11 pm

i'm unsure what that means, all the components from each did the educational psychologist ignore the maths part of the verbal scale? or did you score extremely high on the maths part as well?


The educational psychologist can never ignore a component - all of them have to be analysed. As I said in an earlier post, there are several types of maths question. Because I am very logical, I was able to solve the logic problems easily. It was things like decimals and fractions that gave me difficulty. The discrepancy between my logic skills and my lack of number-juggling ability meant that the psychologist was able to detect my short-term memory problems - if I can see a problem written down in front of me, in words, I can solve it. If I am required to retain a string of numerical data in my head, I can't do anything. It takes every ounce of my concentration just to remember the numbers, so there is no way I could actually do anything useful with them unless I have a written reminder of what I have already done and what I have to do next.

When the maths test was graded as a whole, my overall score fell in the 'low average' range. By contrast, the other subtests in the verbal assessment couldn't be graded because they were off the scale. My language ability pulled up my maths score.

i have a very dear friend who is exceedingly intelligent, he often says that he's never met anyone who was nearly as smart as he. I used to think he was quite arrogant until he finally told me that he really meant that he was perfectly aware that plenty of people were wiser, more knowledgable, and more experienced in many areas than he but he had never met anyone who was intellectually intimidating to him, i guess he's just really confident in his ability (he's two years ahead) so i guess he should be.


I can understand that. Intelligence is one thing; wisdom is quite another.

Unlike your friend, however, I grew up feeling academically inferior to most of my classmates. My handwriting speed is excruciatingly slow and the whole process is painful, so I was never able to complete tests or write lengthy essays. I am so disorganized that I used to lose all my homework and forget things within seconds of my teacher telling them to me. I knew that I read books that my peer group wouldn't touch, but I presumed that it was a matter of personal taste rather than intelligence. It was only when I was diagnosed with dyspraxia and started to receive specialist support that I came to terms with my mind. Soon after that, one of my teachers suggested that I apply to join NAGTY (the National Academy for Gifted/Talented Youth). Pre-diagnosis, that would probably never have happened.

how do you stand the discrepancy ,parnassus, fuzzy, between what you can do psysically and what you can achieve with words and in other areas?


I think it's because I've never known any different. I was born with severe dyspraxia - I've never had a normal mind. You can't miss what you've never had. Also, the human brain is a marvellous creation. It often works out its own coping strategies and dodges. When I was little, I soon learnt that I couldn't hope to memorise or recognise faces - I even confused my own parents with strangers. So I began to mentally describe people's features. Now, whenever I walk through an airport terminal in search of my mother, I still think, "She has hair the colour of warm honey and a wide nose..." This prevents me from having to rely on pictures. I cut out non-verbal thinking as much as I can. It's just the way I operate; I'm used to it now.

That said, I was on a collision course with mental crisis when I finally got diagnosed. I could only take so much alone. Diagnosis came at the perfect psychological moment; it opened above me like a parachute.

My main frustrations aren't intellectual, but social. Sometimes I do get very upset - usually when other people don't try to understand. Because I don't have crutches or a wheelchair, a handful of my ex-classmates (OK, more than a handful) were reluctant to believe that I am disabled. This got worse when my book was published. According to their logic, disabled people can't possibly write books! They equate dyspraxia with unintelligence, and that is hurtful to me.

I am not good at mixing with other people. Once, I was invited to an eighteenth birthday party. The venue was packed with bodies and smells and the music was loud enough to jar your bones. Even though it was late November, I clambered through a window into the icy garden to sit alone and read. Like quite a few dyspraxic people, I have a misfiring sensory system. Among other things, this means that my ears are extremely sensitive and that I don't really feel the cold. I would have begun to cry if I had had to remain in that horrible room any longer, so I did the only thing that made sense to me. It didn't occur to me that no one else would dream of sitting in a November garden at 10:30pm, clad in a thin party dress and reading a book. It didn't occur to me that I might offend my hostess. Things were quite difficult for me at school the next day.

But even though other people don't always 'get' me, I understand myself. And that is the main thing.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby rita » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:58 am

My language ability pulled up my maths score


I understand that you were able to do some of the maths thanks to your logic/language skills; However, did your mathematical ineptness
appear to drag down your overall Verbal IQ?

I knew that I read books that my peer group wouldn't touch, but I presumed that it was a matter of personal taste rather than intelligence


Perhaps your chronological peers wouldn't touch those books, but what about your cognitive peers? didn't people outside your own entourage notice(ones own family is often biased)? strangers, teacher?

I mean, how often does one behold a seven year old reading Dickens ?

I suppose one could venture to say the same thing about certain physical impairments( some people, still, mistakenly persist in thinking that kids grow out of whatever asynchronies they might have, this belief has been is a complete falsehood in many cases)


verbal assessment couldn't be graded because they were off the scale.


By this do you mean the overall Verbal Scale?

Test Ceiling is 160 full scale



as the WS aren't made to discriminate within higher ranges of cognitive ability( it was originally designed for the "mentally deficient" and has a wide range of nuance within the scope of lower ability)

or individual subtests?

Subtest ceiling is 19

going above the test or subtest ceilling would, technically require that every single question answered gets full marks, no errors, every question answered right... it's almost a statistical anomaly....and no one ever noticed?
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Postby rita » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:06 am

It didn't occur to me that I might offend my hostess. Things were quite difficult for me at school the next day.

I hope, though, that your friends are more tolerant now, or at least somewhat understanding, mine aren't at all, it's horribly sad, becuse I know I'm a fundamentally decent person yet to some people I'm some kind of alien.

At least now it's more mysterious than anything, it used to be radioactive.

Like I've said, I think that these struggles make us richer, you probably wouldn't be as driven a person or as talented a writer had you not experienced serious setbacks.
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Postby parnassus » Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:01 pm

I understand that you were able to do some of the maths thanks to your logic/language skills; However, did your mathematical ineptness
appear to drag down your overall Verbal IQ?


No. When I was assessed with WISC, I scored in the low average range for maths and Digit Span, but my scores for the other components were so high that they couldn't be scaled.

Normal people have an even cognitive profile across all the subtests. People who are excellent at spelling and comprehension should also be good at arithmetic. If they are not, alarm bells ring. If a person does poorly on all the tests in the entire assessment, he is quite simply unintelligent. If a person's profile is full of peaks and troughs, then the psychologist knows that the intelligence is there - it has just been displaced.

People must have some kind of predisposition to exceptional intelligence, yes. But it is perfectly possible for either your verbal intelligence or your performance intelligence to increase dramatically as you grow up, beyond all expectations - if you have a learning difficulty, that is. As I mentioned in an early post, I can't recognise faces. I am face-blind. To compensate for my lack of visual discrimination, perceptual ability, and visual memory (all of which are tested in the performance assessment) I started to describe people mentally when I was very young indeed. As I grew older I realised that I could remember more people if I used sophisticated adjectives - 'he is fat and has mosquito bites' isn't much use as a descriptor. There are lots of people like that. 'He is like an overbaked cherry bun, with juicy red pustules glistening on his doughy skin' is much better. So I accumulated a vast wealth of adjectives and an excellent working knowledge of simile and metaphor because I needed them, in order to prevent myself from accosting a complete stranger in the supermarket and saying, "Can I have some sweets, Mummy?" I use similar imaginative coping techniques for maths, which involve acronyms and storytelling. These survival tactics paid great dividends in the verbal IQ test. Thanks to my learning difficulties, I have built up a neurological infrastructure that would never have existed without them. This is why my overall verbal IQ hasn't been dampened by my comparatively weak maths score - the intelligence has simply been rerouted elsewhere. Were I able to do the cognitive activities that I struggle with, my IQ score would remain the same - because I wouldn't achieve such good scores on reading, spelling, comprehension, and similarities. I would never have developed those abilities, because I would never have needed to compensate for any deficits. Or so the psychologist explained it to me.

In any case, as I have said before, it is the component scores (the scaled scores) that are the most important parts of the whole assessment. You can't work out whether someone is dyspraxic from an average. The assessor is on the lookout for discrepancy of any sort.

as the WS aren't made to discriminate within higher ranges of cognitive ability( it was originally designed for the "mentally deficient" and has a wide range of nuance within the scope of lower ability)


The WISC have undergone extensive revisions since they were first designed. The era when specific learning difficulties were regarded as symptoms of mental deficiency is thankfully dead. According to my psychologist, the principal reasons why there is still a ceiling 'cognitive age' of 17 on the WISC is because there are precious few eight-year-olds with, say, a reading age of higher than seventeen.

That said, I do believe the WAIS to be more accurate.

Perhaps your chronological peers wouldn't touch those books, but what about your cognitive peers? didn't people outside your own entourage notice(ones own family is often biased)? strangers, teacher?

I mean, how often does one behold a seven year old reading Dickens ?


Some teachers did believe me to be gifted. My class teacher in Year 6 wanted me to take a GCSE in English when I was ten years old. He called me into his office and gave me a past paper to do, without telling me what the paper was. He was quite confident that I would pass well. Then he could triumphantly take the paper off to the staff room and insist that I be put in for the exam.

But of course I didn't get the top mark he wanted. The questions were easy enough, but that didn't detract from the fact that I could barely write. (The excellent homework assignments he praised so frequently were always produced on computer.) I had no extra time, the room was full of distractions...there was no conceivable way I could do it. Mr Gould was terribly disappointed. At secondary school, it got worse. On some days my ability was apparent for all to see, on other days it was completely lost from view. This gave rise to sophisticated diagnoses such as 'clever but lazy'.

Subtest ceiling is 19

going above the test or subtest ceilling would, technically require that every single question answered gets full marks, no errors, every question answered right... it's almost a statistical anomaly....


As I mentioned above, I achieved perfect scores on four out of six subtests. I got an average scaled score for the other two. To the best of my knowledge, I don't think you have to get full marks on all the tests to be carried above the overall test ceiling - a lot of it seems to depend on the quality of your response, as well as your actual answer. You get more marks for being articulate. But I would say that the 99.9 percentile is a statistical anomaly, definitely!

and no one ever noticed?


Einstein's teachers never noticed that he was intelligent, either, and he was far cleverer than I'll ever be. They expelled him from school because of his seeming ineptitude. Learning difficulties can camouflage an awful lot. My experiences are by no means rare - a lot of dyspraxic people share them. If you talk to Matt Alden-Farrow, who runs this website and www.matts-hideout.co.uk, he will tell you that his teachers thought him dim-witted as well. He's now home educated, and working at university level - even though he is four years younger than the average uni student! I personally think he should send his old school a photocopy of his OU results when they arrive. But maybe that's just me being vindictive...

A lot of us have been taken for stupid in the past - some of us still struggle with the stigma. People aren't being very fair to monkey at the moment. (Sorry to make you wade through this whole essay, monkey - we need to find some way of making this forum dyslexia-friendly!)

I hope, though, that your friends are more tolerant now, or at least somewhat understanding, mine aren't at all, it's horribly sad, becuse I know I'm a fundamentally decent person yet to some people I'm some kind of alien.


Things do get better. I have discovered that there are decent people out there, and you will too. But no friend, however loyal, will understand everything. I do have one amazing friend who has never even tried to 'understand' me - she just accepts me for what I am. If Vicky wants to stalk up and down for five hours, waving a pencil in front of her eyes, then that's fine by Sobia. Other friends would try to 'understand' why I need to stim, and then they would try to prevent me from stimming - all with the best of intentions. But as the proverb goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Do you think you have a learning difference, Rita? I can't quite work it out from your messages.
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Postby rita » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:35 pm

I might, but I can't say for sure until I've been properly assessed, something I plan to do in the near future( hence all the pesky questions about tests)

How do you think the WAIS is more accurate?
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Postby parnassus » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:46 pm

?? :? ?? Your message was different a few hours ago! What's going on? Am I cracking up or have you changed it?

The WAIS gives you more headroom (the ceiling score is so high that you can barely see it) and its tests are much more detailed. The results are painted in finer brush strokes. The WISC compares your chronologial age with your cognitive age (i.e. Reading Age - 10; Chronological Age - 13) whereas WAIS does not use an age-related score. This is better, so it seems to me, because while skill acquistion may be connected to age, raw intelligence and learning difficulties certainly aren't.
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Postby rita » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:23 pm

?? Confused ?? Your message was different a few hours ago! What's going on? Am I cracking up or have you changed it?


I didn't really change it, I merely condensed it :)
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