Help interpreting scores / processing speed

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Help interpreting scores / processing speed
6
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 2:04pm

Okay, ds14 (who has since turned 15) had an assessment earlier this fall because he had entered school for the first tiem, struggles with dysgraphia and we wanted him to get the official okay to use a computer for his written work, even in standardized exam situations where it's not normally an option. He had a WISC-IV and some sort of learning styles analysis -- some of the WIAT-II and some other stuff, I think.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 11:00pm
Yes, I have low visual processing speed and less working memory than I think I ought to have, which leads to precisely the music reading issues that you describe. Unlike your ds, I am also the worst in the family at video games.

Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 12-11-2011 - 4:06pm
You might want to talk to a developmental optometrist. The school did not measure the visual processing speeds for my son when I had him assessed for writing assistance (but then, I didn't ask for it, and here in the US if you don't ask specifically they often don't do it.)

My son's issues with writing had LOTS to do with his tracking abilities. He does have other fine motor issues though. If your son did have issues with tracking it would make sense with the reading music. Reading words is mostly straight across, reading music you have a lot of lines to keep straight and I would think (although I didn't get reading music until 7th grade, long after most of my peers) a lot harder to do.

We did vision therapy, a lot of our friends with the same issues are getting glasses or have both.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 12:01pm

You're the second person to have mentioned vision therapy. I'm intrigued, and I do know of people (on-line) who have reported good results. However, I confess that a lot of the reading I've done about developmental optometry makes me a little skeptical -- some of the articles and websites make it sound like a miracle cure for everything -- up to 20% of children have some problems, treatment can cure everything from behavioural problems to dyslexia to underachievement to motion sickness. And the websites I read from practitioners in my area talk about the importance of in-office vision therapy as opposed to (or at least in addition to) at-home therapy.

When I scan down the huge list of possible symptoms I also don't see much of anything that fits with my ds. His behaviour and concentration are awesome, he is a high achiever at school, his reading fluency and comprehension are excellent, he learned to read early and easily, has no visual symptoms (fatigue, eye-rubbing, finger-tracking, headaches etc.), has great hand-eye co-ordination for ball sports and the like, excels at video-gaming, no problem with stereoscopic vision. In short, despite the huge vague list of possible symptoms, the only one that really fits with him is the one that relates to his hand-writing challenges: he's slow to do schoolwork that requires the use of pen and paper.

Nevertheless, the fact that you're not the first to mention vision therapy makes me curious.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Mon, 12-12-2011 - 6:37pm
I'm certain that dd17's dyslexia is compounded by visual issues, because of how she describes the "behavior" of print, the way she skips lines (especially in music), etc...but our eye doctor who also does vision therapy, says she can find nothing awry. I spent a lot of time looking for visual therapy information on the internet...I did buy a book which has chapters and chapters on the virtues of vision therapy when done under appropriate supervision, with (finally) a set of exercises at the end that seem very basic and probably not at all harmful, even in the hands (eyes) of rank amateurs...

Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Mon, 12-19-2011 - 12:58am
It might not hurt to call the one 8 hours away and ask them if they can tell you what the scores mean. They might not want to if you not a patient, but nothing lost but the cost of a call.

For my son, yes, it "cured" more things that I thought possible. But no, I would not say it is for everyone. I think that some things get misdiagnosed, like ADHD and one thing pushed as the cure all (drugs in that case) or dyslexia with certain programs as the cure for that for everyone with dyslexia. But then again, all of the things that you said that your son does NOT have, my son did have.

There is a book, out of print, but available used on Amazon called "Developing Your Child for Success." It has a variety of exercises that both our Occupational Therapists have used and the Vision Therapists. If it is cheap, you may want to get it, and have him try the harder exercises (they have them in levels.) If he has problems doing them, have him practice them. I heard about this book a few years ago on the home schooling board from the mother who lived in Hungary.


Have yo called back the person who administered the test and ask them to explain it again to you, or give you literature to read so that you know how to interpret it better? Or refer you to a web site? Seems as though if they are going to measure something, if it is deficient that they should have some idea of how to overcome that, or at least what it means to a person who is deficient and how that makes them different from the average person so that they can figure ways to cope. (Although, it sounds like your son is coping well, aside from writing.)

With my son, and the others that I have seen who have gotten vision therapy, he was diagnosed with lazy eye. Kids who do not go to developmental optometrists tend to get glasses to fix this. You may want to ask your local eye doctor to check for lazy eye just to see if glasses would help (and maybe ask him/her about those scores!)
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Sat, 12-31-2011 - 6:29pm

Hi MM,

I had a very similar experience with my DD. She was tested by our school board at age 8, and while she made the gifted cutoff her processing speed was in the 16th percentile. At first I was concerned it might indicate a disability of some kind, especially given the huge discrepancy between this subscore and her others. So I talked to the psychologist who tested her, and she told me that some kids are more reflective than others and basically "take their time" through the processing-speed component.

All my subsequent observations of DD have led me to believe that she has a high processing speed. She types 100+ words per minute, is very fast at mental math, is orders of magnitude faster than any of her peers at oral spelling and anagramming (I know this because I've run writing workshops in her all-gifted program when she was between Grade 4 and 8), is unbeatable at the game of Set (which is all about processing speed), and on and on. So I just think of that test as a blip and feel pretty confident that she would get a vastly different score if retested.

I realize your DS does have dysgraphia, but since he processes other information very fast, his test may also have been a blip of some kind. Perhaps he was nervous because he sees himself as a slow writer and extrapolated that anything to do with speed would expose his weaknesses.

Bottom line, I wouldn't worry about it if he's able to read, type, and do mental math at above-average speed (which seems to be the case).

HTH Freelance