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#1 Grumpy1

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:48 PM


I am posting this as my daughter is having difficulties with maths and livelife recommended I see what you can make of her results and shed some light on these difficulties.  DD was 8 years and 2 mths at time of testing and is getting D's for maths at school.  The educational psychologist said she had no learning difficulties and the desprepency bweteen her verbal and maths is difficult to understand.  She did point out a weakness in her PSI and recommened that DD be given extra time to complete maths exams (is is in year 4 now) and perhaps some tutoring would help her.  While I realise she is not gifted, though she does score well on the Wiatt, I hoped you might be able to give me some insight into how to help her.  The psychologist was unable to give her an IQ due to descrecpencies.  I have copied and pasted some of the test results.  Belwo are results for Wisc _IV.  Thanks for any insight.

(VCI)  Comp. 112 79% - High/Average
(PRI) Comp 110     75% - High average
(WMI) Comp.102 55% - Average
(PSI) Comp 91 91% - Average

[/size]Verbal Comprehension SubtestScores Summary






Test Age




Similarities 18 12 9:6 75

Vocabulary 33 14 10:2 91

Comprehension 19 11 8:6 63

Perceptual Reasoning SubtestScores Summary






Test Age




Block Design 26 11 8:10 63

Picture Concepts 17 11 8:10 63

Matrix Reasoning 21 13 9:10 84

Working Memory Subtest ScoresSummary






Test Age




Digit Span 13 10 7:10 50

Letter-Number Sequencing 16 11 8:10 63

Processing Speed Subtest ScoresSummary






Test Age




Coding 29 9 - 37

SymbolSearch 13 8 – 25

Summary of WIAT-II Subtest Scores

Subtests Percentile






Word Reading 82 9:4 4:3

Reading Comprehension 90 11:8 6:8

Pseudoword Decoding 81 10:4 5:1

Numerical Operations 12 6:8 1:9

Maths Reasoning 42 7:8 2:8


Eva performed in the High Averagerange in overall reading skills, as indicated by her

standard score on the ReadingComposite (118). Her skills in this area exceed that of

approximately 88% of students herage. Eva performed comparably on tasks that

required her to correctly read aseries of printed words (Word Reading standard score

= 114), read sentences andparagraphs and answer questions about what was read

(Reading Comprehension standardscore = 119) and correctly apply phonetic

decoding rules when reading aseries of nonsense words (Pseudoword Decoding

standard score = 113).


#2 Grumpy1

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:50 PM

This is what the psychologist said about her maths.  Please let me know if the copy and paste makes it incomphrehensible and I will write this email again.Mathematics

Eva's skills in mathematics are diverse and may not be adequately summarised by a

single number. She performed much higher on tasks that evaluated her ability to

understand basic number concepts, including unit and geometric measurement, and

solve one-step word problems (Maths Reasoning standard score = 97) than on tasks

that required her to add and subtract one- to three-digit numbers and multiply and

divide two-digit numbers (Numerical Operations standard score = 82). Because of

this variability in her performance, the Mathematics Composite standard score (89)

may not be the best summary of her overall skills in mathematics. Eva's skills in

Numerical Operations are within the Low Average range and better than those of only

approximately 12% of children her age. Her Maths Reasoning subtest score is above

that of approximately 42% of her peers, placing these skills in the Average range.

#3 grand poobah

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

Maybe you should take her name out of the above posts?

#4 LiveLife

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:15 PM

I'm not surprised her Working Memory is low in comparison (that ties in with the problems you describe with maths operations).  It would be well worth asking the parents of 2e kids for some advice on how to work with kids with uneven profiles.  It may be that once she moves information from her short term memory to her long term memory that she has less difficulty with tasks.  She may also benefit from a trip to a behavioural optometrist to see what her visual recall is like (perhaps that is high and she can learn compensatory strategies to move information from auditory to visual centre and therefore have a coping strategy for lower working memory).  I personally think it is very important you look into the subset tests she scored lower on and understand what she isnt capable of doing as efficiently as other strategies.  For example, digit span and letter number sequencing require her to listen to a series of information and then either verbally recall as presented or manipulate and then verbally recall--> this is her weak area.  So she is unlikley to learn mental maths through auditory processes (chanting) as well as she might from visual processes or she may need help to develop a strategy to move info from the auditory centre to the visual centre.  Did the psych give you ideas on this sort of stuff? My DDs WMI is high so its not something I've looked into but instead we have a comparatively weaker PSI but knowing this information allows you to better advocate for her in class and for you to chose the best approaches for any assistance with homework.

BTW the percentile rank for that PSI doesnt look right to me, should it be 41%ile?

Edited by LiveLife, 16 February 2013 - 05:31 PM.

#5 Grumpy1

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.  I actually was going to take her to a Behavioural Op. anyway as she has epsiodes when she feels dream like.  It may be mirgaine as I get migraine with aura.  I have had her eye checked by a normal Optometrist and her vision is fine.  What are 2e kids?

Yes her PSI should read 41% and is actually weaker than her working memory.  Strange that you mention that she may not do well with chanting as I am finding that she is remembering them quite well and is able to then use times tables to work out problems.  So it's confusing.  

So are you basically saying that the best strategy for her may be using visual tools such as flash cards?  Can she visualise well as opposed to memorise well?  She does so well at spelling and other areas that she memorises that it kinda suprises me.

The psycologist just suggested giving her extra time on tests and tutoring her in maths basics to get her up to speed.

I tried posting this in the correct area but again my post has gone to the wrong place.  Can't understand why.

PS: don't worry about the name they got that wrong anyway...

#6 Grumpy1

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

Makes sense about her moving information from short term memory to long term memory.  As I have mentioned a lot of repetition really seems to make a lot of difference to her.  So if they move to quickly in school changing from one type of maths to another, as they do in maths activitie,s she never has the opportunity to really commit to memory.  

She really needs to stay on one task until she understands that before moving to the next.  I did discuss this with the teacher as I had noticed that she never seemed to fully grasp any maths and advised her to make sure DD went over and over something until it was clear she understood.  This was not done.  How should I approach the teacher with ways that may benefit her?

However why would her English not be affected by this weakness.  Wouldn't you expect to see it in all subjects?

Thanks again

#7 Grumpy1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:59 AM

Just adding some more infor. from the report Re: PSI where she is really weak.  This seems to indicate that her visual processing skills are not very good? It says there is a probelm with visual scanning and tracking. Again they have her name wrong so I have not changed it.  

In regards to the behavourial Op is it possible that she may have concvergence inffucieny, which I believe is more common than we know, or some other problem with her eyes, such as Irlen syndrome, which could explain why she feels like she is in a dream at times and the world appears odd?  Bright light in particular seems to set this off.

Eva's ability in processing simple or routine visual material without making errors is

in the Average range when compared to her peers. She performed better than

approximately 27% of her peers on the processing speed tasks (Processing Speed

Index = 91; 95% confidence interval 83-102). Processing visual material quickly is

an ability that Eva performs less well than her verbal and nonverbal reasoning ability.

Processing speed is an indication of the rapidity with which Eva can mentally process

simple or routine information without making errors. Because learning often involves

a combination of routine information processing (such as reading) and complex

information processing (such as reasoning), a relative weakness in the speed of

processing routine information may make the task of comprehending novel

information more time-consuming and difficult for Eva. Thus, this relative weakness

in simple visual scanning and tracking may leave her less time and mental energy for

the complex task of understanding new material. Although much less developed than

her verbal and nonverbal reasoning abilities Eva's speed of information processing

abilities are still within the Average range and better than those of approximately 27%

of her age-mates (Processing Speed Index = 91; 95% confidence interval 101-117).

#8 Sue Heck

Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

I was going to reply in your other thread abouths education to say that I found the wisemaths.org article quite interesting as it says that children who rote learn their maths facts free up their working memory for other  things and that we have no problem with children practicing skills like learning the piano daily as we know that regular practice leads to improvement but don't expect children should have to practice maths daily.

My DD1has also been tested and also has weak working memory and processing with an otherwise high IQ but until I got her practing maths on a regular basis on top of what little homework she had she was just counting on her fingers and that is a very inefficient way to do anything but very basic addition and subtraction.  DD testing included a visit to a behavioural optometrist and an audiologist for testing for auditory processing issues. in her case she is very good at visual processing and memory but not auditory. I can see now why the strategies I was describing would not work your case.

Maybe taking out all the reading and writing out of her maths and get her practising mental maths would help also there are plenty of maths songs on YouTube she might be able to sing along to to help her remember.

DD1 was a pretty average maths student until year 6 when she suddenly took off and I think that was because mathematical reasoning became more important. She is now in high school in a maths extension program and doing very well.
DD's English was affected although she reads and spells very well her writing was always very short ( although partly due to a physical issue as well) and  her ability to sequence her ideas was all over the place. She doesn't read a lot of books and I think it's because it is hard to follow a complex story if you have to keep part of the plot in your mind.  You may not see some of these things until the English work gets more complex or possibly because she has verbal strengths she has found a way to compensate for it.

#9 Grumpy1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

Hi Helen Magnus

Thank you for your reply.  I am really glad someone read that article I posted.  Yes I do believe that rote/memorisation/repetition is the key to helping my DD and perhaps many others.  AS you so rightly pointed out from the article it frees up memory space, if there is automatic recall, thereby giving her more of a chance at tackling more complex tasks.

I am cheered to hear that your DD began to do well in maths.  Perhaps there is hope that my DD willl do the same.

I just find it strange that her difficulties should not affect her English skills.  She is a high level reader and one of the best at writing and spelling in her grade.  In fact her creative writing stories, which she really loves doing, have been shown to the principal.  Hence the reason why I do lay some of the blame on the way she has been taught maths in school where nothing was ever consolidated for her. For example I think they should be tuaght an area until they are able to confidently do it.  Instead it seems they are rushed through so many areas and strategies thereby learning nothing well.

#10 Sue Heck

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

I forgot to add that she also has a diagnosis of ADHD I attentive and takes a low dose of medication and fish oil.  Her iq test is typical for a child with ADHD. We did lots of computer based therapy and OT work first but that has really helped in the last year.

Have you heard of dyscalculia  it is like dyslexia but only affects numbers. Not that I am saying you daughter has it but is certainly possible to have a learning disability that only affects the ability to recognise and remember numbers.

Edited by Helen Magnus, 18 February 2013 - 08:02 AM.

#11 Grumpy1

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

Yes I have heard of it and wondered about it but the Ed. Psychologist made no mention of it so I suppose I thought that's one less thig to worry about.  Who makes the diagnosis of such problems and also ADD?

I presume your DD did pretty well in the VCI and the other one so has a high IQ.  They would not give my DD a FSIQ as the WMI and PSI were so low they beleived it would drag down her IQ and not be a true indication of her IQ.  How was your IQ determined?

Did your child do the Wiatt as well?  This is an ability based test ie what level they are working at.  DD did much better in this test in English and so I take comfort in those marks where she was scoring in the top 10-20%.  Again maths was a problem.

#12 LiveLife

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:49 PM

I'm with Helen, the results scream an issue with processing numbers especially auditory ones.  I would have thought it would be easier for her to rote learn mental maths with written cues based on those assessments.  I also dont see why you cant have an IQ calculated using a GAI (this takes out the PSI  and WMI scores) and at a rough guess I think it will be around 111 for your daughter using this alternative method (you can google how to calculate it but it should have been included by the tester, especially when a FSIQ could not be calculated due to large discrepencies).  Though having it calculated doesnt help her to output--> many gifted with glitches kids (2e kids) dont output well when they have one index dragging down their performance.  I just think you have half the answers you need right there in front of you and need to add in a few more assessments (say behavioural optometrist and auditory processing disorder) and then get more information from the psych on the best methods to use for her difficulties with maths.  

FWIW my DD is gifted in all domains except PSI.  Her PSI is significantly lower at 92%ile and it is amazing how much this affects her performance.  Your DD's profile is much more significantly bumpy and I really think some professional advice is warranted.

#13 Grumpy1

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

Thanks Livelife.  I should have mentioned that on the day of testing DD was super tired.  I think she was anxious and wound up about the test.  She only had about 5 hours sleep and she only got 2 short breaks of 10 mins. over 2 1/2 hrs of testing.  The psychologist noted that DD seemed very tired so perhaps that is the reason why she didn't want to calculate a FSIQ as she may have concluded that the tiredness affected her results.  She does mention it in the report.  Therefore it is possible that DD could have done better in her results had she been better rested and not as anxious...

I'm sticking with the chanting times tables for now as it's not just auditory but she must verbalise it as well and so far so good.  I'll let you know how we get on.  I also will look into auditory processing and Behavioural Op.  Thanks again.

#14 Grumpy1

Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:13 PM


I have done a bit of web surfing to see why a FSIQ was not given to DD.  On the report the psychologist puts her in the high/average range.  Apparently the GAI is not usually calculated unless the child is gifted.  At least this seems to be the gist of what I have read hence why DD was not given a FSIQ.

At present DD is still 8 and will be 9 in mid April.  The reader the school has given her is for 10 1/2 years and is still to easy for her.  Her readers have always seemed to easy since grade 2.  She is in the top reading group in her class but I wonder how much she gets out of them and if she shouldn't be challenged more?  Also she complains to me that her spelling is to easy.  She does usually get 100% on her spelling but I'm not sure how well she uses spelling in the context of day to day work. Even if she is not gifted are there occasions when some extension is warranted or do they only do this for gifted kids?

I also saw some her maths work sheets for the last 3 weeks and she was scoring 17 or 18/20 which is very pleasing to see.  She still seems to have a problem with a written maths problem and converting into maths.  Would this be due to her low PSI?

Have an Appt. booked with a Behavioural Op. in a few weeks so will see what she has to say.

#15 Grumpy1

Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Also wanted to add that at her previous school, which has a strong focus on G&T and a good programme, I was told by the principal that the teacher had identified her as needing extension.  At the time I had no idea what this really meant and she was only 5 years old.  The principal recommened I have her assessed, which I didn't do until the maths problem showed up, and that I make the teachers at her new school aware of their conclusion.  I didn't say anything at the time but I'm wondering if prehaps now is the time if in English she is finding it a bit easy?  As I said her results show she is not in the gifted range but do others who don't fall into the gifted range still need extension sometimes?

#16 Sue Heck

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

Dd has done two IQ tests both WIsc IV. She tested from low average to superior range and a score was calculated but was meaning less. The second time she was tested again as she had been tested for a g&t programme and she scored very high. The g & t teacher said she belonged in the class but really struggled with the written work and keeping up with the group, we wanted to see if she needed extension for high school.
The psychologist who did the test refused to do a  score and she didn't give a GAI but commented she was quite gifted. This time two of her scores went up quite a bit one down and the other moved up by one percentage point.
I think she did do the WIAT or similar but her performance didn't  match  what she should be capable of but as I said she has made massive improvements in the last year so is getting there in some areas.

An IQ test will only ever tell you the minimum your child is capabable of, learning and other disabilities can bring down the potential score and so can having a bad day or lack of cooperation.
Was it the school that did the testing or a private psych. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get much guidance about where to go after that and I ended up going to a developmental paed but that was to get the ADHD looked at.
If you don't get anywhere after having the behavioural optometrist assessment perhaps look at SPELD who deal with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.  I don!t think you need a paed to diagnose a learning disability just if you suspect a developmental disability.
My youngest child is performing a few years ahead of her peers in some areas but didn't qualify for extension. I just moved her to a new school where she will be getting what she needs. A gifted child doesn't just need harder work but the opportunity to explore knowledge and ideas at a deeper level, exercising reasoning skills and creativity and other things like that.

#17 Grumpy1

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

I agree the IQ score doesn't tell you everything.  I thought that IQ scores stayed pretty constant though so it's interesting that your DD had quite different results.  Was she tested at different ages?  WE had DD tested by a professoinal Ed. Psychologist was it was quite expensive but I was trying to get to the bottom of her maths difficulties.  As I said she basicallly said she was a bright girl who should be doing well across all areas of the curriculum.  Her recommnedations where that she be given an extra 10 mins for every half hour of testing in maths due to low WM and PSI but the teacher didn't do this.  Also she said we should hire a tutor to help her catch up.  But that wasn't much help.

I found the WIATT more useful in some ways as it measured DD's ability at that time against other kids in the same age group.  ie what she was achieving.  For English she scored 88% with a composite score of 118.  I'm not sure what the cut off scores for G&T are some say 115 for midly gifted others 120-125? Any way that's a pretty good score regardless but again her maths ability wasn't great.

Thanks for telling me of your experiences.

#18 LiveLife

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

our GnT program and subject acceleration is 99%ile or around 137 IQ

Ive heard of others that are higher and some as low as 130, I havent heard any lower than that though.  It does seem to vary somewhat from school to school.  The WA public primary school program is 97th%ile

#19 Grumpy1

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:17 AM

I understand that DD is not gifted however she appears, according to the WIATT results, to be advanced in English.  I don't expect her to be put into a G&T programme as she isn't gifted and I don't think our school even has one.  I guess what I'm asking is if they can still be extended in the regular classroom?  I suppose in a sense they have extended her in reading putting her a year ahead of her age so that's something but I'd like to think she did have opportunities to explore more interesting stuff in English that engaged her more.  ie she loves creative writing yet they so rarely do it.  At least she does it at home in her own time.  

In relation to her maths I am a bit more hopeful.  Things seem to be starting to click now.  I was very happy with the worksheets that I saw as I said.  If she keeps up her scores at this level ie 17-18/20 then I think it would be expected that she would move from a D to a C?  then again it is the beginning of the year so they are probably not pushing them very hard yet.  

It's amazing how much positive reinforcement can benefit.  I make sure I tell her how well she appears to be doing and how she must be working very hard.  Her little face lights up.  It's hard when you are told by others, such as kids, "you're no good at maths, (yes this happened on a few occasions) and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  She clearly believes she's hopeless at maths and if she can replace that with I am good at maths and there is no reason why I can't do well the she wont give up so easily.  Also since she has the same teacher this year I hope she hasn't been pidgeon-holed as being bad a maths.  Fingers crossed.

#20 Grumpy1

Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

I am been doing some research on WM and it is not as simple as it sounds.  It's not that these kids don't have a good memory, they can, it's just that if a particular question has many componants to it then their memory becomes overloaded and sort of blows a fuse.  So if the question is straight forward then there isn't a problem in terms of memory but if it requires them to break it down then they do.  The anaology they use is a computer.  It is explained like this :

To start with, WM isn’t related to memory as most people understand the word.  I think of folks with great memories as having really huge ‘hard drives’ and having lots of data in storage, the same way a newer computer might be able to keep all its photos, favorite movies and songs on it’s hard drive.  WM is more like the RAM which tells you how many programs the computer can run at the same time without crashing.  If you imagine your son trying to  write a 5 paragraph as needing to run lots of separate programs at once, then you can see why the programs are running sluggishly.  As you pointed out, he has to think about spelling, capitalization, punctuation, what are the various paragraphs supposed to accomplish, and what is the main point of the essay.  He’s got too many programs running all at  once!

Hence why DD has trouble with written maths computation.  There are numerous steps she must go through before arriving at the answer.  She may get lost in the process due to the large number of steps involved...

So with this in mind I can see that chanting times tables can still be very useful for her.  She shouldn't have any problem memorising them.  They are straightforward.  The woman who wrote what I have copied above suggests that teachers be made aware that these kids need to have the componants of the question wirtten down for them so they can follow them in a methodical way.  Sort of like an instruction manual.  She also said that the WM often gets better with age due to using it more or more practise.

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