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Sort of got our diagnosis today and a bit confused, does anyone know about cognitive tests?

(12 Posts)
Willmouse Thu 04-Oct-12 20:48:37

DS- aged 9 has just been tested for what we thought was either Aspergers or high functioning autism. School are desperate to get Autism outreach in so I phoned today to see how much longer it would be before we got the formal diagnosis.

I have been told that he has autism spectrum condition and they will write a letter to school to that effect with the full report to follow in 3 weeks.

She then went on to tell me that the results of his cognitive test were 86 for working memory and 88 (I think) for verbal IQ. I was told that he has average to low IQ. I was surprised by this, I accept that he is hopeless at comprehension and maths but reads at least 12m ahead for his age and is always researching away on the computer doing PowerPoint presentations and the like.

I am now really stressed thinking I should give up my job as a childminder as it encroaches hugely on homework time.

School are also saying that my second son (6) is showing signs of being autistic, so all in all it has been a crappy day sad

ArthurPewty Thu 04-Oct-12 21:33:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 04-Oct-12 23:01:02

Sorry to hear this. IQ scores for ASD are notorious for underestimating ability eg here. Because they are mostly language based, children with difficulties with language score badly. So my DS scored high on non verbal skills and really low on verbal ones.

bialystockandbloom Thu 04-Oct-12 23:42:15

Yes I gather too that IQ tests are really not an indication of cognitive ability with ASD children. It also is not necessarily an indication of other areas in which they might struggle (eg social understanding) and need help.

Eg my ds (5yo, High functioning ASD) is at a very high level of reading ability, but reading the words doesn't mean he will understand the story. The more I know of ASD, the more I realise that the brain works in such a different way, even at the 'mild' end of the spectrum. So a test like an IQ one, designed for neurotypical brain just might not be appropriate to use for someone with ASD (though afaik there is currently no real alternative).

Sorry for the news you have recently had. Keep posting here, there is lots and lots of support and advice.

Willmouse Fri 05-Oct-12 07:15:35

Thank you for the replies.

I will keep posting, I have so many questions I don't know where to start.

bialystockandbloom Fri 05-Oct-12 10:37:23

Don't want to bombard you with info now as you need time for this to sink in, but I would just say that it is probably a priority to look at applying for a statement for your ds. If school are, as you say, desperate for 'autism outreach', it suggests he is struggling and needs extra support. A statement is the best way to get this.

ilikemysleep Fri 05-Oct-12 17:59:43

For Agnes...I am unconvinced by the IQ test argument as the conventional IQ test measures a wide range of functioing including assessments very similar to Ravens Matrices mentioned in the article, whereas the Ravens only looks at one aspect of non verbal reasoning. So all the article is saying is that autistic children are on average quite good at logical non verbal reasoning, which is information any test administrator worth their salt should be able to derive from analysing the subtests within a standard IQ test.
I work in the field and know of no general recognition that kids on the spectrum do badly on IQ tests. They do variably, just like everyone else. :-)

Willmouse Fri 05-Oct-12 23:04:24

I am very confused about the whole statementing thing.

The lady who is doing the report said it would be helpful for school to have a copy in case they needed to apply for a statement. At that point I admit I was shocked and said do you think he needs a statement? She said no not at the moment. What's that all about then? confused

catstail Sat 06-Oct-12 08:43:14

I think they just want to see the report. Up to you if you feel it is private or want to share it with them

CelstialNavigation Sun 07-Oct-12 21:16:40

The person doing the report should be looking at how your son's performance in some subtests differs from his performance in others and going through all of that in detailed feedback with you, preferably face-to-face. It sounds like you are getting some of the feedback in advance, as the school are keen for it? But don't let that deter you from scheduling a feedback appointment to get the whole picture.

I think you do need the whole picture before you can plan or adjust. Try not to worry too much in the meantime as it really doesn't sound like you have been given an overall picture yet.

bialystockandbloom Sun 07-Oct-12 22:28:32

You can apply for a statement yourself, it doesn't have to be the school who do it. (And bear in mind that if the school apply and are refused, they have no right of appeal, whereas if you do, you can appeal, after 6 months.)

The EP (presumably it was an EP who did the assessment?) probably just suggested that school have a copy so they can see for themselves the expert advice - the report will certainly tell them more than they would be able to garner themselves. It also may contain much more than just the IQ scores, eg info on social interaction or concentration (just to pluck random examples).

The fact that school say they need support suggests that he may be struggling in areas other than just academic ones. Things like putting things in sequence, making inferences, reading intentions, analysing emotional situations, etc are things that high functioning children may struggle with, and as school progresses these things become more demanding, so it might be other areas he needs help in.

Hope this makes sense, sorry it's a bit rambling. I'm sure things will become clearer for you when the report comes through and you can discuss it with the school. Keep posting questions though, we'll all try to help as much as we can.

Willmouse Sun 07-Oct-12 22:57:30

Thank you. That has helped me with what I am going to put in my letter stating why he needs a statement.

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