HELP EP assessment - Smart child but low score???

(8 Posts)
Itsmeq Sun 08-Oct-17 01:16:11

Hello my DS1 (6 yr 11 m ) has just had a EP assessment at schools as he struggles so much with reading and wrtitting. he also has an ADHD diagnosis and is on meds for that. he also has fine motor skills issues.
So the BAS3 based assessment revealed the following shockingly low results:
Core scales
Verbal Ability Stabdard score 85 / percentile 16/ below average
( verbal comprehension 35/ percentile 7; naming vocabulary 48/ percentile 42)
Non verbal reasoning Standard score 63/ percentile 0.7/ very low
( picture similiarities 26/percentile 1; matrices 32/ percentile 4)
Spatial ability Standard score 73/ percentile 4/low
( pattern construction 73/ percentile 4; copying 40/percentile 15)
Diagnostic tests
Early number concepts 16 percentile below average
Matching letter like forms 50 percentile average
speed of information processing 18 percentile below average
Recall digits forward 69 percentile average
Recall digits backward 51 percentile average
Achievments tests
Number skills 19 percentile below average
Spelling 13 percentile below average
Word reading 18 percentile below average
GCA was not calculated but I assume it is an average between cluster scores in core scales so would be around 74 - so that would effectively indicate bordeline intellectual impairment!
Now this seems totally of the mark for my little boy who most people describe as very bright but struggling with reading/ writing and concentration/ impulsivity. He speaks 3 languages ( English is his 1st language so this is not an issue) and learning 4th. His understanding of the world on par if not above his age. He can engage in complex discussions with peers and adults , comprehends books/ plays aimed at age 8+, is a natural leader in the playground, has very vivid imagination... Both me and DH have above average to high IQ scores , even though DH has dyslexia and ADHD and I am undiagnosed dyspraxic ( and DH and DS1 are so much alike that I assumed their cognitive ability would be roughly the same) . the report stated that he was compliant with the test but ocassionally loosing focus/day dreaming. So what can this all mean??? I know he is probably dyslexic/ dyspraxic but does he really have low IQ? Should I push for a re-test?

OP’s posts: |
Shybutnotretiring Sun 08-Oct-17 08:30:29

When my DS had an EP assessment it was very spiky, so lots of very poor scores but the odd higher one. It was useful for getting help/new school because I kept rattling it in front of the local authority and saying he could do better if he was helped with all these specific problems. From your description of your son it sounds like you would at least have expected him to do better in the verbal reasoning/comprehension part (that was virtually the only part my son did well in). But, my son adored that EP and kept asking to see her again ages after the assessment! I do think it's perfectly possible that children can do very badly on a particular test not because they really are that weak in that area but because they don't understand the question or they completely zone out (perhaps linked to anxiety). So you could ask for a re-test but I wouldn't be surprised if the school refused. And you might want a second opinion with a different EP anyway. Either way I would focus on getting the school to help him. I reckon with those scores you should be able to get them to do an EHCP. If I had added up all my son's scores I think it would've been a terrifyingly low IQ which I don't really accept either. That EP also declined to give a general figure; you could worry that she was just being kind or more optimistically that it is complex and that they know that all these low scores do not equate with a genuinely low IQ. Apologies for the mammoth post!

Itsmeq Sun 08-Oct-17 10:08:01

Shybutnotretiring ,thank you! Yes I fully expect the school to say no to a retest and I do think that the results may have to do somewhat with the particular EP. He first came to observe my son last year and then we felt that he didn't "get" him. This year we asked the school to involve a different but they would not hear of it.. I do feel that there is no way he has low intelligence and you don't need a test to establish that... I will of course seek a second opinion. I wonder though could I somehow be an denial and not see some obvious signs that his problems are indeed a result of his overall low cognitive ability? What would those signs be?

OP’s posts: |
Allthewaves Sun 08-Oct-17 22:16:09

Firstly do his meds needs tweeking? Iv had to request ds dosage hnahe after growth spurt etc.

Surely the reading based scores are going to be super low if he's possibly dyslexic. Could this impacted also on the way the ed psych delivered the tests?

Is his comprehension def that good. Ds is reading and writing well above his age but struggles to grasp the subtle complexities of a story or emotional tones - not apparent until you really quiz him.

Could u ask for meeting with ed psych to go through the results?

Shybutnotretiring Sun 08-Oct-17 23:32:16

In my DS's case I think poor working memory really thrashes his academic progress. [Assuming I have understood this correctly] this is where for instance he struggles through a particular word when reading but even when it crops up about 5 seconds later on the next page doesn't remember it and has to start all over again trying to decipher it. It's not just a reading thing. For instance if 7 + 2 features in one sum even if two seconds later it crops up again he doesn't remember, has to work it out all over again.

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 16-Oct-17 09:25:13

Stick to your instincts. You sound fairly balanced from your post and the things that you have admitted you are thinking through.

The only thing tests assess is ability to perform that test. It has some validity in terms of generalising ability in other things as a standard across a population, but individually, not so much. It provides a best guess at most.

There are all kinds of things that affect test performance. Processing speed, understanding of the question, individual motivation and concentration levels, anxiety, test duration, sensitivity and intuition of the person delivering the test, and, IMO for children with some SEN, how much they have practised such tests before.

I know that practice can affect my son's non-verbal reasoning scores, though not his verbal reasoning scores. This is because there is some assumption that the children will automatically understand what is expected of them, and process things in a way that typical children do. Practising gives the training on HOW to perform in those test situations, which can improve the score.

You can suggest that the test does not reflect your real life lived experience of your son and ask if there is another different test that will give a more refined/accurate picture that will explain the results in the first. EPs tend to pick the most crude, cheap, easy-to-deliver tests but there are more sensitive tests available. WISC 5 is probably a way better one.

Hope that helps.

BoogleMcGroogle Mon 16-Oct-17 20:11:06

This was just one assessment on your son who is very young to be taking part in standardised assessments in the first place. The younger a child is, the more likely it is that the score has been affected by other factors, such as attention difficulties, anxiety and fatigue. To be fair, the EP should have written this as a caveat in their report and also should have commented on any factors that they feel might have affected his performance. My son has just had a standardised EP assessment and scored similarly. Both myself (because I've practised a couple of my new WISC subtests on him, being a jobbing EP in need of guinea pigs) and the EP knew that these were not the best he could achieve. He was off in a dilly daydream and was much more interested in telling her about the Judoon (Dr Who, 12th Doctor I believe). On the plus side , it should add to both boy's evidence in terms of needing additional support, which I presume you would welcome.

The EP can't repeat the test as there's a test-retest effect and the likelihood is that if they use the BAS (which is not crude, cheap or easy to deliver!) they are not experienced in administering a WISC (EP's generally use one or the other) . I would be a liability with a BAS without lots of practise.

StarlightMcKenzee you last comment did make me bristle somewhat I'm afraid. I don't administer the cheapest, crudest and easiest tests available and nor do the vast majority of my colleagues. I work both within and outside Local Authorities and my test of whether my work is 'good enough' is whether it would be good enough for either of my children. It means I work over my hours and don't turn much of a profit on my private work but please don't assume that all EP's are out to do a slapdash job. I may have just been lucky, but the vast majority of my colleagues have been clever, caring and as thorough as their massive workloads allow them to be.

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 17-Oct-17 14:58:28

Boogle My comment wasn't a personal one, but a general one. I have vast experience of supporting parents with slapdash EP reports.

Just today I have supported a parent whose EP has refused to specify and quantify due to policy set by the LA that they should not. This goes against their own EP Code, but the LA is their employer I suppose.

I am also dealing with an LA whose EP service is flouting their duty to assess children for EHCPs because they have been made a cost centre and though that duty is statutory, the LA have insisted they must deliver it without funding, expecting them to cover that work by charging schools enough for other work to enable them to do the assessments for free. Therefore their reports are based on seeing as many children in one go in one school, with minimal assessment and not even properly identifying the children, - and that is only if parents know the law enough to insist that an EP sees their children at all.

I am dealing with another LA whose EP has carefully picked subtests for a child that showed they do not have the needs an independent EP has subsequently managed to demonstrate they do have considerably. Why they only did a few subtests and not the ones the child needed I don't know. It could be deliberate, or it could be down to time-pressure.

And this is just in the last week. I have been dealing with this nonsense for years, and actually, before austerity.

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