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    #103963 - 06/01/11 08:20 PM interpret low digit span score on WISC IV
    jimmyy Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/01/11
    Posts: 3
    Hi all, just discovered this forum a few days ago. May I ask a question on how to interpret low digit span score from my son's WISC IV test?

    My son is 9 yr old. He did WISC IV test this past weekend and got the following score:
    VCI: 146
    Similarities: 18
    Vocabulary: 18
    Comprehension:17
    PRI: 143
    Block Design: 17
    Picture Concepts: 17
    Matrix Reasoning: 17
    WMI: 129
    Arithmetic: 17
    Digit Span: 9
    Letter-Number Seq: 13
    PSI: 128
    Coding: 15
    Symbol Search: 15

    FSIQ: 148

    It seems Digit Span score is real low. How to interpret this? What is the symptom/consequence of this? Anything needs
    to be concerned? The testing school psychologist said nothing
    to be worried. But still I am wondering if the experienced parents may have seen this kind of "pattern"? Thanks very much.

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    #103989 - 06/02/11 11:13 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    ukmum Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 7
    Hi How is your son progressing? Is it as you would expect with this IQ or do you think the digit span is causing any problems with short term auditory memory for example? Sorry I dont have any answers for you.

    My son had a similar result although all his scores were slightly lower than your sons with his top being comprehension at 17 and digit span of 8 being the lowest.

    Our ed psych in the UK didnt suggest any concerns about this disparity but my son aged 6 is still unable to write. He refuses to try at school and still even reverses the letters in his own first name! He reads well though.

    I understand that digit span is ofter lower in children with high verbal IQ but I would like to know what recommendations, if any an ed psych should/could make with this disparity of result to best help.

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    #103994 - 06/02/11 11:38 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: jimmyy
    WMI: 129
    Arithmetic: 17
    Digit Span: 9
    Letter-Number Seq: 13
    PSI: 128
    Coding: 15
    Symbol Search: 15

    Welcome Jimmyy!
    Did they tell you that your sons score is really unusually high? Also unsually well balanced for scores that high - even with the 'lowish' Digit Span.

    I wouldn't worry about the Digit Span unless you are slapping your head and saying 'So that's why when I tell him to brush his teeth, change into pajamas, feed the dog, lay out clothing for the next day, read to his little brother, and go to bed, he always leaves one step out!' The reason I'm not so concerned is that the other WM scores are very high, and the Speed index is high as well. But if you think you see an issue, tell us, and we'll help figure it out. WMI and PSI are rather randomly distributed compared to VCI and PRI, which are felt to reflect intellectual strength.

    Are you in the U.S.? If so I would apply to DYS program. How are things going at school for your son? Does he have special educational needs due to his IQ strengths? There are a few school districts in the US where scores like your son's aren't unusual - a few. Otherwise finding academic peers amoung agemates can be tough.

    Welcome!
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #104036 - 06/02/11 08:08 PM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: Grinity]
    jimmyy Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/01/11
    Posts: 3
    Thanks ukmum, I don't have specific concerns related to digit span right now. But My son's handwriting is just average though.

    Thanks Grinity. We live in Chicago. The reason I did this private WISC testing is that my son does not have friends in school. It seems that he has below-average ability to make friends. Other than this, he is doing well in school even though he says he learns little from school. He basically reads a lot himself all the time and has a lot of math work from home. As part of the WISC test, he also got scores on WIAT-II: Word Reading 117 and Math Reasoning 151.

    Having read the forum for a few days now, would the discrepancy between VCI/PRI and WMI/PSD become some kind of "bottleneck"? It also seems making friends is not easy for some gifted children, right?

    We are also thinking of looking for a school where they may have special program for gifted children.

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    #104049 - 06/03/11 03:42 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: jimmyy
    my son does not have friends in school. It seems that he has below-average ability to make friends.


    I wouldn't be so quick to jump to this conclusion when looking at the information you have presented. He may be above-average in ability, but be placed in a situation that even overcomes those 'above-average' skills.

    Having an IQ that is 3 to 4 SD beyond the other kids isn't exactly like being 3 or 4 years older, but it is close enough for a thought experiment to get an example of what I mean from above.

    Let's say that one of the more ND (normally developing) kids in his classroom, age 6, returns to school in September 2011 to find that she has been placed in a preK room with 3 year olds. No explanation. The teachers don't seem to recognize that her readiness to learn zone is 3 years advance of the other children so all the daily activities are appropriate to ND 3 year olds. How would an average 6 year old with average 'friend making' abilities do? Zoom forward in time 7 months and the situation is the same - how is our thought experiment child doing now?

    If you compare how your son has done to the child in the thought experiment, you might decide he has above average 'friend-making' skills.

    We have a few posters from Chicago. You might find that on a playdate with one of those children, your son looks like a completely different kid. Chicago also has 'Saturday enrichment classes' that might have kids who have 'playdate potential.'

    Handwriting at age-average is totally normal for gifties - although there are a few who are well above average. This is where the above 'age+3' analogy breaks down. Some have above average athletic ability, and some have 'just' age-average.

    Good luck with the school search. Remember that some local public district in the Chicago area have many gifted kids in them, and that a private school that markets itself to 'the gifted' may not have more advanced kids than your local public school. What you want is a school that can recognize advanced abstract reasoning skill in young children and a school that is Flexible. A school that can look at the test scores and say - Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work modifying our offerings. It's not unusual for PG kids to need a full grade skip and a subject acceleration or two while at a private school for gifted - because PGs are so rare that who could make a living restricting a private school to just PG kids?

    If I ran a Gifted school, the first thing I would do is sit down with the child and the end of year tests and see what level the child is at in each subject. I wouldn't assume that age is a good proxy for readiness to learn level.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #104137 - 06/03/11 05:12 PM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: Grinity]
    jimmyy Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/01/11
    Posts: 3
    LittleCherub, the tester just said she did not use the lowest Digit Span score. I could have asked why if I had read this forum ahead. I suspect myself this number maybe abnormal for whatever reason.

    Thanks Dottie. Actually I don't observe my son's short term memory is bad. He can do multiple step math word problems in his head.

    Thanks Grinity. I get your point. I will have to spend time looking for playmates for him.


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    #104229 - 06/05/11 06:21 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Here are some of my favorite books for helping parents help their kids develop social skills. Some of my friends have reported seeing great gains from professionally lead social skills therapy groups - sometimes called 'friendship groups.'

    Friends Forever: How Parents Can Help Their Kids Make and Keep Good Friends by
    Fred Frankel

    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Transforming-Diffi...;sr=1-1-catcorr

    Between those 2 you'll have plenty to get started with!
    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #104653 - 06/10/11 11:42 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    August Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/10/11
    Posts: 2
    Hi I'm new here, and just wondering with issues of LD, does anyone know what the rarity of a 16 point subtest scatter is? My son received three 19s on the WISC IV and has a GAI of 99.9%. But he also received a 3 in coding. How many children out of 1000 have such a spread? I'd like to know because I'm about to start advocating at my son's school. I'm told lots of children are gifted/ld. But this extreme?

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    #104932 - 06/14/11 01:17 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    chris1234 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1891
    August, welcome, you might need to start a new thread for this to get good answers...the scores you describe sound pretty rare to me, might be more of a 'how many in 10,000' thing. But I am not really that in the know to confirm this.
    I will say there is a thread around here about shockingly-low coding scores and whether that correlates to a 'type' of kid or learner (my son has a pretty low coding score). I'll see if I can dig it up.

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    #104966 - 06/14/11 10:25 AM Re: interpret low digit span score on WISC IV [Re: jimmyy]
    KateZ Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/18/11
    Posts: 9
    I took a WAIS (adult version of the WISC) given by a friend who was a grad student in clinical psychology. I scored way, way, way below normal on digit span. It was terrible.

    The consequence of this for me has been nothing. I don't remember phone numbers well. That's about it.

    I scored very well on all of my college entrance tests, and on my LSAT and on the GREs. I am an attorney who graduated in the top 10% of my law school class. I have a successful career.

    Don't sweat it.



    Edited by KateZ (06/14/11 10:26 AM)

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