Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 31 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Gxtd, NYC2011, varsha dongre, Caril, Happy Dolphin
    10643 Registered Users
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
    Topic Options
    #108065 - 07/29/11 09:22 AM Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional
    Bookratt Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 17
    Loc: Belgium
    Hello, all. I'm a longtime lurker, first time poster.

    We are Americans living in Belgium, here on an expat assignment for a private company. My son goes to an international school here, just as he has since Preschool. He attended Preschool-Kindergarden-Grade 1 in Krakow, Poland; he attended Grade 2 here last year, and will start Grade 3 here in August.

    We will return to the US permanently in July, 2012; that Fall will be his first time attending American schools.

    He was recently tested, at both the teacher's and my suggestion. Our reasons for testing were very different.

    Long story, for another time.

    I only have a verbal overview of the Wisc IV testing the psychologist perfromed, so far. And I do not understand it all yet, but suspect there is a problem here.

    And I have no idea what the results of the Connors are/will be; I did not want to do that test when it was explained to me what it is for. The teacher suggested and specifically asked for it, but did not tell me wht it was then. I only found out whent he sychologist explained it. I went ahead only on the recommend of the psychologist, who said it is part of her standard battery of tests.

    The psychologist who tested him gave me 4 composite numbers, for the Wisc IV. Then said she would have us come back in for a follow up, where she goes over everything. Then she will put it all in writing, and send that written report to us, and his school.

    But that follow up meeting is weeks away, and I would like to figure some of this out now.

    The numbers she gave me are:

    Processing Speed: 88
    Working Memory: 89
    Perceptual Reasoning: 136
    Verbal Comprehension: 144

    My questions/concerns: These numbers seem very far apart. From reading online, that is NOT normal.

    Does this disparity mean something bad for our son? Is this what my teacher friend w/ a Masters in Gifted and Talented Ed calls a possible Twice Exceptional result?

    Does my child have a significant learning deficit? Did something go wrong during the testing? Will we need to retest, w/this or another test?

    What do I need to know/what are some good questions and comments I need to prepare, for when we meet up with the psychologist to go over all of this? What sites or links can you sggest, for me to look into this further?

    As we live in a Dutch/French speaking country, and I speak/read neither language, I found nothing at the library I could use to help me, and school is now closed, so I cannot consult with anyone there.

    This whole experience has been very confusing for me.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help anybody can provide to us.


    #108066 - 07/29/11 09:27 AM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    DMA Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/10
    Posts: 28
    Your son's results look quite abit like my son's results, and my son is twice exceptional. You need to get details on the subtests for each of the indices so you can see where the problems lie. There is an excellent resource on testing called Hoagies Gifted. The URL is

    It has an excellent section on twice exceptional as well.

    #108072 - 07/29/11 10:38 AM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    melmichigan Offline

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 679
    My DD has numbers along these lines with the WISC IV, although her working memory is a little lower and her processing speed a little higher. My DD is 2E. These areas together affect the ability to retrieve and manipulate information that has been learned (as well as storing it properly in the brain) and then using that information. This impacts her abiilty to do things like math facts quickly. She can process the information but it takes more time to get there and she doesn't always retain it from one day to the next. So she may have learned a math concept but struggles to have automaticity with the actual math facts used in the problem.

    It would be helpful to understand if you DS's strength is auditory or visual memory and attention, to see how that might impact accomodations. You might also want to ask if the psychologist thinks that something like perfectionism might have impacted your DS's scores. Is your child bilingual? Sometimes that can also impact processing as one transfers material from one language to another. You would want look at what accomodations they are making for a classroom setting, such as more time to complete tests.

    For my DD her GAI on the WISC is more in line with her scores on the Stanford-Binet, which doesn't have as many timed areas and lets her GT show more than the WISC so that might be a future option with testing. This is still a new road for us so I hope you find some of this helpful. smile
    EPGY OE Volunteer Group Leader

    #108081 - 07/29/11 12:28 PM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Cricket2 Offline

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Later when I have more time I'll post an article I have somewhere that cautions against "profile analysis" or diagnosing someone with anything based upon the way subtests line up on the WISC or other IQ tests. That said, if you see deficits in real life, I certainly wouldn't rule out 2e.

    I have one child, dd12, whose processing speed was low average on the WISC and whose other three indices were gifted - highly gifted. She is not really 2e although she has some sensory issues. My other dd10 is 2e with ADD and possibly dyslexia. Her profile on the WISC looks a lot like your ds's.

    In general, I'd say that wildly divergent #s aren't typical, but they are much more typical for a gifted child, 2e or not, than for a neurotypical average child. High highs and average lows don't necessarily mean 2e, but they do mean something about roadblocks for that child.
    Study Strategies for Accelerated Learners

    #108090 - 07/29/11 01:20 PM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hi Bookratt, welcome to the forum!

    Do ask your tester to calculate GAI - from my notes that score, which reflect a 'overall IQ without the limits from WM and PS' will be over 146 - and with supporting Achievement scores would qualify your son to be part of the Davidson Young Scholars Program. See for more detail.

    That means as far as 'thinking power' goes, your child is not 'just' gifted, but a standard deviation more unusually gifted than kids who just qualify as gifted. That might suprise you or be exactly what you expect, but what it means is that most teachers who have knowledge of 1000 students have seen maybe one other child with 'thinking power' like yours.

    Then there are the Processing Speed and WM issues - they affect how able your child is to show that he has the 'thinking power' that he has. His scores are certianly high enough for an average child, but for your child they represent an inner discrepancy (if in fact the scores represent a good picture of what goes on for your child - they can be thrown off any number of ways)which can be frustrating to the child and misleading to the observer (teacher.)

    Our psychologist told us that it was like having one leg shorter than the other. In this situation ( again assuming it's a true picture and not artifact) it's like having the leg of a shorter than average adult and the other leg like a basketball player!)

    Hopefully achievement testing was also done to round out the picture - is that long leg more like a high school baskeball player, a college basketball player or an NBA basketball player?

    click here for more articles -
    Coaching available, at

    #108093 - 07/29/11 01:35 PM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Cricket2 Offline

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Here's that article:

    pg. 4 talks about profile analysis:

    The Case Against Using Profile Analysis With Gifted/Learning Disabled Students
    Historically, there has been a strong and enduring belief in the existence of multiple and
    distinct intellectual abilities (Kehle, Clark, & Jenson, 1993). From Thurstone to Gardner, the
    theory of multiple intelligences has continued to influence intellectual assessment. In addition, the
    Wechsler IQ scales contain 10 to13 distinct subtests, undoubtedly influencing school psychologists’
    belief in the interpretability of distinct subtest profiles (Kehle et al.). The subtests on the
    Wechsler scales appear to measure divergent content, and most educators intuitively believe that
    students display unique patterns of strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Therefore, educators
    and psychologists often feel tempted to use the subtest scores to reveal a student’s unique
    pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Profile analysis refers to the practice of interpreting
    differences among subtests as evidence of differential and distinct pattern of cognitive functioning
    in a student. Many practitioners continue to interpret the profile of subtest scores, even in the face
    of overwhelming empirical research that cautions against such practice (Kavale & Forness, 1984;
    Kramer, Henning-Stout, Ulman, & Schellenberg, 1987; McDermott, Glutting, Jones, Watkins, &
    Kush, 1989; Sattler, 1992; Truscott, Narrett, & Smith, 1993).
    The arguments presented by Bray, Kehle, and Hintze (1998) against the use of profile analysis
    in psychoeducational diagnoses are also applied here as arguments against the diagnosis as
    gifted/learning disabled using similar procedures. They also suggest that profile analysis should
    not be employed because “individual subtests are not as reliable as deviation IQs and/or factor
    scores as indicated by their corresponding reliability and stability coefficients, standard error of
    measurement (SEm), and confidence intervals. . .” (p. 211).
    Further, as stated by Bray et al. (1998), even with the use of the most rigorous .01 level of
    significance to lower the probability of a Type I error, any statistically significant differences
    among subtests may be quite common occurrences in children’s patterns of scores, and consequently
    of little practical significance. For example, Bray et al. noted that “a difference of 11
    points between the verbal and performance scales is significant at the .05 level for all ages, but it
    occurs in 40.5 percent of the standardization sample on the WISC III (Wechsler, 1991)” (p. 212).
    Also, Jensen (1992) argued that profile analysis uses ipsative scores and therefore removes
    generalized variance; consequently g is substantially diminished. According to Watkins and Kush
    (1994), the use of ipsative score analysis is simply an inappropriate method to interpret test results.
    Although the full-scale IQ score is remarkably stable, there is variability in the profile as a result
    of the lower reliabilities of the individual subtests. Consequently, a particular profile does not
    represent a particular disorder such as a learning disability (Truscott et al., 1993;Watkins & Kush,
    Using profile analysis to identify students as both gifted and learning disabled can be especially
    problematic. There is evidence to suggest that the scaled score range among subtests increases
    as the full-scale IQ score increases (Patchett & Stansfield, 1992) and that subtest scatter increases
    with as the value of the highest subtest score rises (Schinka, Vanderploeg, & Curtiss, 1997). If
    these findings are true, then intellectually gifted children would display more atypical and scattered
    profiles than other students. Therefore, profile analysis would capitalize on chance variability,
    and would be especially inappropriate for students of superior ability. Waldron and Saphire
    (1990) found that both gifted students and gifted/learning disabled students showed strengths in
    Gifted/Learning Disabled 407
    the similarities subtest and deficits in digit span. They also noted that neither examining verbal/
    performance discrepancies nor rank ordering the WISC-R subtests provided an effective method
    of identifying or documenting the existence of a learning disability. Therefore, there appears to be
    even greater evidence to refute the use of profile analysis with gifted or gifted/LD students than
    there is for the general school population.

    Of course, the WISC technical report #3 does profile analysis of its own:

    Parenting is confusing, is it not?!
    Study Strategies for Accelerated Learners

    #108266 - 08/01/11 04:29 AM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Bookratt Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 17
    Loc: Belgium
    Thank you everyone, for all the information and advice!

    He is 8, going into Grade 3. Foreign language is required in all American international schools in Europe, from Grade K on up, but he cannot speak any of the ones he's studied (different ones each year) fluently. My husband and I are basically monolingual, and only English is spoken in our home.

    The tester's 1st language was French, then German, then English--though she also speaks Dutch. Her accent was non-existent in English (she studied in England and elsewhere, not here). She was fluent on the phone and via email, as well--which was the deal breaker, for me. I would not have let her test him, if I thought she and he would not be able to understand each other.

    As far as test environment, he may have displayed "normal" behaviors (for him), ie: perfectionism and hesitating if he thinks he might get something wrong; dawdling or indifference when things bore him; plowing thru things which he knows well, without regard to legibility, etc.

    Oddly, his cursive writing is beautiful, but he labors over printing. He said he prefers cursive, ie: it's easier and faster for him. Does that matter, in re: the testing?

    I will ask her about all that when we go back.

    Looking at the info online so far, provided to me by you and my teacher friend back home, I guess my next questions are:

    What other tests should I ask for, if retesting is desired or suggested? If I suggest retesting, not her, is that offensive to the tester? What if she says no?

    I want to avoid, at all costs, being seen as difficult, interfering, or intrusive in this situation. I do not want anything I do to impact how my child is treated, or affect the level, quality and access to help, if offered now, or received later.

    How do we delve deeper into the possible deficits revealed by this test--if in fact the test is accurate, and they are deficits?

    What tests would help my son best, with that?

    How do we address the possible ambiguity/unreliability of this particular test, with his school?

    We had to pay $1300 to have him tested here to start with. To do additional testing may cost more. And none of it is apprently covered by insurance here or back home, ie: major medical insurance we pay for here (called DKV) and in the US (Select Blue, by Highmark, Blue Cross/Blue Shield).

    I want him to be challenged as much as he can be, and also have any weaknesses addressed. And above all, I want him to be happy in school, and to stay that way. I often see him being either thrilled to death, or sad beyond sadness, over his school experiences, and I want him to have a more even, smooth experience than that.

    BTW, he LOVED the testing, it didn't scare or upset him at all. On the night of the first test day, he said "I can't wait to go back and spend time with her. She said I get to have more fun tomorrow! Maybe there'll even be math!"

    So if retesting is the issue, we can do it. It doesn't seem to have hurt him, and if it helps him in the end, I'm willing if he is.

    I just need to save some money up to be able to do that! And I want to be sure to get the best, most reliable tests for my money that I can.

    School starts August 24th, so I won't be able to retest prior that that, in any case.

    #108287 - 08/01/11 09:42 AM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    aculady Offline

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    I think it is worth noting that the discrepancy here is in factor scores, (we aren't looking at an isolated low subtest) so, depending on how the test administration went, I would feel more comfortable looking at these scores and thinking that they might give some real information about possible "bottlenecks" that might make it more difficult for your child to express his gifts.

    At a minimum, you should probably ask your tester to calculate and include the GAI in her report and indicate, in accordance with the test publisher's guidelines, that it, not the FSIQ, should be used as the better measure of his true intellectual abilities.

    You have noted your child has difficulties with printing - the processing speed subtests include some motor output items that require rapid visual scanning, so if fine motor or visual-motor coordination is an issue, it will often show up as low scores here. It may be worth asking the tester for a referral for an OT evaluation just to rule out any problems, based on the combination of low processing scores and printing difficulties.

    If this were my kiddo, I'd ask for additional testing that looked more closely at these two areas to rule out any hidden issues. Working memory problems, for example, usually show up as an issue in everyday life when you encounter situations where you have to hold and retrieve several pieces of unrelated and non-cued or non-meaningful information in your head simultaneously in order to accomplish your tasks. This can look like carelessness, inattention, or boredom. Differentiating between all of these possibilities is important so you can use the right interventions.

    #108293 - 08/01/11 11:20 AM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Bookratt Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 17
    Loc: Belgium
    Thank you, aculady.

    We signed him up for an OT eval when school starts, because his former teacher mentioned two different times that said she feels he has a weak pencil grip and also is too slow at forming his letters when printing.

    I thought OT for that one issue was overkill, but told the school that after this testing was complete, if the psych also concurred, I'd be happy to follow her recommend to do it.

    The psych, when she got the referral from the teacher, mentioned that to us; I told her if she recommended it, I would schedule it when sschool started. She seemed ok with our doing it when school started.

    I hope the OT eval, when it does take place, is helpful to him.

    Not sure what else her report/full info and review will tell us, or how we'll proceed from there.

    Maybe the Connors survey she also did, plus one other test I do not yet know the name for, and its info, will help us, as well.

    I'm anxious to know what is going on, and to know reliably/accurately the best thing we can do to help him.

    I hate the idea that he has had areas in which he has needed help, and we didn't catch that soon enough.

    The teacher said he's often careless, forgetful, and unfocused. But she said she felt it was a question of him not WANTING to, rather than being UNABLE to. So we were attacking it from a discipline/punishment angle, versus a "let's find the problem and fix it" angle. Until now.

    I wish I'd known everything I've learned here in the last 6 days, 6 months ago.

    Thanks again, to all!

    #108304 - 08/01/11 12:36 PM Re: Wisc IV ??? scoring, re-test, poss 2x exceptional [Re: Bookratt]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Bookratt
    The teacher said he's often careless, forgetful, and unfocused. But she said she felt it was a question of him not WANTING to, rather than being UNABLE to. So we were attacking it from a discipline/punishment angle, versus a "let's find the problem and fix it" angle. Until now.

    This is such a tough one. My son is 15, and he was in those shoes in 2nd grade and it still makes me shiver to think about those days.

    Here's the deal, as I see it:
    That behavior can be a sign of ADHD-I (used to be called ADD) and it's not at all unusual for teachers to think that a kid with ADD just is lazy, or 'not trying enough.'

    That behavior can be a sign of 'poor fit' classroom - if the student has already learned 90% of today's lesson, they would have to be exceptionally mature (or prone to turn their stress inward) not to have trouble focus on what the teacher thinks is important.

    Then there is anxiety and/or depression. 'Normal' behavior for your son might be anxiety over not getting 'everything perfectly.' It's hard to know what one should be able to do when there is no real peer-group.

    A child can have both problems and be really hard to figure out. My son thinks that 'all PG kids have ADHD or AS' - he's a bit black and white in his thinking - can you guess? But I think that there is a small germ of truth in his overgeneralization - Many, many kids who have GAI over 3 standard deviations above the mean are own their own developmental path, and things that are easy for most kids can be hard,or near impossible, for them while things that are easy for PGlets can be very challenging for most kids. The difference is that most school systems are geared for kids near the bulk of the bell curve, so the PGlet is alway the square peg in the round hole. Look up 'asynchronous development' for more on this idea.

    The best I can figure out with my son, he did have ADHD-I and PG, but it was really hard to tell what was causing the in-classroom behavior problems until he got old enough that the edge of the asynchronous development was softened by time, and we made some educational interventions to get the classroom fit better.

    Let us know how the report goes!

    Coaching available, at

    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    Ivy League Admissions.
    by Wren
    Today at 03:32 PM
    Which colleges have good teaching?
    by Old Dad
    Today at 01:22 PM
    Functional difficulties caused by ADHD?
    by readermom123
    Today at 12:41 PM
    Score Extrapolations?
    by Pabulum
    Yesterday at 01:58 PM
    Poetry contest for middle schooler?
    by Bostonian
    11/12/19 05:36 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter