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    #246681 - 01/24/20 05:16 PM Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14
    viktor877 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/19
    Posts: 13
    Hi, this is my first post here, I am making it as I am still searching for answers regarding my drop in IQ. I am currently 16 years old, and in a very tricky situation with school, which I'm trying to solve, and I think that knowing whether my drop in IQ is indicatory of a drop in actual ability, or whether I'm still gifted would help.

    Before starting elementary school, between the ages of 5.5 and 6, I was tested to determine my eligibility for a gifted program, presumably with the WPPSI-III. I am quite confident that it was in fact an IQ test, as it was individually administered, and I remember some of the object assembly items. My mother recalls the score obtained as being in the 140s, but I believe that the cutoff for the gifted program was around 130, so even if her memory is faulty, I know that my score has dropped significantly.

    In elementary school, I usually tested well on the achievement tests, especially reading comprehension, consistently scoring several years above grade level, yet I still had some trouble with math. It's my weakest subject, but I still tested okay in it during elementary school. As for my experience in elementary school, I was miserable most of the time. I was bored, most of my time was spent watching the clock to see when I could go home. I refused to do homework, and even once put it through a document shredder.

    In 6th grade, I didn't get along with my teacher, so that was the worst year I had in elementary school. It was also the year where they did testing to determine eligibility for the gifted program in middle school. They switched from using individually administered tests to using the CogAT, which I didn't perform great on. I did okay verbally, but my NV scores were around average.

    After that, I ended up missing a lot of middle school. I believe a lot of it was due to my delayed sleep phase syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed until recently. I missed over 300 school days in middle school.

    In 2018, I was seeing a psychologist about some family issues, and about my struggles with school attendance. They never diagnosed my delayed sleep phase syndrome, but they did diagnose ASD, and they put me on a SSRI, which killed my appetite, causing me to lose a lot of weight. They tested me with the WISC around that time, determining me to be a "slow learner". I don't know if my weight loss and inability to eat around that time lowered the score, but I just thought that it was a factor that I should mention. The test was also in the morning, so I was pretty tired due to my sleep disorder, but again, I don't know if it could have caused that significant of a drop.

    On the WISC, I obtained a slightly above average verbal score, but a very low processing speed score, in the 70s, and low average scores on the other performance indices. The FSIQ was in the 90s.

    I did okay in High School when I was attending consistently, I got A's in all classes, but I was pretty bored, got sick, and then my sleep got off, which caused me to once again stop attending, causing me to fail classes. My high school GPA was 1.3. I didn't enroll for the 2019-2020 school year, as my school counselor reccomended going the GED route, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, because of the math.

    I originally wanted to go to college to study Molecular Biology, and I still do to an extent, but at this point I simply feel that it isn't realistic, so I'm planning to pursue a career in either retail, or food service.

    What do you think caused my drop in IQ? I guess maybe I was precocious at first, and that inflated my first score, but as I got older, my below-average cognitive abilities became apparent? I'm wondering if my hatred toward school in Elementary school was due to me being placed into a gifted class while possessing below-average intelligence.

    #246687 - 01/27/20 12:07 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2031
    AEH will have better info but although IQs can be unstable when young it is more likely in my opinion your health issues, ASD and maybe another undiagnosed learning disability have caused problems. If you can get an A in a high school class if you try (assuming an academic class) then 90 is probably not an accurate score. Did they do a gai?

    #246689 - 01/27/20 12:27 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: puffin]
    viktor877 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/19
    Posts: 13
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    AEH will have better info but although IQs can be unstable when young it is more likely in my opinion your health issues, ASD and maybe another undiagnosed learning disability have caused problems. If you can get an A in a high school class if you try (assuming an academic class) then 90 is probably not an accurate score. Did they do a gai?

    It was high 90s, I don't think they did a GAI, but I estimated that it'd be slightly higher than the FSIQ, maybe by a few points with the lowest index score taken out (the PSI).

    The high school I went to wasn't a "rigorous" high school, it was a public high school in a not so nice neighborhood, so I think they were lenient with grading. I had a shortened schedule in the term where I got all A's, with 4 classes, all "academic", but I slept through a lot of class time, due to the sleep disorder.

    #246690 - 01/27/20 12:31 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    viktor877 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/19
    Posts: 13
    I did suspect NVLD, but that doesn't seem too likely, as I don't really have trouble with physical coordination (PE was my favorite subject in Elementary school), and when I was younger, I would initiate projects that require spatial ability. I think when I was 8, I took up an interest in electrical system design, and initiated a project to run electricity to our detached garage. I did most of the planning, and I worked with my dad to install it. I also planned and built a 1500 gallon pond and filtration system a few years ago.

    #246693 - 01/27/20 01:34 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3604

    I'm sorry you've had such a difficult path through school, and with regard to your health. Before I get into the question of your formal testing, I do want to encourage you to keep a positive outlook on your future options. Although it may feel like you are irredeemably behind academically at this moment, you are not. Plenty of people go back to school much later in life than you are now to study all kinds of subjects, including topics even more complex than molecular biology. (I met someone once who started college in her late 70s, finishing her bachelor's degree in her 80s.)

    With regard to your formal testing scores, there are a few factors to consider, on both the early testing and the recent testing. For the early testing, it is true that testing at about 5 years old cannot be considered extremely stable--but it also doesn't typically drop by 40-50 points, as you appear to be reporting. So even if it was slightly higher than your lifetime IQ would be projected to be, it probably wasn't completely out of the ballpark. I think we can safely say that the early measure established that you were notably above average in cognition, on the skills assessed, even if the extent is a bit vague.

    The recent testing is also subject to some caveats. You report that you were not sleeping well, on a psychotropic, dealing with mental health issues, and disengaged from your education. All of these are factors that can affect the validity of assessment, especially of cognition, generally in the direction of lowered estimates. So generally, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Also, the newer WISC weights verbal and nonverbal tasks a bit differently than the old WPPSI did, with a bit more verbal on the old WPPSI than on the new WISC. So someone with a skewed profile like yours might see more of an impact on the FSIQ than someone with a more balanced profile would.

    But I do see some patterns in your historical record of testing that are worth considering. Your history of group and individual testing is consistently higher in verbal areas, and weaker in nonverbal domains, which can be characteristic of certain types of learning differences. At the least, they suggest that you are likely to be most successful in areas that value verbal thinking and problem solving, rather than spatial (sometimes mathematical) thinking. Your testing profile appears to be average in math-related cognition and achievement, and above average in language-related cognition and achievement. That does not rule out molecular biology, by the way, as biology is not nearly as visual spatial a STEM field as, say, physics or mechanical engineering. It's harder to say whether the low processing speed score is meaningful, as that and working memory are the two cognitive domains assessed on the WISC that are the most likely to be affected by the interfering factors we've already listed. Functionally, of course, it had significance at the time, in terms of how efficiently you were able to produce volumes of work on demand. I don't know if that continues to be the case, or if conditions have changed.

    Your negative elementary school experience could have been owing to any number of factors, including an unidentified learning disability (even in the context of above average intelligence). Actually, the 2e (twice exceptional) profile often feels the struggle even more than an evenly-developed slower learner, as the gap between your highest strengths and your lowest vulnerabilities is even more frustrating than just finding school generally a little bit more work. And GT programs tend to treat all gifted students as being globally moderately gifted, rather than being as diverse (or more) a population as the middle 68% are. Consider that you appear to have been underplaced in your language arts instruction, but either on-level or overplaced in your math instruction. Then you had about a half-dozen years of limited access to instruction, due to your attendance and social-emotional concerns, which would impact your acquisition of skills across the board. (BTW, even though the WISC is supposed to be a measure of ability, and not acquired skills, it unavoidably is affected by acquired skills--and hence access to instruction--as we use some acquired skills as proxies for native ability.)

    In summary, the drop in assessed ability likely resulted from multiple factors, including lower score stability in young children, and interfering factors in early adolescence. You are still a capable young person with many possible good outcomes before you, and every right to pursue whatever healthy dreams you have.

    #246694 - 01/27/20 01:47 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    viktor877 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/19
    Posts: 13
    Thank you, hopefully I'd be decent enough at spatial reasoning to be successful in molecular biology research.

    I scored decently on the end of year math achievement tests, though, but they did timed math tests in first grade, and that's when I started disliking math. I also refused to wear glasses through elementary school, maybe due to sensory issues, despite having a decently strong prescription for high myopia, and that may have interfered with my ability to learn math, or to even perform optimally on computer-based tests. I think at the end of 6th grade, they did an out of level math achievement test normed against 7th/8th graders, and I think I scored around the 80th percentile.

    I made a post regarding projects that I've worked on which may have required spatial ability, but I don't think it has been approved yet.

    #246695 - 01/27/20 02:04 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4221

    You've received a great response above.

    It is possible that stress and/or meds may have had an impact, lowering IQ. Assessments and tests are a snapshot in time; results may vary, and your IQ, if measured today, may be higher than the results you reference. Research studies may be of interest and several can be found summarized online.

    A few links which may be of interest:
    3) Hoagies Gifted Education Page, including why IQ test sores vary, and Level of Giftedness
    4) video: Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses
    5) book: Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses
    6) Davidson Gifted Database, including
    7) wrightslaw, including
    8), including

    If you want to brush up on math skills, consider taking a look at Khan Academy.

    When deciding whether to study Molecular Biology, you may want to make lists of tuition, housing, and other costs you're likely to incur, as well as possible uses of that degree for your future.
    - college websites, and summaries of information including niche
    - US Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS)

    Once you get started researching online, you will quickly filter information, finding what is of interest to you, and what is not.

    #246697 - 01/27/20 02:24 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    Appleton Offline

    Registered: 11/02/14
    Posts: 104
    I'm not an expert in IQ or testing, but wanted to encourage you to not give up on yourself. You write more coherently than many people I see on the internet and I suspect you are more than capable of success in college. If your grades or other circumstances are such that you would find attending a four year university difficult, community college is always an option, either full or part-time. Taking the basics may help you decide on a career. Try not to worry about IQ, or the past, which is something you have little control over.

    #246711 - 01/31/20 12:09 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: viktor877]
    ChasingTwo Offline

    Registered: 06/07/16
    Posts: 66
    If you wrote your post independently, I strongly suspect your IQ is above the 90s.

    #246712 - 01/31/20 02:11 PM Re: Large drop in IQ between 5 and 14 [Re: ChasingTwo]
    viktor877 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/02/19
    Posts: 13
    Originally Posted By: ChasingTwo
    If you wrote your post independently, I strongly suspect your IQ is above the 90s.

    I did write it independently, and I scored higher than that on the VCI.

    I wrote two other replies, but they haven't been approved.

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