Help calculating my son's GAI please

Posted by: Ephelidasa

Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/16/12 08:49 PM

We recently had our son tested to rule out/identify any learning disabilities that he might have due to recently diagnosed epilepsy. Turns out he has some processing speed and divided attention issues, but is otherwise okay. I was trying to figure out his GAI because it's not listed in his report, but I'm not sure if I did it correctly. If anyone has experience with all these numbers, your help would really be appreciated.

I came up with a 154 for the GAI. His FSIQ was listed at 135.

Here are the results of his testing (first number is raw score, second number is scaled score):

Verbal Comprehension Index= 142
Perceptual Reasoning Index = 145
Working Memory Index= 123
Processing Speed Index= 88

Verbal Domain:
Information 23 19
Vocabulary -- --
Similarities 26 18
Comprehension 20 14
Word Reasoning -- --

Working Memory:
Digit Span 18 16
Arithmetic 17 12
Letter Number Seq. -- --

Performance Domain:
Block Design 52 18
Matrix Reasoning 23 17
Picture Concepts 20 17
Picture Completion 23 14

Processing Speed:
Coding 33 7
Symbol Search (0 err) 20 9
Cancellation -- --


Hopefully that makes sense. It's confusing to me because all this is new to me.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 10:34 AM

After looking over the numbers and reading the guide, my main concern is about substituting subtest scores.
My son took the "information" section instead of the "vocabulary" section. Are the scores interchangeable?

Also, I also saw that people have discussed test ceilings. His doc said he hit the ceiling on some subtests, so what does that say for his GAI and FSIQ?

Thanks again.

Posted by: morgans-mommy

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 11:30 AM

Did the tester mention extended norms? Your son certaintly qualifies for it.
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Extended_Norms.html

Subtest scores aren't technically interchangeable. You can use up to two substitutions when calculating FSIQ, but substitutions are only supposed to be done if a core subtest is somehow spoiled (test is interrupted, tester somehow screws it up, etc.)and therefore invalid.
Posted by: revmom

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 12:09 PM

My understanding is that substitutions are also allowed when decided ahead of time ("a priori") when there is a clinical reason, such as a motor skill issue for the Block Design subtest.
Posted by: morgans-mommy

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 12:10 PM

Yes. Revmom is correct. I had forgotten about a priori substitutions.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 12:19 PM

Thanks for the response.

I'm not sure why the doctor used the "information" test instead of the "vocabulary" test. I'm assuming he would have done okay on the vocabulary test as well because he NEVER stops talking (seriously, he even talks a lot in his sleep), but now I think it would be nice to have the GAI score since his processing speed numbers are so much lower. Not to mention, I've read that beyond a 23 point differential GAI is recommended and he has a 57 point difference.

There was no mention of extended norms that I recall. She just said that he topped out, and was answering questions at the level of 16 to 18 year olds. At the time, I was very unaware of what that meant...I am trying my best to absorb as much info about the "gifted" world as I am able.

What's frustrating is that according to the test results, he has severe divided attention issues, and his teacher seems to give out a lot of instructions verbally which he routinely misses (because his focus is elsewhere). In addition to this, the teacher also does a lot of timed tests for prizes. I'm guessing that his low processing speed might give him issues with that as well.
I want to have numbers ready to show them if they tell me that they cannot accommodate his needs. It's a private school and he doesn't have an IEP, so they don't HAVE to change anything for him. It bothers me because I know he has a lot of potential, but he isn't going to thrive in his current classroom environment.
Posted by: morgans-mommy

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 12:29 PM

Yes, with that big a difference between his scores you can consider the FSIQ essentially invalid and it really should not be used. I'm surprised the tester didn't automatically at least include the GAI considering the huge gap between your son's score indexes. I would contact the tester and ask that the report be amended to add the GAI along with explanation as to why the GAI should be used as opposed to the FSIQ.
Posted by: knute974

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: morgans-mommy
Did the tester mention extended norms? Your son certaintly qualifies for it.


I'm not an expert but I'm not sure that he qualifies for extended norms. The report says that they are appropriate when you have a couple scores at the ceiling (typically 19). You can figure out the extended norms yourself from the raw scores. See the WISC Technical Report 7
http://www.pearsonassessments.com/NR/rdo...echReport_7.pdf
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 06:05 PM

Did the tester comment as to whether his block design score was impacted by his processing speed issues? That test is timed and he was obviously very good at it, possibly better at it than shown due to the processing speed issue.

I can't help with GAI but my understanding is that this is a the classic scenario where it is relevant - his PRI and VCI are in the same vicinity, his WMI is not uncommonly lower for a gifted child but the PSI is clearly a problem area making the FSIQ invalid, I am surprised it was calculated at all.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 08:25 PM

After looking at the extended norms technical report, it doesn't seem like he was at the absolute top for any of the sections, even though he had a 19 and some 18/17s. I read somewhere that if the child has more than two scores of 18 or higher, the extended norms should be used...but that doesn't really make any sense.
Why would ext norms be used it the ceiling wasn't hit?

I guess I don't really have an understanding of how the test works, so perhaps I'm missing something.

A little confused why the doctor would tell us that he "topped out" on several subtests. Details. But I still want to get the clear picture. He's my kid, so I figure that's reason enough to want to know.
Posted by: knute974

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 08:34 PM

Have you observed any problems/issues that might be related to processing speed? Those numbers look like he may have a frustrating road block there.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 08:52 PM

19 is the "hard" ceiling of the test, there is no way to score higher than that. At a certain age your child might need 23 items correct to score 19, they get 19 whether their raw score was 23 or 37, but the kid who got 37 right obviously actually does know more than the one who got 24 right. Extended norms help to allow for those kids who may actually have scored "more" than 19. The tricky part is that sometimes 18, and very occasionally even 17 is a "soft" ceiling - the child ran out of test before the stopped being able to answer questions even though they did not get a 19. Maybe the made some simple mistakes early on, maybe there was a time penalty. Maybe they got a few 1/2 if the test is one that allowed two points for some questions. It's a strange system how it's scored.

My DD did the WPPSI (the version for younger children) and had more than one 17 that was actually a ceiling score, one of them it simply wasn't possible to score higher than 17 at her age even though she completed the whole subtest perfectly with no errors and no more questions to do, one of them she had some early wrong answers but was going strong towards the end... That sort of thing.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/17/12 08:58 PM

When he is on his own, he is very happy, but when structure is added to the mix, he seems to have a breaking point. He has always had a strong dislike for rules, and now that I see the test results I wonder if that has something to do with him feeling rushed.
I think he likes to "ponder" and daydream a lot, and maybe that's related too.

He gets distracted at school I think. He brings home a lot of unfinished work that he then has to do at home - and he gets distracted at home too, so it takes him forever to get it done. Kind of unfair to him if he can't help himself.

so, yes, I think there's an issue, but I don't really think it's because he is slow at processing things. I just think he doesn't do well with structure (which sucks by the way...that's how I am too).
Posted by: frannieandejsmom

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/18/12 04:51 AM

the GAI is 154 (technical report #4). My daughter has low working memory and processing speeds which have started (in second now third grade) to cause her some self esteem issues.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/18/12 05:29 AM

EXACTLY! Self esteem has been an issue for him over the past couple years. I think it's been more of an issue since he switched from Montessori to Catholic school.
I think that's what bothers me the most.

Posted by: morgans-mommy

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/18/12 02:43 PM

2 scores of 18 or a single score of 19 on the WISC would qualify him for extended norms and your son has both.
Posted by: Ephelidasa

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/19/12 07:02 AM

His GAI is 154, but that's using the "information" subtest instead of the "vocab" subtest. He scored a 145 on one of the four categories of the WISC-IV.
I'd like to apply him for the Young Scholars program, but don't have any other tests from him. Will a video of him talking about science, along with one of his "science notebooks" (where he takes notes on things he observes in nature) do enough to get him in?

Looks like the program would be great for us to help him along and I'd really like to try and get him in.
Posted by: Born2Learn

Re: Help calculating my son's GAI please - 09/21/12 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Ephelidasa
EXACTLY! Self esteem has been an issue for him over the past couple years. I think it's been more of an issue since he switched from Montessori to Catholic school.
I think that's what bothers me the most.



My son's self esteem really suffered in Catholic school! And he was the one who wanted to go. He was treated terrible. We are now really dealing with these issues!