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    As DS is a teenager and 15 1/2 (Today is the half birthday, significant because he can now eligable to take the test for his drivers permit.) I have been keeping him in the loop and plan to share the results with him. I realized that I don't really understand many of the sub tests or how they relate. My next task is to print out more copies, & drop this off at his gifted psychologist & education therapist and see if we can get moving on some real "solutions".

    It's very reassuring to hear that your DS got a similar score on the Essay Composition. I know it's helpful that it provides documentation of a LD, that we can show school and see if we can get help. On the other hand it feels it doesn't illustrate what my son really is capable of.

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    I have an appointment right now, so I'll have to get back to this later, but a few quick notes:

    Essay Composition and Oral Reading Fluency really jump out at me among the achievement scores, as does Comprehension (and of course WMI and PSI) among the cognitive scores.


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    bluemagic,

    Your son sounds exactly like mine, and his WISC scores are remarkably similar, too. My son is 20 and his writer's block is worse than ever. I think that his anxiety over writing is a huge part, but not all. We obviously did not get enough help early on. He is taking a break from college this year because of this. We spent over $10,000 on one program this summer with little gains.

    We have now been advised to look at two other things. First, is movement based on the theories of S'cool moves and Brain Highways. I am very skeptical. The second is described on socialthinking.com. This sounds more promising to me.

    Please keep me posted.

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    Originally Posted by daber
    bluemagic,

    Your son sounds exactly like mine, and his WISC scores are remarkably similar, too. My son is 20 and his writer's block is worse than ever. I think that his anxiety over writing is a huge part, but not all. We obviously did not get enough help early on. He is taking a break from college this year because of this. We spent over $10,000 on one program this summer with little gains.

    We have now been advised to look at two other things. First, is movement based on the theories of S'cool moves and Brain Highways. I am very skeptical. The second is described on socialthinking.com. This sounds more promising to me.

    Please keep me posted.
    It's good to know we aren't alone. But on the other hand I am hoping we can get him INTO college at this point and I am hoping for concrete solutions. Even though I know they probably don't exist. Anxiety is a big part of DS's problems. Good luck with your son.


    Last edited by bluemagic; 08/28/14 02:32 PM.
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    Originally Posted by aeh
    I have an appointment right now, so I'll have to get back to this later, but a few quick notes:

    Essay Composition and Oral Reading Fluency really jump out at me among the achievement scores, as does Comprehension (and of course WMI and PSI) among the cognitive scores.
    Thanks.. I do appreciate your input. There is a lot more to the report. But I wasn't going to into all of it here.

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    1. Yes, GAI is 135, significantly higher than FSIQ, at a base rate of 0.9%, and well under p<.05 (difference of 8 is p<.05).
    2. I can understand her wanting to chase the ASD to some extent, especially with Comprehension being notably lower than Voc and Sim, and perhaps anything she may have seen in his presentation and history that we can't see in these scores, but,
    3. The extremely low Essay Composition scores, along with relative WMI and PSI weaknesses (we have discussed low WMI and PSI more extensively elsewhere), definitely warranted further eval of written expression. Did she include a TOWL-4? The absurdly large difference between Sentence Comp and Essay Comp usually says difficulty with idea generation and organization of written expression to me. His underlying writing skills are clearly solid, as he can write a sentence at a time, however, that does not translate into the skills necessary for consistent high school-level writing. EC is an opinion essay about your personal preferences. I suspect he had difficulty pinning down a legitimate opinion about a relatively trivial topic. It is also a moderately timed task, as you are only allowed 10 minutes to both plan and execute a brief essay.

    I am curious as to whether subscores were listed for Sentence Comp. I find that students with difficulty with open-ended writing often do the best on Sentence Combining, slightly worse on Sentence Building, and then bomb Essay Comp.

    An alternate interpretation of the discrepant Comprehension score might have to do with the less well-defined nature of that task, compared to the other two. While the evaluator was probably chasing the social comprehension aspect of it, he may actually have been struggling with the open-ended "why" nature of many of the items.
    4. It also concerns me that there is a substantial difference between his oral reading accuracy when reading a list of single words, and when reading words in connected text, and attempting simultaneously to comprehend said text. Any indication that he read the word reading list any slower or faster? Or that he needed to re-read or slow down for the reading comprehension subtest? (Granted, if his miscalls are largely insignificant words, it may explain his high comprehension anyway.)
    5. Reading achievement is grossly in line with his VCI, as mathematics is with his PRI, but PRI is notably higher than VCI, which would be consistent with expressive language relative weaknesses, feeding into written expression weaknesses, mostly in the form of difficulty with idea generation and organization.

    The main thing I would hope for your son to have in his documentation that has not previously been mentioned is some reference to these last two elements of written expression (idea generation, organization). They are particularly important when you consider the kind of higher-level literary analysis and persuasive writing that is expected in upper-division HS English classes. His sporadic brilliant performance is probably closely related to his personal connection to essay topics, which enables him to generate ideas more freely, and to use context from his life experience and special interests to scaffold the organization of his writing. When it's an essay about some literary figure from an era or culture with little connection or relevance to him, he likely struggles greatly. I would suggest accommodations that include making explicit connections between writing topics and his personal experience and interests, priming the pump for idea generation with personally-relevant classroom discussion as part of his pre-writing activities, and the use of a variety of graphic organizers and concept maps to scaffold the organization of his writing.


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    Thank you. Your interpretation is very valuable. Thank you for taking the time to look this information over and give me all the helpful advice.

    Originally Posted by aeh
    1. Yes, GAI is 135, significantly higher than FSIQ, at a base rate of 0.9%, and well under p<.05 (difference of 8 is p<.05).
    2. I can understand her wanting to chase the ASD to some extent, especially with Comprehension being notably lower than Voc and Sim, and perhaps anything she may have seen in his presentation and history that we can't see in these scores, but,
    3. The extremely low Essay Composition scores, along with relative WMI and PSI weaknesses (we have discussed low WMI and PSI more extensively elsewhere), definitely warranted further eval of written expression. Did she include a TOWL-4?
    No I don't see a TOWL-4. I think this is one of the things I was finding odd about the report. She didn't seem to try more tests that would pinpoint more about Written Language Expression. There is a CASL - more about Spoken Language.

    Originally Posted by aeh
    The absurdly large difference between Sentence Comp and Essay Comp usually says difficulty with idea generation and organization of written expression to me. His underlying writing skills are clearly solid, as he can write a sentence at a time, however, that does not translate into the skills necessary for consistent high school-level writing. EC is an opinion essay about your personal preferences. I suspect he had difficulty pinning down a legitimate opinion about a relatively trivial topic. It is also a moderately timed task, as you are only allowed 10 minutes to both plan and execute a brief essay.
    This is what I've been trying to tell everyone and it feels that this report is missing. It's what I keep trying to say OVER & OVER again and it seems like people don't want to listen. DS's gifted psyc is going to look over this report and the tests and issue her own "report". Hopefully she will be better at this. I'm glad you can see this in these numbers.

    I think this is partly because it's more complicated to help a student with. It's easy to say.. well he just needs more writing instruction, and try teaching him the same thing over & over again.
    Originally Posted by aeh
    I am curious as to whether subscores were listed for Sentence Comp. I find that students with difficulty with open-ended writing often do the best on Sentence Combining, slightly worse on Sentence Building, and then bomb Essay Comp.
    We do have some more details, I'm not sure if these are the sub scores you are looking for the were awkwardly written in the body of the text.
    Word Count SS=63;
    Theme and Organization SS=71
    Essay Composition SS=61 (0.5%)

    "Quanlitatively, he struggled notably to decide on a topic and appropriate content for his essay. He appeared to experience significant frustration and anxiety in the process. He indicatied that he was unsure of the appropriateness of his idea's for the essay."

    I seem to remember him telling me he wrote this about soccer because he couldn't think of what else to write. He is a teen who is altogether uninterested in sports and I suspect the topic was one that he found completely uninteresting.

    Originally Posted by aeh
    An alternate interpretation of the discrepant Comprehension score might have to do with the less well-defined nature of that task, compared to the other two. While the evaluator was probably chasing the social comprehension aspect of it, he may actually have been struggling with the open-ended "why" nature of many of the items.
    4. It also concerns me that there is a substantial difference between his oral reading accuracy when reading a list of single words, and when reading words in connected text, and attempting simultaneously to comprehend said text. Any indication that he read the word reading list any slower or faster? Or that he needed to re-read or slow down for the reading comprehension subtest? (Granted, if his miscalls are largely insignificant words, it may explain his high comprehension anyway.)
    It's not in the document but I seem to remember her saying it was often small words.
    Originally Posted by aeh
    5. Reading achievement is grossly in line with his VCI, as mathematics is with his PRI, but PRI is notably higher than VCI, which would be consistent with expressive language relative weaknesses, feeding into written expression weaknesses, mostly in the form of difficulty with idea generation and organization.

    The main thing I would hope for your son to have in his documentation that has not previously been mentioned is some reference to these last two elements of written expression (idea generation, organization). They are particularly important when you consider the kind of higher-level literary analysis and persuasive writing that is expected in upper-division HS English classes.
    Yes using graphic organizers & idea generators is in the list of recommendations, much to his chagrin.

    Originally Posted by aeh
    His sporadic brilliant performance is probably closely related to his personal connection to essay topics, which enables him to generate ideas more freely, and to use context from his life experience and special interests to scaffold the organization of his writing. When it's an essay about some literary figure from an era or culture with little connection or relevance to him, he likely struggles greatly. I would suggest accommodations that include making explicit connections between writing topics and his personal experience and interests, priming the pump for idea generation with personally-relevant classroom discussion as part of his pre-writing activities, and the use of a variety of graphic organizers and concept maps to scaffold the organization of his writing.
    In more than one place in the document it refers to how much better he does when he is interested in a topic. (I know this is a problem.) The WRAML2 for example, the tester read him orally two different texts. The first that he clearly wasn't interested in he got really low scores, and the second he got very high scores. Resulting in "average scores overall. This is a common theme, if he is interested in a topic he can do extremely well, but tunes out if he considers the topic boring. (Reminds me of his father.)

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    The critical piece regarding how his interest affects his performance is that it is not a function of being picky, but of how his prior knowledge and contextual framework are essential to his ability to connect and organize thoughts in writing. (I don't want to give his father an excuse for selective attention, but that may be the cognitive processing origins of his behavior, too!)


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    I am sure that helps, the more he knows about something the easier is to write about it. But he also gets stuck on things like "write about your FAVORITE...", "tell us about your summer", and anything else that expects him to reveal something personal. A college application essay is going to be like pulling teeth. (Assuming we get that far.)

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    DS15 is so similar. This week's assignments of "what does the American dream mean to you, give a personal perspective" along with the multi-media "all about me" were a killer. I wonder if they share another trait? While he loves music and his private teachers, DS does not like being the focus of attention for 30-60 minutes. He changed to a piano teacher who, in addition to building on his particular skills, plays collaboratively with him. There's a lot of back-and-forth playing, duets, etc, and they have a lot of fun. DS is becoming a better musician, not just able to play difficult pieces.

    In clarinet lessons, he has been ready to quit lessons for the same reason, too much focus on him. From time to time they play duets to his delight, so we talked with the teacher about incorporating that more into the lesson. She will! DS would even be open to a shared lesson, but the logistics of doing that at school are difficult.

    DS also does not like to perform solo. He does piano recitals because they are required, but he will never take band as an honors course because you have to perform solos. He also doesn't want to compete, whether in music, academic teAms, etc. He even approached cross-country as "personal best", not a race.

    Does your DS have similar difficulty? It seems to be related to the "revealing their inner selves" perhaps.

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