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Interpreting Achievement and IQ Test Scores

Sample Student

Student: John Doe
Grade: 5th
History: low grades, reading problem
Achievement Test: Grade 2.5 (2.5 years behind)
IQ Test Score: 100 (average)
Memory subtest: 100
Visual processing subtest: 130
Auditory processing subtest: 70

The school will define this child as being LD (learning disabled). His achievement tests are significantly lower (more than two years) than his intelligent tests (average). It is thought that he is not working up to his potential, but that the skills required for average academic performance are present. Therefore the school will provide him with remedial academic help.

Here's the problem with the above interpretation.

Claiming that this child's potential is average is misleading. IQ tests do not indicate the child's potential. They measure the present level of underlying mental skills, which allow us to predict a student's performance.

Claiming that he has the skills required for average academic performance is wrong. The low auditory processing subtest shows that he does not have adequate skills for reading and spelling.

Providing remedial academic help is not what is needed. In determining the help required, look for the causes, not the symptoms. You won't find causes by looking at averages. The IQ-subtest shows a cause and effect relationship. His low auditory processing skills are causing the reading problem, which affects his academic achievement. For effective learning, this child needs auditory processing training, not remedial reading.

If his IQ test score were 94, he would not get extra help in school because he would be considered to be "working up to his potential." Then why not increase his potential by building his underlying skills? Most schools will not do it because of the cost - effective mental skill training must be done one-on-one.

 

Five steps to help you help your child

By following these steps you will have gained some very important information that will dramatically improve you child's ability to do well in school.

  1. Understand the causes of learning difficulties.
  2. Know the skills necessary for fast and efficient learning.
  3. Find out what skills are weak.
  4. Learn what needs to happen to improve learning skills.
  5. Take specific steps that can help your child or student gain the skills needed to become a successful student.
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