My daughter is 5 years old and recently started a full day kindergarten program. She entered school reading at a first grade level. I figured she would excel. Her teacher, however, has reported that my daughter is inconsistent with her reading and often has to ask for directions to be repeated. She writes minimally in her journal and the teacher reports that she often dilly dally's and procrastinates before she gets started with work. I took her to a clinical psychologist to determine if she had an attention disorder. She was given the WPPSI-iii and a test specifically for attention (Connors?). We found out that not only does she NOT have ADD/ADHD, her FSIQ is 126. Her PIQ was 133 and VIQ was only 114. This is high avg. but significantly different from her PIQ. In addition, her processing speed was only 102. The psychologist explained that she "is like an absent minded professor", so she procrastinates because she is deep in thought and bored. I feel like these discrepancies are true learning disabilities that are affecting her performance at school. Does anyone have any simiar experiences or suggestions about how to discuss my concerns/accomodations with her school. I feel like they might laugh in my face.
it is difficult to second guess a psychologist's impressions based on scores alone, because so much the art of assessing young children is observing their behavior during testing. IQ scores from children under 6 are also less reliable than scores obtained after age 6. It is best to consider these scores in terms of the range of performance, and not as hard and fast numbers. It seems safe to say that your daughter has a considerable strength in nonverbal reasoning. Her nonverbal score is well above the superior range, so that is excellent. When you say her verbal IQ was 'only' 114, keep in mind that that is a great score, as it falls at the top of the average range (she probably performs better than about 75% of her peers on verbal tasks).
While her processing speed is 'significantly' lower (in terms of statistical significance) compared to those very high scores, it is solidly within the average range. At her age, I would not draw the conclusion that she meets diagnostic criteria for ADHD based on that score. I am not sure how you learned that she was reading on a first grade level, but I can tell you that for a kindergartener to read on a first grade level is wonderful. Children with learning disabilities read below grade level, and struggle with critical facets of reading such as sounding out words and comprehension.
For a child to qualify for special education services in the public schools, she has to meet diagnostic criteria for a disability and that disability has to have a measurable educational impact. It does not sound like your daughter meets eligibility criteria for for special education services and accommodations.
Its natural to worry about your kids, and to want to optimize their potential, but there are some developmental factors to keep in mind. Most 5 year olds do not read and write--especially in the first three months of kindergarten. Most 5 year-olds do 'dilly dally' and procrastinate, particularly when the kindergarten class does not meet their needs for movement, multi-sensory experiences, and play. Your daughter is young, and she is still adapting to full day kindergarten, so inconsistency and asking for expectations to be clarified is not unexpected. This class sounds like a setting that does not take into account the kinds of experiences young children need to have at this age. Check out Dr. Jane Healy's book Your Child's Growing Mind to learn more about what to expect at each age and as she grows, this will help you determine if something is truly wrong as she progresses. In the mean time, enjoy your gifted child, because it sounds like a lot is going well.
Thank you for your comments and answers. Yes... things are going very well and I agree so much with your comments about my daughter exhibiting typical behaviors of a five year old. I just needed someone to agree with me..her teacher has never taught kindergartners and I have been wondering if she knows what is typical for this age group. She made my husband and I feel like everything she was doing was negative and atypical. She even brought up the idea of talking to the special education team and so I agreed. They decieded to just observe her. We wanted to catch any problems early on so we had her tested. I have been nervous about full day kindergarten from the time they first announced it ... children need movement and sensory breaks...I don't believe these needs are being met. Thanks again for helping me to realize that my instinct was right.
Her school doesn't offer gifted enrichment until first grade. I am going to enroll her in a summer session for gifted students at a private facility. Any experiences or suggestions you have for helping her get enrichment through the public school would be greatly appreciated.
Kudos for being so involved in the process! I was one of the ones that fell through the cracks in school...though my ADHD was diagnosed at age 7, the education side of things was lacking and due to that gap I spent from first grade through my sophomore year in Special Education before finally getting the IQ testing--I certainly wasn't in special education after that! Your serving as advocate to your daughter is commendable!
After that it was up and down (mostly up and down when I would decide I no longer needed my medication)...finished high school and started college...then dropped out....went back and finish my bachelors degree, now I'm about 6 months away from getting my Masters in Divinity...I have my good days and my bad days like anyone else, but I'll get there! Having ADHD doesn't mean you're doomed for failure, just that you need to find the path that works best for you!
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