ADD / ADHD Community
3.37k Members
Avatar universal

Low IQ and ADHD Diagnosis?

This week, I took our six year son for a neuro-psych evaluation and today we went for feed back.
He has been diagnosed with ADHD which wasn't a big suprise to us. What has been shocking and hard to handle is his IQ score of 71. This is a low score, bordering on mental retardation from what we can tell.

So, if a child has ADHD, I assume they won't test well in a neuro-psych evaluation? That being the case, what does that say about the IQ score? If we elect to put our son on stimulants and he was to have an IQ test repeated, could we expect a better score?

Further complicating things, he had seizures last May and has been taking anti-convulsants. He started out on Keppra which seemed to invoke rages and explosive behavior. He was recently switched to Lamictal and the behavioral aspect has calmed down, though hes having a really hard time at school.

anyone got any feedback or experience with any of these issues, I'd love to hear back

6 Responses
368886 tn?1466238884

You are absolutely correct in your thinking. The inattention and the hyperactivity do interfere with the performance on the tests. Which test was done for the IQ ?

In such cases, I usually avoid asking for an IQ test, as I know the test results will not be reliable. He is just six. Let his hyperactivity and inattention come down. You may repeat the IQ test again after a year or two.

In most cases, the anti convulsant drugs do affect cognition to some extent. Please do not worry about what the IQ report says. Make sure your son gets all the love nd care from his parents and the good understanding from his school.

Avatar universal
i agree that IQ tests are not nessasarially reliable at that age, and that also if he cant pay attention to the test he is much more likely to score poorly.    the biggest piece of advice i can give you about his IQ test is to always keep him stimulated intellectually, attempt to instill a love of learning and try and keep him thinking.   read to him and fallow along with your finger and have him watch the words go by and also individual tutoring with a child tutor i would highly recomomend.    i am not an expert on this issue but if you would like to give me more information i would gladly look it up and see what i can find to help you
Avatar universal
I'm surprised by the responses you've received.  They were kind, but not terribly helpful.  The best thing you can do for your child if you question the results of the neuropsychological assessment is to get a second opinion. If your child has seizures and ADHD, you can expect associated cognitive interferences to show up on standardized tests, and in the classroom. These can be managed with a combination of medication and educational intervention. The right educational programming is critical, and if you can afford private tutoring, you should institute it right away.  Go to Wrightslaw.com for information related to special education and the educational rights of your special needs child. Knowledge is power. Regarding the seizure disorder, I am not a neurologist, but I know that the location of the seizure activity, the severity, and the length of time without detection/treatment, will all determine to some extent the severity and nature of the associated cognitive impairments, as well as prognosis. Medication is helpful in preventing breakthrough seizures, and in turn will enable your child to develop compensatory skills. It will also help, I heard a neurology colleague say, to make way for new neural pathways critical for learning. What I can tell you is this: Children with ADHD produce IQ scores from low to very superior. They have difficulty performing timed visual-motor tasks.  They frequently have difficulty also with working memory tasks, and with sequential reasoning. If the examiner is skilled, he/she will modify the testing environment and the test to accommodate the needs of the individual child, and will report any such modifications in the final written report. In addition, if the examiner believes that the test results may not be valid due to ADHD associated interferences, a statement reflecting this impression would also be included in the final report. The thing to remember with IQ scores is that the full-scale IQ score is not the best representation of the individual's abilities when there is significant variation among skills (i.e. greater than one standard deviation or 15 points). In these cases the full-scale IQ score tells you how your child is functioning and learning at the present time, and how he appears to others. Even though he may have some areas of cognitive strength, his overall functioning is low, as measured by whatever test the psychologist gave him. With medication and educational intervention, IQ scores can and do improve. Have hope.   Get a second opinion. Learn everything you can about your child's rights to a Free and Appropriate Public Education. Know that you're in for the long haul and that your child's functioning CAN improve with appropriate, intensive, and on-going support. I hope this was helpful. God bless you and your family.          
Avatar universal

Clinically, ADHD children do show fairly substantial gains on IQ tests, and better performance in school, on medication.
Avatar universal
Yes having a child on a stimulant willl boost their attention and allow their brain to work more efficiently like normal everyday people. I have ADHD and my ratio iq is 130. I"m almost at genius level. If you have you're child retake the test while he is on a stimulant, he will do much better.
Avatar universal
I have had mental ability testing since childhood. My IQ has always been the same. I'm mid-aged now. I was just recently diagnosed with ADHD COMBINED TYPE. My IQ has always been low since childhood. 78 right now. I don't think the ADHD is throwing the test off. Instead, the ADHD is throwing off the brain. Cause I notice I really don't understand some things that are simple to others.  I'm thinking that if you can't focus, it affects other parts of the brain too like your intellect..
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Development Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
What to expect in your growing baby
Is the PS3 the new Prozac … or causing ADHD in your kid?
Autism expert Dr. Richard Graff weighs in on the vaccine-autism media scandal.
Could your home be a haven for toxins that can cause ADHD?