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IQ and Learning Disability

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My soon-to-be 9 year old, third grader is rated at below her grade level for reading. I have observed both high levels of understanding, for instances, mathematics, and an inability to comprehend materials that are age appropriate. Something in her learning seemed askew. Her teachers agreed and we chose to have her tested for a learning disability.

The results are in. The school psychologist concludes that she does not have a learning disability and has an IQ of 90, or below average. This result doesn't sit will her current and past teachers nor with me.

The child is creative, insightful, has an excellent memory and quick comprehension of materials read aloud to her. In fact, she reads her comic books while I read aloud to her and can recite, almost, verbatim, what I've been reading. How am I to interpret these results? I do not believe that her IQ could be so low. And I still have the issue of her reading at lower grade level.

In addition, learning disabilities have been diagnosed within her family.

A: This is quite hard as the school psychologist has confirmed her IQ. But from your description, it certainly does not appear to be the case. Especially, if there are doubts among her teachers and more importantly her guardian. You also mentioned that this could be hereditary, which is quite possible.

The best thing to do here is to get a second opinion. You may want to request the school to test her again using a different test. If the school is not keen (usually due to school policies) you may want to see a private educational psychologist. Until and unless you confirm what the problem really is, there is not much that can be done within the school. I'm afraid I am not able to give further advice than this. Please do get a second opinion.


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