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Nonverbal Score Significantly Higher than Verbal on K-BIT II

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son (6 1/2 years old, going into 1st grade) was given the K-BIT 2 test. My question is regarding the difference in verbal to nonverbal scores. His Verbal was 99, but Nonverbal was 136 with a Composite of 121. In the comments, it states that his difference of 37 was significant. What is the significance of that? (The reason he was being tested was he was showing signs of autism or ADHD due to social/emotional struggles in kindergarten & it was determined he is more than likely ADHD & not being challenged academically which resulted in behavioral issues of impulsiveness, but we're still doing a few more assessments.).

A: From your description, it is obvious that the verbal-nonverbal gap is very large. This may be indicative of a learning disability. In your case, it is very possible since your child has been suspected of a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). He has superior nonverbal intelligence but average verbal ability.

However, further tests would need to be administered to identify a breakdown in strengths and weaknesses in a more detailed manner. The significance indicates that the scatter between verbal and nonverbal is not normal. A small difference can be attributed to chance; in this case, a statistically significant difference is a result that is not attributed to chance and due to a reason (in this case probably the disability).

Because his K-BIT 2 nonverbal ability is very high, he would need intervention to help him with his verbal ability. Please do further testing to start with an intervention programme to reduce his struggles. He appears to be very capable but his possible disabilities may be holding him down dramatically much to the frustration of people around him and himself. Good luck.


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