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Learning Concern

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I have a son, 7 years old. He is now in Primary one. His IQ test score on The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, overall IQ 122, verbal IQ 104, and non-verbal IQ 133. The problem now is he struggles with writing and reading, he is probably dyslexic, the doctor said.

Lately, he won't go to school, he prefers stay at home playing with his legos and clays. He likes watching YouTube on how to make something. His psychologist said he is good at visual spatial-relations. My question is what should we do to make him learn something match with his learning style. How about the school? Is he not fit with the curriculum?

Thank you for giving the answer.

A: From the test results, it is hard to tell if there is a learning issue here. Your son did score in the upper range of the The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Briefly, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (Second Edition) or K-BIT 2 is used to measure verbal and nonverbal cognitive ability. It is used to obtain a quick estimate of intelligence, estimate an individual's verbal versus nonverbal intelligence and/or to screen to identify students who may benefit from enrichment or gifted programs. Additionally, this test is also able to identify high-risk children through large-scale screening who may require a more comprehensive evaluation. So, briefly, it serves the purpose to provide a relatively quick and seemingly accurate estimate of abilities; and to identify students who may benefit from gifted or enrichment programs.

Based on a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, your son scored above average (about 85-115 should be within the average range on a bell curve) for the K-BIT-2. This indicates high abilities, especially for verbal IQ. However, studies have suggested that caution against using the K-BIT exclusively for placement and diagnostic purposes with young children with reading disabilities if IQ scores are required.

My suggestion is that a diagnosis be made to confirm any learning disabilities. If your son has dyslexia, there are intervention programmes that are very useful and helpful. If there is no intervention when the child is still young, it may get worse as the child would be struggling in the classroom. Only when a learning disability has been confirmed or rules out, learning match can be suggested. You may need to see an educational psychologist to help you make that decision.

All the best to you.


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