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The Possibility a Learning Disorder Based on IQ Test Scores

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My 7 years old daughter recently took the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test - (K-BIT 2) and Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement – Brief Form (KTEA-II-Brief). We were asked if she had any learning disabilities like dyslexia due to her difference in scoring. I'm not understanding the scoring or why it shows she could have any disability. Can you help explain? Here are her test scores.

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test- 2
VERBAL 108 (70th%) NON-VERBAL 112 (79th%) COMPOSITE IQ= 112 (79th%)

Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement-II (KTEA-II-Brief) Subtest Reading 90 standard score 25th percentile Math 92 standard score 30th percentile Writing 93 standard score 32nd percentile Brief Achievement Composite 89 standard score 23rd percentile.

A: The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test 2 is a short cognitive assessment that, like other cognitive tests provide information about a student's intellectual strengths and weaknesses, as well as insight into her/his overall cognitive potential. The test gives general information about a student's abilities compared to others his or her age in several areas.

The scores are typically described in Standard Scores. Standard Scores have a mean (average) of 100. Anything within 10 points from 100 is usually considered Average. Your child's score of 112 places her in the High Average range (typically 110-119 is considered High Average). All her scores are similarly scattered indicating rather meaningful scores.

Academic achievement tests measure specific academic skills compared to other children at the same grade or age level as in the KTEA. In a typical situation, a student's achievement scores will be quite similar to the cognitive ability scores. However, this is not the case with your daughter.

While her average scores in cognitive ability measures in the High Average range, he achievement scores is quite far off. When the scores are well below measured cognitive potential, it may signify a Learning Disability if other factors are present. However, there are a variety of reasons that cause academic achievement to be discrepant from cognitive abilities. You would need to speak to the tester and school regarding this.

As she appears very capable of learning, any learning disability could cause low scores as in her case and needs to be addressed immediately. Intervention is available for such disabilities and the earlier the invention the better the results. Her achievement scores clearly shows struggle in learning and the need for some aid. You may need to further test her to rule out any learning disorder; though the difference between the ability-achievement score does indicate a learning concern.

Do speak to the school for further testing and invention as soon as possible. Good luck!


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