Have 3 year old and test results...Please help me understand them. Scores posted.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maisey, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. maisey

    maisey New Member

    Greetings everyone. I am a Mom of 2. A soon to be 6 year old and a very soon to be 3 year old.
    My 5 year old has been in a Hillsborough Fl. public school Early education Learning program ( EELP ) after being determind through the school district to have a Devel. Delay. He has thrived and fullfilled all his IEP Goals and will more than likely enter K with only needing ongoing Speech class. I am very happy and satisfied overall with the job they did... So now onto my very new issues regarding my soon to be 3 year old.

    I decided to have my almost 3 (B-day in May) year old screened on a free screening day, however because of my oldests issues they asked me to go to Early steps at USF first and to also go through the school. We ended up having both evaluations within a week of each other in Feb.

    The USF evaluation went as I thought it would..except... at the end they asked for permission to do a M-Chat in which my son was positive for 3 out of 6 critical items. We started speech language therapy with Early steps a week later.

    I have in front of me a array of test results.

    Battelle Dev. Inv 2nd edition.

    Adaptive: 80
    Person-Social: 74
    Communication: 81
    Motor: 91
    Cognitive: 64
    Total: 70 (have scaled scores as well )


    Differential Ability Scales 2nd edt.
    Lower pre-school level
    Core Subtests

    Verbal Comp: 17
    Picture Similarities: 52
    Naming Vocab: 42
    Pattern Construction: 36

    Verbal ability : 1
    Nonverbal Ability: 23
    General Conceptual Ability: 5


    Autism Spectrum Rating Scale (ASRS)

    Social/Comm : 75
    Unusual Behaviors: 67
    Total: 75


    DSM-IV-TR Scale

    Peer Social : 80
    Adult Social : 73
    Social/ Emo Reciprocity: 72
    Atypical Language: 64
    Sterotypy: 61
    Behav. Rigidity: 71
    Senosry Sensitivity: 65
    Attention/Self Reg.: 68

    Pre-schoolLanguage Scale 4th addition

    Expressive: 95
    Total: 76

    Reading the report it is noted that the expressive language scoring is based on his spontanious talking, not due to any true interaction with the evaluators.

    They also said in the report:
    comparison of his gca and cluster score reveal a significant discrepancy in favor of his non verbal scale . The 24 point difference was found in only 5% of the standardized population and is statistcally rare in occurrence.

    So there it all is. I am looking for any experinced persons reading to help me, explain in layman terms as much as possible. I do not know what to make of the last paragraph.

    My husband is in denial mode. Insists our son is just delayed like or older one in EELP. Have tried to explain the oldest evaluation & scoring on certain tets was way, way differant. And that the youngest does not just have a daughter.

    I Have a IEP meeting in 2 weeks. Do I need a advocate? I know that I will get bombarded at the IEP meeting and they will try to rush it like usual. This IEP meeting will be a whole new can of worms for me.

  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Maisey and welcome. I have to tell you, the scores are Greek to me. I will leave discussion on that to others who are more up on that. ;)

    Test scores are test scores, and I think they have to be taken in context of the bigger picture of the whole child. My oldest is essentially nonverbal (has a good yes/no), a quadriplegic. No functional motor skills. A vision impairment caused both by optic nerve atrophy as well as cortical damage (impossible to really have a good grasp on what he sees, but he *does* see something). If you were to look at test scores alone, you would assume that he's just this side of comatose, and nothing could be further from the truth. It was an ongoing battle for years, and I never was successful in getting most school staff or the alleged professional testers to acknowledge the simple fact that just because he can't knock the shorter stack of blocks over or can't *tell* them how to make a PB&J doesn't mean he doesn't get it. They were testing him on oranges, and he only does apples. A few school staff, and most definitely all of the folks at his adult program, looked beyond test results and saw my *son* - the kid who has a wicked and appropriate sense of humor (a sign of higher cognitive functioning because humor is abstract), the kid who *can* get his needs met (so much for his nonexistent adaptive behavior scores on tests), and the kid who has unintelligible speech yet can approximate correct number of syllables and tone inflection so that when you give him a multiple choice question and then take the time to really *listen*, he is communicating.

    I also found that having a first child with a significant daughter, and being involved in early intervention services from the second he came home from the hospital, made me hypersensitive to my other kids' development. I was ready for to my third son to get evaluated at 9 months because he wasn't doing the (bear?) crawl - you know, the one where they stick their behind in the air, kind of the precursor to getting ready to walk? Luckily, oldest's PT was a very down to earth woman and she told me to chill out, LOL. ;) Third son was also very delayed (compared to second son) in speech. His receptive speech was obviously right on, but he didn't really start talking until after his 3rd birthday.

    Kids develop at different rates and on their own timeline. I look at my third son now and I think his "delayed" speech was more an indication of his temperament than it was of his development. He's a very stoic soul - has been from birth. He's also wicked smart - a human calculator - but also incredibly stubborn - hates English and has just made up his mind that there are some things he's just not going to do. I honestly think his needs were being met and he just didn't have a need to verbally communicate until after he hit 3.

    I don't mean to downplay the results of your kiddo's test or the concerning paragraph they tossed in there. I am a firm believer in EI and think the more services you can get, the better. But at the same time, I would be hesitant to jump to the conclusion that there's a more significant daughter going on in a not-yet-3-year-old based on 1 set of tests, especially not knowing how he's doing generally. Is he communicating - verbally or nonverbally? How is his adaptive behavior? Are you seeing any other warning signs - delayed fine/gross motor, (gosh it's been so long since I've had a 3-year-old, I'm struggling to remember what is age-appropriate behavior, LOL)? Does he get object permanence? Is he showing signs of grasping cause/effect concept?

    With such a statistically significant and relatively rare discrepancy, especially if you're *not* seeing any hugely concerning deficits in behavior/communication/function at age 2, I would tend to not give a single set of testing results a whole lot of weight as far as a predictor of severity of daughter (if in fact there is going to be a long-term daughter). Tester could have been having an off day, your son could have been having an off day or maybe he just wasn't into the testing/tester. It's a snapshot of how he did on that *particular* day. You have a much better grasp on how he's doing as a whole. I'd take advantage of every EI service available and see how he does.

    As far as an advocate - depends. Based on the testing, obviously he qualifies for EI services. I guess my thought would be to see how the initial IEP mtg goes, especially since you've been down this road before. If you're not satisfied, you can always ask for another mtg and bring an advocate with- you then.

    This is just my opinion, Maisey, based on my journey. Again, welcome and I'm glad you found us!
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with slsh. Don't worry too much about test results yet. However, do look at your son. What are YOUR concerns? What things doesn't he do that you think he should be doing? Some discrepancies can be an "indication" that something MAY be wrong but that is not always the case. How was his overall development/milestones? I just found out that, although my son reached them all but was "slightly behind" on some, that he has Asperger's Syndrome. If I had known then what I know now, I would have accepted more of the early intervention services that were offered back then. I just figured that as long as he reached them, he was okay. He is okay, just a little different than other kids his age.

    Don't worry. Accept any services you think might be helpful to address what YOU see. Keep an open mind and ask a lot of questions until you get answers you understand.

    Welcome to the "family".
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I agree that assessment should for the most part be based on identified concerns about the child's behavior or performance.

    Generally when you are reporting test scores it is best to report standard scores if it was a normed test. That is what tells you how your child did in comparison to the group of children who were used to determine the standards applied in the test. Most tests have a SS of 100 as the mean with a standard deviation of 10 or 15 pts. Some have a SS of 50 and the standard deviation is usually 5 but can vary according to the test instrument. If you are reporting results of a test that is not commonly known you should indicate what the mean and standard deviation are if they are different from these ranges.

    The M-CHAT is a screening tool and it has a high false positive rate because it was deemed to be better to make mistakes and identify too many children for autism evaluation than to miss them. Even if the behaviors you are seeing at home are consistent with a possible high functioning autism diagnosis (since a more severe one would almost certainly not be in doubt in a 3 yo) there are other possibilities to be considered when it comes to language processing/perception problems.

    What did the clinician at USF who did the testing tell you when you met to go over the results?
  5. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I just double checked and the DAS scores are definitely not SS's The subtests are reported in T-scores with a mean of 50 and SD of 10 and the cluster scores have a mean of 100 with SD of 15.

    If you want to post the standard scores we can have a general discussion of where those results fall on the bell curve and if the various results seem to fit together with each other and with your observations of your child. But the best person to interpret those specific results is the person who did the assessment and I strongly suggest you call and talk your concerns over with that person before the IEP meeting.

  6. keepongoing

    keepongoing Guest

    Young kids are very hard to test and most scales are not that reliable.They also said that they determind his verbal sore by spontanious language. Since they make a point of mentioning this it probably means that this is not really how this test is supposed to be administered. Which would make a big big difference in scoring.
    I think what they are saying in the last sentence is that his non-verbal language is significantly ahead of his verbal skills .95% of kids taking this test did not have such a large difference in scores between verbal and non-verbal. That is more than two standard deviations and in most tests two standard deviation determines the cut-off for a disability.
    I cautiously agree with others about not being too worried.However -I would not be surprised if they offer you some early intervention services which would likely be some enrichment in an early childhood setting or/and some speech services. I would take them. No typical kid at that age has ever been hurt by getting extra but a kid that might lag behind can be hurt by not getting early intervention. Since you feel your older child has received great services I think your younger could only benefit wether he has delays or not. And you will get ongoing feedback from teachers on whether there really is something to worry about.
  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Assessing language development in young children is complicated. A traditional standardized test needs to be supplemented with authentic, real-world observations that may reveal errors in communication/language/speech that would otherwise not be discovered.

    Assessing spontaneous speech in the young child is considered an essential element of the assessment process for this reason.

    The statement that the expressive language score was based on spontaneous speech means that they were doing the assessment the way it was designed to be done.

    A paucity/reduced amount of variety of spontaneous speech can be suggestive of everything from a hearing loss to autism to the kid is just having a introspective moment.

    Like all test scores/assessment the results need to be interpreted within the context of the testing. They are a snapshot and can only tell you so much. When they are combined with home and school observation then they become much more powerful tools for understanding a child's present strengths and limitations.

    They also can serve as a baseline so that you can tell whether an intervention is helping or if the child is losing skills.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Communication problems of all sorts are best treated with early intervention. I recommend you try to get that for your son. My son did not really speak until he was 4 1/2. Now he is almost 18 and speech/vocabulary is one of his strongest skills. But he started early intervention almost at birth.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do :)
  9. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Totally agree that early intervention can only be a good thing.

    Hope you've been able to talk with the center that did this assessment and are feeling less worried.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It never hurts to have an advocate for the IEP. If you don't have one, contact the state dept of education. Usually they are listed on the website, at least a link to call to find them. If they are not on the website, go to the section that deals with IEP's, etc... and call them and ask. It may take a while but it will pay off in the long run. If you don't have one for the meeting, remember that you do NOT have to sign anything other than the form saying you were there and the form saying you saw the file. You do NOT have to agree to what they want, and I STRONGLY, URGENTLY suggest that you NOT sign the IEP until you ahve a couple of days to mull it over. The school may not like it, but it will give you time to go over it when you are not under such pressure.

    I would use the tests to get every single scrap of help that is possible. I won't really go into test results unless/until I can find a more 'real person' way to interpret them.
    DO NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT think that these tests are predictin his future or his abilities/limitations in a black and white way. It just isn't true at his age. Getting him evaluation'd was a crucial step and it will let you know where he needs help now. It won't tell you what he will need in a year or three or as an adult. It can take YEARS to get a "correct" diagnosis, partly because it is a very subjective field of medicine and partly because kids just change so much. Your son would likely get similar results tomorrow, but in a year they could be very different.

    It doesn't really pay to get too wrapped up in the diagnosis. Personally I could care less what they called my son's problems as long as the help, support and consequences that he needed were provided. Heck, at one point I looked at his developmental pediatrican and told him that he could tell me my son was pregnant as long as he could DO something to keep him from raging and hurting his sister. I meant it, too.

    I strongly suggest you get BOTH of the kids evaluated for sensory integration disorder as it often accompanies devel delays and other problems. I try to encourage all of our members to get a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for sensory issues (school Occupational Therapist (OT)'s may or may not be helpful because they are really supposed to look at how the issues impact academics. Some will do a more thorough evaluation than others, but a private Occupational Therapist (OT) is more likely to look at the entire picture. The treatment for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) involves providing the right sensory diet and using brushing therapy. This is, to my knowledge, a rare problem because the treatment is non-invasive, involves no medication, can calm a child very quickly if used correctly and at the right time (beginning of a meltdown rather than the middle, Know what I mean??) and even more incredible, brushing therapy sort of rewires the brain to handle sensory issues more typically. This is described in Kranowitz's The Out of Sync Child and she also has a book of activities to provide various sensory inputs (and how to make them as cheaply as possible!) called "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun".

    If you go to the link in my signature at the bottom of the post it will take you to a thread about a Parent Report. This is an outline figured out by parents here quite a few years ago. It is a wonderful way to keep ALL of the info about a child in one place. It would be a great idea to create on for each child so that you have the info at hand at any meeting/appointment. You can also say "we tried this with that result back in whenever".

    Welcome to our soft space. Sorry you had to find us, though.