So the neuropsychologist report said...NORMAL????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm just getting over my shock.

    Jumper couldn't read at eight and had an IEP and she still struggles in her grades at school. She ended up with a B and three C's. The math C was a D until the last two days. She did extra credit. She says she doesn't understand math. Her pre-ACT score testing that they take in high school were below average. So we had a long neuropsychologist test in which Tom and I also had to fill out three long forms each.

    Today neuropsychologist called me. He told me she tested normal or above normal (but mostly normal) in every single area. She does not have ADD either according to him. She could pay attention. She is not impulsive. She has an average IQ. She has no signs of mental illness and seems "delightful." So why isn't she doing better in school?

    He said the one area she kept on coming short on, both in her long, long school records and while testing was her effort. She apparently is not taking advantage of her homework study hall and before/after 1-1 teacher help. Grrrrrrrrrrr. She told us she was. Of course, sports take up a lot of time after school. Taking them away from her won't will only depress her. But she can go to the before school help, even if she has to miss after school help. Kids don't go at both times anyway. We also talked about her extreme test anxiety so she will be seeing a counselor. He said she needs one...nobody super-special, just somebody who will help her feel better about her ability to learn and not to freak out during tests. Ok, we will. Do I believe it?

    I'm not sure. Jumper is ademant that she is trying as hard as she can. But she constantly tests the same exact way. That's why they took away her IEP. He said she is NOT learning disabled. Right now Jumper is at basketball camp and hub and I are going to talk to her when she gets home. We are going to talk to her in a helpful way, not critical, but we are letting her know we are going to check to make sure she goes all out to get the help available to her. And she will have to go to counseling or no sports (yes, if she refused counseling THEN we'd take away her sports, but she may roll her eyes at the idea...still she will agree to go).

    I'm really nervous about this. She couldn't read at eight, but now she keeps testing as if she has no learning issues at all (in spite of sub-par grades). She's still getting tutoring this summer. I'm really nervous about the coming year and I'm so confused and...stunned.

    Oh, yeah. Her memory tested normal too. What's the deal??? He told me this is very rare. Kids brought into his clinic almost never test out as normal in all areas. Lucky me! I mean, I AM lucky, what? She's STILL behind in school. He said he thinks she should still keep her 504 because her grades are behind her ability.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    That's unexpected.

    Were you allowed to see all the results? Sometimes average/above average does not tell the whole story.

    It has been explained to me that it is not the SCORES themselves that are most revealing on these tests - but rather, the variances between the scores that indicate a "disability". For example, I know a person who earned a perfect score in the reading/verbal portion of the tests and then scored average in the math/numeric postion of the tests. You could say, well, both scores were in the average/above average range. BUT the large discrepancy between the verbal and the numeric actually indicates a disability in Math - despite the 'average' score.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT is just the opposite. She tests HORRIBLY but gets (mostly) decent grades.

    Jumper's hearing and vision are all normal as well? If she really is trying as hard as she can, then I don't know.
  4. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I don't know if it is a correct analogy, but that popped in my mind: let's imagine a young person who really sucks at sports... would people conclude that person is physically disabled in some way? probably not.
    Maybe, school work is just not her thing. It does mean you or her should give up on it, but maybe try to keep in mind that school is not life. It is a very specific environment that just does not agree with everybody. It is very important right now, but once she gets out of school she will have so many more ways to shine. I personally know a lot of people who struggled in school and now live avery fullfilling and successful life. I'm sure you guys do to.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If you figure out what is up with Jumper, be sure and let me know cause that is Piglet to a T.

    Normal, normal, normal but still struggles in school. Most teachers and coaches say she tries really hard but a few say she needs to try harder.

    This summer husband and I are paying $$$ for a reading specialist to work with her two days a week and trry and tease out where the problem is. Maybe one of the Special Education teachers by you can do some 1:1 work with her this summer and see if they can figure it out with more intensive time with her???
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    The neuropsychologist said Jett had fetal alchohol syndrome and ADHD.

    I do not agree. Fetal alcohol effects, dyslexia, and PTSD for sure... And I think he's somewhere on the spectrum, too.

    But I just live with him.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM...I am not sure if you are reading me or not because you dont ever answer me but I will post this anyway.

    I dont know if I would believe this neuropsychologist. I actually have a bad taste in my mouth about these neuropsychologist tests after I had one but I did it because all of you guys raved about them...especially you.

    When mine came back it basically said the same thing you are getting told with a few variants. Oh I was so normal. Just perfectly average and doing just fine. My memory was quite adequate. I was like...are you kidding me? I thought this woman had to be on crack or something! I knew in my own mind how horribly I had done on some of those tests. I couldnt draw figures well. Seriously, I used to have an IQ of 142 and now my IQ is 99 and this idiot is telling me I am fine and dandy! I could have decked her.

    I cant do simple math or remember where I put my keys. There is some memory test online that I failed miserably and Tony whizzed through with a perfect score. I sat and cried. But I have no problems.

    I know the lady had degrees but I really wonder what she tested me for because according to her, I am just fine.

    One thing I think I did make a mistake in doing was I did this neuropsychologist at the place that I had my rehab from the meningitis so they saw me when I was practically still in the coma. I wasnt walking and I was pretty out of it when she had last seen me so maybe to her, I had come a long way but she hadnt known me when I was "well" so she had nothing to compare me to. She got mad at me when I used big words. Said someone with my IQ shouldnt know words like that. ARGH!
  8. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    How confident do you feel about this neuropysch?

    Did you ever have her vision--specifically her eye tracking--tested? now if she is a gifted athlete that may not be an issue. But it could explain some of difficulties reading and why she may shy away from school work. That was a factor in my youngest.

    I know you are a big proponent of neuropsychologist testing, and I certainly think it has its place, but it is only as good as the tests and tester. I think it offers a useful perspective since not all issues are mental health issues.

    Maybe schoolwork is just not important to her. But I am forgetting her story.

    It is quite a shock however to get a result you are not expecting though! Maybe a counselor could explore in a non threatening way what she perceives her issues at school to be.
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i personally hate those questionaires--i just got finished filling out (probably) the same 3 you did, and i'm telling you, its very, very difficult to REALLY portray an accurate picture--the whole thing is subjective and based on OUR opinion. like someone eloquently pointed out here, we know our kids have issues, we also compensate for them---so by definition, we cannot be objective. (and some of the time? most of the time? all of the time? never?---i NEVER pick my nose, but, oh, well, maybe sometimes!...some things are impossible to quantify with our kids).

    that leaves the formal testing.

    perhaps the neuropsychologist didnt pick the right battery of tests to identify her issues....maybe he did just a basic evaluation.

    or maybe is something completely different that he WOULDNT test for....occupational issues, pragmatic issues, what have you. you keep mentioning that she is very social so she cant have adhd, but in girls, thats often a hallmark of adhd-in. i know you tried medications, but maybe she needs to be shown some different compensation skills.

    or maybe, like said above, she stinks at school.

    but regardless, she's still jumper.

    (and if she's been tested before, it would be important to compare like tests/scores to see if there is a change--that to me would be much more important than a single set of scores of anything)...

    i was in the less than impressed with neuropsychologist testing crowd too....but, fingers crossed for us, we will be repeating it this summer
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi all and thank you. Janet, of course I read your responses. I think you have some of the best ones here!

    For those who asked how she tested, we are going to get the written results in the mail. He told me what the last two testers told me. She tests pretty much the same across the board, therefore not Learning Disability (LD). Now the other two testers DID say she has ADD. I am wondering if she did well because everything was spoken to her. He said her auditory and visual processing was normal :/ She had minor problems with organization and executive function, but not that bad.

    I think I'm going to continue with our plan for tutoring her and just move on. I am baffled and not at all sure if it is lack of effort...but it could at least partly be that. She gives up easily. And the test anxiety is huge.

    I was hoping this would help us. Instead, it has us all confused :/
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is a huge issue in this type of testing. esp what Janet went through. HEr np had no clue that she previously had a gifted IQ ans now was so far below that. Likely because she didn't bother to listen or didn't believe the history. I have found almost exclusively that the nps and psychometrists (tdocs who train to give and interpret these tests) pretty much ignore the history - not a bad thing because they do such a bad job of taking it that the mistakes are huge and glaring and they refuse to correct them unless forced to. We even ahd one who said we were LYING about wiz' ability to read at age 3.

    Not all neuropsychs are able or WILLING to give the great results you got earlier. Not all will do it consistently throughout their career. Regardless of the fact that the test results are printed in black and white, the results are incredibly subjective and the degree of bias is substantial and can be enormous. We had one tester who took Wiz' scores and said taht in no way did he have the IQ taht he tested for. Why? because he would not talk about what she wanted to talk about. So she tried to say his IQ was around 99-110, which is FAR lower than it actually is. Another said that thank you was likely MR and just tested well because we used too many big words at home.??????? In reality his IQ is more than twice what she said the tests showed. that is according to others who looked at the exact same test results that she looked at. They just were not irritated by his shirt chewing and reactions to her very loud gum cracking through the entire test. And on a test with-o someone cracking and smacking and slurping gum while he was taking it he scored even higher (this is a kid who was discussing the time-space continuum at age four - no way was he retarded mentally.)

    IF you trust this np, and you must have before this because you have raved about nps for years and recommended them to all of us no matter what, then you need to explore other reasons for Jumper's struggles. Is she the type to slack off? Remember that sports can be physically exhausting and often students who are in sports love them and won't admit how tired they can get, so sometimes this hurts grades. Also schoolwork isn't fun for her, so there may be a tendency to rush through it.

    But there could be other issues. has she been tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and other speed/hearing issues? How about sensory issues? thank you is brilliant but could NOT learn things when overwhelmed. SO he would test fine on the np tests but in real life would have entire days when no info was being processed. I just put attendance in his 504 so he couldn't be penalized for needing to stay home and we kept him home those days. IF we hadn't kept him home he would have missed weeks at a time most likely and would have had outbursts in the classroom or at home plus it might have driven him nuts. I "get" how it feels because I have my own sensory issues that are pretty bad. Heck, I cannot even have a conversation if there is a radio on. NOt with-o going nuts.

    There is also the fact that reading is an incredibly complex task. Learning to read is like building a brick wall. You can get the wall high enough and fairly strong so maybe it LOOKS ok from some perspectives, but still be missing some or even a LOT of bricks. Wiz had problems with reading but it took a family friend spending hours with him over a period of months to find it. she is a reading specialist and this is what she does and it took her a LONG time to find it. He learned to read words in chunks and not as indiv words or letters, so sometimes he had huge comprehension problems. THings like that can look normal on tests.

    I hope you keep her 504. in my opinion she still needs it.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, good post. This was the first neuropsychologist report I ever questioned. Having said that, the school has been telling us for years that she tests in the normal range. An earlier neuropsychologist evaluation, when Jumper was about twelve, indicated just a reading and spelling Learning Disability (LD)...nothing specific. The school psychologist and pediatrician gave her the TOVA test, and both said she flunked. However, this neuro also gave her the TOVA and I guess she passed.

    I do like neuropsychs and I always will. They test and nobody else does. The trend here, which is what we are going to follow, is that Jumper is not Learning Disability (LD). She tests t he same in reading as math as langage...etc. We do believe she is ADD. We do think her memory is poor, but maybe not as poor as we thought. We do believe she is slacking off some, partly due to lack of confidence, and will do all we can to work on this area. We do think that she has test anxiety as her grades are all good except for the tests.

    Rather than test her again or even have somebody else look at her scores, we are going to go ahead with our plans to tutor her and to ride her a bit harder as far as getting the help that is available to her. I'm done testing her.

    It DID feel good to hear that she was very mentally stable and "delightful." We think so too. The learning bit...that we are less certain was interpreted correctly. Oh, and yes she was tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and all processing problems.

    She has had her hearing and eyes tested within the last three months.

    she will keep her 504 plan. No way is that going anywhere.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm with Susie on this one...
    1) There is NO ONE out there who's testing covers all the bases.

    2) The devil is in the details - one psychiatrist tested IQ and said X (basically, "average"); 2nd psychiatrist reviewed same test results and said - not possible to even assign a score, his "spread" is too wide - he's got more upstairs than he's being given credit for. GET THE ACTUAL DETAILED SCORES if you can.

    3) You can be neuro-typical and still have learning disabilities. Do you have a learning disabilities association there? If so, get together with them, the detailed report, all the other past data you have... and see what they think. If you don't have the actual scores from 2) then it might be possible for the Learning Disability (LD) assoc to get them directly (some psychiatrist types won't share results with lay-people, but will with other psychiatrist-types)

    4) Has an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation ever been done? depending on what the np actually tested, the Occupational Therapist (OT) can check into... sensory issues (including noise), coordination, balance, and all sorts of other things

    5) Has she ever been screened by a speech-language pathologist? Her language ability could be normal, yet she could still have problems with auditory discrimination (either turning down background noice or applying focus to the important sound).

    Can you list the acronyms of the tests that were done? We just went through a full battery, curious to see what did not get run...
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm going out on a limb here, but... (having been interrupted 2x writing my first post, I had to re-read everything again, and...)

    Here's one possibility... Were a lot of the np tests "written"? or oral? It makes a huge difference. If np is testing oral, and she's having problems in school, then...

    Hypothesis... She may have dysgraphia... a Learning Disability (LD) that has to do with written output. Given that she had trouble getting going on reading, its highly possible that she also has problems writing. This could come in one of two forms... difficulty with the physical aspects of writing (letter formation, etc.), OR difficulty organizing thoughts etc. in written format (or both). It can be a "disability" - as in, she can't do it, or not as well and/or as fast as others, OR it can be a fatigue issue - it takes so much effort that they burn out before they are done, or burn out in one class and then can't do the next one!

    IF this is the case... then here are some things that help:
    1) oral exams (rather than written)
    2) scribed exams AND assignments, especially English, Social, History... the 'big-write' ones
    3) use of a computer, if physical aspects of writing are a problem (there's specialized programs available for math - let me know if you want the details)

    by the way - obviously, she doesn't have gross-motor skills issues, or she wouldn't be good at sports - but how is her handwriting? does she do OK on the fine-motor aspects of dressing (tying shoes, small buttons)? eat properly with knife-and-fork? If its "just" handwriting, then even higher probability of Learning Disability (LD) - if more fine motor skills, then add a motor-skills component to that.
  15. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    When she had her eyes tested, did they really look at tracking issues? often they don't do that very well.

    I have a kid with major dysgraphia, but he is very mechanical, knew what a Phillips head screwdriver was at 1 1/2 years old and could use it. Also very good at sports.

    Sometimes I think that there are neuropscyhs who are better at Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) type stuff and others who need to be incredibly specialized and skilled to pick up on Learning Disability (LD).

    Don't discount the role of anxiety either, it can make a huge difference in what kids can do in class.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Our neuro'psychs were done by a team at the testing center and I think that allows for more objective results. on the other hand, if you have a socially adept youngster being tested I do think that there may a tendency to think "normal" because of those skills. If you have a socially dysfunctional difficult child it triggers a more probing response. on the other hand I am a big proponent of the N/P's because in our cases the difficult child was accurately identified. I think you are on the right track. No outsider knows our kids needs better than an informed parent. Hugs. DDD
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow, you are awesome and gave me amazing ideas. I'm going to try to have her tested seperately for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), find a doctor who tests eye tracking (I know the closest one is pretty far away) and take her for speech.

    Insane, your post was great. She does well on oral tests. EXACTLY! I'm going to ask the Special Education director if she can take them that way. I am also going to bring her test scores to another professional for a second opinion. The neuropsychologist is probably used to "odd duck" kids like Sonic, who is not neurotypical. I can see him or anyone enjoying testing of a neurotypical, friendly, non-hyper teenager who seems like she has it all going for her (I wish!).

    Tomorrow I start making calls :) I'll get her report around Friday. I will post the scores and let you guys help me out :) Thank you all very much!
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    School may be able to test for dysgraphia - its a learning disability - or at least have a school expert review the evidence and add the label.
    If it can be on record that way, it will follow her into higher learning as well.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the suggestion.
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I like neuropsychologist testing too. Really I do. But that doesn't make it perfect.

    While trying to pinpoint Travis' issues I went through just about every specialist in the book. Seriously. Ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, psychiatrists.......I could go on. Endless evaluations and tests by endless specialists all good at what they do. One would say one thing like Ophthalmologist said legally blind, but couldn't explain the uncorrectable double vision. One neurologist diagnosed the epilepsy was was stunned it had been missed for so many years (this was also the one who started tying things together), neuropsychologist evaluation came up with tourettes.........NOTHING ELSE. Which made no sense at all as Travis has blatant cognitive issues that you don't even have to be a professional to see, even the neuro that sent him for the evaluation was stumped by the results and said they had to be wrong to have missed so much. That neuro moved out of the area and forced me to find a new neuro.

    That one was the God Send. He put it all together. He was the only one who took the time to read the boy's history from birth until the age of 14 when he saw him for the first time. He actually read all the reports and test results from every other specialist the child had seen. He did a good complete exam just to be sure. But all the info he needed was already there. It had been there, just no one put it together. The motor skills issue, sensory, vision epilepsy were all linked to the brain damage that gave him the CP diagnosis. The double vision was linked to damaged optic nerves and no it can not be corrected. The autism was genetic but made more severe due to the brain damage.

    I"m not saying you have to go through all that to get your answers. I'm just saying that not all test are accurate 100 percent of the time. You have to know how to read the results correctly in addition to other information you're given to come up with the right answer.

    To me? A red flag would go up simply because she was supposed to have done so well on the exam when no one else has. You said she's been tested before. Many of these test are similar. We had to be careful with Travis. A coping skill he learned to help him in school was to remember such things. (he wanted so badly to be normal) You couldn't give him the same evaluation twice because he'd remember the correct answers the second time and thus would have a false result. You couldn't even give him something similar because it would be the same thing. It didn't mean that he could do it sitting in a classroom. It's just not the same thing. The only one he wasn't able to do this with was with a simple test the vision specialist gave him. It was a maze. Due to the brain damage Travis can NOT do a maze. He can watch you do it, and still not be able to do it. He will even believe he's done it right....and won't be able to see that he hasn't even when you show him because his brain no longer works that way, or never did.

    Like Janet.......I can still do most things just fine. My memory hoovers most of the time. Some things I can't keep in my head for 5 seconds, others seem to stick......there isn't really a pattern to it either. Math skills are gone, and money makes me nervous. Yet you know I graduated last summer as an honor student. No one guessed I had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) because I didn't put myself into a position for it to be obvious. After Janet's experience I'm not so anxious to see a neuropsychologist, yet I would like to know the extent of the damage done. I had a photographic memory before the accident and a gift with numbers and a high IQ. Now? Don't get me started. And in all honesty? A neurologist would probably understand the issues I have post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) better than any neuropsychologist.

    So if you don't think the result is accurate, get a 2nd opinion. ALL docs are human. They just don't get it right for every single patient 100 percent of the time.

    It may be that she just is one of those kids that doesn't "get" school. Or she may simply have test anxiety where she may know it but her brain shuts down once the test reaches her. Or she may have been evaled to the point where she has a good idea of what the correct answers should be and is giving them what they want because she thinks that's what you want her to do...... I don't know how to explain this last one better. I just know I watch Travis do it time and again......Until one of the evaluators caught on and started pulling out evaluations he had yet to be exposed to.

    But if you're not satisfied with the answers, keep looking.