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Q: Are there any tests that schools routinely perform that may help us pinpoint where my son's inability to process information correctly lie?
 

We are requesting that the school district that my son lives in tests him again for learning disabilities. Last year, when we requested the same, the school did the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - III, The Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - Screener, the Peabody Individual Achievement Test - Revised, and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). The psychologist we are seeing (YES, we finally found someone that can *SEE* the attachment difficulties my son is having!) has recommended some IQ tests, but are there any other tests that schools routinely perform that may help us pinpoint where my son's inability to process information correctly lie?

A: All tests are just instruments, tools of the trade. Some are better than others, e.g. WJ-R appears to be more relevant to reading problems than, say WISC-V. Nevertheless, all testing procedures remain instruments that provide you with some data: it is up to the professional who uses these instruments to give an interpretation and explanation. There is no "magic test" that will find the "sure" answer to your questions, "why?' Reading is a complex psychological and socio/cultural activity; in fact, it is a blend of many processes and abilities. I do not know your child's age, but I assume he is older than 7 (otherwise the WISC-lll could not have been used last year). How long has he been in on English language milieu? His Russian is probably wiped out at this time, but how deep has English been embedded into his cognitive abilities and skills? A couple of months ago I posted on this list some information about "communicative fluency Vs cognitive language mastery" in older adoptees (older than seven years at the time of adoption). It may help to understand why reading problems "suddenly" emerge in children who speak English seemingly freely at home and on the street, but become "blocked" when they are required to apply English for academic subjects.
 

 

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