Read Between the Numbers

What do all those crazy numbers found in an educational psychological evaluation mean?  For the parent wanting to understand why their child struggles in school, too often the assessment comes back with explanations leaving the parents with more questions than answered.

Having suggested a family get testing so we could determine how best to help their child, the mom came back to me with the response, “Well, he tests normal or average.  He doesn’t have a learning issue.”  The presumption was he just wasn’t applying himself or he’s just always going to have to work that much harder to compete with his peers.

I asked the mom if she understood what the testing results meant, and she said, “Well, he’s really good with math, and he’s concrete, whatever that means, but otherwise, no, I don’t understand it.”

I asked her to forward the results to me, but to please make sure she had all the sub-scores of the tests, not just the averages.  BINGO!  The averages did not show the whole picture.  Looking at ALL the scores of the subtests making up the average told a different story.

What I saw was a young man who was extremely gifted, but had some processing issues which explained why homework and school in general was a struggle.  Did this person have a learning struggle?  On paper, no, but given what this child’s potential abilities indicated, yes, there was a processing glitch impacting the effectiveness of his learning.  Often times these are the kids that slip through the cracks; they’re labeled “lazy” or “not trying hard enough”, but in reality they are working as hard as they can.

Schools on average will not look at a student like this as having a problem.  To them it is all about averages, and if a student is perceived as average or normal, nothing will be done to help that child to achieve their greatest potential.  Unfortunately, these are the kids that will continue to struggle, get frustrated, and in some instances give up.  (What a waste!)  This same student may want to pursue a post high school education, and will discover it is not going to get easier, but the demands of higher education can only exacerbate the situation.

How can these individuals be helped?  Two words, Brain Training.  Brain Training where neural pathways are tweaked so more efficient learning can take place.  This can be achieved through programs designed to address a specific issue, some being computer based, other requiring one on one training.  Finding and working with a provider who specializes in Brain Training programs, who will create an individualized plan, not a one size fits all, can reap huge benefits and be the key to success in your child’s future.

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