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Speed of Information Processing: How quickly the person works on easy, routine tasks. On the Visual Matching subtest, Sally placed at the lower limit of the low average range (SS = 80, 9%). This may indicate the presence of ADHD as a slow rate of processing information is associated with this disorder, or it may reflect the problems with visual processing noted above. She also did very poorly on a test of rapid naming (Rapid Picture Naming = 5%). Rapid naming if very important for reading and weaknesses can indicate the presence of a serious reading problem.

Short-Term Working and Rote Memory: All learning is dependent upon short-term memory. An example is being able to remember a phone number long enough to dial it. The WJ III measures both working and rote short-term memory. Sally placed in the average range on all tests of short-term memory.

Learning New Information: An excellent feature of the WJ III is its ability to test how well a person can learn new material and remember it. It measures sound-symbol learning, i.e., learning the sounds which go with pictures or symbols. This is the major learning skill stressed from kindergarten into the first few years of college. On the Visual-Auditory Learning subtest, Sally placed in the low average range at the 20th percentile. She also placed in the low average range on the Sound-Symbol Learning subtest from the WRAML. These findings indicate that Sally has difficulty learning the association between visual images and sounds.

Comprehension and Knowledge: One of the better measures of what is known as "General Intelligence" is vocabulary. This reflects how well the person has used cognitive abilities to learn important aspects of the culture. Sally’s score on the Verbal Comprehension test indicates a superior vocabulary.

Fluid Reasoning or the Ability to Think Logically: This is what most people think of when they think of higher level intelligence. How the person is able to process information and use it to solve abstract problems. Fluid reasoning is an area of great strength for Sally. On a test of visual fluid reasoning that required her to utilize analysis and synthesis to solve puzzles, she placed in the superior range at the 97th percentile. She also placed in the superior range on the Similarities subtest from the WISC III, which indicates superior verbal fluid reasoning.

Sally has a tremendous aptitude for abstract thinking and reasoning.

Findings such as the above are quite common in children referred to us for academic problems. They may be very bright in some areas but have significant weaknesses in others. As you can see from this summary, we augment the basic intelligence test with other instruments to assure that all of the basic abilities are adequately covered.

Making a differential diagnosis between LD, ADHD, ODD, and Emotional Problems is not an easy task. It can only be done if the appropriate tests are used.

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