do I believe the assessment?

A place to talk about your experience of living with Dyspraxia

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Andrea
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do I believe the assessment?

Post by Andrea »

Last month I went for a dyslexia assessmet. Always thought I was cos if poor spelling, memory, trouble learning to read etc. I came out of there with dyspraxia instead. She said that I wasnt dyslexic cos my phonics knowledge is too good, but this could be because I have been teaching it for the last 12 years.
I just cant get my head round the results. I know I didnt cheat the assessment, but I wonder if I could have done things a bit quicker. I didnt rush anything cos I wanted to get it right.
The main thing that gets me is that although I have poor handwritign and learning tk ride a bike was a challange, I did manage it. Yes I have a bit more trouble than most with coordination, but is that just within the normal range? I keep wondering if I made things sound more of a problem than they actually were. I dint remember much of being a child so its hard to say if my coordination was really that bad.
I told someone at work who I found out later knows quite a bit about dyspraxia and she was quite surprised.

I dont know, I seem to be going r8und in circles. I know from work (I am a special ed teacher) how many people put labels on their children or in themselves and although I didnt even think ab8ut this outcome when I went for the assessment, I still am not sure what to think.

The only person I could really talk about the 'what ifs' is my mum cos she knows what I was like as a child, but she doesntwant to talk about the diagnisis.

Ahhhh!
desertboy
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by desertboy »

I can understand why you're questioning your diagnosis. I think that perhaps the issue is that the overlap between dyslexia and dyspraxia is considerable. Some experts as you may know even say that dyspraxia, ADHD, dyslexia and Asperger's are different symptoms of the umbrella term Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Obviously, the stereotypical symptoms of the two disorders differ greatly, but a lot of the more subtle problems are rather similar. And as I'm sure you know, medicine and psychology are often rather 'wooly' sciences since they deal with people rather than physical objects.

I put myself in for a test for dyspraxia and dyslexia with an educational psychologist, and I was told that it was likely that I had both. The give away was that my processing speed IQ was at Forrest Gumpf levels, but my verbal IQ was above university graduate average. Would you mind me asking what kind of professional you used for your diagnosis? I sometimes wonder if I would have received the same diagnosis if I had gone to a neurologist or an occupational therapist instead of an educational psychologist.

You raised an interesting point about the definition of normal coordination. I suppose dyspraxia is a spectrum disorder, so the degree of severity can vary enormously. I can remember that I was slow to ride a bicycle, slow to learn to tie up my shoes, rubbish at all sports, have disorganized speech when under pressure, cannot keep anywhere tidy and struggle with too much information at one time. What is more, I have had a history of being fired/demoted from ordinary jobs that I was vastly overqualified for (despite my best efforts). The last point shows that I am clearly not normal since something is getting in the way of ordinary living. Whether this is caused by dyslexia or dyspraxia is purely academic. However, the above points notwithstanding, I do realize after reading some of the other posts that it could be worse.

Perhaps, your most relevant consideration is how the difficulties you have affect you now and to work out strategies on how to improve things. Or it may even be that your symptoms are so mild that you can forget about the diagnosis and get on with the rest of your life.

Sorry, if I have gone . I hope I have said a little something that helps.
Andrea
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by Andrea »

Thanks for the reply.

I went to an EP as well.

Sounds like we are quite similar. I don't have the speach difficulties, but live in a mess that I just cant seem to keep tidy whatever I do.

I have never had problems at work that I would put down to dyspraxia. I do stick my foot in it quite a bit, but even that has got better over time. I hadnt realised how slow my processing speed or how bad my memory was until I did this assessment. (Both below the 1st percentile)
I have recently resigned from a promotion as I have found it just too much to do with the normal job, but I had thought of that as being the affect it had on my class, not the affect it had on me.
desertboy
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by desertboy »

My EP's report said of me that "it is likely that he has dyspraxia and dyslexia." I don't think EP's are able to actually say outright that you have it. But after reading her explanations it would be hard to dismiss her conclusion.

I don't have a copy of the report with me right now. But if you're interested, I can send my statistics to you some time.

It's nice to hear that you have a 'smoother' work history than I have. Do you mind telling me what kind of jobs that you have had? I have been able to perform adequately (if not excellently) in highly structured factory jobs, very basic clerical jobs and as a TEFL teacher. On the other hand, I have always failed at both less structured manual jobs and more demanding office based jobs (including clerical officer and trainee accountant). Perhaps the jobs that I fail at have very tight outcome requirements but offer little structure or routine.

Academically, I struggled at English A-level probably because of undiagnosed dyslexia and dyspraxia. I do not have any of the obvious dyslexia symptoms in that I do not jumble letters and I also learned to read at a very early age. However, I cannot cope with having to read large amounts of text in a time pressure. I was able to complete a BA in Business Studies and an MA in Applied Linguistics because these courses simply require you to remember a few key points from text books and to scan a few journal articles while looking for specific information. However, a relatively unstructured course with a massive volume of mandatory reading like literature or philosophy would have been the end of me.

Socially I have always been a fairly quiet person though if I try to come out of my shell I can put my foot in it (though I would never be able to compete with Prince Philip on that matter!)
Andrea
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by Andrea »

I would be interested in your results, if you wouldnt mind! It would be great to see what someone else was given. I dont know any other people with a diagnosis so have noone to really compare myself to.

My results:
Verbal abilities averaged at 68th percentile
Visual reasoning was 95th percentile. (although I dont fully understand that cos she said that processing visual information and language is slow.)
Memory - <1st percentile
Reading of random letters and numbers etc <1st
Sight words - 10th
Comprehension was 16th but with extra time was 75th.
(Hope that lot makes sense)

My job history:

I was in the TA for 2 years (while at college)
Then worked for a company that did child care for special needs children.
After that, I went into teaching. I started in Nursery and am now working with SEN in Secondary. Kids are so much more accepting of your mess ups. they are used to me forgetting things and will remind me what I said I would do, or go and write it on the board themselves. lol.
I am greatful for the fact that we have specialist PE teachers. Saves me the nightmare.

Its a case of stick with what you are good at. I could never work in an office. Just the thought of all that paperwork makes me cringe. I do as little as possible! people comment that my reports are short and to the point. lol

I got into Uni through a mess up they made. I went through clearance and when I phoned up with my A level results, they thought I said B when I actually said E. They didnt care by the time I noticed.

I got through uni without reading a single book. Pick the quotes and write the essay around them :)

The social thing has always been a problem. I can never tell if I am driving people mad or not. I tend to just avoid social events so that i cant offend people. Never been able to read body language in people my own age. Funily enough I can do it very well with the students. Who knows why.
desertboy
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by desertboy »

By 'TA" do you mean Teaching Assistant or Territorial Army?

Thanks for the breakdown of figures. They are rather different from mine which are as follows.

Full Scale IQ : 84th percentile
Verbal Comprehension: 97th percentile (this is supposed to be the best overall indicator of intelligence)
Perceptual Organisation: 53rd percentile (this is supposed to be the 2nd best overall indicator of intelligence)
Working Memory: 66th percentile
Processing Speed: 66th percentile


I was especially weak at the following subtests.

Picture Completion 37th percentile
Block Design 37th percentile
Spatial Span 37th percentile

The report said that my very high verbal ability and relative weakness in attention to visual detail & the environment and at visual spatial skills indicates dyspraxia.

It also said that my relatively weak working memory compared to my verbal score indicates dyslexia.

In addition, I was given a manual dexterity test to do called Morrisby Peg Board. This placed my dexterity in the 5th percentile.

My reading scores indicated fast but not accurate enough. Previous reading test said accurate but slow. Either way, this indicates that my reading ability is less than it should be based on my verbal score.

My low very low picture completion score indicates poor ability at seeing minute details and proneness to losing things. It also shows poor awareness of environmental details, low ability to relate the whole to parts, lack of ability to differentiate essential from the non essential and poor ability to visually organize material. This has explained my inadequacies in these areas in real life. I certainly am not able to be a surgeon or an engineer.

My poor block design indicates poor spatial ability. This is also true in real life. I have just about managed to learn to drive a car. But a bus or a lorry would be out of the question. And air pilot would also not be the job for me!
Interestingly, Asperger's people often do very very well on this test.

My very low spatial span score reflects an inadequate ability to hold and manipulate information about places. No wonder I struggle with any practical task that involves initiative. And I also get lost in new places so easily!

Overall, since verbal skills are the best overall predictor of intelligence and perceptual organization is the 2nd best predictor, a huge gap between these scores is often a symptom of a learning disability. If my memory serves me right, dyspraxics usually have a much lower perceptual score than verbal score, however, the reverse is true for Asperger's.

I hope this lengthy text is of some use to you!
desertboy
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by desertboy »

I've just looked at your figures again.

I'm still scratching my head at them and am not surprised that you are confused.

What is especially confusing is your visual reasoning being in the 95th percentile. Are you sure you don't mean verbal reasoning? Or is visual reasoning, another name for perceptual organization?

I normally thought that dyspraxia meant high verbal IQ but relatively low performance IQ. I'm not sure what high visual organization and low memory score that you have would be classified as. I would put my money more on dyslexia than dyspraxia.

Still, it seems from what you have written before that you already have very good self-awareness, so it might not even be worth your while thinking about it too much. And congratulations for making it through a university that demanded such high entrance grades.

As an aside, you may have heard that eight out of ten people who hire a private detective to check up on their spouse's fidelity find that their suspicions are confirmed. A faithful spouse behaves normally and does not arouse any suspicions in the first place. In the same way, I suspect that probably eight out of ten people who get tested by an educational psychologist are diagnosed as neurodiverse. This is because adults who are significantly and consistently underachieving in important areas of life despite their best efforts are interested in visiting educational psychologists, while those who are performing reasonably well in all ways are not. And if you are in the former group, it is much more likely that you are neuro diverse than if you are in the latter group.
Andrea
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Location: SE London

Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by Andrea »

WOW. Ill take your scores thanks! (especially the processing speed and memory) ;)

The highest score was based on solving visual problems - there was a 2D jigsaw that made a 3D picture with loads of boxes. Then there was the picture sequence where you had to work out what came next.
What I got from the tests is that by brain is working fine except being slow and being a sieve. lol

She said I couldn't have a diagnosis for Dyslexia even though some things fit cos I have such a good understanding of phonics and can hear the sounds etc.
Maybe if I hadn't been doing it at work for the last 10 years or so, things might have been different.

I think I might have to contact her and ask her to clarify a few things, like how she came to the conclusions.

Thanks for your info. Nice to see where someone else is coming from.

(and yes, it was the Army that I was talking about.)
rosie
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Re: do I believe the assessment?

Post by rosie »

Hey Andrea I might be able to help a little we also work in a similar environment I work as a teaching assistant in a primary school and have supported quite a few children with special needs. I was diagnosed dyspraxic at 4 but always thought there was something else there the older I got and thought I might have dyslexic difficulties too even not very severe which is something I've had checked recently. I read somewhere that 50% of people have dyspraxia and dyslexia and obviously other related conditions adhd autism etc. So you probably my have dyslexic difficulties too but maybe have developed your own coping strategies through your job from repetition if you work with special needs children then you will be doing a lot of repetition. Maybe contact your local dyslexia action centre that's what I did and maybe talk it through with them too. I hope that helps a little.
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