Relative Intelligence 3

The frustration I feel when confronted with neuropsychological evaluation of Robert comes from the fact that the information the tester derives from Robert’s responses  has a very limited use for my son.  Have I, or anybody who knows Robert as well as I do, observed Robert during the testing, many more  applicable facts could emerge.

If the neuropsychologist were not so concerned with “objective” numbers received after formal and rigid testing, but unconventionally manipulated the test in such a way as to increase (or decrease) the  probability of correct responses then we would find out the conditions that control child’s answers.

The formal test demonstrate disconnect between a tested child and society as it is perceived by psychologists. It provides mainly static statistic.  The informal test that would stray from rigid instruction of how it should be delivered and instead was adjusted in such a way as to have a child be as successful  or as unsuccessful as possible could deliver much more dynamic knowledge about a child. There are people with disabilities whose relatively higher (above the range that would provide them with state’s services )  IQ doesn’t account for their lack of ability to functionally understand the world around them.  Changing the wording of some of the questions and manipulating environment might uncover that weakness. There are people with developmental disabilities for whom changing the wording of the question and installing some changes in the surrounding could lead to higher scores brought by revealing the specific ways the tested individuals relate to the world.

My experiences with Robert proved to me that he can respond incorrectly to many questions  he knows answers to, and he can provide  correct responses when he doesn’t even understand the questions. For instance, if the questions on the test require only “yes” or “no” answer,  Robert will only read the first question, answer it correctly and from that point on he will circle, “Yes, no, yes, no, yes” in ABABA pattern.  If he were asked verbally the same  questions, his replies would be different.

He also has uncanny ability to observe the slightest movements of his teacher/ therapist and use them as cues directing him to the right or wrong answer.  Moreover, since he used to be rewarded constantly by reinforcers he still waits for them before choosing the answer.  He might aim for a correct one but if he doesn’t hear ” good job” or some other acknowledgement  of a right decision, he would end up with wrong response.

There are many more patterns that impact Robert’s ability to respond.  Had they been taken into account,  the neuro-psychological tests would have painted paint different picture of Robert.

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