Homeadults with learning disabilitiesAdventures in Adult LD Testing: THE RESULTS

Yesterday, I finally got the results of all this testing. It’s hard to believe it’s taken over four months to get this taken care of. I’m still waiting on the report itself, since the doctor’s typist is on vacation.

Of course.

Anyway, there were quite a few interesting results.

An illustrated version of a woman labeled "education" examining a boy with a magnifying glass labeled "Intelligence Tests", titled The New Method. A smaller picture of kids being shoveled into pots labeled "Class A, B, C" titled "The Old Method"

The 1922 cover of the American School Board Journal, now in the public domain.

IQ Test
My overall score turned out to be in the average/above average range. Good to know, but that’s not the interesting part.

IQ tests are broken down into sections, and I had a huge disparity between two of them.

My language skills scores were up in the 96-98th percentile, which means my scores were “highly superior”. My general knowledge scores were, as she put it, “merely superior”.

General math, though? Yeah, that was the polar opposite. I was down somewhere in the 20th percentile. That would sting if I didn’t already know how terrible I am with math.

My spacial reasoning, which also has to do with certain math skills, was in the low average range. That probably explains why I have so much trouble with getting sizing right when I make clothing and constantly slam my knee into the corner of our coffee table.

The bruises. So many bruises.

Anyway, I scored in the average range in the other sections. Strangely enough, I’m average with math reasoning and theories. I just come crashing down when it comes to doing the actual math.

The unique part about all of this is that only about %.04 of the population have similar disparities in scores. Most people naturally have strengths and weaknesses, but they’re rarely as pronounced as mine are.

ADHD-I (Sluggish Cognitive Function)
I was surprised at this one, but the more I research it, the better it fits.

Sluggish Cognitive Function not only makes me sound like a defective metronome, but it’s also a debated disorder. Although the term has been around for 30 years, it’s only hit mainstream documentation within the last 5 years or so. Since the medical profession likes to argue over terminology and classification, there’s no consensus of whether it’s a subtype of ADHD-I or an independent disorder.

For those not in the know, ADHD-I is basically just ADHD without the hyperactivity. It used to be known as ADD before it was consolidated in the DSM.

Sluggish Cognitive Tempo further specifies the weaknesses in function. This means that my processing speed is incredibly slow. That makes it harder for me to focus on individual subjects for long, and manifests heavily in my attempts at math.

That huge disparity between language strength and math weakness also plays into it. I would naturally rather focus more on things I’m interested in or generally good at.

SCT also seems to make people with it very tired. I’m often sleepy during the day, but I usually just dismissed it as my diet not being as good as it should be. I hadn’t thought my neurology could have something to do with it, too.

Ah, justification to go to bed early and sleep in when I can!

NonVerbal Learning Disability (LD-NOS)
My working memory is absolutely terrible. I knew that already, but it’s nice to have it validated. I literally can’t hold more than two or three things in my mind, and needing to manipulate those things makes it worse.

In my case, it also applies to the poor spacial awareness. I’ll probably always have left-right confusion, have massive problems reading maps and putting jigsaw puzzles together.

While I’ve never had huge issues in making friends or getting along with people, I still have trouble with subtle emotional cues. That’s probably why I’ve never really noticed when people flirt with me or realize when people gossip.

The obliviousness to flirting has gotten me in trouble with angering guys on the street who think I’m leading them on, when I thought they were just conversing with me. The gossip bit is a sort of blessing in disguise. It used to hurt when I found out about it, but now I just don’t care.

I also scored low on automatic memory, as well. It’s like how when people drive, they get to the point where they have a routine they follow without thinking about it: get in the car, put on seat belt, use blinker for turns, etc. I have a much harder time with that process.

All of that combined with the slow processing speed has earned me this new label.

Apparently, I’m now highly enough compensated that I no longer test as dyslexic. However, I still am. I still experience reversals and related dyslexic struggles, but I know how to deal with them more efficiently.

I also wonder if that non-verbal disability is an unacknowledged part of my dyslexia. In school, everyone only concentrated my reading/writing skills, but everything else went by the wayside. Naturally, I continued on with concentrating on language, which continued to build those skills.

What Does It Mean?
As far as school accommodations go, I’ll qualify for extended testing times and I may be able to substitute other classes for math. I don’t know how that’ll work, but I’ll ask about it. My doctor also suggested I should be allowed to use a calculator instead of trying to keep numbers in my head.

Considering I’m going back to school for language arts, I’m not entirely sure of why I’d need many math courses.

These new labels may also help me find ways of making my every day life easier, while doing a better job of reaching for my dreams.

The doctor mentioned that SCT has responded to ADHD drugs in studies, but I won’t be taking that route. My body tends to react unpredictably to many types of medications, and I’d rather not risk a severe reaction to those. ADHD can’t kill me, so why medicate it when there are other available options?

Instead, I’ll be working on some more lifestyle changes to help with focus, and I’m planning on researching behavioral therapy.

I haven’t researched LD-NOS a whole lot, yet, but that will be happening as well.

This whole process has taken a lot longer than I’d hoped, but I’m glad I’ve gone through it. It should help with school, but finding related tools will help me better my life, too.

In the end, isn’t that greater understanding of self the real goal of this testing? School is vital for building a better life, but it’s only part of it. Education goes far further than tests, lectures and grades.


Adventures in Adult LD Testing: THE RESULTS — 2 Comments

  1. That is interesting… I would really not have guessed you having ADHD. But then, I also never were face to face with you. How do you feel about knowing these things. (Also, I’m looking forward to “see” you in school soon 🙂 )

    • It surprised me, too. I never thought I met the criteria, but I guess I do for that specific sub-type. It’s pretty interesting.

      I feel ok about them, actually. It addresses things I’ve always had a hard time with, but never really knew how to handle. I think it’ll help point me in the right direction of finding better ways of coping and building upon my strengths.

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