"Why Are My Child's IQ Scores Falling?"
Paul is 13 years old. He has a Central Auditory Processing Disorder and ADHD. He is also color blind, left- handed (but not red headed) :-)
When he entered Kindergarten, his skills were about 6 months behind his peers. By second grade, he was about 1.5 year behind, by 4th grade he was 2.5 years behind. We had private tutoring which helped him gain skills and close the gap. He still has language problems, but after private tutoring, he is reading the 5th grade level.
On the most recent evaluation, his Full Scale IQ had dropped by 9 points! On his report cards, he gets average grades and we are told that is doing "just fine".
The "Matthew Effect" is a term coined by Keith Stanovich, a psychologist who has done extensive research on reading and language disabilities. The "Matthew Effect" refers to the idea that in reading (as in other areas of life), the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
When children with disabilities do not receive adequate remediation, they read less – and learn less from reading - than non-disabled children. Because some IQ sub-tests measure information learned from reading, poor readers will score lower on these sub-tests. Over years, the "gap" between poor readers and good readers grows.
James was found eligible for special education in 3rd grade. After three years of special education, he was re-tested. According to the new testing, his IQ dropped from 127 to 109. Two years later, James was re-tested again his IQ had dropped even further.
The experts testified that James’ declining IQ test scores was an example of the Matthew Effect - and was evidence that James was not receiving appropriate remediation. The Administrative Law Judge and the Review Officer agreed and found that the school district had not provided James with an appropriate education.
read the Review Officer's
decision in James' case, you will see that it included information
from the parents' Letter to the Stranger.
must learn about tests
and measurements - if you do not learn how to track your child's progress,
you will not be able to be an equal participant in planning your child's
the Matthew Effect
about Language Problems
Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems : What Every Parent Should Know by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi, John Wiley & Sons (1995)
In "Words Fail Me,” Priscilla Vail explores the links between reading, writing, listening and speaking, how these skills are learned, and what happens in the process breaks down.
Talk About Reading: How Parents Can Make a Difference During the Early
Years by Susan Hall, Louisa Moats, and Reid Lyon.