"Why Are My Child's IQ Scores Falling?"
"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 Effects" 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 appropriate services to remediate their reading skills, they read less – and learn less from reading - than children who are not disabled. Some subtests on intelligence tests measure information acquired by reading so poor readers will score lower on these subtests. 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,when James was re-tested again, his IQ had dropped further.
The expert evaluators testified that James’ declining IQ test scores was an example of the Matthew Effects and was evidence that James was not receiving an appropriate special education. 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 his decision included information
from the parents' Letter to the Stranger.
must learn about tests
and measurements. If you do not learn how to monitor your child's progress,
you will not be able to represent your child's interests or participate 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.