Essay, Research Paper: Diagnostic Testing


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purpose of this report is to give Mr. and Mrs. G., Nicholas G.’s parents, a
more complete and up to date picture of Nick’s academic skill levels. Nick is
a neighbor of the examiner, and both parents and examinee have cherrfully
volunteered Nick as testing subjuect for the examiner’s Diagnostic Testing
class. Nicholas has been in the Special Day Class Program, attending Santa
Barbara public schools since kindergarten. Nicholas is developementally delayed
and has mild cerebral palsy. Nick's parents report that he has made good
academic and social skills progress, especially in the past two years. Strong
parental concern remains in the area of reading and independent life skills.
Nick feels that he writes and cuts with extreme difficulty, hates reading, and
enjoys math and computers. Nick attends several mainstream classes per semester
with an aide's help, and appears to have enjoyed the social aspects, but feels
the classes were "really hard." Nick's mother reports that his hearing
and vision have been checked within the past six months, with no apparent
problems. Despite academic and motor frustrations, Nick's school attendence has
been excellent, as has been his general health. Results of academic achievement
testing: Woodcock-Johnson Revised: Age Grade Standard Percentile Equiv. Equiv.
Score Letter-word Identification 7-2 1.7 49 0.1 Word-Attack 7-1 1.6 62 1.0 Basic
Reading Skills 7-2 1.6 52 0.1 Passage Comprehension 7-3 1.7 51 0.1 Reading
Vocabulary 6-6 1.2 41 0.1 Broad Reading 7-3 1.7 44 0.1 Dictation 6-5 1.1 29 0.1
Spelling 6-9 1.4 45 0.1 Writing Samples 6-9 1.3 29 0.1 Broad Written Language
6-8 1.3 31 0.1 Calculation 6-9 1.3 28 0.1 Quantitative Concepts 7-6 2.1 53 0.1
Applied Problems 7-0 1.6 59 0.3 Broad Mathematics 6-10 1.4 40 0.1 Visual-Motor
Integration ( VMI) (normed on 12-2) raw score 8 standard score 5 %ile 1.0
Visual-Aural Digit Span (VADS) Aural-Oral 3 Visual-Oral 3 Aural Written 2
Visual- Written 2 Total VADS 10 (defective range, grade 4) Nicholas appeared
relaxed and eager to please while testing. Once in awhile he would say, “this
is hard,” but when given the option of stopping or going on he would
consistently express a desire to continue. His parents report that this stubborn
tenacity has carried him beyond expectations. Nick has a good sense of family,
community, and social settings. When offered a cookie on a napkin, he put the
napkin on his lap. Nick enjoyed talking between tests about friends, cars,
computers, and other age-appropriate subjects. During the testing he
concentrated very hard, took his time, and did not answer until he seemed quite
sure of his answers. While in deep concentration, Nick’s head would
temporarily stop the constant movement apparant with cerebral palsy. His mother
stated that this recent ability to temporarily cease head movement has aided his
reading progress. READING: Test results show that Nick appears to be reading at
a level comparable to that of an average student at the grade 1.7 level, which
rank at the Very Low level. Reading tasks at the 1.4 level will be easy for
Nick, those above grade 2.0 will be difficult for him. It is noted that on the
word attack and Word Analysis Skills test, when decoding nonsense words Nick
could decode CVC pattern words and has learned some basic sound-symbol
associations. Comprehension tests show that Nicholas candetermine meaning from a
passage (Passage Comprehension 1.7) at a slightly higher level than he can from
a single word (Reading Vocabulary 1.2). While these scores are also in the Very
Low range, they show that Nick is beginning to use some contextual clues in his
reading. WRITTEN LANGUAGE: Nick’s test results on Broad Written Language is
comparable to that of the average student in grade 1.3, and in the Very Low
range of scores. Tasks requiring written language skills below grade level 1.1
will be easy for him; those above the grade 1.4 will be difficult for him.
Spelling Test observations (1.4) showed that Nick has difficulty with short
vowel useage, the fine e rule, and consonant blends. An informal writing sample
showed that Nick could use correct punctuation at the end of a sentence, but
ignored punctuation marks within a sentence. The same sample showed that
Nick’s writing is legible and that he forms most of his letters correctly,
having difficulty with line placement . Nick interspersed cursive letters, and
verbally expressed a desire to write in cursive like “mainstream buddies”
do. Nick uses simple sentence structures, writing one compound sentence out of
10 total sentences. Because of his orthopedic impairments, the written language
tests were untimed. MATHEMATICS: Nick’s Basic Mathematics Skills are in the
Very Low range, in the mid first grade level (1.3). Regrouping skills were
limited to two-digit problems in addition, and Nick could not “remember"
how to regroup in subtraction. Nick used his fingers to solve addition problems,
and was proud to have memorized many basic multiplication facts. He did not
demonstrate division. Nick tells time on a standard clock to the 1/2 hour, and
correctly on his digital watch. In an informal observation, Nick was able to
count bills correctly, and name, but not count, coins correctly. His parents
reported that they were working on the “dollar over” method of money
handling with him. Nick does not solve story problems with money, time,
fractions or measurement. As a life-skill, however, Nick showed the examiner
while making cookies that he is able to relate fractional symbols to
measurement. Nick’s sense of humor and tenacity regarding task completion made
him an inspiring test subject. Although the examiner was requested to test
without benefit of prior scores, parents reported that scores showed very slow,
but steady progress; typical of what they had seen in previous years. The
examiner recpmmends continued and intensified work with computer skills, and a
multi-sensory teaching approach with Nick, utilising as many hands-on
experiences as possible. The examiner feels that Nick will continue to benefit
from and enjoy his Special Day Class placement, continuing his learning at a
steady pace.

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