As an introduction to this blog series, this video compares my intelligence scores from 2005 to my intelligence scores from 2015 with the hope of putting forward the idea that disability is temporary and intelligence is fluid.
For those that have difficulty with a video format, here is a summary of the video:
In March of 2005, I was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disorder, auditory processing deficits, and working memory deficits. Shortly after that, I met some innovative neurological specialists, and they began helping me with these disorders.
Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of changes in my thinking, performance, and abilities. In time, my close peer group and family started to notice changes as well.
As a present for myself for my thirtieth birthday, I took myself back to the same neurological specialist that had diagnosed me in 2005, and I asked her to run the same battery of testing. I believed that I no longer had a learning disability, and I wanted to verify that with medical science.
The following are the results from my assessment:
1. Non-Verbal Learning Disability (Tests: WAIS 3 / WAIS 4) (23 points marks a learning disability)
March 2005 – 48 – point disparity between verbal intelligence + working memory
March 2015 – 9 – point disparity between verbal intelligence + working memory
March 2005 - 35 -point disparity between verbal intelligence + perceptual organization (visual problem solving)
March 2015 - 16 -point disparity between verbal intelligence + perceptual organization (visual problem solving)
March 2005 - 38 - point disparity between verbal intelligence + visual processing speed
March 2015 - 15 - point disparity between verbal intelligence + visual processing speed
2. Auditory Processing Deficit (Test: SCAN A)
a. Filtered Words
March 2005 - 1rst percentile of the population
March 2015 - 84th percentile of the population
b. Auditory Figure/ Ground
March 2005 - 50th percentile of the population
March 2015 - 95th percentile of the population
3. Working Memory Deficit (Tests: WAIS 3/ WAIS 4)
March 2005 - 55th percentile of the population
March 2015 - 94th percentile of the population
4. Short Term Memory (Test: Wechsler Memory Scale)
March 2005 - 9th / 18th / 15th percentile of the population on respective tests
March 2015 - 50th / 75th percentiles of the population on equivalent tests
Because of my life of experiences and recent research on neuroplasticity, I believe that intelligence is something that can change and that a learning disability is not a life sentence.