Thursday, July 20, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Louis H. Falik, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist (inactive)
88 Vulcan Stairway San Francisco, CA 94114
ASSESSMENT OF COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING
Name: Lim Qian Xing
Date of Assessment: 22/8/05
Date of Report: 10/9/05
Reason for Assessment
Qian Xing is a child diagnosed as “autistic” at age two, but with a range of functions which indicate learning potential and a range of behavioral responses. This assessment is undertaken to identify the dimensions of his potential and indicate the kinds of learning experiences he is ready to be exposed to.
Relevant History and Background
Prior to age 4 Qian Xing did not maintain eye contact. He displayed “spinning” behavior, and did not speak. At age 4 he was placed in a regular kindergarten, and remained in this placement until age 6. At first, he ran around a great deal, but eventually learned his numbers and alphabet letters. He also attended a special center program for autistic children where he learned to pour water, use utensils, scissors, and other “pre-academic” skills. At home he was taught to use the computer by his father, and learned how to put in the disk and find the programs he likes. Mother reinforced at home that which he was taught in the various programs he attended. Although Chinese is spoken at home, he learned English from the computer. At present, he is in primary school 4 days a week for a half day, in an regular Standard 3 class. He also attends a special school program for “pull out” services, as part of an inclusion project for children with special needs. In the special program he attends alone. Learning in the regular classroom is in Chinese and in Bahasa in the special class program. He wears glasses with a very strong visual correction, and has done so for 2 to 3 years.
Behavior and Observations
Qian Xing was well contained in the assessment situation, sitting at the table while discussion took place with mother. He is somewhat ecolalic as he listened to mother describe his history and functioning, and as he responded to the examiner’s questions and descriptions. This was not persistent, however, and as he became absorbed in the tasks he became verbally responsive and socially quite appropriate, often asking for help with difficult tasks, in a somewhat “sing/song” cadence, but clearly interactive. He enjoyed being expose to various learning tasks, and showed excellent responsiveness and modifiability.
Qian Xing was assessed using selected instruments of the Learning Propensity Assessment Device (LPAD). It is a procedure whereby the examinee is presented with tasks from various areas of cognitive functioning, observed in his/her performance, then mediated to overcome areas of difficulty or advance levels of functioning, with the goal of determining levels and degrees of cognitive modifiability, areas of learning deficit, and identifying the most effective ways of assisting the process of learning. A brief description of the process and the instruments used is offered in the Appendix of this report.
On Organization of Dots (OD), Qian Xing was well focused, and learned to identify the characteristics of the square and triangle. He searched well, and retained the shapes even when rotated and overlapped. He was flexible, and asked for help when he felt stuck--thus he was very open to mediation. He completed the training page quickly, needing little mediation and showing a consistent strategy and systematic and flexible searching. He then was able to do the much more difficult test page, needing only a small amount of focusing, and showing a very sophisticated learning process, and great strengths in the visual/motor modality.
Similarly, on the Complex Figure Drawing Test (CFD), he was systematic, well organized, and accurate with regard to structure and details. His first copy was efficient and well structured. He refused to do a drawing from memory, so we went immediately to the mediation phase. Mediation was done through a verbal recognition and labeling process, representing “light” intervention. His second copy and memory reproductions retained the structural organization which was evident from the outset, in his first copy.
Qian Xing was given Levels A, Ab, B, and C of the Raven’s Progressive Matrices. He was initially limited in his ability to verbally describe his responses, but was mediated to use organizing concepts (“direction, number, pattern, etc.”) which he began to use, and carried this into problems at higher levels. He was accurate, confident, and rapid in his responses, and showed the ability to analyze information, flexibly scan and process, and hold several sources of information in his mind. Gestalt perception (wholes and parts) is well established. He sees relationships, and understands both stable and transforming information. On Level C, requiring the use of various mental operations, he was accurate, flexible, with strong visual memory, good visual transport, and systematic processing. He had some difficulty with C 11 and 12, but was mediated to use operations similar to those utilized earlier in the series, and acquired the concept of categories to organize information.
Summary and Recommendations
Qian Xing has very well developed cognitive functions, is flexible and adaptive in his responses to complex information, and has a very modifiable learning capacity. He is able to easily overcome those “autistic spectrum” behaviors which he has shown, and can use cognitive development in the process of this “overcoming.” He is a self learner, and can use social interactions to advance his learning and adjustment processes. He should be emerged in regular education with normal or even advanced children. He will need a small amount of preparation, and some “shadowing” by an aide, but this should not be extensive over time. He probably should be taught in English as the main medium of instruction, so as not be overly confused by the Chinese characters for reading and to be more focused on his academic learning processes. It will not hurt him to learn in English in school and speak Chinese at home with his family--he can profit from this cognitively. If these conditions can be met, he has a very high probability of very advanced learning and social development.
Professor Louis H. Falik, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist (California-Inactive)
Training, Research, and Professional Development
International Center for the Advancement of Learning Potential
The Learning Propensity Assessment Devise (LPAD):
A Description of the Process and Instruments
Adapted from: Feuerstein, Re., Falik, L. H., and Feuerstein, Ra. (1998) The Learning Propensity Assessment Device: An alternative approach to the assessment of learning potential. In Samuda, R.J., Feuerstein, Re., Kaufman, A.S., Lewis, J.E., and Sternberg, R.J. (eds.) Advances in cross cultural assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage.
The Learning Propensity Assessment Devise (LPAD) is a series of tests or activities which (1) evaluate the way an individual learns and (2) identify the development of cognitive functions. That is, the LPAD observes and records how a person learns, what kinds of teaching are required to respond more successfully, and how much of the observed learning is retained as new and more challenging tasks are presented. This approach enables us to gain a picture of the way a person thinks, learns, and the possibilities for the development of their thinking and learning potential. The LPAD differs from traditional educational and psychological evaluation in that we gain information not from scores or single responses, but from observations of repeated responses to the tasks, and from teaching the subject how to solve problems and respond correctly (mediation). Used in conjunction with standardized assessment, the LPAD adds a perspective on what kinds of interventions are needed and the individual's learning abilities and potential for growth. Another important feature of the LPAD instruments is their inclusion of all of the various important ways of processing and responding to information--verbal, pictorial, numerical, figural, symbolic, graphic--and the ways in which the subject combines them to respond cognitively.
An LPAD assessment consists of a battery of several instruments, chosen to allow the evaluator to observe as many as possible ways in which the learner responds. As the subject responds, the assessor gathers information, develops ideas about the learner's needs and functions, and uses these insights in choosing and analyzing performance in subsequent instruments. Therefore, the amount of time needed for the assessment and the number and range of instruments can vary a great deal.
The following is a brief description of each of the LPAD instruments used in this assessment:
Instruments Focusing on Perceptual-Motor Functions Organized by Cognitive Components
Organization of Dots
On this test, the subject looks at a model figure containing simple geometrical shapes, starting with squares and triangles, and increasing in complexity with subsequent task demands to include shapes composed of both regular and irregular curvilinear and rectilinear forms. The subject is then asked to "find" the model shapes in frames filled with unstructured, visually amorphous clouds of dots. The task is to draw lines to connect the dots in to produce the shapes of the model, presented in many instances as overlapped, rotated, and superimposed in various ways. The subject must look for the relationships, plan and use information which must be internalized, and exercise eye-hand coordination to draw the connecting lines. As the subject completes the tasks the examiner observes and mediates the development and use of cognitive strategies such as planning, inferring and regulating perceptual conflicts. The primary modality of the task is figural and grapho-motor. Operations included in this task include differentiation, segregation of overlapping figures, conservation of the figure across changes in its position, articulation of the field, and representation (interiorization).
Complex Figure Drawing Test
The Complex Figure Drawing Test is adapted from Rey (1959) and Osterreith (1945). The subject is asked to copy the Rey/Osterreith complex geometric design, looking at the model. The subject must use organizational principles to create an efficient production in the face of the complexity of the task. The great number of units of information become reduced by organization and awareness of the succession of steps to internalize the multitude of details. During the first reproduction phase, only minimal orienting mediation is offered. Following the first reproduction, and after a three to five minute latency period, the subject is asked to reproduce the design from memory (without looking at the model). Following the memory phase, and based on observations of the subject's performance, a mediation phase is conducted where the examiner reviews with the subject aspects of his or her performance, identifies errors and inefficiencies, and teaches organizational and design aspects. After mediation the subject is asked to copy the design again from the stimulus model, and again from memory. Assessment is directed toward the initial performance (organizational approach, accuracy of motor skills and structural details, etc.) in reproducing the design and changes in the second copy and memory productions, following mediation. The task requires functioning in a figural and graphic modality and measures both short term learning and the persistence of perceptual organization difficulties. The mental operations involved in this test include discrimination, segregation of proximal elements, the articulation of a complex field, and reproduction, representation, differentiation, integration, and visual-motor coordination.
Instruments Involving Higher Order Cognitive Processes and Mental Operations
LPAD Matrices: Raven Colored and Standard Progressive Matrices
The instruments used in the LPAD procedures are those of the published Ravens Colored (CPM) and Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) (1956; 1958). The LPAD objective in the presentation of these problems to the examinee is to assess to what extent a rule and set of prerequisites acquired to solve a particular problem are adaptively used in variations of the task, and to what extent do the learned elements of the original task become the facilitating factor in adaptation to the new task. The Ravens instruments are administered according to LPAD procedures, using a "test-teach-retest" approach. The tasks require the learner to look at a series of designs, and complete the series by selecting a correct alternative from a number of choices. To choose the correct alternative the subject must understand the relationship among the variables. The tasks progressively add variables and change the dimensions used to establish the relationships. What is assessed on these tasks is the subject's ability to think using analogies presented as figural (visual/perceptual) information, and their response to the teaching of strategies to solve the problem. The operations involved are those of perceptual closure and discrimination; the generation of new information through synthesis, permutations and seriation; inferential thinking;
analogical thinking, deductive reasoning, and relational thinking.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
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