Case studies

The following eight case studies illustrate a selection of different types of results that may be obtained from LADS Plus. A further four case studies of individuals with nonstandard educational backgrounds may be found in Section 5.4.

Case study A

This college student had scores of 2 on Word Recognition, 3 on Word Construction and 6 on the Working Memory. Her nonverbal reasoning is average and her verbal reasoning above average. LADS Plus has concluded that the probability of dyslexia is low (see Figure 7). Clearly this student had some problems with the working memory test but not with any other test, and this is insufficient to give a reliable indicator of dyslexia. However, she would probably benefit from advice on how to improve her memory skills and to develop effective revision techniques so that her memory does not let her down in examinations.

Figure 7. Case study A.

Case study B

This university student is clearly very bright, with both verbal and nonverbal reasoning high (top 10% of the population). He had scores of 3 on the Word Recognition test, 7 on Word Construction test and 9 on the Working Memory test. LADS Plus has concluded that the probability of dyslexia is high (see Figure 8). This type of profile is often seen in bright adults (especially those at university) who read a lot and who consequently have fairly good word recognition. But his poor working memory and lack of phonic skills are both clearly revealed in the other two dyslexia-sensitive tests.

Figure 8. Case study B.

Case study C

This employee has nonverbal reasoning in the above average range and verbal reasoning average. The dyslexia sensitive scores were: 6 on Word Recognition, 8 on Word Construction and 5 on Working Memory (see Figure 9). LADS Plus has concluded that the probability of dyslexia is moderate. Difficulties are clearly shown across the range of the dyslexia-sensitive tests, but particularly in Word Construction.

Figure 9. Case study C.

Case study D

This college student, who was referred by her tutor because of poor marks in assessed work, has nonverbal reasoning in the average range and verbal reasoning below average. She has scores of 4 on the Word Recognition test, 6 on Word Construction test and 3 on the Working Memory test. LADS Plus has concluded that there is a low probability of dyslexia is her case (see Figure 10) and states that her cognitive difficulties are more likely to be due to weak verbal ability rather than dyslexia. Despite the lack of a positive dyslexia screening result, LADS Plus has nevertheless provided useful information about this student which should help to explain her difficulties. The relatively poor result on Word Construction suggests that she is likely to have problems dealing with new vocabulary encountered in her studies. It could be the case that this student was never taught phonic skills at school (or not taught them very well), or it is possible that she has excellent visual memory and so never felt the need to acquire phonic skills because she had no problems in learning to recognise new words by the visual pattern of letters alone. The weak result on Word Recognition could be due to lack of reading experience. These things can be explored with the student and, hopefully, she can be supported more effectively in her college work now that her weaknesses are better understood.

Figure 10. Case study D.

Case study E

This employee has verbal and nonverbal reasoning both in the above average range. He had scores of 5 on the Word Recognition, 3 on Word Construction tests and 7 on the Working Memory test. LADS Plus has concluded that the probability of dyslexia is moderate (see Figure 11). This pattern is sometimes seen in adult dyslexics who have received a lot of specialist tuition in phonic skills, so that they experience few problems with the Word Construction test. However, such tuition generally has had less impact on Word Recognition (especially in dealing with homonyms and pseudo-homonyms) and little, if any, impact on Working Memory ability, both of which clearly reveal the underlying dyslexic problem.

Figure 11. Case study E.

Case study F

This employee has low nonverbal reasoning and below average verbal reasoning. He had scores of 6 on Word Recognition and Working Memory, and 8 on Word Construction (see Figure 12). Clearly, therefore, there are cognitive problems that could indicate dyslexia. However, LADS Plus has concluded that the probability of dyslexia is borderline and recommended caution in interpretation of results. This conclusion has been drawn because general ability is low and hence the results could be due to non-dyslexic causes. A borderline result does not rule out dyslexia but indicates that the Administrator should examine the case more closely before making any decisions. This should include talking to the person about their educational background because if they lacked opportunities to learn to read and write at school, this might explain the poor results on Word Recognition and Word Construction. On the other hand, if they have other family members who have dyslexia then, given the genetic causation of the disorder, this would lend support to a conclusion that they are probably dyslexic.

Figure 12. Case Study F.

Case study G

This employee has low verbal reasoning and average nonverbal reasoning. He had scores of 7 on Word Recognition and Word Construction, and 5 on Working Memory (see Figure 13). Like the previous case this individual has a lot of problems, yet LADS Plus has classified his as having a low probability of dyslexia because of the low verbal ability (bottom 10% of the population). In cases such as these, difficulties on Word Recognition and Word Construction are more likely to be due to poor verbal skills. There are some weaknesses revealed in the Working memory test, but these are insufficient to confirm dyslexia in the face of the other evidence. Clearly this person would benefit from literacy support, not only because it should help him occupationally, but also because his children (should he have any) would be disadvantaged by having a father who has poor literacy skills.

Figure 13. Case study G

Case study H

This employee has above average nonverbal reasoning and below average verbal reasoning. This is an unusual pattern but sometimes encountered in individuals who have particularly good practical skills or who have not had a particularly good education. He had scores of 3 on Word Recognition, 4 on Word Construction and 8 on Working Memory (see Figure 14). LADS Plus has classified him as having a low probability of dyslexia because despite his rather poor memory, his literacy skills are not significantly poorer than would be expected from his below average verbal intelligence.

Figure 14. Case study H