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Processing Disorder not recognized in DSM-IV?

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I was recently diagnosed with a reading disorder, but I think the diagnosis is incomplete. I do have problems reading, but my main problems are with processing speed. On any achievement or intelligence type test, I can usually score close to perfect given enough time. This is for math, reading, writing, logic, reasoning, etc. It just takes me a long time (relative to others) to solve higher level problems.


The disorder went undiagnosed until now (I am 20) because I was able to compensate with really good memorization skills. But now, in university, testing is becoming increasing analytical (whether it be political theory, economic theory, mathematics, or analyzing literature). My problems don't relate to any one category - it is a general slowness in processing.


On The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV) I scored (in percentile):

Verbal comprehension: 86

Perceptual reasoning: 73

Working Memory: 95

Processing Speed: 55


Though perceptual reasoning was likely under reported due to time constraints on the perceptual reasoning tests


I was advised that in the DSM-IV, there is no such thing as a "processing speed disorder". Does anyone have any information about a more accurate diagnosis for me?

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are you referring to Central Auditory Processing Disorder? If so, it is a recognized learning disability and so accommodations should be offered for it


No, as explained it's a problem with processing speed. Whether questions be given spoken or written my problem is that it takes me a long time to process. It's not specific to any one subject and not specific to any testing format. It is simply associated with higher / more complex tests.


For example - on the reading comprehension test I scored ~25/38 when timed but 37/38 when given extra time. More importantly, I was around the 50th percentile when timed (I don't have the report with me at the moment), but in the 90th percentile with extra time.

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A general processing speed deficit can be considered a learning disability. See this link from one university, I did not do a thorough search--you will find it in the list: http://www.mnsu.edu/affact/accommodating/typesof.html


Typically a learning disability is determined relative to discrepancies in scores. I say typically because criteria is sometimes subjective or changes from state to state or with time. Your scatter in scores suggests a learning disability in processing speed whereas if your other scores were lower, you would be simply considered a low functioning student--which you are not.


See the info below and consider exploring more options related to special accommodations that might be available at your university.


See this from Wikipedia:

The term "learning disability" does not exist in DSM-IV, but it has been proposed that it be added to DSM-5, and incorporate the conditions learning disorder not otherwise specified and disorder of written expression.


Types of learning disabilities

Learning disabilities can be categorized either by the type of information processing that is affected or by the specific difficulties caused by a processing deficit.


By stage of information processing

Learning disabilities fall into broad categories based on the four stages of information processing used in learning: input, integration, storage, and output.[6] See in link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_disorder


I hope that is some help and that you get the support at school that you need. Sheila

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