Hi All,

Andrew is 6 1/2 years old and is in the first grade. We are concerened, we have been for awhile, that he is so far behind in everything. He doesn't know his alphabet, he cannot count past 12. He is also very inconsistant. One day he can only count to 3. We had him tested (IQ) and it is way low. I think he scored in the .5% . Are there any other boys that are this far behind congnitively? Thanks for any input you may have!


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Hello Alissa,

There is a cognitive profile associated with DMD with an estimated 30-50% having learning deficits.  Like many aspects of DMD these deficits are a spectrum in boys, yet common problems are in phonological processing, working memory and processing strings of information.  In most boys the delays/deficits are not progressive and many are able to develop compensatory skills to overcome these issues.  There are some children more affected than others, yet appropriate evaluations by a competent evaluator can help in developing a program to help uncover specific learning disabilities and formulate a plan to help the student. 

My younger son had similar difficulties with letters you describe at the same age.  With one to one help he was able to make up for these deficits and by the end of his first grade year was reading "Captain Underpants" books.  His circumstances may be different, yet your son will need to be thoroughly evaluated to know the options.


For more information try this article by Veronica Hinton: www.columbia.edu/cu/md/CyrulnikSEHintonVJ.pdf  This article may be helpful to your son's teachers and/or Special Education evaluator.


Best of luck,




Do not give up on his learning, but do get him involved in Occupational Therapy. That was lesson we learned. My son Joe was diagnosed with "mild mental retardation" about the same age, after similar testing. Even in late 2nd grade he was still struggling with basic reading.

He attended OT 2X/week from 6 to 10 years of age. He has been in special ed with IEP throughout his education.

His is now 13, in 7th grade. He is a champion speller and reads at a 9th grade level. His writing is slow but outstanding quality. He still struggles in math, but even there he is picking up speed, around 5th grade now.

In the final month of his 6th grade, his IEP team unanimously declared the "retardation" diagnosis a mistake, opting for "learning disabled" instead. It was among the greatest days of my life to hear that.

Hang in there.


Also ... the IQ test has always been controversial, particularly when applied to early school-age kids. Put that score away it doesn't mean a thing.

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