Abstract

Objective: Children with discrepancies between verbal comprehension and visual-perceptual reasoning often have nonverbal learning differences (NVLD). Research suggests they have difficulty with hypothesis generation and problem solving, processing information differently. We hypothesized children with positive VCI-PRI discrepancy would demonstrate fluid problem solving difficulties as measured by novel, executive functioning tasks on the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). Method: Participants include 43 children who received neuropsychological evaluation within a private practice setting over 2 years. The data includes both males (67%) and females, ranging from ages 6 to 16 years (M = 10.47, SD = 3.07). Participants were administered the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) and select subtests of the D-KEFS. The discrepancy between the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) and Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI) was calculated as a measure of nonverbal weaknesses. Results: A bivariate correlational design was used to assess the relationship between executive functioning and VCI-PRI discrepancy. A medium, negative correlation was found between VCI-PRI discrepancy and the Twenty Questions Initial Abstraction subtest score (D-KEFS), (r = −.435, n = 22, p = .043). Conclusion(s): Overall the data presented supports the hypothesis that NVLD are associated with fluid problem solving on novel tasks. Specifically, this negative relationship highlights unique difficulties integrating verbal and visual perceptual processing demands in children with NVLD.