Throughout our schooling days, most people can relate to experiencing difficulty in one subject area or another. While some people excelled in maths others remain confused and left behind. Some delighted at reading the classics and reciting poetry, while this left others riddled with fear.
For many children and adolescents, their emotional world and their learning environments are intertwined; if they are experiencing difficulty at home or in their social network their grades may start to fall. Parents often say that the first sign their child was experiencing bullying was a progressive decline in their grades; while other parents often feel that their child’s grades just don’t reflect how they feel their child should be performing.
The use of intelligence testing is a great place to start in discovering your child’s strengths and weaknesses; this information can be used to help throughout their schooling life. The WISC can also be used as a clinical tool, however, this is most effective when used as a multi-test battery as certain learning difficulties – attention and emotional difficulties can present in a similar way.
Family of Wechsler Intelligence Scales
There are three intelligence scales which are administered across the lifespan, from toddlers to adulthood. The family of Wechsler Intelligence Scales includes the following three tests:
- Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) – 2.5 years to 7 years
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) – 6 years to 16 years
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) – 16 years and over
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
The WPPSI is up to its fourth edition (WPPSI-IV) and can be used to obtain a Full Scale IQ score. Similar to the WISC, the WPPSI has several applications within the assessment and clinical setting.
- General intellectual functioning
- To identify intellectual capability
When combined with other assessments the clinical effectiveness of the WPPSI can be enhanced. For example, if the WPPSI is also combined with other assessments the psychologist can get an accurate measure of academic ability or learning and memory functioning.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children (WISC) is an intelligence test for children aged between 6 and 16 years of age. The WISC is in its fifth revision and generally takes approximately one hour or more to administer. The administration of the WISC will generate a Full IQ score which represents a child’s full general intellectual ability, and additional cognitive domains such as verbal comprehension, visual spatial, fluid reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. Exploring a child’s ability in each sub-test area can be useful in identifying specific areas of strength or weakness, or specific learning difficulties.
Applications for the WISC
The WISC is more than an intelligence test, it can also be used as a clinical tool, to demonstrate discrepancies in school results and also provide guidance in making accommodations where a strength or weakness has been identified. .
When using the WISC, or any other assessment tool for diagnostic purposes, it is best practice to use this as part of a battery of assessments, as learning problems, attention, and emotional difficulties can present in a similar way. When combined with other measures this can be used to identify intellectual giftedness, learning difficulties and strengths and weaknesses. Other assessment tools which this can be combined with include the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System or the Children’s Memory Scale. Together this provides additional information and a richer picture of the child’s cognitive and adaptive functioning.
Identifying your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses can be very useful in providing support and assistance throughout their schooling life. With more detailed knowledge of their areas of strength and weakness, modifications such as accommodations within the classroom, home and school environment. At Vision and M1 Psychology our intern Psychologists provide intelligence testing at a reduced rate. For more information, please hone reception and one of our friendly staff members can discuss approximate wait times and costs for your needs.
Authors: Sarah Dunstone and Kim Walker
Prifitera, A., Saklofske, D. H., & Weiss, L. G. (2008). WISC-IV clinical assessment and intervention (2nd;2; ed.). Amsterdam;Boston;: Elsevier.