Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

School Assessment Information

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • School Assessment Information

    As part of the diagnostic process for children, it is often required that the student be assessed by their school and for those of you who have never been exposed to this before I have some information for you to help understand what is being tested and why.

    IQ tests provide one means of assessing "intelligence"- and potential in certain areas - that is less sensitive to training (and, therefore, is a better measure of "true" intelligence) and better standardised than other means.

    Whether or not such tests are "adequate" depends on the objectives of the testing. A parent should ask the purpose of the test - Why? What are they looking for?

    The commonly used IQ tests (such as the WISC and Stanford-Binet, or SB) assess an individual's abilities in several domains (in the case of the SB these are verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning and short-term memory). Individuals get a score on each of several sub-scales and also have a full-scale, or composite, score. These scores are adjusted relative to the average for individuals of the appropriate age.

    The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) is a battery of tests for 6 to 17 year olds that evaluates intellectual abilities. The WISC-III consists of two scales, the Verbal Scale and the Performance Scale. Each of these scales has several subtests.

    The Verbal Scale measures language expression, comprehension, listening, and the ability to apply these skills to solving problems. The examiner gives the questions orally, and the child gives a spoken response. The Performance Scale assesses nonverbal problem solving, perceptual organisation, speed, and visual-motor proficiency. Included are tasks like puzzles, analysis of pictures, imitating designs with blocks, and copying.

    Several scores are obtained from the WISC-III. Scale scores (Verbal and Performance IQ scores) are the summary measures of verbal and performance skills, and the Full Scale IQ is an index of general intellectual functioning.

    Factor scores and subtest combinations show other indices of cognitive ability. These scores may provide additional hypotheses about learning style and factors underlying scores on the WISC-III. Scale, factor, and subtest scores show strengths and weaknesses when compared to other young people of the same age or to the student's own pattern of development.

    The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is used as a tool in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay, and in tracking intellectual development. In addition, it is sometimes included in neuropsychological testing to assess the brain function of individuals with neurological impairments).

    The Stanford-Binet scale tests intelligence across four areas: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning, and short-term memory. The areas are covered by 15 subtests, including vocabulary, comprehension, verbal absurdities, pattern analysis, matrices, paper folding and cutting, copying, quantitative, number series, equation building, memory for sentences, memory for digits, memory for objects, and bead memory.


    All test subjects take an initial vocabulary test, which along with the subject's age, determines the number and level of subtests to be administered. Total testing time is 45-90 minutes, depending on the subject's age and the number of subtests given. Raw scores are based on the number of items answered, and are converted into a standard age score corresponding to age group, similar to an IQ measure.

    The average score at any age on a sub-scale is 50 with a standard deviation of 8. The average composite score is 100, with a standard deviation of 16. An individual with a composite score of 132 is, therefore, 2 standard deviations above average: scores this high or higher are expected in only about 2.3% of the population (these calculations are based on properties of the normal distribution).

    The tests are standardised by being given to a large number of individuals spread over appropriate ages. The test makers attempt to match the properties of the test subjects to those in the general population, and also attempt to include representatives from various "special" populations.

    Intelligence tests like this one are samples of problem solving abilities and learned facts, and are good predictors of future learning and academic success. However, there are several factors that the tests do not measure. For instance, they cannot determine motivation, curiosity, creative talent, work habits, study skills, or achievement in academic subjects. These should also be considered when interpreting the scores in this report.
    Janet

    TSFC Homepage

  • #2
    School Assessment Information

    Hi Janet:

    Thank you for this information. I have a question, though, about another type of school assessment. After seeing Dr. Pearce last week at the Tourette's Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital (our first appointment), she gave me a "Behavioural Checklist" to have my son's teacher complete. My son is in Junior Kindergarten. She was to rate the severity of each problem listed on the sheet (ratings ranged from 0=none to 3=major). Problems listed included such things as Hyperactive (fidgity, trouble staying seated), Disorganized, Implusive, Tics, etc. There are 30 behaviours listed in all.

    When I reviewed this checklist prior to giving it to his teacher, I would have rated all behaviours at a 0(none) to a 1(slight) -- except for the tics which I would have rated a 2 (moderate). For example, at home, my son does not exhibit any type of hyperactive behaviour; he can focus and concentrate on puzzles, reading, activities for a half hour at a time. So, I would have rated that at a 0. His teacher, however rated Hyperactivity at 3 (major). She also gave him quite a lot of 2's (moderate).

    Is it possible that he is not exhibiting these behaviours at home, but that he is in his JK class? I thought it would work the other way around. Also, I can see this Behavioural Checklist being indicative of inappropriate behaviour for older kids, but for a 5-year old, I'm just wondering how effective the ratings are for some behaviours which may be very common amongst 5 year old kids.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Sandra

    Comment


    • #3
      School Assessment Information

      Hi Sandra

      You pose a very good point. I have two 5-year old boys ( not diagnosed with TS ...yet :roll: ) and they display some symptoms of TS and OCD and ADHD at times.

      These checklists are typically used to get feedback from the teachers/ daycares on what type of behaviors they are seeing when the parents are not around (not that it is parenting but we all know that kids behave differently when the parents are not present) and it is often reported that kids are more active in school than at home in some cases. Keep it in perspective that some of the behaviors could be due to maturation and that is another reason many doctors don't jump to diagnosis with younger children. The checklists are a pretty good tool to determine how the behaviors are impacting the rest of the group as well. I use these with my kids too to help me figure out what the teachers see and to compare to what we see at home. These checklists will not be used to diagnose but to help the doctors see the big picture of your child and how he behaves in other settings.

      Is the programming at your sons school structured or is it more playful? The more stimulation a child is exposed to, the more excitable the child can be. Keep in mind that at home the environment is typically quieter and more controlled than in a daycare/ school environment where people come and go and there are so many little children.
      Janet

      TSFC Homepage

      Comment


      • #4
        School Assessment Information

        Hi Janet:

        My son's teacher called me today to discuss the checklist...I had written her a note to say that I wanted to discuss the results with her, as he was not exhibiting the said behaviours at home. She told me that there were areas that she was borderline in her ratings (i.e. where she had rated him a 2, she could have rated him a 1, and where she had rated him a 1, she could have rated him a 0). She said that some parents would rather see the rating a little higher in order to get a diagnosis that will help their child to get the additional help they may need at school.

        For me, I told her that I'm looking for as accurate a diagnosis that I can get, without "overdiagnosing" at this point. I'm just concerned as he is only 5 (in a month), and the behaviour of many 5 year-olds who don't have ADHD can be the same as some of those items on the checklist. I think that a checklist such as the one we received can be more accurate and yield more "true" results when given for an older child. As well, I don't want him to become incorrectly labelled as having TS+ if he doesn't really have it. I'm sure that the associated behaviours, if they show up in later years, will be easier to identify.

        Thanks for your input! I always know where to come if I've got any questions!

        Sandra

        Comment


        • #5
          School Assessment Information

          Hi Sandra:

          She said that some parents would rather see the rating a little higher in order to get a diagnosis that will help their child to get the additional help they may need at school.
          All I can say is "OMG!!"

          For me, I told her that I'm looking for as accurate a diagnosis that I can get, without "over diagnosing" at this point
          Kudos to you! I agree 5 is young for the checklists... hence the reason my second son who was followed since age 4 was not diagnosed till age 7 1/2 and my twins will not get a diagnosis either until we are sure.

          Sandra keep doing what you are doing and challenge whatever makes you uncomfortable... you know your child better than anyone else in this world and always trust your instincts. I'm glad you find our BB resources full. I find great satisfaction in knowing that we can provide support to people who need us. There is nothing better than JOB Satisfaction
          Janet

          TSFC Homepage

          Comment


          • #6
            School Assessment Information

            Janet,

            Thank you so much for your encouragement. From one parent to another, I am so thankful for your support.

            Sandra

            Comment


            • #7
              School Assessment Information

              No problem... keep me posted

              Janet

              TSFC Homepage

              Comment


              • #8
                School Assessment Information

                Sandra:

                Hello and I am glad to see you are posting your experiences and feelings.

                We went through all the assessments before with our son too and at yours age you should not be surprised if they reassess him next year.

                In our case my son was assessed at age 5, 6, 7.

                Now that he is in a new school they have assessed him again at age 12.
                They have been aware spending time with him and understanding his background that the consideration of ODD may be false and he does not show any signs of ODD now that he is settled and happy.

                As long as the assessment is offering a broad over view to offer some assistance for your child it should help both of you without a label or over diagnosing. Sometimes the "facts" can be overstated to mislead the reader.

                I feel that a true diagnosis should come from a medical professional outside the school that you and your child can relate too.

                Thank you for keeping us informed.
                PJK

                Comment

                Working...
                X