Interpretation of WISC Scores
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
The school feels my son (7.5 years old - 2nd grade) is ADHD
because is can't sit still at school. He thinks differently
then other kids. He has a lot of friends at school but feels
no one is like him. He wants to talk to adults or younger
kids (so he can entertain them). He has "friends" at school,
but no playmates that he enjoys. Peers are starting to see
him as odd. He is in 2nd grade and is just under average for
reading and average for everything else. I am called all the
time for his "off task" behavior.
At home he is a very easily engaged kid. His verbal skills
are high and he just seems to be working under his level. I
thought he may have dyslexia because of letter reversal and
a family history of dyslexia. I asked the school to test him
for learning problems. There are stuck on ADHD and were not
open to testing, but had too. I don't understand what the
scores mean. The psychologist told me that outside of the
school system that he would have a learning disability, but
not within the school system because his IQ is too high. She
called him gifted, but didn't want to list a full IQ score.
She said we should be concerned that his scores are so wide,
but there was nothing the school could do because he is
ineligible for help. The principal said we should be happy
that he is in the lower level of 2nd grade reading because
that is not that bad. Question: Please tell me what the test
scores mean? The school is no help the psychologist doesn't
have time to call me (overworked) and the Special Ed teacher
and teacher said to drill him on sight words.
WISC-IV: Verbal Comp = 132, Perceptual Reasoning =112,
Working Memory =97, Processing Speed = 128.....
K-TEA-2: Letter/Word = 81, Reading Comp=86, Math
Concepts=110, Math Computation=114, Written Expression=88,
WIAT-II: Word Reading = 89, Reading Comprehension = 100,
Pseudoword Decoding = 83, Total Reading = 88, Spelling = 88,
Written Expression = 103, Total Writing = 99....
WRAML: Verbal Memory = 109, Visual Memory = 100, Learning
Index = 93, General Memory Index = 101...
BEERY VMI: SS = 104.
This means nothing to me?! Psychologist told me she gave him
every test she had. She said she doesn't think he has ADD (I
never thought he did). She said he maybe failing in class
because he is not challenged, but LD (which they can't help
with) is stopping him. Teacher and principal feel he is not
above average, just a kid that thinks outside the box and is
very creative and silly. In case you don't know yet, I am
dyslexic and I am trying to help my son get a better
education then me so he doesn't have to sit here in his 40's
with a speller to write a simple note.
Could by son be gifted?
Based on scores could he have a LD?
Based on scores what does low scores mean?
What typed of thinking is in weak in?
Does higher scores mean he is gifted or just had a good day?
Most of his scores are around 90 which is normal?
I don't want to refer to him as gifted because I don't
wanted the school to laugh at me because he seems average on
paper, but anyone that talks to him expects that he is above
average in everything. At one point I think he is very smart
then I think he is delayed because he can remember that the
word is "on" not no, how, not etc. Thank you I feel so
A: Wow! It is amazing that he
has been subjected to so many tests and yet not able to
determine what is the best suited intervention for his
needs. Unfortunately, I may only be able to provide a guide
for the WISC scores due to familiarity.
The table below gives a good indication of average scores of
children in the gifted range.
For your son, he has very high score on Processing Speed
which assesses children's abilities to focus attention and
quickly scan, discriminate between, and sequentially order
visual information (this alone may rule out ADHD). It also
shows that he is persistent with good planning ability and
He also has high score on Verbal Comprehension which
assesses children's ability to listen to a question, draw
upon learned information from both formal and informal
education, reason through an answer, and express their
thoughts aloud. This index is seen to be a good predictor of
readiness for school and achievement orientation. It should
be noted that Verbal Comprehension Index is the best of the
four indices for predicting giftedness. In addition,
research has indicated that subjects who scored in the
gifted range on the Verbal Comprehension index often did not
score in the gifted range on the Working Memory or
Processing Speed Indices. In this case, your son scores very
high on the PSI but averagely on Working Memory (which is
sensitive to anxiety). Based on these scores he may be in
the gifted range (definitely not just a good day!). Perhaps,
it would be good to find out the full scale IQ score.
Other scores are in the average range. It is unfortunate
that the psychologist is unable to give time to explain the
results as s/he would be the best person to explain the
scores based on the detailed score for each category and
other observable behavior of the child. Perhaps you may want
to insist on an appointment. There is such a thing as being
gifted with a learning problem. The problem here is that
most schools stress on the weaknesses on the child rather
than the gifts in such cases, leading the child to much
frustration and eventually lose interest in learning.
Based on your description, I tend to believe that he may
likely be dyslexic which is a neurological disorder and a
lot of research shows a strong hereditary link; but to
whether mild or moderate is quite hard to tell. I think the
best thing for you to do is to get him a qualified
educational psychologist to determine if he has a learning
disability. The psychologist would then be able to recommend
a proper intervention program to cater for his needs. If he
is dyslexic, there are many good programs today and he would
certainly not have to go through what you went through. The
WJ-III cognitive, with a large variety of subtests, is said
to provide the most information in the potential
identification of twice exceptional (gifted and learning
disabled) children, so you may want to consider this.
Wishing you all the best.
WISC-IV Technical Report
An Inventory of Test.
Essentials of WISC-IV Assessment
Dawn P. Flanagan Ph.D, Alan S. Kaufman Ph.D
The WISC-IV is the top intelligence assessment instrument
for children in the US, providing essential information into
a child's cognitive functioning. This book applies a new,
expanded theory-based approach to interpreting the latest
edition of the WISCŪ and provides beginning and seasoned
clinicians with comprehensive step-by-step guidelines to
administering, scoring, and interpreting this latest
revision of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.
This book provides students and practitioners with an
unparalleled resource for learning and application,
including expert assessment of the test's relative strengths
and weaknesses, valuable advice on its clinical
applications, and illuminating case reports.