IQ Testing for Child with Dyspraxia
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: 1) I was wondering what IQ test could
accurately predict IQ for a child who has very poor fine motor
handwriting skills due to Developmental coordination disorder (also
known as Dyspraxia) which makes forming letters very difficult and
labored? Also has some sensory related issues, i.e. Noises, and lights,
bother him). Reads at middle school level. Very smart, but handwriting
makes things difficult.
2.) He is 9.5 and is in fourth grade. (Summer birthday- makes him the
youngest in his class). I am assuming the test goes by age level and not
grade level. Is this correct?
According to the Dyspraxia Foundation (UK), Dyspraxia is an impairment
or immaturity of the organization of movement. Associated with this
there may be problems of language, perception and thought. Developmental
Dyspraxia or 'Developmental Co-ordination Disorder is used to describe
youngsters who have co-ordination difficulties and who also show
significant perceptual problems.
It appears that children with Dyspraxia may be able children with bright
enquiring minds. However, listening to instructions and remembering them
is very difficult, so children with dyspraxia may require a high level
of verbal feedback to help with retaining the information. Dyspraxia can
also affect language and speech development, as manipulation of the
mouth requires fine motor coordination. As a child develops, language
becomes increasingly more complex and the rapid sequencing of the tongue
and jaw must also be coordinated with breathing. Dyspraxia compromises
language skills, which in turn impacts on academic, social and emotional
development. This often, but not always, occurs alongside general motor
In terms of assessing a child with dyspraxia, it involves detailed
interview with parents/care-givers along with directly testing the
child's ability to execute actions. Therefore, standardized screening
tools and assessments for identifying paediatric motor disorders would
be necessary. A cognitive test is also necessary to see the scatter of
scores. Since he has been diagnosed, any standardised IQ test would be
fine – but the examiner needs to understand his background when
preparing the report to be able to come up with a sound recommendation.
The scores would be scattered in areas he is good and weak at. In any
case, for such cases overall IQ score should not be used to determine
eligibility into any program – the individual score breakdown is
Yes, standardised tests go based on the age of the child and NOT grade
at all. For instance the Wechsler's scale goes by quarterly age group.
Hope the information is helpful. All the best in your journey.