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Retesting on WISC-IV or SB-V

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I have a 7 & 9 month old boy and demonstrating more like a 14 year old interest and intellectual abilities. We was tested him when he was 6 and 4 month on the WISC-IV when he was in first grade when his teacher wanted to retain him. His scores are the following:

VC:126
PR:127
WM:120
PS:115
FSIQ:129
GAI:130

We decided not to retain in first grade. So we switch to a charter school for second grade. He did well but the Charter schools have policies to be beyond a proficient level to move on to 3rd. So he retain once again. So this year we decided in a small Independent private school with a small classroom size 10 no more 20 students for 2nd grade again. Very expensive!

During his 2nd grade at the charter school my son had some sensory issues. So he is in Occupational therapy currently. This make sense if you notice his IQ test on PS:115*.

Since my son is being retained and doing 2nd grade again in a completely in a new environment I noticing more enrichment courses into he future. This means even more expense.

So I'm looking into Mensa for discounts and my son missed the FSIQ requirement because is FSIQ is 129 for membership. Mensa does not accept the GAI.

My Problem is deciding on retesting? Should I retest on the WISC-IV or SB:V at 8 years old? Please help?

A: It is know that tow of the most commonly used intelligence tests for children and adolescents are The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) and the Stanford-Binet-Fifth Edition (SB5). A research study in 2012 revealed that there was a significant difference between Full Scale IQs on the two measures, with scores being higher on the WISC-IV. This concludes that the WISC-IV and SB5 cannot be presumed to be interchangeable measures of intelligence. They stress on different measures of intellectual ability. Therefore, the scores from these tests should be compared one to one. However, it has been noted that there are some studies which suggest that the highly verbal kids tend to do better with the WISC-IV compared to the more mathetically-inclined kids who apparently fair better on the SB-5.

As for retesting, it appears that children who are tested at a younger age rarely score lower than the previous score. It is noticed that they may likely score similarly especially if the test has a similar ceiling. It is also likely that they score similarly especially if there were issues during the first test (e.g., physiological, motivation, anxiety, etc.). In fact if the child has some learning concerns that has been attended to, they may score higher as well.

It is best to seek advise from a few educational psychologist for help in deciding which test may prove better for a higher score to meet the cut off point for MENSA admission. Having said that, this should not be the reason for testing. Many other support groups for gifted children exist and one need not get admission into MENSA for that support. There are gifted children who may not meet the criteria simply because they are twice exceptional; therefore a score alone without looking at other factor may be biased towards certain gifted children. Good luck.

Further replied from reader: Thank you for the advice. Meanwhile I was waiting for your response I spoke to a Board-certified Pediatric Neurologist that is a researcher on sensory processing disorders suggested to retest on WISC IV before the Summer 2015. I have decided on retesting to see the Occupational Therapy demonstrating progress on the Processing Speed. I completely put Mensa aside.

My son has had a year of Occupational Therapy for lack of coordination. I really want to see and learn from the result from the WISC IV. If I notice an increase on his Processing Speed this will validate in my sons case that the early intervention and occupational therapy is a success. I hope the results may help other children or gifted children with sensory issues. Again Thank you!


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