Reason for Using the WISC
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My son is 8 years old. The school he attends currently want us to have
him tested by an Educational Psychologist. They specifically want him to
be WISC tested, the school and myself believe that he is dyslexic. Which
he has been tested for and we are awaiting the results.
My concern is that the schools eagerness to have this WISC test done.
All the reports, meeting etc we have had with the school have all
express that he is well below average in English, average in Maths.
According to the school he is overall below average.
Having researched the WISC test, it would appear it is for gifted
I can't see the advantage of having the WISC test done as it would just
show yet again he is below average.
So my question really is: What would the advantages/disadvantages of
going ahead with the Educational Psychologist assessment in specifically
the WISC test.
Like other intelligence tests the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for
Children (WISC) is designed to measure skills and abilities, rather than
grade-level subject knowledge. This is not only for gifted children - it
is a general measure of a child's cognitive abilities. It is not only an
intelligence test but also a clinical tool.
During the development of the WISC, the samples included the following
groups of individuals: children identified as gifted, children with mild
or moderate mental retardation, children with learning disorders
(reading, reading/writing, math, reading/writing/math), children with
ADHD, children with expressive and mixed receptive-expressive language
disorders children with autistic disorder, children with Asperger's
syndrome, children with open or closed head injury, and children with
motor impairment. In fact, the WISC-IV is also validated with measures
of achievement, memory, adaptive behaviour, emotional intelligence, and
giftedness. As you can see it not only screens the gi8fted but the
results may also diagnose other learning concerns at a glance. It may
not be very effective in diagnosing children with ADHD or learning
disabilities per se but there may be some indication of these conditions
based on the scores.
In your case the WISC may be required to assess your son's cognitive
development, based on his chronological age. Extreme scores may suggest
contributing factors for adjustment difficulties in social contexts that
present problems in accepting such developmental diversity. The detailed
score would expose areas of strengths and weaknesses which would help
the school plan for proper intervention. There does not appear to be a
disadvantage in allowing him to take the test. Hope this clarifies your
doubt and help you decide. Best of luck!