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WISC assessments? (Ilikemesleep can you help?)

(7 Posts)

Can anyone tell me what is the essential difference between the child WISC assessment and the adult version (WAIS) and whether being tested at 15 yrs 11 months as a child or 16 as an 'adult' will make any difference to the results?

I'm in a position where our special school finishes at 16 ..end of Statement, and my DS2 will be thrown at the mercy of the generic special needs course at our local FE collage. He has ASD and learning difficulties.. very patchy profile..reads well, writes like a 7 year old at best, maths..might even be put in for GCSE (won't pass but might get a F/G grade). IQ unknown but we have already been told he will have a presumed IQ of over 70 and therefore will not be elegible for adult support.

Ignoring how utterly SHIT all this is, (he is absolutely not going to be independent as an adult) our own Paed has recommended we have his IQ formally assessed and private reports done to help int eh fight.

The question is when to get started. Will being at the 'cut off' age for the child test make any difference to the results? Or would waiting for him to actually turn 16 be more helpful as it would be considered his adult IQ result?

Finally does anyone know how these assessments work, and what actual use it will be (other than proving his very substantial difficulties). Will it help US to understand how to help him progress?

ilikemysleep Wed 24-Oct-12 20:34:37

I don't know much about the WAIS, never used it, sorry. The WISC goes up to 16 y 11m though (and the British Ability Scales, BAS, might even go a bit higher I think.).

If he has been through special school and hasn't had a cognitive assessment for a long time I would say there is good reason to have a look again. I have done a couple recently with kids at SS who were apparently verbal and bright-eyed and in both cases it confirmed learning difficulties at 0.1 percentile. (that means, less than 1 in 1000 kids at that level). It was useful in both their cases as their challenging behaviours turned out to be signifucantly linked to the fact that their reasoning skills were beung iverestimated because of their verbally interactive presentation and reasonable literacy skills. The info alone servd as a good reminder to staff that they needed to scaffold more than they had been.

Are you wanting generic college course? If not, speak to LA and connexions about other options. For example, some of our SS go up to 19. Statements can be maintained up to age 25.

Disclaiming to say that higher ed is not my specialism, it's always worth soeaking to people who know your lical area etc.

So short answer, yes an updated assessment would be useful. If school won't ask for one, a private one might be worth persuing. WISC or WAIS probably doesn't matter a great deal, though with younger kids on the WPPSI /WISC borderline at age 7 kids with significant learning diffs often access the younger kids' test better.

ilikemysleep Wed 24-Oct-12 20:39:09

Will it tell you how to help? Probably not, in all honesty. You need something smarter for might remind you that he has a slow processing speed or a particular difficulty with working memory. Really you need a 'big picture' problem solving type meeting with everyone who knows your son to try to identify what works, what doesn't, and how best to support him.


He is also being referred by our lovely paed to some sort of neuro cognitive place that hopefully will help gather a report..but they don't give IQ numbers.. hence the need to assess that privately.

He has NEVER had his IQ assessed..or much assessment at all! He was obviously delayed..speech, communication, physically etc as a small child and so went to special school without a hitch. Dx ASD later on (he's gentle passive, smiley and no behaviour problems so it took them a while to realise how autistic he is) and then he got speech and has monologued everyone ever since grin
Our problem is, is that because h is verbal and has very adult sounding (copied, scripted) language he SOUNDS a lot more able than he actually is.. even his school forget because in comparison to many he sounds good.. but actually there are massive gaps in his understanding and in some areas he is barely 5 not 15.. so hoping a thorough assessment will show that (sadly) to enable us to access support.
He is due to go onto a 'step' (special needs) course at the local college next but it's not what I want.. I want specialist ASD/MLD placement at a very good local college, but I might as well be barking at the moonsad

Thanks again thosmilesmile

mebaasmum Thu 25-Oct-12 17:22:57

I am also interested in this. 15 year old Ds attends ss. It goes up to 19 but we would like an ep report as we feel his understanding is worse than school say.another one who sounds more knowledgeable than he is and speaks and reads well though often doesn't understand what he reads. However we are reluctant to ask lea as don't want to jepordise funding. Last assessment was in year 5. Any ideas

mariammma Thu 25-Oct-12 18:33:29

You probably do need an IQ test exactly because (ridiculously) many areas still restrict adult services based on whether IQ is 70 (cue "you're fine, off you go") or 69 ("cue patronise the poor disabled service user"). Children with disabilities team at social services usually goes up to age 18, but you could do with access to a learning disability team / adults with general disabilities team thereafter.

The other thing to check out is the mental health services locally, and what they provide if the generic psychiatric crew say 'nit ours, autistic' but the LD lot say 'not ours, too bright'

Luckily, technically speaking, in ASD it's the lowest subscale which is your 'effective' IQ, not the full-scale average. So if (say) verbal IQ is 65, but performance IQ is 90, they can't just average them and deny services on that basis. Most professionals don't know that initially, but they usually give in once you wave the relevant guidelines wink

mariammma Thu 25-Oct-12 18:39:26

Medusa, would now be a good time to try for a switch to somewhere with 14-19 provision? LEA might then let an ed psych spend time with your son. Ideally, you need LEA to decide they themselves want a wisc, if only to prove you wrong before tribunal.

Ilike, round here the special schools have as little access to funded ed psych time as the mainstreams, the former because 'the ss staff know so much, what could EP add" and the latter because "there are other children more needy than those in your school, you know"

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