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To understand it thoroughly, school psychologists, teachers, and other school service providers need a comprehensive resource to guide them in what this frequently amended Act means and how it should be interpreted. The first concise, yet authoritative, book of its kind on which professionals can rely to navigate this often-misunderstood law, Essentials of IDEA for Assessment Professionals is that source.

Like all the volumes in the Essentials of Psychological Assessment series, each chapter features numerous callout boxes highlighting key concepts, bulleted points, and extensive illustrative material, as well as test questions that help you gauge and reinforce your grasp of the information covered.

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Essentials of IDEA for Assessment Professionals

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Tell us if something is incorrect. Book Format: Choose an option. It is clear that meaningful use and interpretation of the Wechsler scales require the adoption of a fourth-wave approach in which contemporary theory, research, and measurement principles are integrated. Application of contemporary theory and research to intelligence test use and interpretation is needed. Picture Arrangement, Object Assembly, and Mazes were deleted from the WISC-IV battery for which one of the following reasons: a Because they are most valid for preschool children b To deemphasize the timed nature of the battery c Because surveys regarding WISC-IV development revealed that children did not like these tests d Because these tests were deemed unfair to language impaired children 2.

True or False? One major difference between their approach and traditional approaches is that they recommend using composites or clusters, rather than subtests, in intraindividual analysis. Answers: 1. True; 6. To obtain accurate scores from a norm-referenced test, standardized procedures need to be followed under a set of standard conditions. As will be discussed throughout this book, however, nonstandardized procedures such as interviews, behavioral observations, and informal assessments should be used alongside standardized tests to provide an integrated and complete picture of a child.

For a child of any age, it is important to have a testing environment that is relatively bland and free of distractions, both visual and auditory. For example, the surroundings should not have too many toys or windows. However, the surroundings should not be so formal or adult-like that the child or adolescent feels like he or she is in a medical examination room. In most situations, only the examiner and the examinee should be in the testing room during the evaluation.

In order to test an examinee with the WISC-IV in a manner consistent with standardized procedures, it is necessary to sit at a table. Testing Materials During testing, we recommend that you sit either opposite the child or at a 90degree angle from the child in order to most easily view the test-taking behaviors and manipulate the test materials.

The testing manual may be propped up on the table and positioned as a shield behind which the Record Form can be placed. This positioning allows the examiner to read the directions easily and prevents the child from being distracted by what the examiner is writing on the Record Form. Only the testing materials that are in immediate use should be visible to the examinee. Stimulus materials can distract young children easily if they are in view. This material is used by permission the testing. When interacting with the child initially, it is important to allow him or her enough time to become accustomed to you before beginning the evaluation.

Addressing the child by his or her name, telling the child your name, and spending a reasonable amount of time interacting with the child prior to testing e. When conversing with the child, you should remember to be open, honest, and genuine. Any comments that you may make upon initially meeting the child, or throughout testing, should be mildly positive. In addition to being given time to accustom themselves to you, children must also be given time to become accustomed to the testing situation itself. It is important to note that the manner in which you or, in some cases, a parent or caregiver have introduced the child to the testing situation can have either positive or negative effects throughout the evaluation.

Therefore, we encourage examiners and parents to explain to children ahead of time what they should expect during the evaluation. Such explanations can alleviate any anticipatory anxiety that the child may have. For example, it is good to let the child know that the examiner will be showing him or her blocks and books containing pictures and words and will be asking some questions. In fact, lots of kids think that these special kinds of tests are pretty fun. Source: From A. Some children may need frequent breaks due to a medical condition e. Examiners should also remember not to talk down to children of any age.

Adolescents may become particularly uncooperative if they are treated like younger children. With teenagers, it is important to try to initiate a conversation that is interesting to them but does not appear overly invasive, showing respect for their boundaries. A balance between formality and informality—between being professional and being friendly— should be achieved when testing both children and adolescents.

This is when the delicate balance between rapport and adherence to standardized test procedures becomes especially important. The examiner should pay close attention to signs of waning attention, frustration, or lack of motivation. Such signs may be verbal e. These observations are signals to the examiner that it may be necessary to increase encouragement and praise or perhaps to take a break. See the Caution box below for a list of ways to give appropriate feedback and encouragement.

Encouragement and praise may be delivered in many different ways e. However, it is important that praise not be overly repetitive, as it will lose its reinforcing effects. Encouragement should be given throughout administration of the items, not only when a child is struggling or giving incorrect responses. Some children may require more than verbal and nonverbal praise to maintain motivation.

In these cases, it may be useful to develop a reward system. For example, an agreement may be reached that the child can play with certain toys after a required number of tasks have been completed. It is important to be able to remove materials skillfully and present the next task quickly, which creates a smooth and rapid transition between subtests. Frequent eye contact also helps maintain rapport; thus, it is crucial to be familiar enough with the standardized instructions so that you do not have to read them word for word with your head buried in the manual during administration.

Children may occasionally refuse to cooperate, be easily fatigued, or become too nervous to continue. In such situations it is appropriate to give several breaks throughout the testing or to reschedule the testing for another day. Praise examinees for their effort rather than the correctness of their responses. Record all responses, not just incorrect responses. Set up a reward system if necessary. Give frequent breaks if necessary. Reschedule testing if the child is too tired, anxious, or uncooperative.

Make smooth and rapid transitions between subtests. Use small talk between subtests but not during subtests. Familiarize yourself ahead of time with test directions and test materials. Be subtle, not distracting, when using a stopwatch. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain thorough information about any disability from the caregiver prior to beginning the assessment. The caregiver may be able to provide suggestions about the best way to elicit a response from the child when he or she is presented with both verbal and nonverbal stimuli.

Children aged 6—7 start the Arithmetic subtest with Item 3, so this supplemental subtest is not recommended for children aged 6 or 7 with a visual impairment. Examiners who are skilled in testing children who are deaf or hard of hearing are encouraged to study Tables 1. Extend testing over more than one session for children with special needs, as necessary. It is important to realize that successful evaluation of a child with special needs, indeed of any child, may require the use of supplemental measures or another instrument altogether.

When making this determination, it is recommended that you use the WISC-IV with 6-year-olds whom you consider to be of average intelligence or higher. Likewise, it is recommended that you use the WISC-IV with yearolds whom you consider to be within the average range or below. These recommendations are summarized in Table 2. Table 2. In this section we highlight the general administration rules. Rapid Reference 2. Digit Span No 4.

Symbol Search No Adapted and reproduced by permission. Note: Children suspected of developmental delay or cognitive impairment may begin subtests at earlier items. When the examinee does not achieve an initial basal on a subtest with an age-based starting point, the examiner must give the reversal items in reverse sequence until perfect scores are achieved on two consecutive items.

These instructions are referred to as reverse rules. Although this is an acceptable practice, it is important to reScores obtained on reverse items are member that if the child receives full included in the discontinue criteria. The Caution box on pages 88—92 lists common general errors in administration.

In addition to starting points and reverse rules, subtests also have discontinue rules. Starting and discontinue rules were developed to minimize testing time. Similar to starting rules, discontinue rules differ across subtests. These rules typically require that a certain number of consecutive zero-point responses be obtained prior to discontinuing the subtest.

Most often this uncertainty may arise during Verbal Comprehension subtests that have some subjectivity in scoring, most notably Vocabulary, Similarities, and Comprehension. If it is not possible to quickly determine whether a response is correct, it is best to continue administering further items until you are certain that the discontinue rule has been met. However, the information obtained on the items that were accidentally administered beyond the discontinue criterion may provide valuable clinical information.

If you do not follow the procedure just described, and note later that you did not administer enough items to meet the discontinue rule, then the subtest should be considered spoiled. You should not go back and administer the items in an attempt to meet the discontinue rule. Examiners should be careful to write down responses verbatim for all items administered or attempted. This recording is especially important for Vocabulary, Similarities, Comprehension, and Information i.

However, even when only brief verbal responses are given, such as during the Arithmetic and Digit Span subtests, they should be recorded, as they may prove useful in the interpretation process. If only a 0, 1, or 2 is recorded on the Record Form, then irretrievable clinical information may be lost.

Recording all responses affords the examiner an opportunity to note patterns in responding that may be useful in interpretation. For these same reasons, it is crucial to attempt to capture most of what is said verbatim. This can be quite a challenge with extremely verbose children. In addition to recording what a child says, you may need to also record your own statements. Beyond noting the level of querying typically required for a child, it may be useful to determine whether the quality of response improved after the child was queried.

The use of a stopwatch should be unobtrusive so that it is not distracting to the child. If possible, use a stopwatch that does not make beeping sounds.

If you stop timing because a child appears to have completed an item, restart the stopwatch immediately upon recognizing that the child is still working and record the entire time that he or she worked on that item. Estimate the number of seconds that the stopwatch was off and add that to the total completion time. Good queries inthe manual. In some cases, the child may ask you to repeat the question.

Generally, it is okay to repeat a question or set of instructions; however, for the WISC-IV Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing subtests, a number or number-and-letter sequence, respectively, may not be repeated. That is, if you believe that a child may have known the answers to earlier, easier items, then it is acceptable and desirable to readminister these items, as responses to these testing-of-the-limits procedures may prove useful in interpretation. A child may have received a zero on initial items due to anxiety or insecurity, leading to an incorrect response.

Testing the limits may reveal that the child actually knew the answers to these questions. It is important to note, however, that an incorrect response that is spontaneously corrected at any time during the evaluation session should be changed from a raw score of 0 to a raw score of 1 or 2 as appropriate. The stimulus materials for the Block Design subtest include nine cubes, each having two red sides, two white sides, and two red-and-white sides. A child aged 6—7 begins at Item 1; a child aged 8—16 begins at Item 3. If a child aged 8—16 does not receive credit on either trial of Item 3, the examiner should administer Items 1 and 2 in reverse sequence until the child obtains a perfect score on two consecutive items.

The Block Design subtest is discontinued after three consecutive zero-point responses. The child works directly from models constructed by the examiner on Items 1 and 2 and constructs the remaining designs based on the pictorial models presented in the Stimulus Book. Demonstrations are provided by the examiner on both trials of Items 1—3. The second trials of each of these three items are administered only if the child is unable to assemble the blocks correctly within the time limit. Item 1 has a second time limit, Items 2—5 have a second time limit, Items 6—10 have a second time limit, and Items 11—14 have a second time limit.

Item 1 utilizes two blocks, Items 2—10 utilize four blocks, and the remaining items include all nine blocks. All incorrect responses, including rotations, should be recorded on the Record Form by sketching the design constructed by the child. Correct responses are indicated by placing a checkmark over the grid of stimulus blocks associated with those items on the Record Form. Any hypotheses that are generated from this list, however, must be tested with other methods and data sources. Some children use a trial-and-error approach, whereas others appear to approach the construction of a design haphazardly, seemingly without learning from earlier errors.

Other children develop a strategy and use it consistently throughout the subtest. Does the child examine the problem systematically and appear to plan carefully before arranging the blocks, or does the child approach the task impulsively? Note whether children seem clumsy in their manipulation of the blocks, have hands that are noticeably trembling, or move very quickly and steadily. Note how well they tolerate frustration. Do they persist past the time limit, or do they give up with time to spare? If a child performs surprisingly low on Block Design relative to other PRI subtests or to the remainder of subtests in general , that weakness might be related to a slow establishment of rapport, emotional content of the child, metacognitive issues of the child, or cognitive issues of the child.

However, examiners who are testing brain-injured individuals—or anyone who is believed to need a more gradual introduction to the cognitive assessment—would be wise to administer the supplemental Picture Completion subtest before administering Block Design. Similarly, whenever a child performs poorly on the last couple of tasks administered during a test session, examiners need to consider factors such as fatigue or boredom. Given these caveats, the examiner is reminded that the WISC-IV was intended to be administered in the order presented in the manual.

Although there are times when this is not advisable e. It is important that rapport be established and maintained throughout the evaluation. The WISC-IV Similarities subtest requires the examinee to describe how two words that represent common objects or concepts are similar. This material is used by permission ities subtest.

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Overly elaborate responses may suggest obsessiveness. Of course, data from other sources are necessary to support or rule out this hypothesis. Items 1 and 2 on the Similarities subtest are teaching items. Thus, if the child does not respond or provides an incorrect response to either Item 1 or Item 2, the examiner provides the correct response. However, if a child fails to provide a correct response on the remaining items i. Neutral queries may be given throughout the subtest to clarify vague or ambiguous responses.

Digit Span Forward requires the examinee to repeat numbers verbatim as they were stated by the examiner. Digit Span Backward requires the examinee to repeat numbers in the reverse order as they were stated by the examiner. Each item has two trials. If an examinee fails both trials of a Digits Forward item, testing is discontinued and the examiner proceeds to the sample of Digits Backward. The Digits Backward task should be discontinued after a score of zero is obtained on both trials of an item.

Clinical judgment must be exercised in determining whether one or more of these factors is responsible for a spuriously low score. Such interference may spoil the subtest, rendering it uninterpretable. Such behavior may indicate impulsivity. Such a pattern may indicate learning or may simply be a warm-up effect.

For Sample Items A and B, if the child provides a correct response the examiner should inquire as to the reason the child chose the items.

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If the child fails to provide a response, the examiner provides a reason. If the child provides an incorrect response, the examiner should provide the correct response as well as the reason the items go together. The stimulus material for the Coding subtest is the Response Booklet. The different Coding forms have their own separate pages in the Response Booklet. There are no reverse rules for the Coding subtest. The subtest is discontinued after seconds. The directions for Coding are very lengthy and contain a lot of important detail.

Examiners must be prepared to look up from reading the directions to check that the child is following what is being said.

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Therefore, the directions should be rehearsed and read carefully to each child. During administration of the sample items, if the child makes any mistake it should be corrected immediately. If the child does not appear to understand the task after the sample items have been completed, further instruction should be given until the child clearly understands the task.

Once the subtest has begun, examiners should be astute observers. Occasionally, children appear frustrated at the end of the test because they are able to complete only a few lines. If this behavior is observed, you may want to reassure the child that most children are not able to complete the entire sheet. Any of the above-mentioned behaviors are worthy of noting.

Frequent use of the Coding key may indicate poor memory or insecurity. Failing to recognize that the key is numerically ordered i. This behavior may suggest impulsivity. This behavior may suggest good planning ability. These behaviors may indicate anxiety. Noting the number of symbols copied during 3-second intervals provides helpful behavioral information in this regard. This behavior may suggest obsessiveness, excessive attention to detail, or perfectionism.

Items 1—4 are picture items and are administered only if necessary, as reversal items. The printed words in the Stimulus Book must be used for children aged 9— 16, with the examiner pointing to each word as the word is pronounced. The Stimulus Book is not used for children aged 6—8. A child aged 6—8 begins with Item 5, a child aged 9—11 begins with Item 7, and a child aged 12—16 begins with Item 9.

The Vocabulary words are not presented in a meaningful context. Note behaviors such as leaning forward during administration to hear better, as well as indications of auditory discrimination problems e. Children never receive credit for simply pointing to an object, so if a child responds nonverbally he or she should be encouraged to give a verbal response. However, the examiner should never spell the word presented to the child. A child aged 6—7 is presented with the qualifying items counting numbers and reciting the alphabet , sample item, and then Item 1.

A child aged 8—16 is presented with the sample item, then Item 1. If the child provides an incorrect response on either trial of the sample item, the examiner should provide the correct response and readminister the trial. Each item is composed of three trials and each trial is presented only one time. The Letter-Number Sequencing subtest is discontinued if a child aged 6—7 is unable to respond correctly to either qualifying item, or if a child obtains three zero-point responses are obtained on all three trials of an item. Standard prompts are allowable on Items 1, 4, and 5.

Approaching the task in such a manner, although not consistent with examiner instructions, may lead to an adequate score, especially at the younger ages. Remember that when a child gives only verbatim responses as opposed to the appropriate reordered responses , you cannot draw valid inferences about his or her working memory. The examiner may provide assistance on the sample items only.

The child should indicate his or her response by pointing to the picture in the Stimulus Book or by stating the number associated with the desired answer. Does the child systematically examine the problem and appear to carefully plan before providing an answer, or does the child appear to be impulsive? This type of behavior may indicate that the child has become frustrated with the task.

A child aged 6—8 begins with Item 1; a child aged 9—11 begins with Item 3, and a child aged 12—16 begins with Item 5. The Comprehension subtest is discontinued after four consecutive zero-point responses. The questions may be repeated as many times as necessary without changing the wording. This is done in order to teach the child the type of response expected for each item. On Items 4, 9, 11, 13, 14, and 18—21, the child is required to give two general concepts in response to the question in order to receive full credit i.

For example, only part of the question may be answered. Some may be threatened or frustrated by the interruptions, and others may seem comfortable with the added structure. The stimulus material for the Symbol Search subtest is the Response Booklet. There are no reverse rules for the Symbol Search subtest.

Although the Symbol Search subtest has a time limit of seconds, prior to beginning the subtest children must go through sample items and practice items that are not timed. It is important not to skip any of the demonstration, even if the child appears to readily understand the task. The directions to the sample, practice, and test items are lengthy and require multiple rehearsals in order to be able to communicate them while maintaining rapport with the child. A minimum of paraphrasing is acceptable while reading the directions; however, every attempt should be made to state them verbatim from the manual.

The task should not begin until it is clear that the child understands what is required. The timing of seconds should be exact. Some children may purposefully or inadvertently skip items, and they should be reminded to complete items in order and to not skip any. Other children may appear to stop the task before the second time limit expires and should be reminded to continue. Obsessive concern with detail may be noted. Consistent glancing back and forth between the target and search groups before making a choice may indicate poor memory.

Noting the number of items answered during each of the four second intervals with the second time limit may provide helpful behavioral information in this regard. A child aged 6—8 begins with the sample item, then Item 1; a child aged 9—11 begins with the sample item, then Item 5; and a child aged 12— 16 begins with the sample item, then Item The Picture Completion subtest is discontinued after six consecutive zero-point responses.

This is done in order to teach the child the type of response expected from each item. Because each item on the Picture Completion subtest is timed, the examiner should be exact about his or her timing and begin timing immediately after the item is presented to the child. Timing stops when the child provides an answer or when 20 seconds have elapsed. Examiners most frequently make errors on the queries that may be given during the subtest e.

Other errors may occur when a child produces an unclear verbal response. In some cases, verbal or nonverbal responses are considered acceptable answers. In other cases, a child must provide a nonverbal response to receive credit for an initial verbal response. If a child provides verbal and nonverbal responses that differ i.


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It is noteworthy if a child consistently provides only nonverbal responses e. Although it is acceptable to give a nonverbal response, it is far more common to give a verbal response. The stimulus material for the Cancellation subtest is the Response Booklet. There are no age-based starting points for the WISC-IV Cancellation subtest; all children begin with the sample item, continue to the practice items, and then begin Item 1. There are no reverse rules on this subtest. The subtest items are discontinued after 45 seconds have elapsed.

This behavior may relate to immaturity. Noting the number of responses produced during each of the second item intervals may provide helpful behavioral information in this regard. Remember that the target items are identically placed on both the randomized and nonrandomized forms. There are two types of items contained within the Response Booklet: random i.

Each target item is an animal. If the child fails to mark a target or marks a distractor item during the practice items, the examiner should provide corrective feedback. It is important not to proceed to Item 1 until the child fully understands the task. Spontaneous corrections should not be discouraged, unless such corrections occur frequently enough to impede performance.

A child aged 6—8 begins with Item 5, a child aged 9—11 begins with Item 10, and a child aged 12—16 begins with Item In terms of item repetition, each item may be repeated as often as necessary, as long as the examiner does not reword the original item in any manner. If the child mis-hears a word and provides an incorrect answer, the examiner should repeat the entire item with emphasis on the mis-heard word.

This pertains especially to Items 4 and Such observations should be incorporated into interpretation. A child aged 6—7 begins with Item 3, a child aged 8—9 begins with Item 9, and a child aged 10—16 begins with Item If a child provides an incorrect answer or does not respond within 30 seconds to Items 1—3, the examiner should provide corrective feedback. The Arithmetic subtest is discontinued after four consecutive zero-point responses. It is important to note that the Arithmetic items are timed. The examiner should begin timing immediately after each item presentation and stop timing immediately after a child responds or 30 seconds have elapsed.

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In terms of item repetition, the examiner may repeat each item only once under two conditions i. There are corresponding pictures in the Stimulus Book for Items 1—5, while Items 6—34 are presented orally to the child. The child should not use a pencil or paper for this subtest.

If the child provides a spontaneous second answer within the second time limit, score the second response. This may be a sign of anxiety, distractibility, or competitiveness. This may be indicative of insecurity about math skills or may be an adaptive problem-solving tool for younger children. Does he or she respond quickly, or is he or she methodical and careful in his or her responding? When administering the Word Reasoning subtest, the examiner reads each item clue verbatim and gives the child 5 seconds to respond.

If the child does not respond within the 5-second time limit, or if the child requests repetition, the examiner should repeat the clue only once and wait 5 seconds more. If the child still fails to respond, or provides an incorrect response, the examiner should present the next clue or item as long as the discontinue rule has not been met. Beginning with Item 7, each item has two clues, and beginning with Item 16, each item has three clues. It is important to remember that when presenting items with two or three clues, the examiner must provide any clues that were already stated e.

If the child provides a correct response before all clues for an item have been presented, the examiner should score 1 point for the item and continue to the next item. The examiner may provide assistance only with the sample items. Note: The WISC-IV allows examinees to spontaneously correct responses at any time during the administration of the entire test and receive the appropriate credit on any subtest with the exception of memory tasks, processing-speed tasks, and timed tasks i. The WISC-IV also allows for the examiner to return to a previously given item and readminister it, if the examiner believes that the child knows the answer.

The only exception to this, of course, is if the answer to that item is addressed elsewhere on the test. Why is Digit Span placed so early in the subtest order? In order to avoid interference effects between Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing, these subtests were widely separated in the order of administration. Typically, if children lose the instructional set when three rows are introduced, they have reached the upper limit of their ability on this subtest; they lose track of the instructions and are drawn to the distracters included in each row of items. Children should be prompted as instructed each time this loss of set occurs.

Is color-blindness a factor in performance on the Cancellation subtest? Color-blindness is not a factor in performance on the Cancellation subtest. However, it is recognition of the shapes of the objects that is required to place them in categories properly. Which of the following subtests require the use of a stopwatch? Which of the following subtests listed does not have reverse rules? Which of the following subtests listed requires the use of a separate Response Booklet?

When a child requests to have instructions or an item repeated, the examiner must a repeat the entire set of instructions or item, not just a portion of it. Which of the following subtests can serve as a substitute for Digit Span? Which of the following subtests can serve as a substitute for Coding? When administering the Word Reasoning test, the examiner must repeat preceding clues as more clues are added. You are advising a parent how to describe testing to her 6-year-old child; which of the following is a good example of what the parent might say? When assessing a child with a visual impairment, it may be advisable to administer subtests from the VCI and WMI only.

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In which of the following situations can an examiner query a response? The response is ambiguous. The response is incomplete. All of the above. Which of the following can aid in establishing rapport with an examinee? True; 3. False; 6. True; False; The raw score by itself is meaningless because it is not normreferenced. That is, it has no meaning with respect to level of functioning compared to the general population.

The metrics for the various Wechsler standard scores are listed in Rapid Reference 3. Each subtest produces a scaled score ranging from 1 to 19 having a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3.

Essentials of IDEA for Assessment Professionals (Essentials of Psychological Assessment)

Intellectual abilities are distributed along the normal probability curve in the general population. Most children score within 1 SD below and above the mean on measures of these abilities. That is, about 68 out of every children tested obtain IQ or Index scores between 85 and The number of children earning extremely high scores i.

Three subtests Block Design, Digit Span, and Cancellation also allow for the calculation of process scores. The scoring of most subtests is not complicated. There are a few subtests, however, in which some element of subjectivity presents a challenge to the examiner during the scoring process. Tips for scoring responses that clearly involve subjectivity are discussed later in this chapter.

The Caution box at the top of page 98 presents common errors that examiners make in calculating the raw scores. Scaled Scores After the raw scores have been transferred from the inside of the Record Form to the front cover, they are converted to scaled scores. In the section of Table A. All other subtests compose the core battery.

The FSIQ is made up of the 10 core battery subtests unless a substitution has been made. See Table 3. Note that Information, Word Reasoning, Picture Completion, Arithmetic, and Cancellation are not used in the sum of scaled scores unless they are replacing another subtest. Subtest substitutions are discussed later in this chapter and are presented in Table 3. It is important to note that only one substitution per scale is allowed. Likewise, the examiner may choose to substitute the Picture Completion subtest for Block Design for the same examinee because Picture Completion requires either a verbal or a pointing response rather than the manual manipulation of objects.

Another situation in which a substitution may be warranted is when a core battery subtest is spoiled or invalidated for some reason. For example, when a child clearly misunderstands the directions for the Coding subtest, rendering the results uninterpretable, the Cancellation test may be used along with Symbol Search to calculate a PSI. This student did not know the alphabet and recognized only a few letters of the alphabet including A—C.

Alternatively, he was able to count to 20 and recognized numbers 1—10 readily. He earned a Digit Span scaled score of 11, an Arithmetic scaled score of 10, and a Letter-Number Sequencing scaled score of 5. Substituting Arithmetic for Letter-Number Sequencing resulted in a WMI of , which was considered a more accurate representation of his working memory ability. Finally, using a supplemental test for a core battery test may be done when the child earns a raw score of zero on one core battery test only and earns credit for items on an appropriate supplemental test. Table 3. In general, although there may be many situations in which substitutions of supplemental subtests for core battery subtests is judged appropriate, they should be done cautiously and in accordance with the guidelines established by the test publisher.

One substitution is allowed for each Index score. Picture Completion may substitute for one core PRI subtest. Arithmetic may substitute for either WMI subtest. Cancellation may substitute for either PSI subtest. A supplemental subtest may replace only one subtest in an Index, not two. The standard subtest administration order should be followed even when substituting supplemental tests for core battery tests. For example, if Cancellation is being used to replace Coding, then Cancellation should be administered in the order in which it is intended to be administered in the battery.

That is, if Coding was not administered, then Cancellation would be administered as the 10th subtest in the core battery or as the 11th subtest when all supplemental tests are administered. For example, the subtests that compose the VCI i. Despite our belief that Gf is involved in responding to VCI items, the common or most robust portion of the variance among the VCI core battery subtests is Gc. However, when Word Reasoning is substituted for Vocabulary, for example, the composition of the VCI changes, consisting of items that rely more substantially on Gf.

The extent to which the underlying constructs of Indexes change as a result of substitutions was discussed in Chapter 1 and will be addressed again in the next chapter. A zero raw score does not mean that a child lacks a certain ability. However, due to the multitude of problems associated with this technique, examiners are advised to avoid it whenever possible see WISC-IV Administration and Scoring Manual, Wechsler, , pp.

If an examiner determines through his or her sound clinical judgment that prorating is required, the following should be noted: 1. The sum of scaled scores for the Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning Indexes may be prorated only when two of the three contributing subtest scaled scores are valid. Table A. Subtest raw scores of zero must be from different Indexes. The VCI may be calculated when no more than one raw score of zero is included in its derivation.

If a child obtains one or more raw scores of zero on the subtests that contribute to the VCI, then the supplemental tests i. A supplemental test on which the child earns a basal should substitute for the core battery subtest having a raw score of zero. Remember, no more than one substitution is permissible. The PRI may be calculated when no more than one raw score of zero is included in its derivation. If a child obtains one or more raw scores of zero on the subtests that contribute to the PRI, then the Picture Completion subtest should be administered.

If the child earns a basal on Picture Completion, then this subtest should substitute for one of the core battery subtests having a raw score of zero. The WMI should not be calculated when a raw score of zero is obtained on any subtest that will be included in its derivation. If a child obtains a raw score of zero on one of the two core subtests that contribute to the WMI, then Arithmetic should be administered.

If the child earns a basal on Arithmetic, then this subtest should substitute for the core battery subtest having a raw score of zero. The PSI should not be calculated when a raw score of zero is obtained on any subtest that will be included in its derivation. If a child obtains one raw score of zero on one of the two core subtests that contribute to the PSI, then Cancellation should be administered. If the child achieves a basal on Cancellation, then this subtest should substitute for the core battery subtest having a raw score of zero. The sum of scaled scores for the Working Memory and Processing Speed Indexes cannot be prorated unless an appropriate and valid supplemental subtest scaled score is available for either scale i.

This term should be marked clearly on the front page of the Record Form and explained fully in the psychological report. In addition to these criteria, there are some basic rules to consider when scoring verbal subtests. First, a child must not be penalized for poor grammar or improper pronunciation. Although grammar and pronunciation are important to note for clinical reasons, it is the content of what the child says that is most important for scoring a response. Second, long and elaborate answers are not necessarily worth more points than short, concise ones.

At other times it is unclear whether the second or third response is intended as the actual response. In such a case, if no response spoils part of the long response, then simply score the best response i. It is important to note that in addition to the subtest raw score calculations, three WISC-IV subtests presented in this section i. The procedures for calculating process scores for the Block Design, Digit Span, and Cancellation subtests appear in the sections that follow. This may be accomplished by scoring 0, 1, or 2 on Items 1—3, and 4 points for correct designs completed within the time limit with no rotation errors on Items 4— Block Design No Time Bonus process score unavailable.

Maximum raw score 69 points. Use of time bonus points restricted to last 6 items. Block Design No Time Bonus process score available. Maximum raw score 68 points. Give credit for responses that are of the same caliber as those in the manual. Items 1—5 score 0 or 1 point, 6—19 score 0, 1, or 2 points.

Maximum raw score 33 points. Items 1—2 score 0 or 1 point, 3—23 score 0, 1, or 2 points. Maximum raw score 44 points. Spontaneous correction and readministration of item s with correct answer achieves a score. Maximum raw score 30 points. Maximum raw score 32 points. Correct answers are printed in color. Just choose the best one.

Do not score any items that may have been completed beyond the time limit e. If the child completes all of the items before the second time limit, stop timing and record the time in seconds on the Record Form. Award appropriate bonus points for Coding A. Be sure to use the appropriate side of the scoring key depending on the form A or B administered. Symbols do not have to be perfectly drawn to obtain credit, but they must be recognizable. Maximum raw score 60 points.

Score 0 points for incorrect items. Then say the letters in alphabetical order. A child can score up to 3 points i. If the initial response is repeated, or a second concept is not provided, the item score remains 1. If the child completes all of the items before the second time limit, stop timing and record the time on the Record Form. Maximum raw score 60 points on Symbol Search B.

Award credit for any response that is of the same caliber as the samples. Strict second time limit for each item. WISC-IV Distinctions are made between verbal responses that require pointing and those that should be scored 1 point without pointing. Maximum raw score 38 points. Do not score any item that may have been completed beyond the time limit e. If the child completes the item before the second time limit, stop timing and record the time on the Record Form. Award appropriate bonus points. The total raw score for Cancellation is the sum of the item raw scores for both Items 1 and 2.

The only exception to this is on items where money or time is the unit; on such items, alternate numerical responses must be accompanied by the correct unit e. Maximum raw score 34 points. Score a response as correct if the response provided is of the same caliber as the listed sample responses. Rapid Reference 3. The separate scores allow practitioners to evaluate these hypotheses with individual children. Practitioners should be aware that most children in the standardization sample achieve very similar scores on Block Design and Block Design No Time Bonus.

In fact, a difference as small as two points is considered rare. If you wanted to reduce the effects of speeded performance, why not completely eliminate a time bonus from Block Design? In general, higher ability children tend to perform the task faster. Without time bonuses, Block Design is not as good of a measure of high ability. However, despite the prompt, the child still receives credit for his or her original answer because the response is one of the two correct responses listed.

Items 4 and 5 prompt the child to place the numbers or letters in sequential order. On these items no credit is awarded if the child has to be prompted because, unlike Item 1, the original sequence is not one of the correct responses listed for these items. You may prompt the child once for Items 1, 4, and 5; you cannot prompt a child on any of the other items for this subtest.

Regardless of how the child reorders the numbers and letters, he or she is using working memory in order to place the numbers in sequence and the letters in sequence. Is this really working memory? The early items measure short-term auditory memory, which is a precursor skill to working memory. Thus, for younger children, Letter-Number Sequencing may assess short-term memory, a prerequisite skill for the development of working memory.

This is analogous to the difference between Digit Span Forward and Backward, which assesses short-term memory and working memory, respectively. Performance on the early items of Letter-Number Sequencing in younger children may be related to performance on Digit Span Forward with any differences potentially attributable to automaticity of letters as compared to numbers. Because the child received credit for his or her initial response to this trial, it is not necessary to award additional credit if the child attempts to correct his or her initial response after the prompt.

If the child provides a correct response to the trial after the prompt, do not award credit for the trial. If the child forgets to sequence the numbers and provides either of the designated incorrect responses, provide the prompt as indicated. Why does there seem to be multiple responses for some of the items on Picture Concepts? The Picture Concepts subtest is scored with either 0 or 1 point. The keyed response represents the best single response in terms of the level of reasoning involved.

The keyed response was determined through years of research in Pilot, Tryout, and Standardization phases of development. The answer to Matrix Reasoning item 26 does not appear to be the only possible answer. Item 26 is the second 3 X 3 item. If the child follows the pattern from 24, they answer correctly 1 on item Children can arrive at a different answer 2 if they use one transformation rule from cell 1 to cell 2, and a different one from cell 2 to cell 3. This is not the most parsimonious solution, and analyses indicated that children who arrived at the correct response 1 had higher ability levels.

Some of the responses I get on Word Reasoning seem correct to me, but are listed as incorrect. What was the rationale for determining correct and incorrect responses? Some of these responses may have been given 1 point in a 0, 1, 2 point scoring rubric. Such responses may be correct, or partially correct, but do not represent a high level of abstract reasoning. They also tended to be given by children with lower ability.

Not all possible responses are included in the examples, however, and the examiner may give credit for a response not listed if she or he determines that it is at the same level of abstraction as the credited responses. What should I do if a child writes too lightly to be seen through the Cancellation scoring template? You do not need the scoring template to score the subtest. If necessary, remove the template and simply count each animal with a mark through it and each nonanimal with a mark through it, being sure to double-check your work.

On a Similarities subtest item, Jessica, age 7, provides several responses that vary greatly in quality, but do not spoil her response. If a child obtains total raw scores of 0 on two of the three subtests that compose the Verbal Comprehension scale, including potential substitutes, no VCI or FSIQ can be derived. Susan, age 12, attempts to self-correct an item on the Coding subtest.

You should a b c d score the last response given by Susan within the time limit. If an examiner administered additional items to a child beyond the point at which testing should have discontinued, the examiner should a include all additional items in the total raw score. Hence, you administer him items prior to his age-appropriate start point. Samuel answered these items incorrectly, but obtained perfect scores on his ageappropriate start point and subsequent item. In this case, you should a consider the subtest spoiled and do not calculate a raw score. Although prorating sum of scaled scores is allowed in some situations, it should be avoided when possible.

When scoring the Symbol Search subtest, you notice that Angela, age 9, skipped some items. You should count the items that she skipped in the incorrect total. True; 4. True; 9. A series of steps is provided that will allow the practitioner to organize WISC-IV data in meaningful ways and interpret performance within the context of contemporary theory and research.

Previously, Kaufman , stressed ipsative methods for identifying areas of strength and weakness, whereas Flanagan and colleagues emphasized normative approaches e. Our new method links ipsative analysis with normative analysis, rather than focusing exclusively on either one or the other. In addition, a comprehensive worksheet that walks the examiner through our interpretation method is included in Appendix F and is used throughout this chapter to illustrate each step. Rapid Reference 4. Three descriptive category systems are reported in Rapid References 4. The normative descriptive system, reported in Rapid Reference 4.

Although either system may be used, of the two, we prefer the latter. Nonetheless, some practitioners may prefer using a system with both descriptive categories similar to the traditional ones presented in Rapid Reference 4. An alternative categorical system of this nature is provided in Rapid Reference 4.

For example, according to the information presented in Rapid Reference 4. Figure 4. Table 4. STEP 2. Following similar logic, we recommend the following steps for determining the best way to summarize overall intellectual ability. Step 2a. For subtests, report scaled scores and percentile ranks only. See Rapid Reference 4. Answer the following question: Is the size of the standard score difference less than 1. In the case of Mark see Table 4. Proceed to Step 3. STEP 3. Determine Whether Each of the Four Indexes Is Unitary and Thus Interpretable When the variability among subtest scaled scores within an Index is unusually large, then the Index does not provide a good estimate of the ability it is intended to measure and, therefore, is not interpretable.

In other words, when a substantial difference between the scaled scores composing an Index is found, the Index cannot be interpreted as representing a unitary ability. Step 3a. Determine whether the size of the difference among subtest scaled scores within the VCI comprising three subtests is unusually large. Subtract the lowest subtest scaled score from the highest subtest scaled score. Answer the following question: Is the size of the difference less than 1. This value is more than 23 points, so her FSIQ is noninterpretable. Consequently, her GAI is also noninterpretable.

Susan earned a Full Scale IQ FSIQ of 76, but this estimate of her overall intellectual ability cannot be interpreted meaningfully because she displayed too much variability in the four Indexes that compose this full scale score. Thus, when the variability among the subtest scaled scores that compose a WISC-IV Index is not unusually large, then the ability presumed to underlie the Index is considered unitary and may be interpreted. A difference of less than 1.


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Therefore, in this example, the VCI represents a unitary ability and may be interpreted as a reliable and valid estimate of Crystallized Intelligence Gc. Step 3b. Follow the same procedure as in Step 3a to determine the interpretability of the PRI also comprising three subtests. Step 3c. Step 2b. Subtract the lower scaled score from the higher one. Follow this same procedure as in step 3c to determine the interpretability of the Processing Speed Index PSI, also comprising two subtests. Calculate the difference between the highest and lowest VCI subtest scaled scores. Proceed to Step 3b.

Calculate the difference between the highest and lowest PRI subtest scaled scores. Proceed to Step 3c. Calculate the difference between the WMI subtest scaled scores. Proceed to Step 3d. Step 3d. Calculate the difference between the PSI subtest scaled scores.