We are always looking for new technologies to help our patients be their best selves.
And this is particularly important when it comes to educational intervention.
A learning assessment helps to identify a child’s learning potential, and address any barriers stopping them from achieving it.
The WISC — the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children — is a tool for assessing a child’s academic progress and potential.
We have been using the WISC for years, and recently invested in the updated version, the WISC-V.
It’s been reevaluated, redesigned and retooled to provide a more comprehensive picture of a child’s learning ability.
But what is it, exactly, and how will it help your child?
The test itself takes between 90 and 120 minutes to perform.
It produces a Full Scale IQ that represents your child’s general intellectual ability.
The results then help to identify the issues that affect your child’s ability to learn…
And to recommend the best early intervention methods going forward.
As well as getting a snapshot of overall ability, 5 key areas that affect learning are assessed and evaluated:
- Verbal Comprehension
- Visual Spatial Index
- Fluid Reasoning Index
- Working Memory Index, and
- Processing Speed Index
By assessing each of these areas, our psychologists get a unique insight into your child’s behaviour and performance.
Perhaps they perform well in some areas and not in others…
The focus of intervention will then be placed on the latter, while the former skills can be utilised more effectively.
Maybe there are discrepancies between their scores and their performance and school…
Then other potential barriers to performance can be looked into — such as social or emotional issues.
Some children will perform particularly well in certain areas…
This information can then be used to focus on their strengths in subject and school choice.
And when certain problem areas are particular significant…
A learning disorder or difficulty can be identified, and the best course of action can be taken to address it.
In the educational psychology field, the WISC-V is considered the gold-standard measurement of intellectual functioning.
Over 70 years of research has gone into the development of the test, with continual advancements and adjustments made for new findings in neuropsychology, psychology, technology and changes in population.
That’s why we invest in having the most up-to-date versions of the test to best help our patients.
The 5th addition of the WISC-V has beneficial new features including:
- An expanded test framework. A greater number and more specific assessment tools give more readily available insights into potential and performance, and more specific analyses of certain factors that directly impact learning ability.
- New Index Scores. The addition of more index assessments further addresses specific barriers or supports to learning, such as auditory, non-verbal and storage and retrieval issues. The new Quantitative Reasoning Index, for example, further and more accurately predicts reading and math achievement potential, creativity, future academic success and success in gifted programs.
- More subtests. When the results of the primary testing in the WISC-V need to be further refined, there are a wide number of further subtests that can be performed, including visual puzzles, figure weights and picture spans, allowing the greatest insight into barriers to achieving their academic potential.
- More interpretive power. The new scoring system and advanced tests allow our psychologists to generate the greatest insight into your child’s potential extremely quickly, so you can work on solutions to their issues from the get-go.
Our psychologists spend a huge amount of time scoring, analysing and discussing WISC profiles with each other, and then a large amount of time writing useful and helpful reports to assist parents in determining the right interventions for their child.
Our team make sure to observe each child closely while they’re being assessed, too.
That way, they can get an overall picture of what factors may be influencing their performance.
And importantly, while the test may seem intense on paper, it is actually a fun and engaging process for kids, and one that helps our psychologists to get to know them and build rapport.
From there, further testing may be recommended.
We always like to combine the WISC and WIAT assessments together to get the most comprehensive insight into a child’s learning ability.
And we’ll be telling you all about the WIAT in part 2 of this post!
When it comes to addressing problems or untapped potentials in learning, socialising or in emotions, early intervention is key.
And a learning assessment can be a great way to help your child thrive — academically and otherwise — during their formative school years.
If you’d like more information or to discuss your child’s learning ability with our team, call us in the office for an initial consult.
And if you’re in Melbourne and want some expert advice about learning assessment for your child?
Click the button below to book your initial parent consultation and get the right advice for your child’s needs.