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WIATT results

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#1 Grumpy1

Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:55 PM


I've written about my DD's WISC test results in a different post.  Basically she wasn't given a FSIQ due to large descrepencies.  She is having lots of trouble with maths hence the reason I had her tested.  Basically she scored overall in the high/average range.  Anyway I wont go over the WISC again.

I just have a question about the WIATT .  She was tested at 8 years 3 months.  Her composite score for English was 118 or 88%.  Therefore she just falls short of superior which starts at 120 from what I've read.  I actually believe she was affected by lack of sleep the night before the test and perhaps would have performed better had she been better rested.  Therefore I feel that she may really fall into the superior range.  Either way she is at the top end of high/average.  What I'm wondering does the score of 118 correlate to an IQ in English ability?  I have copied below what I have read about the WIATT.  I ask as she excells at English and finds a lot of it to easy.  Is there anyway a child with this score should be extended in the classroom?

The first step in analyzing scores is to look at the main WIAT scores. The average score for each test is 100, and the examinee's standard score is labeled STD. Anything from 90 to 109 is considered Average, although 100 is exactly in the middle. Scores from 110 to 119 are considered High Average, from 120 to 129 are Superior, and from 130 and up are Very Superior. On the other end of the spectrum, from 80 to 89 is considered Low Average, 70 to 79 is Borderline, and 69 and below are Extremely Low.

#2 lotsa

Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

It could be a load of rubbish, but I have been told by an educational psychologist that on average Australian children perform quite well on WIAT as we start a few aspects of learning earlier??? No idea how accurate that is.

#3 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

WIAT is not designed as a test for giftedness. It's also not what English extension should be based on. It's a test that identifies students' strengths and weaknesses. It appears from the scores you posted that your DD has strengths in English and a weakness in maths. IIRC the weakness in mathematics is quite significant for at least one area.

This indicates that she might need some intervention in Mathematics and that her English skills are such that she should be working in the 'top groups' within her classroom - Guided Reading with similar peers at a high reading level, spelling lists that contain more complex words etc. With the current pedagogy of differentiation and the new curriculum, extension isn't necessarily what parents expect it to be.

The traditional view of extension is that students are presented with, and expected to complete work that is above their Year Level. For some educators, the idea of extension has been that the student simply does more of the same work than everyone else. Differentiation means that the student is doing work that enriches their experience and extends it in lateral directions to give depth to their experiences. For example a student who has high reading comprehension might be given a more detailed Reading Response task that asks higher level applied and inferential questions. They might work more independently than the student who is reading the same level but still learning to Make Connections in their reading.

It has been my experience that many students are able to decode, and some even to comprehend at a significantly higher level than they can spell or construct writing. Therefore it is sometimes appropriate to extend in some areas of a subject but not others. A child struggling with letter formation may not begin using joined writing at the beginning of Year 3 as they have not yet mastered unjoined writing. Therefore they might spend longer on handwriting practice even though they are being extended in spelling through more complex words.

I have never heard of a person having a high IQ in a particular subject area. It is my understanding that your IQ is your IQ and it's not measured in parts. A strength in a subject doesn't mean the child is ready for working above year level, nor is this usually appropriate. However it is frequently possible for the child to do some work that delves deeper into what is being presented.

I would make  a time to talk with your child's teacher and discuss the results to see what strategies can be put in place to assist your DD to work on more lateral and independent tasks.

ETA: lotsa - I would say that is incorrect because there is an Australian Standardised Edition used here.

Edited by howdo, 23 February 2013 - 10:03 PM.

#4 Grumpy1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:52 AM

thanks for the responses.  I am doing what I can to help her with maths and this year we are off to a good start as she seems to be doing a lot better according to her teacher.  I've noticed a difference myself.  I read that lack of sleep can severely affect results and as she usually needs about 10 hrs and only had 6 the night before the test I do think it impacted on her WMI and PSI and probably all areas.

I understnad what you're saying about it not be a test of giftedness.  I realise she doesn't fall into this range.    With the WIATT, however, they do give you age and year equvilants alongside their overal percentage.  For example DD got 90% on Comphrehension an age Eq. of 11:8 and year Eq. 6:8.  so her comp. is pretty good.  This was when she was in year 3.  She is in the top reading group so that's good.  Her spelling words seem to easy for her but as I've said I'm not sure how well she uses them in context.  She has beautiful handwiritng and can cursive write if required.  So I suppose I shouldn't use the word extended as this only applies to gifted kids but as you say I thinnk she is more capable of greater in depth experiences.

#5 José

Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

The wiat is an achievement test and doesn't necessarily reflect giftedness or high iq. Two students could have the same level of achievem but one msy have needed weekly tutoring to get to that level and perhaps the other rarely attends school. Although they have the same level of achievement on one test at one point in time they may have very different iq scores. No tests should be considered in isolation.  Also, although these tests fo generate a number they akso generate a range which helps take into account that a person may have had more/ less sleep on a given night and so may perform differenly.

#6 Grumpy1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:17 AM

Yes I understand it means ability and has nothing to do with giftedness.  My DD seems to be naturally inclined towards English.  She has had no tutoring etc.  I am not saying that she is gifted just that since she seems to be working beyond many of her peers in English that perhaps she needs some work that extends her more.  In my opinion just because a child isn't gifted doesn't mean that they might not need to be given more advanced work whether they were hothoused or not...Not sure what terminology to use.  

As for the sleep issue the Ed. psychologist noted how tired she was and said that this may have affected her tests scores.  If you read up on what can affect scores and make them vary they list lack of sleep and hunger as the 2 main things that may interfere with an accurate result.

#7 lotsa

Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:18 PM

Howdo, I brought that up too and according to the ed psychologist she said that many test will have a few hiccups here and there and in her experience the Australian kids perform higher than expected for that area, so even though it is Australian normed it is American designed and it was a design fault. She could have been speaking absolute rubbish for all I know, but the same thing was brought up by a child clinical psychologist that my other DD is a patient of.

OP, you can request that the school psychologist do some more achievement based testing with your DD if you are worried that she underperformed based on tiredness?

#8 Grumpy1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

I don't think it's necessary to retest her.  Her score would probably only vary by a few points which makes no real difference.  My issue is whether I should request some deeper level work and testing (again not saying because she's gifted) based on the results that I have and what she seems to be demonstrating in class.  Anyway thanks for your response.

#9 Grumpy1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

I just wanted to add to the post regarding low Working memory and processing speeds which my DD had on her test.  It's been a year since I had the tests done but when DD showed these areas as low I was a little suprised.  I have noticed that the responses I got from people mentioned that this may indicate a LD or ADD or audtitory processing disorder...there are numerous things that can cause them to be low.  Gosh as a parent you can really freak out with the list of possible diagnosis that can go along with low WM and PSI.  What I have learnt is that a low PSI is not necessarily caused by a LD.  I have copied what a read below.  It is not a copy of the full article but it was reassuring that other things, even simple things such as pencil grip, can cause the test to show a low PSI.  I was particularly interested in the creative thinker because this really describes my DD to a T.  So although she may be slower it is possible that it is not due to some problem but what I see as a blessing really :


The process of thinking creatively or divergently can also be time consuming. It is not so much the speed of the thinking process, but the excursions the creative thinker takes that may delay the answering process. While some children are engaged in more direct responses, the creative thinker may not only question the question, but may want to consider several possible answers as valid. This more indirect kind of thinking simply takes longer. On oral questions and answers, the teacher and class may already have moved onto a different topic while the creative thinker may be concluding about an earlier question. It then becomes too late to respond. In norm-referenced, timed achievement tests, this kind of thinking simply takes too long to result in a good test score. The creative thinker is not necessarily aware of his or her different style of thinking, but the lack of speed often prevents the creative child from feeling intelligent. Instead, these children sense they are different and may have some very mixed feelings as to whether or not these feelings of difference are good.

Also Working memory does not mean that your child has a bad memory.  What it means is that they have more trouble remembering, and holding in their mind, numerous steps involved in calculating a problem for instance.  That is they are OK with simple problems but faced with more complex tasks, which have several steps involved, can overwhelm them and cause a short curicuit so to speak.  so it helps if instructions are written down for them, sort of like a manual.  As a result repetetion can work and this is what I hav found with DD.  If she can committ times tiables to memory she can then use more of her memory to work out the next steps and the answer.  I think that doing mental arithmetic must be hard as they must hold it in there heads.  I wish that my DD had a work sheet where she could work out problems on a piece of paper to help her through the various steps involved.  I believe thjis would help tremendously.

#10 LiveLife

Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

A few thoughts from me

With regard to extension work in her strength areas, the way I see it is 1020% of her classmates are statistically going to be stronger so that means the teacher should already be catering for up to 5/6 stronger kids so I would have thought she would be easily catered for with the usual differentiation offered by all teachers.  For example, there may be three spelling lists or 3 different comprehension tasks or 3 grammar tasks or 3 novels to study or 3 levels of homework.  Differentiation or extension beyond the norm would be most likely only needed for those in the top 1% where the teacher needs to find work, programs, resources that are often not readily available in their room.  However, if she isn’t challenged by normal class differentiation then by all means ask the teacher for more.

Memory is a complicated skill to assess with so many components such as working memory, short term memory, long term memory, acoustic memory, sensory memory etc etc.  Your daughters average WM result does not mean she can’t remember things but it does mean finding the easiest way to shift concepts into her long term memory is what you are after and obviously the current state of affairs with her memorising times tables is below average (despite all your huge efforts) and yet her WM is actually in the average band (so based purely on that you’d have expected her to have it nailed by now).  Keep searching for strategies to make this process easier is what I’d suggest. And don’t forget the posters suggesting a trip to a behavioural optometrist or looking into dysgraphia etc for a few more insights.  As I see it, with the effort you’ve been putting in at home on timestables alone she should easily know them all by now in yr 4 so something is a miss.

#11 Grumpy1

Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

With regards to the times tables we have only really just started them so I don't think it's time to abandon them quite yet.  In fact it may be the very reason she is doing better.  She is getting them so I guess you were under the mistaken impression that she wasn't.  Memory is complex.  However since the Ed. psychologist didn't seemed overly concerned about her and stated that she should be doing well across all areas of the curriculum then I don't want to become alarmist.  That's not to say that i wont explore other avenues/answers if we really hit a road block.  

So I guess your saying there is no reason to think she can achieve at a higher level in English?  I just question this.  Besides there may be some who are at a higher level and then there may be none.  Statisticallly one would think that there are, and there probably are 1 -2, but certainly not 20% of her class mates in her case.  I just don't think they use different levels at our school.  All year 4's are given the same work to do as far as I know.

#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:19 PM

QUOTE (Grumpy1 @ 24/02/2013, 09:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just don't think they use different levels at our school.  All year 4's are given the same work to do as far as I know.

That would be highly unlikely. Children are on different reading levels, in different spelling groups and have different maths/numeracy groups usually based in part on ability. It's a very widespread pedagogical viewpoint and one that is practised across the board.

Even when the same work is presented there are a vast array of tasks that have varied entry points to allow children to work at their own level or ability. Additionally while ostensibly doing the same task there are frequently different expected outcomes for different children.

Yes, it is possible your child should be being extended in English, however as I said before this will not always manifest upwardly but may manifest laterally. Particularly as students get to the upper primary years - 4+ extension is shown in the depth of work, the complexities of their product, not in doing work in the Year Level above.

Have a chat to your child's teacher about what is being done to cater to her learning needs in English. It can be surprising what exactly shows a child has advanced skill because being able to spell and read years beyond their age doesn't always translate into constructing writing or other responses at the same sophistication.

#13 Grumpy1

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Thanks howdo.  Yes the reading levels are all different as you say.  I suppose that the teacher is aware if they are demonstrating that they can work at a higher level so I think I'll just leave it in her hands.  I suppose one of the problems for parents is that it is not made clear to us if they are being "extended" (don't know what other term to use).  It doesn't say on the report cards so I just assumed they all worked at basically the same level.  Perhaps DD is already getting some "lateral extension."  It's not overly important I suppose I just want to make sure that DD is fuflling her potential as I see it.

#14 Grumpy1

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Thanks howdo.  Yes the reading levels are all different as you say.  I suppose that the teacher is aware if they are demonstrating that they can work at a higher level so I think I'll just leave it in her hands.  I suppose one of the problems for parents is that it is not made clear to us if they are being "extended" (don't know what other term to use).  It doesn't say on the report cards so I just assumed they all worked at basically the same level.  Perhaps DD is already getting some "lateral extension."  It's not overly important I suppose I just want to make sure that DD is fuflling her potential as I see it.

#15 TillyTake2

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:17 AM

I've been reading your posts with interest but I'm wondering what it is that prompted all this testing in the first place? You seem very keen to label your daughter & point out areas where she is particuarly "clever" as well as question & "fix" areas where she is perhaps average but not up to your standard.

Is there a reason for all this testing? Is she struggling at school? Are her tea he's worried? She's only in year 3!! It seems a lot of pressure for a very young child.

#16 Grumpy1

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:46 AM

DD had the testing done back in year 3.  She is now in year 4.  I had the testing done due to her difficulties with maths.  I was trying to get to the bottom of it since she had done well in year one and then fell to D's in year 2-3.  The testing did show problems with PSI and WMI but as I've said I think that many people do have lower scores in these areas and it may not necessarily translate to a LD.  Hence the reason why I speak of her being tired at the time of testing.  Also why I explored other reasons why she may have lower scores in this area.  ie WM means they have some difficulty in holding numerous things in their mind at one time.  Doesn't mean they have a poor memory as such.  PSI can be caused by many things too.  My belief if that she is highly creative and perhaps this explains why her PSI is lower.  That is creative thinkers take longer to answer as they tend to dwell longer on the question trying to work out what it means.

I'm not sure what you mean by labelling my DD?  I am just using the test results to understand her ability.  A score of 88% in English is a pretty good score I think?  The Ed. Psychologist certainly thought so.  Certainly it is not in the gifted range and I am not claiming that it is...So I guess it was a bit myseterious to me as to why she was doing well in English but failing maths since her IQ test suggests that this should not be the case according to the notes form the Ed. psychologist.  That is her intelligence meant that she should be capable of meeting the requirements of the school curriculum and be doing quite well across all areas.  Again this is what the Ed. psychologist said on the report.  

I also don't know what you are infering by saying my standard?  It is not my standard it is her standard.  Also not sure what you mean by pressure?  If you mean that I am trying to help her do better at maths than yes I am.  I believe that most parents would in my position.  If you are refering to English then I was merely questioning if she shouldn't be given some form of "extension" based on her test results.  It was a question as she has told me her readers and spelling are to easy.  There is no pressure on her apart from doing her times tables at home with me, as I  know a lot of people do, and also about 1/2 extra work with maths with me so I can help her achieve better.  Is there something wrong with that?

Yes her teacher was concerned about the fall in maths ability.  If your child went from a B in maths to a D then you may have similar concerns.  I was advised by her previous school to have her tested as they thought she might need acceleration.  I am not sure if this just applied to English as I never had her tested until her results began to fall several years later.

#17 Grumpy1

Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

In addition these tests, by there very nature, put children into catagories.  They are not made up by me and I am not labeling her just attempting to get a better understanding by those more versed in the language of these tests.  Putting the word clever into connotation marks irked me as it seemed to be suggesting that she wasn't.  

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