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WISC was originally developed by Dr Weschsler as an individually administered intelligence test for children in the age of 6 to around 16 years inclusively that can be completed without any either reading or writing. In most cases, the standard time for administering WISC ranges from 65-80 minutes, and as an effect, it usually generate an IQ score which acts as a child's general intellectual capability. As a result, this essay critically evaluates Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children's measure of child's abilities, by the use of child developmental theories and research.
WISC has been applied not only as a tool for testing child's intelligence, but also as a clinical tool. There have been practitioners who have used this tool when diagnosing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as learning disabilities an example. This has been attained through a process entitled pattern analysis. In this process, there have been various subsets whose scores can be compared to another scoring, and clusters of unusually low scores in relation to other scores that are being searched for, (Smith, 2003). However, the study has not yet depicted this to being a very effective tool that can be applied during ADHD diagnosis or even learning capabilities. This is based on the fact that, a good number of children experiencing ADHD problem do not show some of the sub scores which seem to be reasonably bellow others. In addition, lots of children who depict such traits do not have ADHD. Other children patterns with learning disabilities have shown similar lack of usefulness of WISC as a diagnostic too. (Harwood, Miller, & Vasta, 2008).
During children diagnosis, best practice has suggested, a multi-factored evaluation has to be used as a learning problem, attention as well as emotional difficulties which can have similar signs, co-occur, reciprocally influencing each other. For instance, children having learning difficulties have the ability of becoming emotionally distraught which ends up affecting concentrations, which makes children to start exhibiting behaviour problems or even both, (Messer, & Millar, 1999). In addition, children having ADHD might also experience learning difficulties due to attention problems, or having learning disorder, along with mental retardation. According to cognitive development theory, "while diagnosis of any childhood difficulty should never be made based on IQ alone, the cognitive ability test can help rule out, in conjunction with other tests and sources of information, other explanations for problems, uncover co-morbid problems, and be a rich source of information when properly analyzed and care is taken to avoid relying simply on the single summary IQ score" (Miller, 2002).
Studies have concurred that, WISC is the best when evaluating intelligence, other than learning disabilities, (Richardson, 2000) and (Smith, 2003). This is because; the tool can be used in showing the discrepancies children intelligence, and performance in schools. In a clinical setting, the disabilities of learning in usually diagnosed through a comparison of intelligence scores and achievement tests' score. In addition, WISC has the ability of being used as being battery assessment part, with the aim of identifying intellectual giftedness strength along with weaknesses. When in combination with other measurement systems like the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment system II, and Kids memory scale, its clinical utility can be enhanced. Such combinations have been in a position of bringing out cognitive and adaptive functions, which are both significant in proper diagnosis of learning difficulties, along with learning and memory functioning that result to a richer picture of children's cognitive functioning, (Smith, 2003).
WISC has also been a co named with Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II UK, as a measure of academic achievement. This connection provides information based on cognitive abilities as well as academic achievement in children. Intellectual functioning tests are in school setting extensive evaluation of specific cognitive deficits that might contribute to low academic achievements as well as a prediction of future academic achievements, (Rutter & Rutter, 1993).