With so many risks faced by mothers of children with disabilities on a daily basis, having one less obstacle to overcome would be incredible.
If you have a child with special needs, you know it is incredibly difficult to get them to sit still for long periods of time. This doubles in difficulty whenever standardized testing is involved. For decades, neuropsychologists have used what’s called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale test for children as the benchmark intelligence quotient (IQ) test to determine the intellectual abilities of children with special needs. But what they don’t take into consideration is how this test can take up to 2 hours for a child to be completed – something a child with special needs might not be able to do. .
According to to a new study, researchers are finally looking at this problem and working on developing a shorter IQ test for children with special needs.
Researchers at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri are working to address this problem. To do this, they identified metrics in the test (the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) that appeared to be repeating. This allowed them to shorten the test up to 20 minutes, without sacrificing accuracy.
John Lace, a doctoral student completing an internship in clinical neuropsychology at the MU School of Health Professions, said, “As neuropsychologists we spend a considerable amount of time – usually a full day or at least a full afternoon – with patients to really get to know them, and that can be a lot for a child with a neurological disorder like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If we can effectively maximize the information we get from our patients during this test without overloading them, we can save time and money for clinicians and patients, reducing the overall healthcare burden for families with neurodevelopmental disorders. ”
What is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children really used for? Right now, neuropsychologists are using it for diagnostic purposes, to see if a child has neurodevelopmental problems to begin with. From there, he is able to help them decide what type of treatment and educational plans to use. These tests are therefore extremely important.
“Our overall goal is to help people understand any cognitive or learning differences they may have, which can lead to treatment options such as behavior therapy or interventions in school,” Lace said. “As neuropsychologists, our profession is central to addressing these challenges both academically and practically to help clinicians streamline what they do and have a positive impact on patient care.”
For parents around the world whose children have to sit down and take this test, being able to reduce the time it takes would be a huge victory. With so many the risks mothers with special needs face on a daily basis, having one less obstacle to overcome would be incredible.
READ MORE: Parents sue NYC for dropping out special needs program after children with autism entered elementary school
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