Anne McDonald Centre
Hi everyone. I'm reminded that it's been a while since I posted anything here. The good news is that that's because we've been busy with our assessment project, started a year ago.
What we're doing is re-assessing people with little or no speech who have previously been assessed as significantly cognitively impaired after being given IQ tests such as the WISC and WAIS that require fluent speech and good hand skills.
For the re-assessments we have used tests such as the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and Raven's Progressive Matrices that require no speech. They are multiple choice tests that only require independent pointing skills to choose between 4 to 8 options. We already work on developing these skills so our students can use communication aids, so using them to undertake tests was not a big jump. Indeed most of the students have enjoyed doing the tests, possibly because they were pleasantly surprised to find an assessment that they could actually do.
The results have been unexpectedly good. Of the 65 children and adults re-assessed to date, all of whom had been labelled as IQ 50 or less previously, 64 have scored in the average range or better. Nearly all the assessments have been videoed in whole or in part for future research. Most of the students re-assessed have autism.
More detail on the first 25 re-assessments can be found on the Victorian Parliamentary website:
As a result, currently the state education department is discussing changes in the procedures for cognitive assessment of children with little or no speech.
We are of course looking at publishing the outcomes more widely, as they have important implications for thousands of students around the world.
If you would like more information please email us at:
[email protected]. We are very interested in hearing from agencies who would like to replicate this work.