I’m sure you know the old school expression,  that something “sticks in your craw.”

Probably not a day goes by where something is not sticking in my craw.  The only good that comes of it is I usually get inspired by the stuck craw to generate something to write about in the  blog.

This week’s annoyance center’s on the overemphasis (in the schools) of the Full Scale IQ, typically generated by the test of choice, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (5th ed.) or WISC-5.

While I am a proponent of the test and feel that it yields a lot of valuable information, too often the test is used as a justification to not help a child.

The notion of learning disabilities as it is generally written in special education code is that the child is eligible to be classified as “eligible” when he demonstrates at least average intellectual functioning (i.e., a good enough FSIQ) that ultimately shows a legitimate statistical discrepancy between the IQ and achievement (usually in reading.)

What happens, though if I’m a kid coming up with an IQ between 80 and 85, which ranges between the 10th and the 15th percentile, not a great place to be on the bell-shaped curve.

The reality is if that’s your score, kid, you’re likely out of luck.  While it won’t be said in such stark terms or plain language, the truth is this child would not be viewed as smart enough to get help.

That perspective bothers me on so many levels as the kids who are in the 80’s of IQ typically have serious academic issues and they are in desperate need of attention and support.

In a mixed grouping class (most are mixed grouping) of about 20 children, by pure statistical properties, about four or five will be  above average students.  Roughly ten or so will shake out in an average range.  That leaves about five or six or who are likely showing signs of struggling to a greater or lesser degree.

Within that group they may or may not have IEPs or 504 Plans.

They may have IQ  scores in the 80s and seen as ineligible, meaning they get no support or accommodation.

Whether children in this lower group have been “diagnosed” by outside professionals with ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiance disorder, sensory integration disorder, anxiety disorder, or have no official “diagnosis,” the fact is that lower group needs a lot of help

These are struggling kids regardless of their supposed label or whether they are or are not “eligible.”


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