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Jan from Maine asks: Do IQ Scores Belong In IEPS?

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Our daughter, Sandra, is an 11th grade student with speech language processing problems.

This year, the IEP team included the results of a 1996 WISC-III in her IEP. This is the first time that IQ scores have been included on her IEP. I questioned the need to include these scores on the IEP. I have an article stating that the child’s IQ scores should not be included on the IEP. My daughter’s IEP team insists.

 I have several concerns. First, the results of the 1996 WISC-III differ greatly from prior evaluations. Her Verbal, Performance and Full Scale IQ scores declined dramatically. Two months ago (in August 1998), we had an independent evaluation done. The results of the August 1998 evaluation are more in line with prior testing. Because the IEP team insists that IQ test results must be included in the IEP, we asked that the results of the 1998 evaluation be cited.

 The IEP team is questioning the private evaluator's findings. They are unwilling to record the 1998 evaluation results as most current. They agreed to include some written information from the private evaluator’s report because they feel it is "interesting."

We are concerned that if the IQ test results (Verbal, Performance & Full Scale IQ scores, none of the sub-test scores) are included on the IEP, those working with Sandra will have lower expectations and she will be treated as a 'slow learner'.

 I have scoured your site but am unable to find any information about IQ test results on an IEP. HELP!

 P.S. Your 'site' is fantastic. I can't believe I just 'hit' on it yesterday. THANK YOU!

ANSWER: Jan, there is nothing in the IDEA about including the child's IQ scores as part of the IEP. The proposed Regulations about IEPs say this about the child's Present Levels of Educational Performance:"

      Section 300.347(a)(1) requires that the IEP for each child with a disability include "* * * a statement of the child’s present levels of educational performance, including--

          (i) How the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum; or

          (ii) for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities."

For more information about IEPs, check our article:

Since the IEP team is refusing to include your child's most recent IQ test scores in her IEP, write a nice polite letter to the team. Discuss your daughter’s recent evaluation - include the new test results if you like. Tell the IEP team that you want them to attach this letter to your child’s IEP as a "parent amendment."

In your letter, include information that you think your daughter’s teachers should know. Did you know that Wechsler IQ scores are not a true measure of intelligence? These IQ scores are composites of several sub-test scores. These sub-tests often measure the adverse impact of the disability on the child’s achievement.

If you have questions, check out our article on writing letters:

You are correct to be concerned about low expectations in special education.
Transition Resources

Many parents of high school students are concerned about their child’s transition from high school to "life after school."

We have added a new book, The Complete Guide to Special Education Transition Services by Roger Pierangelo and Rochelle Crane to the Advocate’s Bookstore.

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