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Do IQ Scores Belong In IEPs?

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Our daughter has speech language processing problems. This year, the IEP team included the results of an old WISC (more than two years old) in her IEP. This is the first time IQ scores have been included in her IEP. We disagreed but the IEP team insisted.

The results of the old IQ test are very different than prior evaluations. Her Verbal, Performance and Full Scale IQ scores were significantly lower on this evaluation. Two months ago, we had an independent evaluation done. The results of this evaluation are in line with earlier testing. When the IEP team insisted that IQ test scores must be included in the IEP, we asked that the recent test results be included.

The IEP team refused to include the new evaluation results. They agreed to include a few statements from the private evaluator’s report because these statements are "interesting."

We are concerned that if the old IQ test scores are included in her IEP (Verbal, Performance & Full Scale IQ scores, no subtest scores), those working with our daughter will have lower expectations for her and she will be treated as a 'slow learner'.


IDEA does not include any requirement about including a child's IQ scores in the IEP.

Section 300.347(a)(1) requires that the IEP for each child with a disability include -

(1) 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 (i.e., the same curriculum as for nondisabled children) . . .


Since the IEP team is adamant in their refusal to include the current test scores in your daughter's IEP, write a nice, polite letter to the IEP team (you can share this letter with your daughter's teachers). In your letter, include information your daughter’s teachers should know. Discuss the recent evaluation -- and include the new test results if you like. Tell the IEP team that you want them to attach your letter to your daughter's ’s IEP as a "parent attachment."

IQ Scores, Low Expectations & Letter Writing

Did you know that IQ tests often measure the adverse impact of the disability on the child’s achievement, not true intelligence?

Did you know that Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQ scores are composites of several subtests that measure different areas? Subtest scores often provide important information because they can pinpoint specific problems that need further examination.

You are correct to be concerned about low expectations. When IDEA was reauthorized in 1997, Congress wrote:

"Implementation of this Act has been impeded by low expectations, and an insufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching and learning . . ." (See Section 1400: Findings & Purposes)

If you have questions about how to write a letter to the school, read The Art of Writing Letters. You will find more articles in the Letters and Paper Trails section of Wrightslaw.

Finally, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy includes two chapters on letter writing and many sample letters (beginning on page 331)


Articles about Transition

Like you, many parents of high school students are concerned about their child’s transition from high school to "life after school."

IEP & Transition Planning: Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Requirements for Transition Components of the IEP - Barbara D. Bateman, Ph.D., J.D.

Making the Transition from School to Work by Sue Heath

Free Pubs about Transition

The IEP for Transition Age Students - National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and The Pacer Center

Transition Planning: A Team Effort - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Vocational Assessment: A Guide for Parents and Professionals - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

More articles, resources, and Free Pubs on the Transition page.

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