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Chapter 8. Learning Aptitude. Purposes for Assessing Learning Aptitudes. Identification of level of intellectual performance Evaluation of adaptive behavior Determine if students meet requirement for services for mental retardation

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Chapter 8 l.jpg
Chapter 8

Learning Aptitude

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Purposes for Assessing Learning Aptitudes

  • Identification of level of intellectual performance

  • Evaluation of adaptive behavior

  • Determine if students meet requirement for services for mental retardation

  • Determine if there is average to above average intellectual functioning

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Issues and Trends

  • Intelligence testing is controversial

  • Misplacement of students from diverse groups in special education

  • PL 94-142 provided safeguards against testing abuses

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Current Practices

  • Individual intelligence tests are currently used in special education

  • Adaptive behavior measures rely on informants

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Sources of Information About Learning Aptitude

  • School Records

    • Group intelligence test results

    • Individual intelligence test results

    • Developmental and school histories

  • Students

    • Individual test of intellectual performance

    • Current adaptive behavior is observed

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Sources of Information About Learning Aptitude

  • Teachers

    • Observations of

      • learning aptitudes

      • adaptive behavior

  • Parents

    • Developmental histories

    • Observations of learning aptitudes

    • Information about behavior outside of school

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Group Tests of Intellectual Performance

  • Rely heavily on reading skills

  • Use a multiple choice format

  • Tend to be low estimates of actual abilities

  • Should only be used for screening purposes

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Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–FourthEdition (WISC–IV)

  • Most commonly used test

  • One global score: Full Scale IQ

  • Four composite scores

    • Verbal Comprehension

    • Perceptual Reasoning

    • Working Memory

    • Processing Speed

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Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability

  • Cognitive factors assessed are:

    • Comprehension-Knowledge

    • Long-Term Retrieval

    • Visual-Spatial Thinking

    • Auditory Processing

    • Fluid Reasoning

    • Processing Speed

    • Short-Term Memory

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Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC)

  • Norms available only to age 12

  • Cognitive factors assessed are:

    • Sequential processing

    • Simultaneous processing

    • Achievement

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Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fifth Edition

  • Arranges subtests in skill areas rather than by age

  • Cognitive factors assessed are:

    • Fluid Reasoning

    • Knowledge

    • Quantitative Reasoning

    • Visual-Spatial Processing

    • Working Memory

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Hamill Multiability Intelligence Test (HAMIT)

  • Special version of Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude–4

  • Results in three composite quotients:

    • General intelligence

    • Verbal intelligence

    • Nonverbal intelligence

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Nonverbal Measures of Intelligence

  • Raven Progressive Matrices

  • Leiter International Performance Scale–Revised

  • Tests of Nonverbal Intelligence (3rd ed.)


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Nonbiased Assessment of Learning Aptitude

  • System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment (SOMPA)

    • Rescores WISC–R based on socio-cultural factors

    • Includes a measure of adaptive behavior

  • Dynamic Assessment

  • Learning Potential Assessment Device (LPAD)

    • Uses a test-teach-test format

    • Results are primarily descriptive

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Adaptive Behavior Measures

  • AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale-School (2nd ed.) ABS-S 2

  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales

  • Scales of Independent Behavior–Revised


  • Weller-Strawser Scales of Adaptive Behavior for the Learning Disabled

  • Adaptive Behavior Evaluation Scale– Revised (ABE–R)

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Answering the Assessment Question

  • Types of procedures

    • Group or individual intelligence testing

    • Adaptive behavior is assessed through:

      • Interviewing

      • Questionnaires to informants

      • Direct observation

  • The nature of tasks affect results

  • Learning aptitude must be documented for all mild disabilities