What’s your child’s IQ, and how can that affect your right to custody?

Posted June 7th, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

child iq mark guralnick

Among the various psychological tests that may be given to your child in a custody case is a well-known IQ test known as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). The revised version of the test, WISC-R, and the fourth edition of the test, WISC-IV, are often used to test children, ages 6 to 17, for vocabulary, comprehension, perceptual reasoning, memory skills and general knowledge.

The WISC, however, is not only used to test for one’s IQ but it is often used as a clinical tool for diagnosing learning disabilities and whether your child is performing at his age level. It is also now being used to diagnose attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems. One of the subtests on the WISC presents children with with a partially filled grid, as illustrated above, and asks them to select the item that properly completes the matrix.

Psychologists who administer the WISC will be reviewing four test results for your children: The verbal comprehension index, the perceptual reasoning index, the working memory index and the processing speed index. Like the other psychological tests we’ve talked about over the last few days, the WISC can be criticized if it is misused, or if the results are exaggerated. Judges and lawyers should not draw hasty conclusions based on one psychological test alone.

If the WISC produces an unexpected result relating to your child’s learning abilities, or to a personality or behavioral disorder, it may cast a negative light on your parenting abilities. It may also prompt the court to take greater interest in what influences have been intellectually negative or positive in the child’s life. After the WISC has been given to your child, get the results, study them, and ask the psychologist to explain them. Ask what other tests can verify the results and what therapies or programs the doctor recommends to improve or correct your child’s performance.

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