Defining Learning and Language Disabilities Conceptual and Psychometric Issues With the Use of IQ Tests Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 01, 1996
Defining Learning and Language Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Francis
    Department of Psychology, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX 77204-5341
  • Jack M. Fletcher
    University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX
  • Bennett A. Shaywitz
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Sally E. Shaywitz
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Byron P. Rourke
    University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: dfrancis@uh.edu
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum: Observing and Interpreting Behaviors
Clinical Forum   |   April 01, 1996
Defining Learning and Language Disabilities
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1996, Vol. 27, 132-143. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2702.132
History: Received April 12, 1994 , Accepted March 13, 1995
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1996, Vol. 27, 132-143. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2702.132
History: Received April 12, 1994; Accepted March 13, 1995

This article employed multivariate graphic techniques to address three issues concerning the use of IQ tests for identifying children with learning and/or language disabilities. The first issue concerns the weakness of the conceptual rationale for models that suggest that IQ directly, influences the attainment of academic and/or language skills. The second issue addresses psychometric issues that relate to the significance of an IQ/attainment difference score. The third issue involves the psychometric limitations of simple comparisons of IQ and attainment scores. This article shows that the historically prominent role of IQ tests for identifying children with learning and/or language disabilities is conceptually and psychometrically unwarranted.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Work for this article was supported by NICHD Grants P01 HD21888, “Psycholinguistic and Biological Mechanisms in Dyslexia,” P50 HD25802, “Center for Learning and Attention Disorders.” and HD28172, “Detecting Reading Problems by Modeling Individual Growth.”
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Karla Stuebing and John Holahan with data-related issues and Linda Kimbrough with manuscript preparation.
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