NON-psychologist administring and interpreting IQ (WAIS and WMS)

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Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2006
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Dear psychologist, rehabilitation psychologist, and neuropsychologist

PsychCorp has invited speech language pathologists to begin
administering the WAIS-IV and WMS-IV as a member of the standardization
team. This is not a drill, it is real.

Prospects are also therefore quite high that for the sake of greater
sales distribution, PsychCorp intends to market these instruments to
speech language pathologists.

Although we respect the contributions of speech language pathologist's,
this will reduce the quality of intellectual assessments as well as
further remove distinguishing features of the professional psychology
from other educational, rehabilitation or mental health disciplines.

If this happens, it will reflect one of the most significant steps
toward the deterioration of our special contribution to education,
rehabilitation, and mental health.

It would also not be surprising if the new WAIS-IV drops the term IQ and
replaces it entirely with the term Index in order to further make the
case that nine psychologists are not assessing intellectual functions.

Individually and collectively, with leadership and direction from our
key organizations (APA, NAN, ABCN, ABRP, Div 40) we need to to take
decisive action designed to protect what has been our exclusive domain
since the inception of the scales by Dr. David Wechsler, who would
probably share this view.

If you share these concerns, please feel free to pass this on to your
local and state psychological organizations and or list serves.

Louis E. Calabro
Louis E. Calabro, Ph.D.
370 Violet Avenue Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 473-6826
Fax: (845) 471-1815
Email: [email protected]

Mitchell L. Schare, Ph.D., ABPP
Diplomate in Cognitive & Behavioral Psychology
Professor & Program Director
Ph.D. Program in Combined
Clinical & School Psychology

Psychology Department
Hauser Hall, Rm 221a
Hofstra University
Hempstead, New York 11549

Tel (516) 463-5662
Fax (516) 463-6052

See our program website at:

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Here is something interesting I found while looking for more info on PsychCorp and the possible 'push' for expanding the use of the WISC-IV:

Defining the Role of Intellectual and Cognitive Assessment in Special Education (PDF)

James A. Holdnack said:
In the future, it may be decided that speech-language pathologists should not use tests to diagnose language learning disabilities but rather they should simply talk to the parents at the school. They should provide service to anyone that seems like they have a language disorder. If the child fails to improve in treatment, then they can make a diagnosis. The psychologist is uniquely trained in the administration and scoring of intelligence tests. If the clinician believes that the test will provide useful, diagnostic information, they should not be legislated into not using the information in a school or other clinical environment.

Uhm....wait. This doesn't seem to go with what you are saying now........

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This thread has been going on on other listserves as well....Here is a useful post...This came directly from a rep at Harcourt

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"A couple of issues have been raised here. As part of the standardization procedure, all potential and accepted examiner's must complete a non-disclsure form. This is a legal contract enabling the company to go after people disclosing the contents of the standardization editions. This hold true whether you are a psychologist, psychometrist, slp. All test materials must be returned to the company at the close of standardization. Payments are often withheld from folks that become lax in returning kits and find that is a good motivator. Testing materials are protected to the degree possible when you are involving hundreds of examiners.

The arguement that one is able to administer a test and therefore go to court and claim competence to interpret the results of that test seem implausible or else why wouldn't psychometrists practice independently of psychologists. Would you send your psychometrist to court to interpret the tests and expect them to be treated as an equal to yourself.

As far as slp's not having any neuropsychology background, I would say that probably have a better grasp of neuropsychology than many psychologists not trained in neuropsychology. They work with aphasics, patient's with TBI and use diagnostic langauge tests like the Western Aphasia Battery. We aren't asking them to do differential diagnosis or interpret profiles of scores, just administer and record responses. I don't think you need a Ph.D. to do that. If you do need a Ph.D. to do that then everyone better give up their psychometrists and go back to doing all the testing themselves.

School psychologist trained at the master's level are the only ones allowed to purchase and use a Wechlers at will. This is because they have courses specifically in the assesment of intelligence and interpretation of the wechlser scales in particular. None of the other professionals at the master's level mentioned here have that type of training. Therefore, if they try to purchase a Wechsler they will not be allowed to do so. "
Hi there,
I have a phd in speech-language and dyslexia, a dissertation in exp psych, apa post-doc, and lots of courses in neuro and psych. Worked for 10 years with neuro-population. I understand that I am not licensed to interpret the wechsler scales or to place diagnoses. Alas this is the case. But to be compared to the likes of a "technician" who CAN be given the priviledge to administer and score the wisc... thanks. Very insulting....
A tech is anyone working under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist, so if you were working under me, you could give them as well. Please note that this quote came from the rep at Harcourt, not me and says nothing about other disciplines other than they must be able to document training. In addition, with your background, you can apply to administer/purchase them based on your specific credentials. I have the same issues with psychologists who go out a purchase instruments like the SCAN-C because their patients want evals for CAPD. Psychologists get little training in this area but need no special credentials other than their license to get these S&L instruments.