Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III): Legal Definition

The Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children is a psychological test that measures several areas of intelligence in children aged six to 16. Though it is effective as a general IQ test, child psychologists use it more often to evaluate different areas of cognitive function and determine where any deficiencies may lie. The test can help pinpoint specific learning disabilities and areas where a child may need extra help in support.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses Weschler intelligence tests to make disability determinations in both children and adults. Because getting approval for Social Security requires proving total disability, the Weschler intelligence test can be a compelling piece of supporting documentation showing that a child has a severe intellectual disability.

For help with your Social Security disability claim, call Disability Advantage Group today for a free case evaluation: 865-566-0800.

What Is the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children

The Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children compares a child’s intellectual functioning to that of other children the same age. To create a normative sample to serve as a basis for comparison, Weschler compiles the results of all tests given. The sample is used to come up with an average score for each type of intelligence measured, as well as how scores distribute across the population.

The large quantity of data at Weschler’s disposal allows it to easily determine in which areas a child has fallen behind their peers and in which areas they are on pace with or ahead of other children their age.

The Weschler test is an intelligence test, not an achievement test. In other words, it does not measure academic performance or raw knowledge. However, schools and child psychologists often use it alongside achievement tests and compare the results. They can sometimes identify areas of concern by looking for gaps between academic achievement and intellectual functioning.

What Does the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children Test

The Weschler test measures intellectual functioning in five areas: Verbal, Visual Spatial, Fluid Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed. It uses the scores from these five tests to calculate a child’s Full Scale IQ Score.

  • Verbal: This test measures a child’s capacity for verbal reasoning. Though Weschler tries to control for variables such as semantic knowledge and educational background, it is admittedly difficult for a verbal test, given the importance of skills such as breadth of vocabulary.
  • Visual Spatial: This test measures the ability to recognize visual patterns and deal with spatial relations.
  • Fluid Reasoning: This test measures how well a child can construe relationships from visual data.
  • Working Memory: This test measures the ability to take information delivered aurally and commit it to memory, apply it, and manipulate it.
  • Processing Speed: This test measures the ability to make quick and accurate decisions upon receiving new information.

How the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children Scores Takers

After a child takes the Weschler test, each section is evaluated and scored. The child also receives a combined score, representing their overall IQ. The range of Weschler IQ scores looks like this:

  • 79 or below: Below average IQ
  • 80 to 89: Low average IQ
  • 90 to 109: Average IQ
  • 110 to 119: High average IQ
  • 120 to 129: Superior IQ
  • 130 or above; Very superior IQ

Even if a child’s overall IQ is average or above, they could have such a deficiency in an individual area that they qualify as disabled for Social Security purposes. A disability lawyer can help you determine whether your child’s Weschler test results are enough medical evidence to receive Social Security.

Why the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children Matters for Social Security Disability

Both Social Security disability programs — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) — have strict medical criteria to qualify. For you to receive benefits on behalf of a child, the child’s disability must cause them to lag substantially behind their peers and must have a material impact on their academic success.

The Weschler Intelligence Scale for children is a highly respected measure of pure intellectual capacity. Unlike other tests, factors such as whether a child has had access to books or quality education do not influence it. It measures raw cognitive horsepower, letting Social Security use it with confidence to declare that a child’s intellectual disability is worthy of benefits.

Call 865-566-0800 for a Free Case Evaluation With a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If your child has an intellectual disability, you may be able to receive Social Security disability on your child’s behalf. A lawyer from Disability Advantage Group can help you collect evidence and put together a winning claim. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation. To speak with a member of our dedicated staff today, call us at 865-566-0800.