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					Interpretation & Report Writing


Psychoeducational Assessment
Rob Kubick & Erich Merkle
March 20, 2003
Generic Interpretive Approach

 General Observations
 Global Scores
 Subtest Scores
 Specific Items
 Patterns of responding
General Observations

 Was this a valid assessment?
 Was this a reliable assessment?
 Was the student cooperative?
 Do I need to do more?
Global Scores

 Clusters/Index (e.g. Broad Reading)
 Are all of the clusters consistent?
 Are the scores within each cluster
  consistent?
 Why/Why Not?
Subtest Scores

 Why did the student score high or low
  on this subtest?
 What were the student’s strengths?
 What were the student’s areas of need?
 How did behavior impact results?
Written Description
 Goal: Tell the reader what the student can
  and can not do - describe the student as a
  learner
 Tell the reader what was administered
 Describe each “cluster” separately
 Start general and get specific - “Top-Down
  Approach”
Wechsler Individual
Achievement Test (WIAT) - II
   Interpret the Total Composite score
    – Must administer all subtests in order to do this.
    – Limited utility
   Interpret the Composite areas
    – Reading, Mathematics, Written Language, and (if
      administered) Oral Language
    – Note where overall skill development is in relation
      to the student’s age/grade.
    – Note which composites are strengths/weaknesses
      (how do they compare with each other?)
Wechsler Individual
Achievement Test (WIAT) - II
   Interpret the subtests within each Composite
    score
    – Which areas stand out as strengths/weaknesses?
    – What might explain differences in performance?
    – If the scores are unified, it is generally ok to
      interpret the composite score.
   Conduct analyses of patterns within individual
    subtests
    – What trends can you detect within a subtest?
    – Qualitative observations are very useful here.
Wechsler Individual
Achievement Test (WIAT) - II
   Conduct analyses of individual items within a
    subtest
    – This is not a necessary step unless there is useful
      information that can be obtained (e.g. glaring skill
      deficit, unusual behavior)
   Be sure to discuss within the report any
    behaviors that may have impacted
    performance.
    – Again, qualitative section may be useful here.
    – Decide where it is most appropriate to address in
      the report.
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation
   Begin by ensuring you have administered all
    subtests necessary to have Broad, Clusters,
    and Individual achievement areas
    represented to answer referral question.
    – For general LD investigations across all academic
      areas:
       • Subtests 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 11, 13, 17, 18
       • May add other subtests for additional narrow-band
         diagnostic information
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
Standard Score Range   Qualitative Description
>131                   Very Superior
121-130                Superior
111-120                High Average
90-110                 Average
80-89                  Low Average
70-79                  Low
<69                    Very Low
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Interpret Total Achievement score if
    available
    – Subtests 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11 req’d
    – Only a global measure of academic
      performance, average of 9 tests in Broad
      Clusters
    – Not indicative of specific deficits, yielding
      limited treatment utility
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Examine 3 Broad Achievement Clusters
    – Reading, Mathematics, Written Language
    – Note where overall skill development is in
      relation to the student’s age/grade
    – Note which Broad Clusters are
      strengths/weaknesses (how do they
      compare with each other?)
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Examine Reading, Math, Written Expression
    Clusters
    – Each cluster is consistent with one of IDEA ’97 LD
      domains
    – Note where overall skill development is in relation
      to the student’s age/grade
    – Note which clusters are strengths/weaknesses
      (how do they compare with each other?)
      Significant Intra-individual discrepancies?
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Consider 3 Cross-Academic Clusters by
    comparing to student’s current
    age/grade and strengths/weaknesses
    between these clusters
    – Academic Skills, Academic Fluency,
      Academic Applications
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Interpret the subtests within each Cluster
    score
    – Which subtests stand out as
      strengths/weaknesses?
    – What might explain differences in performance?
    – If the scores are unified, it is generally ok to
      interpret the composite score and indicate
      average skills across the subtests.
Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of
Achievement Interpretation (con’t)
   Conduct analyses of individual items within a subtest
    – This is not a necessary step unless there is useful
      information that can be obtained (e.g. glaring skill deficit,
      unusual behavior)

   Be sure to discuss within the report any behaviors
    that may have impacted performance.
    – Again, qualitative section may be useful here.
    – Decide where it is most appropriate to address in the report.
Psychoeducational Report Writing

   A clinical or psychoeducational report serves
    a number of purposes:
    – Provides accurate assessment-related information
      to the referral source or other concerned parties
    – Provides a source of information for testing clinical
      hypotheses and for conducting program
      evaluation/research
    – Serves as an archive of historical, interview,
      psychometric, observational, and other information
      as well as of current remediation and treatment
      plans
    – May serve as a legal document
Psychoeducational Report Writing
(con’t)
   Important considerations:
    – Report presents what you have learned about the child in a
      way that shows respect for his or her individuality
    – Must take into consideration the circumstances under which
      testing took place, the limited opportunities for
      observation/interaction, and behavioral bases for judgments
      made in report
    – Specific behavioral and test experience examples should be
      used
    – Recommendations must be made with appreciation of the
      needs/values of the child, the family, the school, society and
      yourself
    – Report should be written as soon as possible!
Principles of Report Writing:

 Organize findings by detecting common
  themes through/across procedures,
  integrating main findings, using
  theoretical focus
 Include relevant material and delete
  potentially damaging material
    – Focus on presence of a behavior rather
      than absence of it
Principles of Report Writing: (con’t)

   Use all relevant sources of info
    – Reliable/valid test results, behavioral
      observations, individual test responses,
      interview data, and case history.
   Be definitive in your writing when the
    findings are clear, be cautious when the
    findings are murky
    – Words such as probably, it appears,
      perhaps, and it seems…
Principles of Report Writing: (con’t)

   Use behavioral referents to enhance
    readability
    – Specific examples are valuable, sources
      should be given for examples not obtained
      personally
   Interpret the meaning and implications
    of a score, rather than simply citing
    names and scores
Principles of Report Writing: (con’t)

 Obtain the classification of tests from the
  numerical ranges given in the test manuals
 Use percentile ranks whenever possible to
  describe child’s scores because they likely
  most easily understood
 Interpret subtest scores using both normative
  and intraindividual comparisons
Principles of Report Writing: (con’t)

 Remember statistical significance when
  comparing a test score to another
  subtest or instrument, usually .05 or
  less
 Interpret the implications of subtest or
  test variability with caution
 Do not make diagnoses solely on test
  scores – consider all sources of info
Principles of Report Writing: (con’t)

   Communicate clearly and eliminate
    technical material
      • “Charlie evidences intellectual erudition and
        potency in sequential and fluid processing as
        exhibited through statistically significant
        Pearson correlation comparisons and ANOVA
        analyses of his CHC cognitive factor profile…”
 Eliminate biased terms from the report
 Attend to grammar and stylistic points
KSU SPSY Report Template

   General Organizational Structure:
    – Identifying information
    – Reason for Referral
    – Background Information (including family, medical,
      developmental, social, vocational, & school hx)
    – Behavioral Observations
    – Tests Administered/Interpretation – tables!
    – Summary (integration of findings)
    – Recommendations