Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

Where do the evaluations occur?  Evaluations typically occur at one of the examiner’s offices (S. Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Modesto) or within the family’s home.  Where they occur depends upon the family’s transportation issues, the child’s comfort in new places, and other clinical issues.  Ideally, some type of behavioral observation occurs, which ideally would be in a social setting (such as the child’s school).

What  age ranges of children does Dr. McCray evaluate?   16 months to 6 years of age for regional centers and for private clients children up to 13 years of age.

How do you test the IQ of a 2 year old, and is it accurate?  Intellectual testing at this age provides only a rough estimate of a child’s intelligence, but is still valuable in helping determine a child’s current developmental path.  The difficulty is often due to determining if a child could not or would not complete test items.  Tests for very young children often focus on their nonverbal intelligence and, as they age, we begin to more carefully consider their verbal intelligence.  Nonverbal tasks often involve putting puzzles together, completing form-boards, copying block patterns, matching pictures, or seeing if they can find the missing picture out of a sequence of pictures.  These tasks are somewhat different than those taught in any school, or practiced at home, because we want to identify a child’s more unique problem solving skills rather than a practiced skill.  Verbal tests typically involve testing receptive language (asking a child to point to a specific picture out of a group), expressive language (defining words), and sometimes knowledge (seeing if they can comprehend a questions and respond verbally) such as by asking them “What is a cat?”  For younger children, parents typically remain in the room during the assessment.  Dr. McCray usually scores the IQ test during the assessment in order to discuss its results with the family.

What if my child won’t cooperate?  There are many options at these times.  Often, Dr. McCray will attempt the test on multiple occasions during the assessment until successful.  Sometimes rescheduling the assessment for a different time or day works well.  If the difficulty appears due to the child’s discomfort with the office, then testing can sometimes be conducted at the home or school.  Even completing portions of tests sometimes provides enough information to address the clinical issues.  If these do not work, the examiner has at least 2 different measures that really upon the parent’s descriptions of their child’s skills to create an estimate of the child’s overall development, which can often be used to calculate a rough IQ equivalent.

What does testing entail? (see testing information section)