I'm just not sure they measure "giftedness". Especially in children. IQ isn't static and kids develop at different rates.
Depends what you mean by "giftedness" boomer. I.Q. tests, like the WISC-IV, assess various cognitive functions, and a fairly wide spectrum of cognitive functions, but they aren't designed to measure to measure other attributes, like creativity, curiosity,etc. They do measure cognitive/intellectual "giftedness", with the gifted being those who achieve scores in the upper ranges of the test.
The WISC-IV takes the process of development into account in terms of the scoring of the test because the child's scores are being evaluated only in terms of his own age group (which includes the variability within that age group). So, the level of development of cognitive functions of a particular 9 year old is determined by comparing that child's test scores to the overall population of 9 year olds. Any significant deviations from the mean of that overall group, in either subtest scores, or the Full Scale I.Q., will reflect that child's rate of development when compared to same age peers. So, the test scoring is taking into consideration that cognitive development is not a static process. If you re-test that same child again, at age 10, his test scores are determined by comparison with the overall population of 10 year olds, so his rate is again assessed in terms of his same age peers and the variability within that group. For that reason, while cognitive development is not a static process, I.Q. scores on the WISC-IV tend to be fairly stable over time because the scoring methodology is designed to keep those scores stable.
Not long ago I was trying to find information about what to think/do when there were big discrepancies in the subsets of the Wechsler test when I came across this http://cty.jhu.edu/bin/y/h/ld.pdf.
That link isn't working for me boomer, I get "page cannot be found".
But I understand the concerns about the reliance on Full Scale I.Q. scores in identifying the gifted, particularly on the WISC-IV, because of the weight given to those sub-tests which are less relevant in identifying giftedness, and the fact that the gifted might not score as highly on those sub-tests, and this can contribute to a lower Full Scale I.Q. which may fail to identify them as being gifted.
This article, which you might have come across, discusses that sort of issue, as well as additional ways of identifying giftedness.
The average Full Scale I.Q. for gifted children on the WISC-IV standardization sample was 123.5, and that may not accurately reflect the ability of this group because it is a composite score which obscures considerable variability among the indexes.
It certainly suggests that educators should not blindly rely only on the FS I.Q. score in identifying the gifted, and, in actual practice they might not be doing that in all cases. These children can be identified in terms of superior verbal and abstract reasoning skills, which will be apparent in their test performance, and they can also be given some additional tests to better assess their abilities. Since the WISC-IV can yield a FS I.Q. of up to 160, it can discriminate in the upper range in measuring giftedness, and many gifted children might show fairly even scores on all the main indexes, and their FS I.Q. would consequently be higher than the standardization sample suggests. .
In actual practice, all scores, and the patterning of those scores, both the discrepancies between sub-test scores, and indexes, and the intra-test "scatter" within the sub-tests, on the WISC-IV should be looked at and evaluated, along with some evaluation of the child's test-taking behavior, and generally the person who has administered the test will do all that and summarize the findings as part of their test report. The WISC-IV can yield a great deal of information beyond a FS I.Q. score, not just about cognitive functioning, but personality functioning as well, if the examiner takes the time to carefully observe the child during testing and spends time evaluating the entire test protocol. The kind of feedback you get from the examiner, like your school psychologist for instance, might reflect how much effort they want to put into this, beyond what they need for their own purposes, and whether their interests over-lap with your issues and questions. They might, for example, be less concerned with diagnostic questions, which require a different level of analysis, than you are, and this is going to affect how they look at the test results, what tests they administer, and the sort of feedback you will get.
If Mo recently took the WISC-IV, within the past year, and you'd like another opinion on that test result, as well as the other tests he was given, from the child development center at your local children's hospital, see if you can get a copy of the raw test data from the school psychologist. The WISC-IV should not be administered more than once a year because it can affect the score. But, what would be most useful to another psychologist you might consult is not just a copy of the report, or a copy of the front page of the test booklet (where all the summary scores are listed), but a copy of the ENTIRE test booklet/form, where the examiner recorded all of your son's verbal responses, the times for the timed tests, the entire record of his actual test responses, along with the examiner's scoring of all responses. And obtain copies of the raw data for any other tests Mo was given. If the school psychologist doesn't want to give this directly to you, they should be willing to mail it to the child development center, as long as you provide a release form.
With that raw test data info, a psychologist at the child development center might be able to give you better feedback, or simply give Mo some additional tests without having to re-administer everything he took recently, and they might be able to compare the more current raw data to the WISC-IV, or other tests, he was given 3 years ago to note any changes. Getting the actual raw data, and simply giving that to someone else for a second opinion is another way to try to ameliorate the costs.
What sort of recommendations are you looking for? What sort of future problems are you concerned about?