In Reply.—I appreciate Dr Golden's comments about classification of intelligence levels in the children I evaluated for school problems. I used the classifications only for the purpose of summarizing the results of the study. Henceforth, I shall use the new American Association of Mental Deficiency classification when reporting Wechsler (WISC) scores. I make it a practice not to use the term "mental retardation" in my reports, nor do I state the IQ in my summary letters, conferences with school personnel, or parent counseling sessions.
The problem is clear. The investigator cannot honestly assign a single numerical value to a higher cortical function so complex as intelligence. Even children with profound retardation have a variety of skills and abilities that should be described qualitatively. I find the individual subtest scores of the WISC more useful than the full-scale IQ as a description of the child's abilities. Even more useful is
MCCORMICK DP. Children With School Problems-Reply. Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(12):1406-1407. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120250088023