Resources for New Psychological Testing

Some athletes will have adequate records in their existing files to obtain eligibility. The information below is for athletes who have been informed by our staff that they require new psychological testing to provide evidence of intellectual disability for the Athlete International/Full Eligibility Application.

    1. Introduction
    2. Eligibility Criteria
    3. Accepted IQ & Adaptive Behavior Assessments
    4. Pyschologist’s Report Guidelines
    5. Providing Summary Score Sheets
    6. Sample Narrative Report Template

1. Introduction

As the US member of INAS, the International Federation for Para-athletes with Intellectual Disability, Athletes Without Limits manages the eligibility/classification process for US athletes with intellectual disability competing in the following sports:

  • INAS/Paralympic Sports: Athletics, Swimming & Table Tennis
  • INAS Only Sports: Basketball, Cricket, Cycling, Judo, Rowing, Skiing (Nordic & Alpine), Soccer/Futsol & Tennis

2. Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible to compete as an athlete with an intellectual disability, athletes must fulfill the eligibility criteria as defined by Inas which is based upon the World Health Organisation and American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). The criteria state that an athlete must demonstrate:

  1. Significant impairment in intellectual functioning. This is defined as 2 standard deviations below the mean, that is, a Full Scale score of 75 or lower.
  2. Significant limitations in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. This is defined as performance that is at least 2 standard deviations below the mean of, either one of the  3 types of adaptive behaviour (conceptual, social, or practical skills) or an overall score on a standardised measure of conceptual, social and practical skills.
  3. Intellectual disability must be evident during the developmental period, which is from conception to 18 years of age

Athletes must meet all 3 elements of the criteria to be eligible for consideration for intellectual disability sport. Assessment of Intellectual Functioning must be made using an internationally recognised and professionally administered IQ test recognised by INAS.

Assessment of Adaptive Behaviour must be made using an internationally recognised and professionally administered standardised measure that has been normreferenced on the general population including people with disabilities or through rigorous and systematic observation and evidence gathering.

Further details regarding the eligibility criteria, evidential requirements and application process can be found below. The process is governed by the INAS Eligibility and Classification Policy and meets the requirements of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Classification Code.

3. Accepted IQ & Adaptive Behavior Assessments

A full and detailed athlete assessment should be undertaken by a professional psychologist to support the diagnosis of intellectual disability as follows:

IQ/Intellectual Functioning – Intellectual functioning must be assessed using an internationally recognised and professionally administered IQ test. Inas recognises the most recently standardised variations of:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scales: WISC (ages 616) and WAIS (ages 1690) including regional variations such as HAWIE, SSAIS and MAWIE. (Note: WASI is not accepted)
  • Stanford Binet (for ages 2+)
  • Raven Progressive Matrices (Note: CPM is not accepted)

Adaptive Behavior – Limitations in Adaptive Behaviour affect both daily life and the ability to respond to life changes and environmental demands. Adaptive Behaviour must be assessed using a standardised measure that has been norm-referenced on the general population including people with disabilities. Recommended measures include:

  • Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales
  • ABAS Adaptive Behavior Scales
  • AAMR Adaptive Behaviour Scales

4. Psychologist’s Report Guidelines

In the case of both intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour, the testing psychologist must provide a report (or reports) that:

  • Is presented on formal letterheaded paper stating
  • Psychologists name and qualifications
  • Psychologists membership number and details of professional bodies
  • Address, phone/fax number and email
  • Is typed (no hand written reports)
  • States when and where the assessment was done (i.e. date, location)
  • States the name and version of the IQ test used, the method of assessment of Adaptive Behaviour and why this approach to assessment was chosen.
  • Includes general information regarding the athletes background and relevant history
  • Particular attention should be paid to cases where there is a large difference between subscale IQ scores which may require the full scale IQ to be interpreted differently or invalidate it. Reporting should follow the guidelines set out in the IQ test manual and analysis and comment should be included.
  • In the case of Adaptive behaviour assessment, the report should include a summary and interpretation of scores achieved under each domain (Communication, Selfcare, Selfdirection, Social/interpersonal skills, Ability to respond to life changes and environmental demands)
  • Includes a final diagnosis/statement of Intellectual functioning and Adaptive Behaviour and explains any factors which may have affected the results
  • Includes a copy of the original summary sheet/record form of IQ and standardised Adaptive Behaviour assessments showing all scores (see 4. below).

5. Summary Score Sheets

The report should include a copy of the original summary score sheets for both the IQ and Adaptive Behavior assessment given. These will be similar to the illustrations shown below. Note that Athletes Without Limits and INAS reviewers are licensed psychologists. A copy of our psychologist’s current license is available upon request.

WISC IQ Sample

Vineland Sample

6. Sample Report Template

A INAS Sample Report can be downloaded that may be useful when compiling the necessary reports. This should be shared with the psychologist conducting the assessments. The template is intended as a guide only, and psychologists may prefer to use their own report format. It is important however that all requested information is presented and the report is tailored to the individual.

The information above is from the INAS website for Para-athletes with intellectual disability’s  “Athlete Registration and Primary Eligibility Application Guidance Notes.”