The ACID Profile versus Bannatyne System or Scald Profile

The ACID pattern represents a deficient area for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities, but the three LD samples shown in Table 9.1 scored even lower on the WAIS-R Sequential standard score than on the ACID score. On the WAIS, the same finding occurred for Blalock's (1987) adults with learning disabilities, whereas McCue et al.'s (1986), Cordoni et al.'s (1981), and Ackerman et al.'s (1987) LD samples earned closely similar means on the Sequential and ACID standard scores. Only Vogel's (1986) allfemale sample of college students with learning disabilities scored lower on the ACID than Sequential score. (We computed standard scores for the WAIS studies as well, but preferred to report only WAIS-R data in Table 9.1. Using correlational data in the WAIS Manual for ages 25-34, we discovered that all formulas for the WAIS were identical to the ones for the WAIS-R.) We believe that the Bannatyne system is a better way to look for a "characteristic" Wechsler profile for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities. The ACID system does not seem to contribute anything over and above the Bannatyne groupings, so we suggest that it be dropped from consideration, except for research purposes. The Bannatyne approach permits systematic analysis of a person's strengths and weaknesses on the relevant categories, and is therefore preferable for the interpretation of individual profiles.

The SCALD profile, briefly mentioned above, is another that warrants consideration in investigating learning disabilities. This profile comprises the Working Memory and Processing Speed Indexes on the WAIS-III, and is analogous to the SCAD profile on the WISC-III (Kaufman, 1994a). In about 30 to 40% of the subjects with learning disabilities tested with the WAIS-III, the Working Memory and Processing Speed indexes were significantly lower than the Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Organization indexes, respectively. The WISC-III SCAD profile has shown inconsistent validation in learning disabled samples. Prifitera and Dersh (1993) found a significantly higher proportion of individuals with learning disabilities having the SCAD profile than those in the WISC-III standardization sample, but others have not found it to be useful in distinguishing students with and without learning disabilities (Ward, Hatt, & Young, 1995; Watkins, Kush, & Glutting, 1997).

Perhaps the most useful method for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities will come from the four factor indexes yielded by the WAIS-III and WISC-III. The index profile will undoubtedly prove to be more useful than the V-P discrepancy (as is evident from several of the WAIS-III validity studies reported by The Psychological Corporation, 1997) and may prove more valuable than the Bannatyne system, or special combinations of subtests (ACID, SCAD, SCALD), pending the outcome of future investigations.

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