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The term special school is a school specifically designed to cater for the needs of children with intellectual
disabilities.
2

The DSM-IV specifies that children with an IQ level between 50 and 70 have mild mental retardation, and
children with an IQ level between 35 and 55 have moderate mental retardation. As there is an overlap
between mild and moderate levels of mental retardation, children with an IQ score of 56 or above have been
classified as having a mild intellectual disability and children with an IQ score of 55 and below have been
classified as having moderate intellectual disability (as per Henry & Gudjonsson, 1999).

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Twelve of the participants had a WASI- IQ score between 71 and 75, which placed them in the borderline
range. However, as they were attending a special school (and thereby would have previously been assessed
as performing in the mild intellectual disability range) they were included in the study. Note that all analyses
reported in this paper were initially conducted with these twelve children removed which revealed no
difference in the pattern of results. In addition, a series of independent t-tests (one for each of the major
dependent variables) revealed no significant differences in performance between children who had a WASIIQ score in the mild intellectual disability or 71-75 range.

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It should also be noted that children with intellectual disabilities were less likely to repeat a true interviewer
suggestion in response to specific cued recall and forced choice questions than both children matched for
mental age and chronological age.

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It is possible that the current study did not find adequate mental age matched controls for the moderate
intellectual disability group. This is because mental age for the intellectual disability group was calculated
using the WASI which does not provide standardised scores below 55 and therefore children in the mental
age-matched group were matched as closely to the lowest possible age equivalent available on the WASI, 74
months. However, this would not explain why the moderate group performed consistently lower than the
mental age-matched group. The pattern of responses across the experimental and control groups was very
similar to that of the mild disability groups.

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