Should I test my child’s IQ

Should I test my child’s IQ? It’s a question some parents grapple with from time to time. Sometimes it’s out of curiosity but at other times, it might be on the insistence of family, friends or the school.

Reasons for IQ testing

Your child is falling behind: If your child is falling behind in their developmental milestones or at school, it might be a good idea to have them tested for possible developmental disabilities or for being behind what’s expected for their age. Some parents might be clued into this from when their kids are young but it can sometimes come as a shock to others when a teacher flags concerns. Teachers are generally pretty good at knowing if a child is not performing at the grade level required. 

Your child is complaining of being bored: If you notice your child is completing the set tasks quickly and then complaining of getting bored or else, disrupting the class in some way, there’s a possibility they might be advanced for their age. Remember, it’s not just them saying they are bored to avoid tasks; rather they are finding the work too easy and then probably just sitting twiddling their thumbs. 

Your child is struggling with specifically reading, maths or writing: Learning disabilities affect up to 10 percent of children. While IQ tests alone do not provide a diagnosis for a specific learning disability, certain IQ profiles can be indicators of one. An achievement test needs to be completed in conjunction with an IQ test and a difference between the two helps diagnosis the learning disability. In other words, a child with an average IQ but a significantly low reading score on the test will have a diagnosis of dyslexia. 

Your child’s behaviour is a problem at school: If your child’s teacher is struggling to manage their behaviour, an IQ test is usually a good idea to help rule out either a learning disability, giftedness or low intelligence. If it isn’t either of these, it becomes easier for the school and for you as parents, to address the behaviour for what it is — a behavioural issue! On the other hand, you don’t want to provide significant consequences to a child who is mucking up in class only because they are struggling to read. 

Benefits of IQ testing

IQ testing is not just about getting a score. Rather, it helps you understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Through this, you can understand the best ways your child can learn as well as what areas they might need help in. 

IQ tests help the school understand your child’s abilities better and create educational plans for them. It is an objective way of conceptualising your child’s intelligence and learning abilities. 

IQ tests are the only way a child with an intellectual disability can get funding at school for further support.

Appropriate ages for IQ testing

The common IQ tests start around 2 years and 6 months. It does not mean a child should be tested at that time. If you are concerned about a developmental disability from a young age, developmental assessments such as the Griffiths Mental Development Scale can be completed as opposed to an IQ test. For other children, while you can still assess their IQ from about age 4, you might be better off testing them around the age of 6 or 7 as your child will then be compared to others who have had similar educational exposure. 

Stay tuned to our blog for more posts on IQ tests as well as other child and adolescent mental health resources. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date!

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  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 6:32 am

    This was an interesting and informative read. I did not realize that a child’s IQ can be tested as early as that. And it is always useful to know what are the signs we need to look out for before we need to consider an IQ test.
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    • Reply
      Toddlers to Teens Psych
      August 1, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      It is amazing that a child’s IQ can be tested at such an early age. In my 10 years though, I’ve only assessed one child under the age of 4.

  • Reply
    Jody at Six Little Hearts
    August 1, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I have never thought to do this and I have six kids! I would be interested in testing mine now. Though a couple of our kids are identified as gifted and have been excelled at school, two others stand out at this point in time. I would like to look into this.

    • Reply
      Toddlers to Teens Psych
      August 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks for visiting Jody…it might be useful to see where the others are at as giftedness is something that runs in families.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Very interesting read. My friend had her six year old tested recently. I can’t remember the name of the test unfortunately. Her daughter seemed to be quite advanced for her age and the test in fact revealed that she is highly intelligent. They’ve now been able to give her extension work in higher grades and have even considered her skipping a grade. #teamIBOT

  • Reply
    Lydia C. Lee
    August 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I read the title and was thinking ‘don’t be a nutter!’ and was so surprised to see it was in order to help kids falling behind, not to push into the gifted status! Good post!

    • Reply
      Toddlers to Teens Psych
      August 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Haha…love your honesty. At schools, it’s the kids who are struggling that are more likely to get assessed than gifted kids.

  • Reply
    Lata Sunil
    August 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Very relevant topic. Are there EQ tests too? Can we test a child in his teens?

    • Reply
      Toddlers to Teens Psych
      August 4, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      If there are EQ tests, they may be more in the form of questionnaires. IQ tests are usually standardised and administered individually or to a group for about 60-90 minutes. And yes, teens can certainly be assessed. I’ve assessed a number of them and was also assessed myself as a teenager

  • Reply
    Nicole @ The Builder's Wife
    August 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Interesting perspective, it is not something I have thought about and my immediate reaction was no. Thanks for sharing.

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