Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Does The I.Q. Test Really Matter?

Two weeks ago, I took my 4 yr old Darling Daughter to her school so the school psychologist could administer an I.Q. test. We sat down and talked about DD's attention span and how to keep her motivated while DD wandered the school room, looking at toys.

Finally we sat DD down at a desk and started the test. DD does not do well with line drawings, she works much better with actual photographs. She did do well with showing comparisons but did poorly on "which object doesn't belong?"

The blocks were divided diagonally down the middle into red and white - they reminded me of semaphores. DD was asked to stack them in a certain way with the colors all pointing the right direction. She would stack the blocks correctly but paid no attention to the direction of the colors on them.

The last part of the test was to give her a pencil (which she tried to hold correctly). She was shown different shapes with lines drawn inside: horizontal, vertical, one line, two lines, three lines. The different shapes were 7-8 in a row. She was asked to draw the correct lines in her own row of shapes provided. I doubted that my 6 yr old Dear Son #3 could have done this exercise before he entered kindergarten. DD drew all over the entire paper and presented the psychologist her own version of a penciled Rorschach test.

Last week I met with DD's preschool teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, adaptive P.E. therapist, the school principal, and the school psychologist for DD's I.E.P. I have heard that parents dread this. I feel like the teachers and therapists are all on my side. We laughed as we talked about DD's antics. She loves to sit in the teacher's or therapist's chair and "teach" the class or the next child in line for therapy. We talked about how social she is. DD is loved by her teachers and therapists.

The reviews themselves are not glowing but full of hope. DD is still trying to master some goals and has done well in others. The group gave me ideas of things to do at home to help DD improve.

Then came time for the school psychologist. I had never worked with her before the previous week. She seemed young, fresh out of graduate school. She started out with "Well, DD score very low in her I.Q. test but we expected that since she has Down syndrome." I was prepared to smile and nod - I know that DD is actually smart as she constantly surprises us with what she does know. I did not put much credit into an I.Q. test administered by someone DD had never met before. What I was not prepared for was the uproar that followed. Her teacher and the therapists started to tell everyone who would listen that DD was much smarter than that. DD was highly social and motivated. DD caught on once she understood the directions and worked well as long as someone helped to keep her on task.

I must say that it felt good to have these professionals on my side. Really good.

1 comment:

Soozcat said...

I have come to the conclusion that the I.Q. test measures nothing worthwhile. It does not measure one's capacity for love, it does not measure an individual's determination or drive to succeed, it does not even accurately measure how much a person is capable of learning (what it's supposed to do).

About the only thing it's good for is getting a qualifying score to join Mensa. (Don't get me started on Mensa. Really, don't.)