IQ Test: Missing out on Educational Needs
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 8 year old son excels in math and learning in general. My
other two sons are gifted, so the school's gifted teacher
suggested that I have him tested as well. He scored 116 on
his WISC III IQ test. He is a third grader and currently
able to do fifth grade math.
The gifted services teacher feels he is gifted and pulled
him out last year, but the district won't let her do that
this year because his scores did not qualify. When he took
the Terra Nova, he scored 99 on Reading & Language and 82 in
math, his best subject. He scored off the chart in math
using the district measured aptitude test.
He had a language delay as a small child through
kindergarten. Is it possible that he has difficulty with the
standardized IQ test? Are there IQ tests that test differently
and might show his giftedness with a different kind of test.
All of the teachers and adults in his life find him gifted,
I hate that he is missing gifted services due to an inability to
score well on one type of test.
A: It's indeed a shame that he
is not able to benefit the educational program for gifted
children. As a parent, it is probably right to assume that
he could be gifted, especially when he had gifted siblings.
However, children show gifts in different areas – and some
are not seen as gifted in a standard educational system.
His ability to do Math at fifth grade level indicates above
average ability in the mathematical component. For this,
perhaps some kind of enrichment should be offered to him in
school. If this has not been done, you may want to speak to
the school about it. Unfortunately, the district has set
rules and your son's score does not fall into the required
category to allow him the services. The difference in scores
on different tests is quite strange. Did you try asking him
if he found anything particularly difficult? It may not be
possible that a language delay may have caused difficulty
since his score on Reading and Language is very high.
There are many IQ tests and to determine the best one to
suit his needs would require you to see a child psychologist
to rule out other problems and refer you to an experienced
educational psychologist. This process will be costly,
though. You may want to meet up with the educational
authorities at the District level and bring up your
concerns. Although there are cut-off points for gifted
programs, some children may be admitted based on a case to
case basis if the evidence to superior intelligence is
evident. They may also advise you on what other tests are
accepted as there is little point in taking tests that are
not accredited by the said authorities. You could also get
the gifted service teacher to write a strong recommendation
For the time being, enrich him further in his interest areas
as much as possible to keep him developing further. He would
need more challenging work in Math and if the school is not
enriching him enough, you may need to step in. Parents
usually know best, so if you strongly believe that he is
gifted, he must be and if no one is listening, you would
need to take the initiative to plan his educational journey
outside of school hours. Here's wishing you all the best.