IQ Testing for Toddlers
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter is 22 months old and from our observation of her
ability, she is way above her age. She could be gifted! Eg.
Knowing all alphabets, photographic memory, memory linking
etc and remembering names & places, simple counting etc..
Where do we go from here? I was afraid that we'll be wasting
time waiting for her to start school. Can I have her IQ
tested at this age? What shall we do to grow her. We live in
Malaysia. Any support groups here. Thank you.
A: It is quite common for
parents of gifted children to be a little uncertain about
their child's giftedness. Having said that, you, as a
parent, are the best person to judge if your child shows
exceptional qualities and you are probably right! From your
description, she does sound ahead of her peers. And by being
aware alone, you have taken the most important step. Now the
question is if you want to validate that. For a toddler as
young as your daughter, I believe you may want to wait a
little till she is older to get her tested. Testing a very
young child may not give very reliable results. Wait till
she is over 5 years of age.
Your main concern here is to help her develop and maximize
her potential, so testing can be put on hold for the time
being. Our kids need books and toys that are more advanced.
There are a few things that you can try for her age. Gifted
children tend to be avid readers and the fact that she
already knows all her alphabets, buy her educational books
that are meant for older children. Since, gifted children
operate at a higher or more advanced cognitive levels,
materials for older kids will offer more challenges and is
more stimulating for them.
Apart from that, you need to also include toys for her - buy
toys that offer more stimulating activities than the typical
toys offer. These days, there are some exclusive toy stores
that specialize in educational toys. You may even find this
online. Let her choose if that is possible, especially if
she is able to see and feel the toy. This is a little harder
because it's not easy to find such toys.
Allow a lot of free play; go out to explore for follow on
activity – for example after reading a book on insects, you
may want to take her for a nature walk and help her identify
the insects (safety is top priority here, so make sure she
doesn't touch the insects). Or get her to help her
grandmother with baking, any simple involvement will do.
Gifted children do very well when they are exposed to a
variety of activities – also with different people. You may
also want to enroll her in a playschool for a slightly more
structured learning. There are many, many options here – but
it can be very exhausting. Do read previous suggestions on
this site on this matter.
In Malaysia, there is the
Association for Gifted Children (NAGCM). You may want to
be a member. They have various activities and there is quite
a good support system. There is nothing like sharing your
experiences with other parents and learning how they coped.
Here's wishing you all the best and happy parenting!