Testing an Ambidextrous Child
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I have a 5.5 year old daughter. She shows many of the signs
of giftedness. Her brother is gifted, and was recently
accepted to a gifted school. I would like to send her to the
school. I had her tested by the school with the WPPSI. She
scored a 120, which surprised me.
She is however ambidextrous, and often flips direction type
of instruction. I am wondering if she did this on the test.
Her lowest score on the test was in the Performance IQ
section, she had a PIQ of 110. She scored higher in the
verbal category, a VIQ of 124.
I want to find a test that would be a good fit for her, and
have her retested. I was wondering about the Stanford Binet
LM. The Doctor that I am considering having her tested by
has suggested using the CAS.
Any suggestions on which test would be a good fit for her?
A: It has been suggested that
gifted children have greater specialization in brain areas
that control motor behavior and increased communication
between the two hemispheres. This may be true and there is
some evidence that children with high IQs have brains that
are slightly less lateralized, which means, for example,
they do not have as strong a preference for one hand over
the other - which enables them to use both hands
interchangeably. Having said that, there are many
non-prodigy children who are also ambidextrous. This becomes
more complicated as it is not known if prodigies are born
with superior motor skills, or if they develop them with the
intense practice that follows their keen interest in certain
areas of talent. So, just as many gifted children have a
tendency to be ambidextrous, there are also enough non
gifted who are as well.
So, this may not say very much about your daughter's ability
on the test. It would be best to see her tester to interpret
the results as there are many details that need to be
considered and a whole score may not indicate enough without
the full report.
I find it hard to suggest a test with limited information.
Your doctor may have suggested the CAS (Cognitive Assessment
System), based on what is felt professionally suited for
your daughter. The CAS helps educators choose interventions
for children with learning problems, at the same time it
identifies children with learning disabilities and attention
deficit disorder and rather fairly assesses children from
diverse backgrounds. You may want to consult a private
educational psychologist to determine if the Stanford-Binet
would be a suitable test. I'm afraid I may not be able to
suggest much more than what has been suggested. Here's
wishing you all the best.