By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My son just turned 4 on October 06. He seems to be highly
intelligent with a phenomenal memory. On the intellectual
part, he readily grasps ideas and concepts. By age 2 he had
about a 300 word vocabulary. Although he loves to play with
other children, he will often spend an equal amount of time
engaging an adult on just about any topic, even while
children are readily available. It's almost as if he gets
bored around kids his own age. At 3 and 1/2, he took a test
provided by the doctors office for 5 year olds and passed.
I'd like to find some other, maybe more in depth test to
assess his IQ. Do you have any suggestions? Memory - he has
long been able to recall details from incidences 6 months a
year prior, small details, i.e. what somebody was wearing,
not only that there were deer at the zoo but how many. He
remembers details that weren't even pointed out to him.
Here's the kicker. A few months ago, I happened across one
of his receiving blankets. When I asked him what it was he
told me it was from the hospital. I went on to ask him "What
else do you remember?" He recalled about 8 things. In all
fairness, he did have a procedure at about a year old that
could have 'fit' parts of his recollection, but there were 3
things that were specific to the day he was born. He has
shown to a remarkable memory but is it really possible he
could remember his own birth?
A: For your first question, you
may want to try the Standford-Binet which works from age 30
months onward, but apparently most effective with children
of early school age of between 5 to 11 years. You may also
want to wait till he is 5.
There are various studies indicating strong evidence that
recognition memory can be reliably demonstrated from birth,
however, not every child may remember. As it is, learning
and memory are interlocked; learning is dependent on memory,
and learning is the evidence of memory. Therefore, with a
phenomenal memory, your son will be able to grasp ideas and
concepts well ahead of his peers.
Traditionally, early memory has been thought to be
demonstrated only at about age three because few people have
conscious recall of events before that time. However, an
accumulating volume of research in the past years have
demonstrates that memory exist in the first years of life
and in the prenatal period as well. Therefore, it is
possible for your son, as for some other children to
spontaneously recall birth events much earlier but
expression of these memories is usually delayed until they
are able talk. This is a clear demonstration that early
memory (at the moment of birth) and learning are possible,
and in fact, real.