Gifted, Bright or Average?
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Is my child gifted, bright or neither? I have IQ scores showing the following,
IQ Scores & Indices
WPPSI -III UK Standard Score (Percentile) Range
Verbal IQ 95 (37th) Average
Performance IQ 123 (94th) Above average
Processing Speed 83 (13th) Below average
Verbal Scale Subtests
Verbal Subtests Standard Score Range
Information 9 Average
Vocabulary 10 High average
Word Reasoning 9 High average
Performance Scale Subtests
Block Design 11 Average
Matrix Reasoning 15 Above average
Picture Concepts 15 Above average
Processing Speed Subtests
Symbol Search 7 Below average
Coding 7 Below average
As you can see there is such disparity as he has known learning
difficulties it is hard to see if he is indeed bright, gifted or
neither. What bit of the test means he is bright or gifted?
Based on his scores, it appears that an IQ score could not be derived as
the gap for scores is too large. For most gifted programmes, a cut-off
at 130 is usually required for admission. There is a huge discrepancy
between his verbal and performance IQ scores (VIQ & PIQ). The PIQ is
indeed the best indication of a child's general cognitive ability. In
this case, your son's score shows scores in the superior range (PR: 94).
Even though the performance score may well be the better indicator of
general ability under the circumstances, it is not as good a predictor
of school grades as is the verbal score - which is why it may be
preferred over the PIQ in schools for special programmes.
The Processing Speed Quotient (PSQ) provides an estimate of a child's
ability to quickly and correctly scan, sequence, and discriminate simple
visual information. Your son's processing speed abilities, as measured
by the Processing Speed Quotient, are in the below average range.
Processing speed is an indication of the rapidity with which a child can
mentally process simple or routine information without making errors.
Good speed of simple information processing may free cognitive resources
for the processing of more complex information, and ease new learning.
This speed can be translated to doing any task at school.
The IQ classification is as the following:
It is quite obvious that he has a learning difficulty that needs
attention to enable him to excel in school. To determine if he is gifted
from the scores alone will not be possible. Hidden learning disabilities
can be difficult to diagnose in children whose extraordinary abstract
reasoning enables them to find other ways to solve problems. This makes
it hard for teachers to tell if the child needs help. And disabilities
can depress IQ scores so that a gifted child does not score in the
gifted range. If he were twice exceptional (gifted with a learning
disability), his scores would be more erratic (as seen in his current
scores). These children demonstrate much more erratic IQ scores over
time than other groups. They tend to do poorly on group tests, as well
as on tests that are timed, tests that require handwriting, or tests
that are administered later in the day when they are fatigued. It is
often observed that twice-exceptional children tend to pass the harder
items and miss the easy ones.
It is best that you request the test interpreter to refer your son for
further testing. This could determine any specific learning disability.
The sooner the intervention, the better the outcome. Wishing you all the