Intelligence (IQ) Is One of the Most Stable Traits in Human Beings

A child’s IQ, as measured during childhood, is not likely to change significantly over time. The level of one’s education can change, but an IQ score cannot.

Think of intelligence as a swimming pool and education as the water. You can’t change the size of the pool but you can decide how much water goes in.

IQ scores are measured by a person’s performance on an IQ test relative to the scores of others. A score of 100 is considered average. 

I have been asked many times whether parents should get their children’s IQ scores tested even if there do not appear to be learning difficulties. My firm answer is that all children should get an intellectual screening by the age of five or six.

Most licensed psychologists can administer an IQ test and the time required is usually 2 hours including a brief interview. The cost for such a service can range from $200 to $600. One common IQ test is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Fourth Edition (WPPSI-4).


5 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Child’s IQ Tested as Soon as Possible

1. Having a baseline understanding of your child’s intelligence can help you understand their learning style and any important strengths or weaknesses.

2. In the horrific instance of a traumatic brain injury or other trauma, having a baseline of intellectual performance can tell you the intellectual significance of the injury. Knowing this information can hopefully steer efforts at bringing your child back to their original performance.

“A child’s iq, as measured during childhood, is not likely to change significantly over time.”

3. Cancer treatments can dramatically impact cognitive performance. Knowing pre-treatment functioning can help select interventions and also address potential attention issues post cancer treatment.

4. Intellectual testing, in some cases, can help determine school placement. Some schools cater to extremely gifted children. Such schools can prevent boredom and even isolation in less stimulating environments. Intellectual scores are often one component of admission to private schools and in some cases, unusually high scores can lead to scholarships.

5. And finally, testing your child’s IQ is very informative. Knowing an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, as we all have both, can help you engage with your child more successfully and with greater understanding.

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Dr. Frank Gaskill
Dr. Frank Gaskill is a licensed psychologist and co-founder of Southeast Psych, Psych Bytes, and Shrink Tank. He works with individuals on the Autism spectrum and consults on the development of Autism programs and private practice development across the country. Dr. Gaskill is the co-author of Max Gamer: Aspie Superhero as well as How We Built Our Dream Practice: Innovative Ideas for Building Yours.


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