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Intelligence Testing

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I have a 4.3 year old daughter. She is extremely talented. At this age she speaks 4 different languages perfectly without any confusion. Her vocabulary is very good in all these 4 languages. Her analytical skills are also at par. I went through your website, and I can surely say that my child is gifted (as per the points of giftedness)

I stay in Pune, India. I would want to get her IQ test done. Kindly let me know what should I be doing to get her IQ test done in India.

A: It is indeed amazing that your child is able to speak four different languages fluently at a very young age, which indicates a highly developed lingual ability. Researchers have found that well-developed lingual ability (in this case multilingual) actually enhances one's cognitive flexibility. This means people (which includes children) are better able to see things from two or more perspectives and to understand how other people think. They also appear to have better auditory language skills, which is the ability to discriminate sounds of a language more finely than people who speak only one language (monolinguals). In addition it is also found that they mature earlier than monolinguals in terms of linguistic abstraction.

As parents, you may be a very good judge of her ability and she is probably above average based on your systematic observation and awareness. Unless the need be for certain programmes (I am not aware of a specific gifted programme for very young children), there may not be a need to get her tested at such a young age as results may not be very stable and sometimes, without realizing, parents or teachers may put unnecessary pressure on the child to perform and achieve. However, if you strongly feel that it is necessary to get her tested, you may want to try the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence - version III (WPPSI-III) which can be tested on children between ages 3 - 7 years. I do the WISC-IV (UK), which is a more comprehensive test, and adapt it to the need of different cultures but start age is from 6 - 16 years. For younger children, I do a pre-assessment (to determine giftedness or talent) and counsel parents accordingly on how to nurture and manage the child.

There are a few versions of similar tests adapted for Indian children but I am not able to comment on the reliability of such tests. The main concern here is the ability and experience of the test administrator for scoring. Interpretation is also crucial and while there are experts in testing, most deal with the other extreme of special children - not gifted children. I believe these tests are available at hospitals. You may want to check the hospitals in your area.

Hope that helps. All the best!


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