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Testing an Ambidextrous Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: 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.


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