Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Regret Getting My 4-Year-Old’s IQ Tested

By  | 

little girl with glassesAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I think local public schools are a reflection of your community, so I volunteer when I can, attend everything school-related that I can, and buy enough candy bars from the PTA to go into an insulin comma. But my love affair with the beauty of public education started to wane on my son’s second day of kindergarten.

His harried, over-wrought teacher lost track of him at dismissal and he wandered almost a mile off campus. I was frantic, the principal was frantic, and 30 minutes after discovering he’d gone AWOL, we found him waiting with a parent who had wisely pulled over and guessed he was lost. I am still grateful to that woman and think of her often. My son went on to have an academic year plagued by his flighty teacher’s frequent absences, and the idea—even at the tender age of five—that people don’t tend to stick around.

Now, it’s two years later and my daughter is in kindergarten. Her experience sucks, too, but in a completely different way. I think it’s my fault.

Months before she enrolled in the same school as her brother, I decided to be more proactive in my kids’ education. I was meeting new friends with school-aged children who volunteered a lot and urged me to do the same. They made me understand that I’d get back what I put in. My time—whether it was spent mixing paint for art class or helping grade papers—was a wise investment in my children’s future. I was happy to do it when I wasn’t working, and since I worked from home, it was almost fun to “get back out there” and change out of the torn yoga pants and bra-less uniform of a freelancer.

Somewhere in the flurried memories of all that volunteering, about six months before my daughter was to begin kindergarten, I discovered she could already read. And when I say “read” I don’t just mean Dick and Jane books. I mean ANY book. I had a 4-year old who brought juvenile fiction home from the library and read it out loud to me. With expression!

And that is when I made the helicopter parent move that I regret to this day. I decided to go to the kindergarten round-up—the thing you’re invited to months before kindergarten actually starts—and track down a reading coach or gifted services person.

Pages: 1 2

169 Comments

  1. Mary

    June 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

    At my daughter’s Kindergarten open house (about a month after school began), I heard a teacher tell a parent her son can read at a 5th grade level. The mother beamed (she probably already knew) but nothing ever came of it. The child remains in his grade level. I think there probably isn’t anywhere for these kids to go. I know that if my child was super smart like yours, I’d still want them to be with kids their age.

  2. G.E. Phillips

    June 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    A couple of things:
    1) I, too, would be willing to bet actual money that your daughter’s IQ is a LOT higher than 107.
    2) I don’t think wanting to ensure that your daughter’s educational needs are being met to their utmost potential makes you a helicopter parent!!
    3) That being said, I agree with your decision to kind of leave it alone for now. I was considered a “gifted” child. I learned to read when I was 3 and was pushed into Kindergarten a year early. Intellectually, I was ready, but physically, socially, and emotionally, I was SO not, and I believe to this day it had a completely negative effect on my education. I became a rebel and underachiever, and almost failed out of high school. And now, as an adult with my shit finally (mostly) together, I would say that I am completely average in every way. Had I not been pushed so hard when I was young, and constantly reminded how “different” and “special” I was, I would probably have been a lot happier and more successful later on. I’m not saying to ignore her obvious gifts, but a few enrichment classes will probably benefit her just as much, if not more, than any kind of intensive or advanced school program.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      You could have been talking about me right there. Everyone told me how smart I was all the time, and I was so afraid of proving them wrong, that I massively underachieved. It was much better for them to think that I was lazy, which I knew I wasn’t, than to think I was stupid, which I feared that I was, because of how badly I interacted with my peers. Adults liked me because they thought I was smart, so if the kids didn’t like me it must be because I was stupid.

    • G.E. Phillips

      June 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      You and I should get together and go bowling, lol.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Our team name can be: “Failing to Live up to Potential.”

    • G.E. Phillips

      June 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      HA! Done. 🙂

    • Lisa Larren

      June 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      This was me, as well. There is something kind of terrifying about being told how gifted you are at an early age. Fortunately, my area of “giftedness” (reading, writing, and language comprehension) was always tempered by an area of extreme weakness (mathematics), so I was not bumped up a grade as discussed. But I went the exact same route – underachieving because being labeled as lazy was preferable to the fear that they’d one day discover I was not as smart as they’d thought.

    • Ann Starr

      June 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

      I wish I’d been that lucky. My weakness was maths too (and we’ve since found out that I honestly don’t process numbers or patterns at all well), but I was moved into an accelerated program based on my English skills, which included advanced mathematics.

      I became a genius at sneaking out of school, even with my mother being one of the teachers. Which just meant the trouble at school followed me home and built up to suicidal levels of depression.

      To the Mom in this story – Well done for knowing when to stop. Your little girl will thank you one day.

    • nevilleross

      June 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      Sounds like Linda Cardelini’s character from the TV show Freaks & Geeks.

    • Snipe

      June 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

      Exactly right. I, too, had very high expectations placed upon me at a very young age, and it continued for a very long time. Teachers and family always expected me to “live up to my potential”. It always felt like they didn’t approve of me or accept me when I didn’t ace every class. Family problems and social awkwardness were major issues and I was frankly more concerned with those than with academics.

    • keelhaulrose

      June 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

      One of my good friends in high school was the smartest kid in the class. He got perfect scores in both the ACT and SAT and his IQ had tested in the 150’s. He also couldn’t get into college, his grades were horrible. I was in a few classes with him, and couldn’t believe it as he aced any test out in front of him. He knew the material, but he was bored, and didn’t participate or turn in assignments.
      I’m intelligent (not his level but I was in a slew of gifted classes) and I realized later I experienced the same thing. If I wasn’t interested in a subject I didn’t do as well because I didn’t focus. I had been placed in many of those classes because I had been in the gifted classes.
      What might help also is enrichment activities she’s interested. But push too hard and she may push back.

  3. Justme

    June 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I’m not saying every teacher is perfect but judging someone based on their footwear at an informal Kindergarden Round-Up? The teacher didn’t know you or your child from Adam – of course she’s not going to jump on the gifted prodigy bandwagon with you right away. She was just there to meet and greet with the parents and the children before the upcoming school year so that everyone felt more comfortable on the first day of school. It was not the time nor the place for an individual conference. And really….you’re doing a disservice to ALL teachers by blatantly accusing this teacher of changing the IQ scores on your child’s exam. Believe it or not but most teachers do have your child’s best interest in mind, regardless of the terrible attitude of their parents.

    • Justme

      June 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      And secondly…most gifted and talented programs don’t start in Kindergarden because of the fact that there is such discrepancy between the levels of knowledge children come into school with. Some kids have gone to pre-school for three years and know all their alphabet, numbers and then some…for others, Kindergarden is their first foray into the educational atmosphere. You might have to wait until the 2nd or 3rd grade before the GT placement tests. And in regards to those GT classes or placements – gifted and talented is not about being able to memorize and regurgitate knowledge. GT is typically reserved for the out-of-the-box creative and critical thinkers – not just the “smart” kids. I have plenty of students who can learn material, take a test and do very well…but that doesn’t mean they are GT. The GT kids are the ones that are thinking abstract, making connections and asking continuous “what if” questions – and these are all things that not apparent until 2nd and 3rd grades.

    • Snipe

      June 7, 2013 at 2:53 am

      Many parents are not aware that the High Achiever is not the same as Gifted. There is a major, major difference. Gifted is sometimes considered a facet of Special Education because such students often need a different approach to education.

    • Justme

      June 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Oh yes. My GT English teacher used to remind us of that little fact ALL THE TIME. 🙂

    • PSG

      June 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      Yes – my daughter is in a ‘gifted class’ for one subject, for development, and a ‘special ed’ for another she struggles with – which I had to have explained to me…the gifted program was suggested by her teacher not only because of her better grades but the perspective a counselor had observed, an ability to be nurtured.

      All that said…a child as young as the helimommy’s does seem to possess something that should be appreciated, based on what she has claimed. Both of her children, actually.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Honestly, I don’t believe that anyone who says a kid’s skills will “more than likely level out and be more in line with everyone else’s once school got underway” has the child’s best interests in mind. There ARE children who are ahead of their peers, and why in the world would you want them to stop progressing and fall back to average? No ‘teacher’ should say something like that as though it were good or acceptable. That said, I don’t know why anyone would change the score’s on a kid’s IQ test (it is possible that the child didn’t do as well as she could have).

      As for being able to identify gifted kids young, I have to disagree with you. The gifted program at my school started in 1st grade, and there have been plenty of children around the world (though let’s not pretend IQ tests aren’t culturally biased) who tested at genius levels before the age of 5. I would say it’s easier to recognize giftedness in young children than in older children and adults, because even “average” adults will know lots of things that other people don’t (because, as you said, giftedness is not the same as knowing things), and a lot of gifted adults, especially those who were never identified as gifted, have learned to act like their peers and minimize any signs of giftedness. This girl may or may not be gifted, but it sounds like she essentially taught herself to read, which is something that is commonly seen among gifted kids.

      There are a lot of different “styles” of giftedness, but the easiest to identify are the kids who thrive on constantly learning everything they can, and who absorb information and concepts with minimal effort. There’s also frequently a different tone in how they do things. Nearly all 4 year olds are obsessed with asking “why,” but some gifted 4 year olds do it a bit differently (like asking existential and hypothetical questions, as opposed to just factual ones). There ARE gifted people who aren’t as focused on learning as others, and they are far more difficult to identify because they don’t align with the standard view of giftedness (this is often where the “talented” part of “gifted and talented” comes in). It is also common for gifted children to have learning disabilities, and most of these kids don’t get identified because people see them as mutually exclusive.

      I think the biggest problem is that a lot of people assume being gifted is an inherently positive thing, and would jump at the chance to identify their child as gifted. It isn’t all good. It typically means you will be stuck learning things you already know in school, and (depending on how gifted and how social you are) you might have a very hard time relating to your peers. There are also a lot of expectations that gifted kids will be successful adults, but they’re actually no more likely to do well than anyone else, and things like failing out of school are quite common. There’s a such thing as a GIEP for a reason, and the main purpose of identifying a child as gifted is NOT because being gifted is amazing and worth bragging about, but because gifted kids have special needs that, if dealt with properly, can dramatically improve their life.

      This is also why I have a problem with schools that don’t have any sort of gifted program (even though I know it’s frequently a budget issue), because so many people think that gifted kids will be just fine on their own and don’t need any help because they’re smart enough to do well in school, and then the kids are left to figure out how to handle everything on their own.

    • Justme

      August 29, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Okay. I was in GT classes. I understand their value in our schools.

      No need to put teacher in quotations. There’s no guessing about my qualifications to teach children. I am highly qualified to teach the subjects that I do, but more importantly I am a teacher that both the students and parents enjoy having. There is no need to insult me.

      Many parents believe their young child is gifted simply because they can identify letters or numbers at a young age. This doesn’t always lead to a sincere diagnosis of giftedness. My main point was that this woman needs to back off and let her child develop a little bit more before pushing for the gifted label. All the schools I’ve ever been associated with have never tested for GT until third grade. Children might have been tagged as accelerated or separated into different ability levels, but never given the test or moved into the gifted program before then.

    • Leigha7

      February 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      The word teacher being in quotes had nothing to do with you; it was directed to any teacher who would say that kids who are ahead of their peers would “level out” as if that were a good thing. Leveling out implies learning at a slower pace, and that’s not something a teacher should be hoping for from their students.

      I find it interesting that you said in your experience, children might be separated into different ability levels prior to 3rd grade but not be placed into gifted classes. At my school they didn’t start separating by abilities until 3rd grade for math and 4th for reading, but (as I said) the gifted program started in 1st grade.

      Frankly, I’d never heard of a school with a gifted program that didn’t start until 3rd grade, and I must say I really dislike the idea. That’s two years (three counting kindergarten, plus a portion of 3rd grade) of children being bored out of their minds as they’re taught what a noun is for what seems like the hundredth time and given spelling words like “cat” when they already know how to spell. There’s no surer way to make a kid hate school.

    • Justme

      February 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      First of all, differing ability groups based on reading doesn’t mean separate class rooms, it means different groups within the same room and with the same teacher.

      Secondly, there is a difference between a bright child and a gifted child. There are MANY bright children that come to kindergarten or first grade with lots of knowledge and a love for school, but they are not necessarily on the gifted spectrum.

      In the early grades and within a single classroom, it is much easier to differentiate learning for all levels of students than it is to do in the span of forty-five minutes in a middle school classroom. Especially now with technology, there are tons of ways for teachers to push ahead bright students while still holding remediation the struggling ones.

    • Leigha7

      February 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      The way we did it at my school is that 4th-6th graders were put into high, middle, and low reading groups, and when it was time for reading class they went to whichever teacher taught high, middle, or low reading. Math was the same, but for 3rd-6th. There were never, at any point, separate groups in the same classroom with the same teacher. Math and reading were just classes like any other–the students sat at their desk while the teacher stood at the front of the room–so they would have had to fundamentally restructured the class for that to be possible.

      I know many schools do separate reading groups within the classroom (I’ve read plenty of books where kids are in groups called things like “bluebirds” or “robins”), but that’s simply not how it was done at the school I attended. Nor was the curriculum overly different from one reading level to the next, since we all read from the same anthologies.

    • Claire

      August 30, 2013 at 5:30 am

      I would agree that any teacher that wants skills to level out, well, should find another line of work. Teachers, are not qualified to administer IQ tests. I would strongly suggest that this Mom take her child to a private educational psychologist for individual testing. A child certainly should be taught at school, that is taught something new, not what they already know. As for abstract reasoning, that can start well before second or third grade.

    • concernedparent

      November 15, 2013 at 9:10 am

      To me, a concerned parent and teacher of 25 years, you sound pretty jaded. This child is clearly displaying intelligence. The mother and child seem to want a meaningful education. Teachers want dedicated learners. This should be a match made in heaven.

    • Justme

      November 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

      But the “meet the teacher” night was not the time nor the place to get those needs met by the teacher. And the mother’s message was lost when she judged the teacher based on her footwear. I prefer to experience a child’s giftedness firsthand, rather than simply relying on the parent’s (biased) opinion of their child.

    • Roberta

      June 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      I have to think that would be the most frustrating part of dealing
      with parents as a teacher. Every parent believes their child is smart,
      and many believe that their child is smarter than the rest. That is
      perfectly normal and right up there with parents believing their kid is
      the cutest/most athletic/most talented at something. But more often than
      not they are average, because based on the rules of statistics someone
      has to be in the middle.Besides, kindergarten isn’t about
      teaching your kids the alphabet or numbers, that is only a small part of
      it. A smart 5 year old still needs to master routine, sharing, social
      skills and other important aspects of kindergarten. I have a kid in my
      Sunday School class who is incredibly bright for his age, but is having a
      hard time in Sr.K because he needs to learn how to listen to others and
      share.

    • Justme

      June 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Before my daughter was born, my husband and I had that very same conversation. We are both coaches in an upper middle class area and we see that attitude all the time. We have already decided to make a conscious effort to see our daughter for who she really is – all her strengths and all her weaknesses. If she is a C-team basketball player, we will support her (and the coaches) just as much as we would if she was on the A team. If she is an A-B kind of kid, we will support her in that….as long as she is diligent and focused about her work.

    • Dogwalker876

      April 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      yes, definitely. my son is considered highly gifted, but he is also fairly oblivious to the needs of others and quite hyper. Now, my five year old daughter is bright but she doesn’t show some of the freakish intellectual gifts her brother displayed at her age. However, she is very sweet and kind to others. I have a hard time predicting who will go farther in life!

    • Beth

      June 8, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Isn’t it amusing how everyone’s child is “gifted”? I have a friend
      who absolutely tore into her daughter’s teacher and principal because
      they DARED to give her little snowflake an average IQ test when they
      quite obviously screwed something up. Didn’t they understand how unique
      and gifted her little girl was??

      IQ tests mean nothing at all
      unless they are extremely high or low. I was given an IQ test when I was
      in second grade that spit back a result of 104. Awesome, so I am
      totally average.

      I then went on and got my dual MD-PhD in medical science. So yeah… not being gifted obviously shaped my future.

      Parents….
      please, please, please, please, please. Don’t hover over your kids and
      do all this ridiculous hand-wringing just because they failed to meet
      some arbitrary number on a test. I promise you that it means next to
      nothing in the long run.

    • Justme

      June 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      You know, I honestly don’t see it as much in middle school – I guess by that age the parents have a clearer picture of who their child is and what they are capable of accomplishing academically. But I do see it A LOT in the athletic realm of my job as a teacher and coach – with the advent of select and club volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer opportunities for young girls, EVERYONE is going to snag them a Division I college scholarship, don’t you know!?

    • Jack Causevic

      May 3, 2014 at 3:16 am

      IQ can’t just be some arbitrary number. The tests yields very consistent results. From the age of 6, IQ is relatively fixed. From the age of 16-18, fluid intelligence doesn’t change. There are significant correlations between academic success and IQ, and if there weren’t any, IQ tests would be repudiated by mainstream psychologists. To say otherwise is to allege conspiracy.

      A doctor with an IQ of 104 seems spurious. A doctor may very well be somebody that has floundered through a lower tier university fulfilling nothing more than the minimal requirements for graduation. Beth should have given a little more information about her achievements, such as her MCAT results, the ranking of her university and her SAT scores, which prior to 1994 could be interpreted as an IQ score with the percentile ranking.

      I think that administering IQ tests to kindergartners is misguided and a little laughable.

    • Nope

      August 16, 2014 at 3:04 am

      haha. Fixed, and consistent. That couldn’t be far from the truth. Richard Feyman a physicist who made countless contributions to science/quantum mechanics, scored a 125 in high school, and then later scored a 150. IQ measures nothing but the level of parenting that the kid was exposed to when he or she was young, and then how they continue to further their growth in their teens, and beyond. Theses test can be skewed as there is quite a bit of subjectivity when grading subtest for what type response is substantial enough to get a couple of “magical extra standard deviations”. So you could have an accurate response to a question, but yet it still not good enough, but even then the response could be deemed adequate by another exam proctor. The whole concept absolutely dismal. There have been studies performed where there some kids in inner cities with IQ’s in borderline retarded where taken out and nurtured, and the average IQ shot up to 120. This whole superiority complex that some people have about it being mostly nature, disgust me. Like your upbringing had nothing to do with it. Right, yeah it was all you the whole time, nobody had any part in shaping you to who you are this day. Keeping thinking that you narcissistic fuckers. This only reason I see that it does not change is because, on average people do not change, or strive to be something better. This most likely a mixture on personality, upbringing, and culture. Also, being an intellectual in most parts of US is not really seen as a trait that needs to be nurtured very far. Hence thats why there will always be a mean, and standard deviations; no matter how far the average moves up. Also, performances can vary on how you feel at the time. Most people do not realize their potential anyways so you cannot just say it is mostly nature. I really have to stop coming in to these threads.

      Read this:
      http://oscar.virginia.edu/x5701.xml

    • Somebodiesmom

      January 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      The footwear is a writing device demonstrating the mom’s emotions over the whole affair. It’s not a factual prejudgement.

    • Justme

      January 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Hmm. I don’t agree.

  4. Amber

    June 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t believe that your four year old reads and comprehends Tolstoy and I also don’t believer that she mastered Bach in five minutes.

    If you tried to sell that load to the teachers and counselors at her school, it’s no wonder they didn’t take you seriously.

    • G.E. Phillips

      June 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      I don’t understand why you wouldn’t believe it. It’s kind of the whole point of her essay, why would she make it up? There are plenty of gifted children who display those exact kind of talents at a very young age.

    • Amber

      June 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      No, there aren’t. The emotional maturity to comprehend complicated adult concepts in books like War and Peace is not present in a four year old child. It isn’t possible, even if the child had an IQ of 250.

      As for mastering Bach at age four, she’d be a prodigy. That is not common at all.

      You are kidding yourself if you think there are plenty of gifted children playing Bach (well) and reading and understanding Anna Karenina at age four. That is so unbelievable rare, her kid would be all over the news.

      The author is lying, pure and simple. Her kid isn’t doing that.

    • G.E. Phillips

      June 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Ok. Yay, you win!!!!

    • someone

      August 13, 2013 at 3:33 am

      perhaps a genius would understand the words in tolstoy’s works, but to comprehend what’s going on? how could a four year old comprehend the concepts of war, relationships, sex, etc.?

      i think that’s the point of the cynics around here. not uncommon for gifted children to understand complex words, but rather unthinkable for them to grasp the concepts.

    • G.E. Phillips

      August 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

      I understand why the cynics are cynical, and I agree, I don’t think a young child could grasp those mature concepts, although I do buy that she could read the words without true comprehension. And I’m totally with all of the intelligent discussion that this piece sparked. What I wasn’t agreeing with were the people who were dismissing the author as a flat out liar. I thought it was a rude assumption to make; I’m honestly not sure why someone would go to the trouble of making up a story like this for no reason or gain at all. YMMV.

    • ElleJai

      June 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Disbelieving the author is fine, but there are ways to be skeptical without being rude.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      I could have read and comprehended Tolstoy when I was 4, my sister could have likewise. We wouldn’t have cared enough about the intricacy of interpersonal relationships in Imperial Russia to enjoy it, but we could have read it. My favorite book when I was 6 was the Complete Works of Shakespeare, my sister’s favorite was Gone with the Wind. We both devoured Webster’ New Twentieth Century Dictionary.

      A kid who loves reading will read. Some kids are passionate about dinosaurs, and can name every known species, identify them by their skeletons, and name the period and country of origin. Some kids are the same way about bugs, or construction equipment, or baseball players. A passionate reader is the same way about words.

    • Andrea

      June 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      I read Shakespeare at 6 too. Didn’t mean I was a genius. Kids develop at different paces and most of them level off with time. That’s why most gifted programs don’t start in kindergartner.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      I think it’s important to challenge kids at all ages, even when they are ahead in a subject, so that they don’t get in the habit of always already knowing what is being taught, learning how to learn things you don’t instantly comprehend is a skill best picked-up when small.

      Kids who test very high and very low have a lot of the same issues in education, and similar dropout rates, because schools don’t or can’t accommodate them. Students below a certain threshold, or with a diagnosis get Individual Education Plans, but the same is not available to above average kids. It’s only getting worse with the extreme emphasis on standardized testing. Gifted kids are more often left to their own devices, because few people see a problem with a student who can answer every question without trying.

    • Andrea

      June 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Listen, you won’t get an argument from me that in public school in the USA, the above average kids get royally screwed. I live with it every day with my own kids.

      But what grates me about this article is that the author just assumed she had a little genius in her hands just she can read advanced books at age 4. Lots of kids do that. It’s not that special and it doesn’t mean she is gifted. Most likely it will level off in the next couple of years. And then she assumed the IQ test MUST be wrong.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Agreed.

    • Zoe

      June 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      This. I was reading adult books in kindergarten too. But being very good at reading doesn’t necessarily mean she will continue to accelerate dramatically through her school years. She will probably continue to voraciously devour books, and get very good scores in English and Literature. And she will probably be an avid reader for life. But it doesn’t make her a genius. It’s probably why the specialist didn’t seem very impressed – she’s probably seen it before, along with mothers who think their child is God’s gift. I see you’re frustrated but It’s good that you’ve stepped back a bit. My mother is a pre-school teacher and most of the very gifted children she taught went on to have only slightly above-average successes, while the ‘normal’ kids went on to become doctors, musicians, lawyers, opera singers, psychologists, athletes and CEOs. You just never know. Find your own ways of encouraging her without pushing so hard she stops enjoying it. And test her IQ when she’s older, but don’t put too much faith in it.

    • nevilleross

      June 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      My parents were like this, too; none of them understood that I had a learning disability and was slightly autistic (Asperger’s Syndrome, which I finally got diagnosed at age 36), so I ended up having the usual comedy of errors in my education until 19. Then I ended up on welfare and in a billion programs for mentally ill people and other people with special needs all up to the age of 45. I’m paying for my parents not realizing that I wasn’t good enough to be in college or university by being on ODSP (long term disability money) and with no work skills.

      All I can say to sum up; If the person testing your child says something that’s true about them you don’t like, and you keep on getting them tested with the same result, your child will end up fucked. Let them be what they’re supposed to be.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      I’d like to point out, if you look at lists of average IQs for different professions, even the most intellectually demanding tend to be around 115 (the high end of average). There isn’t a single career in existence, that I know of, where the average is 130+ (“gifted”). And, statistically, gifted kids have the same likelihood of success as everyone else (not higher, like many people assume).

    • once upon a time

      June 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Yep, I could read and understand the words of Shakespeare at 6 or 7, but I didn’t understand the stories.

    • PSG

      June 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      I could understand them – absorbed that sort of language and the history around it, but could not solve basic mathematical problems if life depended on it…

    • Amber

      June 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      You and I obviously have a very different idea of what the word “comprehends” means.

      I loved to read at an early age too. That doesn’t mean I was able to comprehend and grasp adult concepts. Neither were you and neither is the author’s daughter.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      A small child can understand the concepts without understanding the innuendo. Though the author’s daughter (or I at that age) wouldn’t understand why Anna Karenina was so agitated about her marriage (unless she has been tutored in Imperial Russian etiquette, morality, and class structure) she (or I) would understand that she was agitated.

      Comprehension does not require that a reader grasp the meaning of all text and subtext, only that they understand what they have read. Even if the child’s comprehension is only at the face value of the words, she is still a more advanced reader than the average 7 year old.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      There are two levels of comprehension. Any child who is exceptionally good at reading will be able to comprehend the basic plot of a book, even an adult one. A seven year old who is good at reading can pick up Romeo and Juliet and understand the STORY just fine. It’s not that complicated.

      What very few children (and, honestly, not even every adult) can do is comprehend the deeper meaning of things. Children probably aren’t going to read The Chronicles of Narnia and get that it’s a Christian allegory, even though it’s incredibly blatant. They aren’t going to see the political and social critiques present in many classic novels. They don’t usually understand those, in part, because they don’t have the knowledge necessary to do so. To understand that a book is a critique on the political system of the era requires at least some knowledge of that era and its politics. They aren’t going to get the nuances of adult relationships in books because they don’t know anything about adult relationships.

      But those are two different things. For the average person (adults included), reading comprehension is about understanding the story and what is happening, and any child who is decently skilled at reading can do that.

    • Jack Causevic

      May 3, 2014 at 3:15 am

      Many kids of high school age will tell you that they can speak another language. Drill for the details and most of the time they will back down with silly qualifications that undercut their claims: ‘No, I can’t speak it. I can only count from 1 to 10 and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’,’ is one I hear lots. Of course, very few high schoolers have mastered a foreign language, and the ones that have are usually those that have been born to foreign parents.

      When somebody says they read Tolstoy, I interpret that to mean that they have read several of his books, perhaps that they do so habitually. I can think of very few people that were reading college-level material by the age of ten or twelve, even. John Quincy Adams, whose IQ was obviously extremely high (we’re talking in the top 1 percentile easily), read the promulgated histories of England that were given to him by his private tutors and couldn’t crack Hobbes until he was in his thirties. Reading classical literature is not an easy thing to do. I took a shot at Shakespeare in middle school: I was certainly prepared for it so long as I had my Oxford English Dictionary. To this day I don’t think I could read Shakespeare without the OED, because the language is antiquated. To have ‘been able to read Shakespeare’ at six means you have to have had an appreciable knowledge of Shakespeare’s vernacular at that age. If a six year old can define ‘culture’, that’s impressive. If a six year old can define ‘betwixt’, ‘rascal’, ‘afford’ (not the salient sense), then that’s extraordinary and Galton-like. I have no doubt that there are six year olds that can in fact do this, but they are proportionally low. How uncommon are they? Very. Only 5% of the adult population can define ‘ominous’. Even fewer can define ‘travesty’. Anybody worth his or her buck wouldn’t lend any credence to claims made by anonymous people on the internet to have been one of these children.

    • Rachel Sea

      May 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Some people are raised in reenactment theater, and learn to speak Early Modern English in Original Pronunciation when they are very small. Those people understand Shakespeare perfectly well, and merely have to decode the spelling to read his works.

    • Sure...

      January 10, 2014 at 12:31 am

      I’ve heard of only a few pianists and child pianists who have “mastered Bach in five minutes”. Let’s just say that they have accomplished a great deal in the realm of piano. I believe she does not truly understand what “mastering” means. And even if she did, why would she be wasting time here, complaining about an IQ? Find a talent agent. Cultivate that skill. Nurture a blossoming artist who can truly “master” Bach, in the true sense of the word. I find it hilarious that mastering Bach is so easily thrown around, when a four year old child can’t even properly reach an octave with his or her small hands… And not to make this post longer than it already is, but I’ve read that it does take 10,000 hours of practice and skill to reach mastery of any given subject. I think she’s looking for a different word to describe her daughter’s piano skills.

  5. anonymous

    June 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    It’s frustrating to be telling someone something and feel that they are completely brushing you off-that’s why she’s picking on the lady’s footwear. I understand her being skeptical, but when what you are describing about your child is extraordinary, you’d think they’d at least be willing to talk to you about options (for example, another school district that may be able to better handle your child’s needs?) If it proves that your daughter’s abilities were exaggerated, If her daughter is crying in frustration at being forced to sit through things she already understands, than I think it goes beyond her just being “smart.” She’d like to be challenged, maybe do some homeschooling after school, or find a program that she could join-even if it’s a non-academic one–to give her stimulation. Maybe find a club for an interest of hers and see if she’d be allowed to join? Then she could have the intellectual stimulation without being picked on. Just a thought.

    • Andrea

      June 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      It’s not that extraordinary. Several posters right here commented that they too could read advanced books at an early age.

    • ElleJai

      June 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      My psych (who handed over my last IQ test) said that early reading was incredibly rare across the population and usually led to a child with quite a high IQ. So it is somewhat extraordinary, and while definitely helicopter parenting at least this mum is being proactive in trying to protect her daughter’s love of learning, which will lead to her achieving later on. She’s just doing it wrong. “When I know better, I do better”- thus, the advice on how to proceed, not simply having a go at her.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      That’s sort of a fallacy. Even things that are incredibly rare are true for a huge number of people. According to statistics, only 0.15% of the population has an IQ above 145. That’s pretty rare, right? But that’s about 471,000 in the US and over 10 million people in the world.

  6. anonymous

    June 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    sorry, must have deleted a sentence,

    if her daughter’s abilities were exaggerated, then at least they’d feel they had proved it to you. They haven’t lost much.

  7. Emily

    June 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I thought that IQ tests were considered, at best, to be a loose guide to intelligence? And largely discredited by most developmental psychiatrists. Do people really take it seriously?

    • Justme

      June 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      I’m a teacher and I don’t take it terribly seriously because I think it can sometimes damage a child either way. If they have an average IQ they think they’ll always be an “average” person while a child with a high IQ can become unmotivated to work hard on furthering their education. I value a child’s commitment, dedication, hard work and enthusiasm for learning far more than a test score.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      I’m sure you’re already aware of this, but I just want to point out that a child with a high IQ can be extremely enthusiastic about learning but very, very bored in school because they already know everything that’s being taught. The primary benefit of gifted programs is that they allow children who would otherwise be miserable to actually have challenging material. For some kids, it’s the difference between making it through school still interested in learning and still motivated to succeed versus failing out because they were too bored to care.

      Of course, there are probably plenty of children who are academically advanced and have average IQs, but the point is that our school system currently does very little to benefit children who are above average, and often outright hinders them.

    • Justme

      August 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      I never said we shouldn’t have gifted programs….but just that the mother might want to back off a bit because her child is still so young.

    • ElleJai

      June 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      You have to understand the test in the environment.

      Firstly there’s the fact that the more often you take it, the better you get at it; it has to be taken by a member of the relevant culture applying the test, and a whole host of other factors that come into play when you’re giving it.

      The myth surrounding the tests is like the myth surrounding lie detector tests; infallible, and useful. Both are fallible, both will get wrong results from time to time, both can be applied incorrectly, and both results have to be interpreted as more than “yes” “no”, “high” or “low” .

    • Psych Student

      June 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      IQ tests aren’t discredited but do have very limited use. They can be helpful if someone had developmental delays and may need access to services that can only be gotten with proof from tests (not a great way to distribute resouces but that’s another matter). The biggest problem is that the standard IQ test (the WISC and the WAIS) don’t test much beyond school based knowledge. They test comprehension, math skills, memory, processing speed, etc. Children with more access to school and education are likely to do better on the tests. People who are trained to read the tests and interpret the scores (psychologists, and some other folks), can use it to help determine what other tests may be helpful. For example, if processing speed is low, then an analysis of the test scores (since the full scale IQ is made up of several pieces), then a teacher or therapist can look into what might contribute to those low scores – for example, hand-eye coordination problems, difficulties holding things, etc. But you’re right, just knowing what a number that represents an IQ doesn’t mean much.

  8. nerdygirl55

    June 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    My son has been diagnosed with developmental delays and was considered for retention in 1st grade with sensory disorders and has an IQ of 135. I think you are reading too much into what is essentially just a number.

    I think you are putting too much pressure on her as a kindergartener. Let her experience life as a little kid before you go around forcing her to do stuff outside her age group.

    • ElleJai

      June 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      She sounds like she wants to learn at the higher level, she just doesn’t want to get picked on for it. I was a voracious questioner/learner, reading at 3 and frustrated as hell if anyone tried to slow me down. My parents had books read to them because they never got the voices right. I was desperate to move up a grade but I was already the third youngest in my class… But if I’d been able to study at my own pace it would have made a huge difference. You can be a kid and still devour education 🙂

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      That’s what I was thinking as well. When I was in first grade, I was very upset when I was placed into the gifted program, because I didn’t want to leave my class (it was one full day a week). By 2nd or 3rd grade, though, it became the highlight of my week, and I credit it with being the only reason I managed to do well in elementary school, because I was usually bored and I struggled to force myself to do my homework despite it being stuff I’d known for years. Even just one day a week of being given work that was actually challenging made a HUGE difference.

      I desperately wanted to be moved up a grade, but now I’m actually glad that I wasn’t. I was one of the youngest in my class, and one of the smallest, but more importantly, I have no idea who I would even be now if I’d have been moved. I do wish they’d done slightly more to help me deal with the rest of school, though, and that the gifted program hadn’t stopped at 6th grade, but at least there was something.

    • someone

      August 13, 2013 at 3:27 am

      i’m glad you mentioned this. i was a late reader. i was still spelling “cat” and “dog” at six. i go on to read tolstoy’s “war and peace” at 13. eventually, i did extremely well in IQ tests and topped national aptitude tests.

      not that they mean something. i’m still an ordinary person.

      it all depends on how they experience the world.

  9. anon

    June 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve read the comments and agree that IQ tests do not tell the whole story – however, I believe that they can help rule out issues when children are experiencing developmental delays and behavioral/learning problems. The test is just one part of the puzzle. So, while I wouldn’t order an IQ test if my child were an exceptional performer, I certainly would if he or she were underachieving (along with using various other diagnostic tools).

  10. ElleJai

    June 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I’m exactly as smart as they thought, and was exactly as bored as to consistently refuse to bother past grade 6 (plus, if I did well I was a show off to the other kids; whereas if iI was “lazy” I got picked on less). But my IQ relates to book learning, not life skills, and my “EQ” is awful.

    First, the guidelines established mean they’re not supposed to give you a number value, just a range. In trials, people consistently performed to their given number, no matter whether it was higher or lower than their actual score.

    Secondly, her IQ is irrelevant. Her boredom and social issues aren’t. If it were me, I’d move her to a new kinder, leave her in the normal program and tell her she’s there to play with other kids and practice the skills she knows, then challenge her at home. Either yourself, or potentially a decent current/ex primary teacher who can keep pace with her rather than her age group.

    Or find an alternative school when she starts official school, with mixed age classes, so they do the work at their own level but socialise with everyone so she’s not ostracised for being different. If I could replay my own education those are options I’d consider. It’s a fine line to walk, but you can find a way that suits everyone. Good luck to you and your family.

    • Aldonza

      June 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      I agree. Both my brother and I were early readers, and always way beyond our peers, and my parents made sure to keep a ready supply of books and after school activities for us to make sure we were being challenged. We were both summer babies, and small for our age, so moving up a grade would have caused other issues. My parents also never made a big thing out of the fact that we were further along than our peers. They emphasized that everyone has different skills and talents, rather than try and make us feel separate and more advanced. Find other ways to challenge your child and when she’s a few years older, you can look into some of the advanced programs.

  11. Tea

    June 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I was that kid, to a degree. I was in “special” classes because I was visually impaired, but read at an 8th grade level in kindergarten once they got my eyes semi-working, I was also an early entry to kindergarten, which I was not emotionally ready for. They always said classes would get harder and more challenging, but they never did.. We had a G&T program from 3rd-6th grade, and I thrived, but when that got pulled, I was picking apart my desk, literally. My mother eventually home-schooled me past grade 6, because I was getting destructively bored

    The downside of this is that I missed out on a lot of critical socialization, and I’m still not sure which way would have been best. It may be best to keep her in, let her socialize, and find some sort of after school program or group to get involved in to let her stretch her mind at her own pace.

    The best thing my mother did was take advantage of any free or discounted event in our local city. Art galleries, museum free nights, discount tickets to watch afternoon rehearsal shows of the local orchestra, and a lot of nature walks and trips to the park. There are free talks at libraries, bookstores and colleges, so keep an ear to the ground.

    • ElleJai

      June 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      I’m not sure you missed much. Kids where I lived were ruthless in bullying anyone different, from the wrong elocution, to being too ahead or behind, wearing glasses, developing adult bodies too fast or slow, rah rah endless array of no no’s.

      It only took one lousy school to ruin the rest of them.

      Mind you, I’m also a huge fan of home schooled kids at least having one or two extra curricular activities with same aged peers. Although I think socialising with ONLY kids your age is creepy. I’ve never seen a workplace that operates like that lol.

    • meteor_echo

      June 7, 2013 at 12:54 am

      I was this kind of kid and I was bullied for 9 years because I liked to read, was smarter than the rest of my class and liked learning new things. Kids hate anyone who’s different, so you were pretty much saved from years of being punched, slapped, or having your belongings stolen and ruined. So yeah, you didn’t really miss much.

    • Tea

      June 7, 2013 at 11:01 am

      I got that for 2-7-ish (Bailed mid-7) Because even young kids can be asshats.

    • wmdkitty

      June 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      I was picked on, too. Not so much for the books, as it was for just being visibly different.

      Once, in middle school, some schmuck decided it would be “funny” to deflate my tires.

  12. army_eng_wife

    June 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    She is 5. Our school won’t test until 3rd grade. She is a CHILD let her be a CHILD. If you want to work with her expand her horizons at home.

    • thecoxswain

      June 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      That’s the first age they tested at my school too. I think it’s a wise decision to wait until that age because at that point, if the child is continuing to advance more quickly than his/her peers, it’s a better indicator of potential benefit from a G&T program.

  13. Andrea

    June 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    So she could read (and understand) complex books at 4? SO WHAT! So could I and so can probably thousands of kids. Don’t make me or them geniuses. Kids develop at different paces. Good god this article grated me.

    • Gangle

      June 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      I agree with this. I was an early reader too. Didn’t mean I was a child genius. Why does anyone need to fast-track a kindergardener? If she wants to assist in her childs development, take her to the library and let her read her heart out. Later down the track, if things continue to develop she can make decisions then.

    • Justme

      June 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

      My brother was the early reader with the genius level IQ….but he has the social skills of a snail, so there’s that.

    • Somebodiesmom

      January 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Yes social skills decline in higher levels of IQ’s, in general. Many geniuses have trouble relating to most people.

    • BeenThere

      June 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Actually that is not correct. Early reading is a sign of giftedness. A genius is someone with an IQ over 130. 80% of geniuses began reading before elementary school.

    • Andrea

      June 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      However, I would bet that nowhere near close of 80% of kids that read before starting elementary school are geniuses.

    • once upon a time

      June 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Acually, genius is 150 and over.

    • PSG

      June 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      I’m reading 140, so somewhere between the two of you…(laughing)

    • Somebodiesmom

      January 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      The score for genius identification depends on the test given. There are many different IQ tests.

    • La'Quantia Goodman

      October 21, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I can’t believe this article is published. So in essence, you think your child is gifted, but you conclude at doing nothing to prove what you think is true?

    • Andrea

      October 21, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Are you replying to my comment? Because I never said a word about my kid.

    • Somebodiesmom

      January 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Actually you most likely are gifted due to being able to read complex books at age 4. You probably learned to suppress an appreciation for that due to cultural biases against highly intelligent females. It is unusual and extraordinary to be able to read so well so young. There was even less support for gifted children when we were children than there is now. Even now, gifted support and recognition is inconsistent at best. Quite often gift adults are misunderstood by their peers and so many learn to adapt social skills to cover their giftedness.

    • Andrea

      January 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      That’s an interesting theory, but I don’t think it applies. I grew up in an intellectual household and excelling academically was expected and celebrated regardless of gender. I was pretty lucky that way, but given that this was an Italian household, the girls were expected to excel academically AND do household chores (the boys did not do household chores). LOL, so there is that.
      I’ll grant you that support for gifted children was not great then (and it ain’t no great shakes now either), but I went to private school where they separated the gifted from the average and put them in different classes, so it’s more of a case where I was used to being surrounded by smart kids. I was at the top (not the very top) of my class, but there were plenty kids just as smart and smarter than me. So if anything, I got used to adapting “up” and not “down”. I’ll give you that I was and am a pretty voracious reader and that I am not stupid, but it is (and wasn’t) an indicator that was I genius.
      At any rate, my comment still stands: an early reader is smart for sure, but it’s not a sure fire way of determining genius. That will remain to be seen.

    • Somebodiesmom

      January 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      This is not my personal theory, there is quite a bit of evidence to support this. However, I support this based on my own personal experiences. I grew up very similarly with a supportive family, school and peers. My own experience with outright hostility toward intelligent females did not happen until I went into the military and in the work force. The general public view is the one that doesn’t value highly intelligent females. Indeed, you may have experienced a high level of education at home before entering school to support reading early. Some parents don’t provide anything out of the ordinary and are shocked when they have a child reading prolifically. That situation is noteworthy and quite possibly what the author is describing, therefore a big deal. Private school frequently have systems ready to meet the needs of gifted learners. Highly intelligent children often come from highly intelligent parents and families, as the qualities are genetic and the family environment is often supportive of intellectual giftedness. Public schools are not funded well enough to support gifted children. Gifted children have specific emotional and intellectual needs that become problematic when unmet, no differently than children with cognitive impairment. The author’s experience is actually quite common for parents with an extraordinarily gifted child in public school.

  14. Saby

    June 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    My two cents as a former gifted kid: I don’t think IQ tests are very reliable at that age (in my school board testing doesn’t occur until age 8). And gifted testing involves more than just verbal ability – when I tested, you had to score in the 99th percentile on each of the verbal, non-verbal logic, and numerical (math) tests.

    Schools often have widespread gifted testing around the third and fourth grades. Make sure your daughter gets tested then along with her peers, but until then try to make sure she’s learning outside of school. And as a librarian, of course I have to strongly recommend the public library 🙂

    • AP

      June 7, 2013 at 12:19 am

      My school district did gifted testing in late elementary school, right around the time my family moved into the district. My mom called the guidance counselor of my younger sister’s school to inquire about the process, and was told that the teacher nominates students to take the test based on their academic performance and their leadership skills, how outspoken and confident they are, etc. My sister did not qualify, because she was quiet.

      My mom then called the guidance office of my school (same district) and was told that teachers nominate students based on academic performance and are quiet, studious, diligent, and fit in with the group. I did not qualify, because I was outspoken and opinionated.

      Our IQs were the same, and had we been born in a different order, we would have handily qualified.

  15. Sara J. Hutchinson Underwood

    June 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I just wanted to say how awesome these comments are. I’m considering having my oldest son tested. He’s advanced, although I don’t think he’d technically fall into the gifted category. The school system estimated his IQ at 140 when he was 3-1/2. He has autism, so we’re already lucky in that he has plenty of services and extra help, and our school system is so far pretty accommodating to his exceptionalities as well as his autism. He skipped kindergarten after doing 2 years of preschool, but as many commenters point out, it’s a hard line to walk between challenging him academically and making sure he has appropriate socialization.

    • Blueathena623

      June 7, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Can I give you a piece of advice? My IQ has been tested and I score between 145 to 148. So as one gifted kid to the mother of another, don’t put too much pressure on him. My parents were cool and not too bad, but I’ve spent my whole life hearing that I have to *do* something, that I better take advantage of my gifts. It can quickly take being smart from being fun to an obligation, like I would be a bad person if I didn’t try to change the world.

    • Justme

      June 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

      I went to junior high with a girl who left during the 7th grade to attend college because she was that incredibly brilliant. Everyone was on pins and needles to hear what amazing thing she was going to do with her life.

      She is a teacher.

      I mean, I’m a teacher and there’s no shame in what I do and we need highly intelligent and qualified people in this field…but you could see the balloon of excitement deflate in people’s faces when she told them her career plans. I guess everyone expected her to go on and cure cancer, when all she really wanted to do was teach science.

    • Blueathena623

      June 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Haha, I’m not nearly that brilliant, but I went the same route. I was totally going to cure cancer, but ended up in the education field.

    • ElleJai

      June 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Yeah, but it’s the average (high average maybe?) kids who go on to cure cancer. Gifted kids have the same span of interest as anyone else, they often simply have it earlier.

      Or they’re being jerks. Take me. My litany of complaint for not being able to pick what those of you in the USA choose to refer to as a “college major,” is that I’m too good at too many things. If I CAN do almost anything, and I don’t know what I WANT to do, then I can’t simply “follow what I’m good at” and hope it works out, or I figure out what I want eventually.

      Too. Much. Choice.

      (See? I warned you it was jerky.)

    • Justme

      June 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      I really don’t care about anyone’s intelligence nor their chosen career….as long as they are satisfied, content and fulfilled with what they do, who am I to judge? And quite frankly….even if someone isn’t any of those things, it’s still none of my business.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      I think the most important thing in your son’s case is the combination of giftedness and autism (giftedness as defined as an IQ of 130 or above, by the way, so he technically does qualify if his IQ is about 140). Autistic people are frequently assumed to be below average, and with your son being both autistic and above average, that may lead to people trying to accommodate him in a way that isn’t actually helpful. But you say his school is doing a good job, so at this point, it probably isn’t a big deal.

    • Sara J. Hutchinson Underwood

      August 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      It’s funny that this comment came today – we just got his 3 year evaluation from the school. According to the WISC-IV his overall IQ is 135, and the WIAT-III it’s 141. They also noted that he had difficulty focusing and was easily distractible, so they think the score isn’t necessarily accurate. And their first recommendation is “allow his to demonstrate his abilities with challenging work”

  16. footnotegirl

    June 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    “I was promptly informed that there were no gifted services at this elementary school, and that my daughter’s skills would more than likely level out and be more in line with everyone else’s once school got underway.”
    This? Scares the BLEEP out of me. Our schools are doing this? Because they’re basically saying “Sure, your kid is smart and needs a challenge, but if we dont’ do anything long enough, we’ll dumb her down to the average!” as if that were a GOOD THING?!?!?
    Definitely get your child into a school with a gifted program. If she doesn’t have learning that interests and challenges her, she will crash and burn.

    • Mom1099

      August 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      This happens ALL the time at schools in MD and we are supposed to have top schools. We’re on our 4th elementary school kid and trying to get some supplemental services is difficult…skipping a grade isn’t always the answer…it really puts parents in a difficult position.

      I was told with each of my children that the others would catch up and then they could make a group of readers or accelerated math students. Unfortunately, they did nothing until that happened. It is frustrating!

  17. Cee

    June 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Wow…everyone here is gifted

    • Andrea

      June 7, 2013 at 7:27 am

      I’m pretty sure the point that a lot of us are trying to make is that reading advanced books at an early age does NOT mean we are gifted.

    • G.E. Phillips

      June 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Yeah, what I like to tell people is, “I used to be really smart.”

    • Chloe

      June 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      I’m 26 and I love to tell people that when I was 5 I read at an 8th grade level – and still do. 😉

    • someone

      August 13, 2013 at 3:36 am

      now that’s funny

    • someone

      August 13, 2013 at 3:35 am

      too funny. well then, let me think i used to be dumb! now i’m dumber!

    • Justme

      June 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

      I was in the GT classes because I was a hard worker – I struggled to keep up with the thought processes of some of my peers, but I was competitive and driven which made up some of slack.

    • thecoxswain

      June 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Funny. 🙂 FWIW though, I would imagine people who experienced the gifted program and IQ testing as children are likely to be drawn to this article in a higher percentage than their representation in society.

    • ElleJai

      June 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      I can memorise, and spit back out lots of subject material, have great reading and comprehension and a high IQ… but I’m still on disability, I still struggle to work, and all the pressure on being “[book] smart” only served to underscore that “being bright” was the most interesting facet about me.

      I’m all for challenging kids who are showing strong signs of comprehension, desire and enjoyment, up to whatever level is enough of a challenge to engage them but not far enough to discourage them. I just don’t think it needs a special label.

  18. AP

    June 7, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I think you should have her tested independently. It gives you the opportunity to keep the results private if you feel it’s most appropriate, but gives you leverage if your daughter gets in trouble for not paying attention during reading lessons because she already knows how to read.

    I was a precocious learner in elementary school, as were many of my friends now as adults. Elementary schools are not tolerant of kids who don’t “fit the mold” unless they have an IEP, and if your daughter is one of these kids, expect trouble. I know kids who were suspended and nearly dumped into special ed classes, simply because they were misbehaing out of boredom. That treatment sticks with kids and affects their attitudes towards life. Plenty of kids level out, sure, but the damage to their attitude is done.

  19. 2EMom

    June 7, 2013 at 12:43 am

    If you think she didn’t cooperate, I would definitely re-test in a few years. My son was tested at 3 1/2 because he had a speech delay and his speech therapist wanted to rule out a low IQ as the reason for the delay. He was not terribly cooperative but did very well on one section he enjoyed (puzzle assembly) so that the administering psychologist was able to get the information she needed to rule out a low IQ. His overall IQ came out to be something like 97 on this test. 3 years later he was re-tested and that time got a 137, which is in the gifted range.

  20. Em

    June 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Honestly I think IQ tests are overrated and don’t tell the whole story of a child’s intelligence. There are different ways to be considered intelligent and “book smarts” is just one of them. For example, I was a below average student in math yet very advanced in English. My husband is a Finance professor who works with Economists and they enjoy talking to me regarding the “psychology” of Economics because they are so numbers-oriented that they can’t wrap their heads around the non-numbers aspect of the subject. I have assisted them in research papers in this regard. So in this particular case, I am more intelligent than a group of math-related Phds.

  21. Normal Doctor

    June 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Children all grow up at their own pace. I was fairly slow and even was held back in kindergarten because I had trouble reading. But you know what? I have two degrees and I am not in medical school. Clearly, needing a bit extra help wasn’t a sign of my clear inferiority. And sad to say it, but many of those gifted kids struggled when things became harder in college and onward because they thought it should have been something innate and instantaneous. Too many are living at home with their parents now with no job or hopes of one. I learned how to work hard to survive and achieve. That’s a skill that we forget to teach to the kids we think are too special to need it. There are many different types of intelligence and IQ barely measures one with dubious accuracy. Just raise your kid to be confident in their ability to get what they want if they work hard and they’ll meet the challenge. Forget these silly labels.

    • Normal Doctor

      June 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      now* in medical school (heh,really helping my point aren’t I? :P)

    • competitivenonfiction

      June 8, 2013 at 1:33 am

      oh my goodness yes to all of this!

    • ElleJai

      June 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      I was always jealous of my “average” best friend, because she learned how to actually apply herself and how to actually study.

      I was one of the kids who was “smart” and thus never bothered to learn appropriate diligence. She’s now married, owns a house, a new car, works at a job she enjoys. I’m on disability, renting, with a gorgeous bub and no degree/work skills to speak of.

      I think she wins this round 😉

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      As I’ve said in a couple other comments, the idea that giftedness is inherently good and is something everyone should want for their kid is deeply flawed. Many gifted kids (myself included) never learned how to study because they never had to, and when faced with a class that is actually difficult once they get to college, they will have absolutely no idea how to deal with that.

      The idea of not just immediately understanding something was pretty new for me (it had only happened with a handful of other concepts, and none of those took terribly long to figure out), so when I had a class that I couldn’t understand even with some effort (organic chemistry), I was at a total loss. I had literally no idea how to make the stuff we were learning make sense, because that was a skill I’d never had to use. It was a horrible experience. I spent the entire semester constantly anxious because I knew I was going to fail, and I had no idea how to stop it from happening.

      That’s also part of why I think it’s so essential for gifted kids (or any significantly advanced child) to be given work that is actually challenging to them, regardless of how well they’re doing with their at-level work. The fact that they’re getting straight A’s with minimal effort isn’t GOOD, it’s actually kind of awful. School isn’t just about learning how to read and do math, it’s also about learning skills, and kids who aren’t being challenged aren’t learning any skills besides how much they can slack off and still get good grades.

  22. 100 Flat

    June 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    You know what is amazing? How many people say their IQs are above or well above average. MENSA level is 135 and up, the people who are SUPPOSED to make up a TINY fraction of the population. But I swear every person you meet when you mention IQ will say theirs is 150 – 170 or something ridiculous. But that question is silly. It doesn’t matter what their IQ is. It means absolutely nothing without achievements to back it up. Ask the next person who claims to have a 165 IQ what their latest invention/discovery/project/whatever was and how they benefited the planet with their genius. There’s more to life and the human mind then a number could show you. Raise your little genius like she can do anything and she will. Praise her for her hard work and dedication and when she cures a disease or discovers a planet, make her name it after you. Or she may grow up to revamp the IQ test – that thing is incredibly flawed

  23. Varsha

    June 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    My son was reading extremely well at age 3, and reading everything by age 4 – newspapers, magazines, textbooks. Of course, he couldn’t comprehend all of it. It never occurred to me to go get him tested for giftedness because even I was a very early reader, and I know that does not translate into being gifted. He is now in kindergarten and his reading is like that of any adult, but his level of comprehension of what he reads is just at third-grade level. I just let him go at him own pace. Don’t be so quick to rush and label them as gifted or not. I wouldn’t dream of submitting him to standardized tests at this tender age.

  24. Jenn

    June 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Oh lord. Time to pick up a copy of The Well Trained Mind and gracefully bow out of the mainstream. You tried. I really believe you did. Modern public schooling is a noble experiment, but with budget cuts, growing classroom sizes and more and more students with needs bigger than the system, who are we kidding any more?

    There is no national mandate for gifted education. Districts don’t pay extra for easy students who already make them look good. No one is responsible for telling you this. But I’m telling you: time to revise. Don’t go down on this ship.

    • thecoxswain

      June 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Hahahaha! Love your word choice. 🙂 I was educated in the public system, and it was a mantra around my house that participating in and supporting public school educations was a civic duty. About a decade ago, my mom informed me that they were putting aside money for my potential future child’s private education because of the serious damage inflicted on public schools through lack of proper investment (both monetary and community-driven). It saddens me, but that really is the truth. We have done such a disservice to the last/current generation, and you really can’t recover the opportunities lost to a child due to a substandard early education.

  25. Jenn

    June 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    What the heck is wrong with the commenters here? This article isn’t just about a smart kid, an assertive parent and an uncooperative school system. It’s about a little girl who comes home from kindergarten crying everyday. Kindergarden. The proverbial land of sunshine. Can’t you empathize with her mother for just a second?

    • Jessica

      June 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Yes!! I totally agree with you! I don’t see why everyone is attacking the mom. Especially since she was essentially confessing that she wished she had approached the situation differently. Across our very large and very populated country of course there are plenty of young, early readers. However, that doesn’t mean it’s so typical that when it’s YOUR CHILD you should shrug your shoulders and just ignore it. As a former teacher I am well versed in the frustration that is felt when parents are either too involved or completely absent. She appears to be neither. One of the reasons that I left the profession was the fact that I felt terrible every year that the students who were advanced relative to the rest of the class received the least of my attention. The paperwork and interventions that were mandated for the lowest performers were so time and energy intensive that there was very little opportunity to really challenge students that needed it. This appears to be the current path of public education, especially in locations where a teachers salary is directly influenced by performance on standardized tests. The above average students will perform well regardless, and as such are often left to their own devices to learn “independently”. I no longer wanted to be a part of it, and now that I am a parent, I am committed to sending my children to a private school when the time comes. If the author feels her child is not having a positive experience in her first exposure to schooling, gifted or not, she has every right to want to steer that ship in another direction!!

    • Justme

      June 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Unfortunately the mother’s judgmental attitude of the child’s teacher and her insistence that the teacher MUST have screwed up the results of the IQ test overrides any sense of empathy I would have for the mother.

  26. BeenThere

    June 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Get her retested. Flip flops was wrong. You have to be an advocate. An advocate is not a helicopter. Go to davidsonsgifted.org, read everything you can. Forget the labels, just get an appropriate education for your daughter.

    • Psych Student

      June 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      If she get’s her child retested, it should be on a different test, otherwise the score will go up just due to retesting. Perhaps she should get the child an achievement test rather than an IQ test.

  27. Sal

    June 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

    What is exactly wrong with an average IQ anyway? Average is what the majority of kids are, that is why it is average. It’s not a bad word and doesn’t mean a life of non-specialness. If everyone is above average or a genius, doesn’t that mean they are just really average then? Too many parents claim their off spring are gifted and we roll our eyes because, really, it is a rare occurrence. Yes, we all want to believe our snowflakes are gifted but then reality sets in and we realize that kids develop at different rates. I have grown “average” kids who are thriving and not due to elevated IQ’s but because the have nice personalities and are motivated to do well in life. I would prefer that; they are happy and using the “gifts” that were given to them to make the most of things. Early reading is not an indicator of a high IQ either. I read early and I know full well I am far from a genius. My daughter started to read, finally, in third grade. She took off like a shot and is in nursing school. She is the hardest worker I know. I think her struggles made her more motivated. I would rather have that than a bored child with a high IQ who complains she isn’t learning anything. By the way, if your child is really smart, he or she will learn regardless of what is being taught in the classroom. I am glad you backed off. Supporting your kids is more important than pushing them.

  28. koolchicken

    June 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I had a nightmare of a time learning to read, and I have an IQ of 140. Once I learned how I passed every reading with flying colors, but bombed every spelling test. It was assumed I was lazy. I was finally diagnosed as dyslexic in high school If I weren’t “smart but lazy” it probably would have been spotted sooner. Be grateful for your average kid, I’m sure she’ll have a better time in school than I did.

  29. Psych Student

    June 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I’m not sure which test the child was given, but if it was a WISC (the most popular IQ test), then a 4 year old shouldn’t be tested, since it isn’t normed for 4 year olds (ages 6-16 years 11 months). The girl was probably tested using a version of the standard IQ test designed for kids 4-6. I doubt the teacher administered the test as these tests cannot be adminstered, scored, and interpreted by someone who is not trained to do so.

    IQ tests are good at measuring knowledge obtained through school such as math, similarities, vocabularly, comprehension and picture completion. People who have higher levels of education are likely to do better on the test. That doesn’t mean they have great social skills or creativity, it means their book learning is pretty good and they work well under the pressure of timed tests. Reading has very little impact on an IQ test. Perhaps a better test of the child’s skills would be an achievement test, which tests reading, writing, comprehension, etc. It might make the mom feel better if the person who administered the test explained the breakdown of scores to her and looked at where the child excelled and where she struggled since one low score can bring down the IQ. Perhaps the child stuggles at finding pictures or answering questions/performing tasks quickly under pressure. Or she may not have a very good memory. I am smart (I have two bachelor’s degree and am working on my doctorate in psychology – ok, that doesn’t mean smart, it just means persistant), but I don’t do great on IQ test because 1. my artimetic skills are lacking and slow, 2. I’m slightly dyslexic, so repeating letter/number sequences is hard because I flip things, 3. my working memory isn’t great, so I’m not good at holding and repeating long sequences in my head. That doesn’t mean I’m not smart and didn’t do well at school. I was frequently in the top portion of my class and took honors classes through high school and very much enjoyed them. IQ tests have limited helpfulness. I find that they are more helpful in identifying potential deficets that my need additional testing to confirm.

  30. Su Camarrari

    June 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    107 is actually a bit above average. The average IQ in the U.S. has dropped in recent years from 100 to 95. Also, at 4 years old who knows how accurate the test is. She could certainly be around 110 which is at the high end of “average”. Also, the test is supposed to be administered by a psychologist so it’s probably not even accurate. Lastly some kids with IQ’s over 150 struggle in life with social issues, so it’s not all it’s cracked up to be having a genius IQ. Most of the high IQ types I know have all kinds of quirks in their personalities. I had an uncle with a 160 IQ who was a severe alcoholic who was married 5 times and his kids never understood him, etc….. He certainly was a genius, but he was not a happy person. High IQ doesn’t equal happiness. Most successful people have IQ’s around 120 – 135, anything higher than that they usual aren’t considered “normal”. I do have a few geniuses in my family in the 150 range that seem to be well adjusted, along with some who aren’t so well adjusted. So, I wouldn’t get too upset with a 107 IQ. I’ll take a kid with a 107 IQ over one with a 97 IQ….Really this mother needs to stop complaining. How would she like to raise a special needs child……?

    p.s., the word is “coma”, not “comma”.

    • Leigha7

      August 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Average is 100 by definition. The test is normalized every few years to make sure of that. Also, anything between 85-115 is still technically average, because it’s within one standard deviation of the mean.

    • Mary

      August 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you for pointing out the ‘coma’ ‘comma’ error. That was bugging me. As is this from your comment: it’s ‘IQs over 150’ and IQs around 120-135, not IQ’s. In both cases, IQ is plural, not possessive.

  31. Pauline

    June 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Its true the public school system isn’t perfect and some teachers are better than others. However it sounds like your daughters teacher was really trying to help by putting her in a special reading group. There is only so much individual attention a child can get in a class with one teacher & 20+ kids. I am a mother of a special needs child who is in the public school system. It is an amazing school & her teacher is incredible – they do all they can for her. So how much extra support does she get? Not much. They just don’t have the resources. Reality. If your child is ‘gifted’ or whatever and needs to be challenged its up to you to find ways to do that outside of school. Get creative. There is no rule book for how to parent a child with a rare genetic disorder. I had to figure it out and work with whats available. Its not easy & yes it is a ton of work. But worth it. Talk to any parent of a special needs child and you will understand what it means to be proactive.

  32. h

    June 10, 2013 at 4:10 am

    So her IQ tested lower than you expected. Could be for a number of reasons, from the tampering or uncooperation you suspect, to a child who simply doesn’t test well, to that particular test being flawed, etc.. maybe the results were accurate and maybe they werent. Practically that is of no concern other than wanting validation in number form. I get it: you saw that your daughter was academically performing (specifically in reading) at a level that is, from your observation, higher than most other kids her age, and thus you would expect her IQ to test far above average, and it didn’t.

    All of that, though, is not what matters. What matters is that your daughter gets what she needs, whether her IQ is 60, 107, or 170. That number does not change her reading level. encourage that at school and at home. I was a very early reader and remember my mom getting mad because the school library wouldn’t let me check out chapter books in first grade, because those were for the older kids. Eventually they let me, but in the meantime, I read whatever I wanted at home. If money is a concern, the library is free. My parents also taught me that everyone finds certain things easier or more difficult, and it is good to help others. So when I got bored with a reading or spelling lesson, I would remember that it did not come as easily for some people and would try to help them. I wasn’t as bored and learned some life skills.

    As far as continuing to advance her own skills, unfortunately a lot of this has to happen at home if changing schools is not an option. I would, however, suggest meeting with the teacher and seeing what can be done at school. Focus on what your daughter needs for her own learning experience, not on whether she did ahead or not.

    And try to teach work skills and be aware if they are difficult to acquire…. nobody bothered with that with me because I was smart and well behaved, and smart people have a stereotype of being disorganized. I made it to a seven sisters college and almost flunked out, was diagnosed with ADD at age 20 and it had all been there all along, but nobody noticed that I had very low executive functioning because I was able to compensate with high intelligence. When I finally got work that challenged me, I had no clue how to go about it to the point where it has severely affected future plans (my gpa would make grad schools laugh and I wanted a career in psychology, soooo…)

    Point being (sorry I got off track, please reference ADD diagnosis), pay attention to and advocate for who your daughter is herself, not how she measures up to others.

    • wmdkitty

      June 10, 2013 at 6:53 am

      pay attention to and advocate for who your daughter is herself, not how she measures up to others.

      This.

  33. Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

    June 10, 2013 at 6:52 am

    IQ tests are a crapshoot. And they generally mean nothing. But speaking as a kid who was also bored to (frequently literal) tears in school for many years.
    Please pull her out and put her somewhere that challenges her. It is important not only for her own sanity and social well being, but for her intelligence. The dirty truth of many public schools is that they are forced to teach so that the kid who has the least understanding understands.
    I’m not saying this is bad, merely that it’s frustrating for the kids who are grades ahead of their peers. It’s not going to get better, and could eventually make your daughter lose her love of learning or learn to “act dumb” to fit in.
    Please please please find another school for her.

  34. once upon a time

    June 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    IQ testing means that your child is good or bad at doing IQ tests and nothing else.

    Your feelings towards your child’s kindergarten teacher really disturb me. If you honestly believe that she interfered with your child’s tests then report her, because that’s a worrying level of educational corruption. But I suspect if you calm down for a second and try to think about it objectively, you’ll see how silly the accusation is.

    Also, I was an early reader, and if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have let my parents know. Accelerated reading classes ruined my enjoyment of books – I started speed reading and not retaining a lot.

  35. Ruth

    June 11, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I was an early reader too, though I required a bit of a run-up: I never took accelerated classes and certainly didn’t have my nose buried in Tolstoy before I’d started school, but I was still pretty precocious and reading at an adult level by the age of eight or nine. My enjoyment of books, however, and my desire to read likewise, were both completely destroyed for several years by my parents’ well-meaning attempts to get me onto those Brainy Adult Books long before I was able to actually understand what the heck I was even reading. End result? Sure I was the only kid in my class reading classic lit, but I didn’t actually understand what the books were about and ended up bored to death. All pushing me to read grown-up books did was make me feel that books were boring. Maybe my nine-year-old self was perfectly able to read ‘Jane Eyre’, but left to myself I’d have been reading about ponies.

    I’m now in my thirties. With a very few exceptions, I still can’t bring myself to read pre-modern classics. All I can think of is how bored they made me when I was young and, though I know I’d probably get them now in a way I just didn’t as a child, boredom is all I can associate them with. Trust me, your kid does not – in any real sense of the word – understand Tolstoy, and if she’s anything like me she’ll probably spend her adult life avoiding it like the plague. Reading should be fun, and one of the major ways to ensure it stays that way is to let a child read books that speak to her. At five, that’s going to mean princesses and ponies. The 700-page Russian sagas might need to wait a little, but they’ll keep – and, if she gets to come to them when she’s ready, she’s an awful lot more likely to enjoy them.

  36. DMiller

    June 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Gifted and talented does began in kindergarten…as an educator please get her retested and speak to an administrator about your concerns. You want your child to have a wonderful educational experience; in addition you do not want her to begin to act out due to frustrations.

  37. Elle

    July 12, 2013 at 3:49 am

    This just seemed like one long rant about why the author doesn’t like the school or school system where she lives. Chances are good that the IQ test was dead on but it really means exactly zilch as far as the kid’s education is concerned. School is only a fraction of the day, less than half the days of the year. Want your kid to be successful in life? Do something meaningful with the rest of that time. Teaching your child that not everything they encounter in life is going to be fun and games is valuable as well.

    Why the older child was ignored because his sister likes to read is beyond me. That is just crummy parenting no matter how you slice it.

  38. Alphonse Edbronsky

    August 8, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Do not assume that the IQ test was administered or scored properly. School psychologists typically have little experience administering tests to gifted children. They are usually simply trying to rule out deficits as opposed to ensuring maximal performance. The fact that your daughter is such a precocious reader is important. The fact that she is very unhappy with the lack of challenge in her school is a huge red flag. I recommend that you not ignore these but, rather, have her tested by a psychologist with extensive experience with gifted children. If you are unable to find one in your area, contact the Gifted Development Center in Denver Colorado. They are experts in gifted testing and advocacy and have very reasonable prices. Good luck and don’t give up on your little girl.

  39. Jonathan

    September 9, 2013 at 3:24 am

    The problem with gifted kids being ignored exists and is very much a problem – just as much as if it were underdeveloped kids being ignored. I hope you figure it out. Dont be afraid of people judging – it is hard, and your kid needs more attention than usual. But dont say that she can “learn bach songs on the piano in less than 5 minutes”. Nope.

  40. Rachel

    October 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    All parents want gifted kids because it makes them feel better about themselves, but what they dont realize is if your kid is smarter than you, youll know it because you wont be able to handle them. A kid that can count and read a book is no big deal. Big whoop. Unless your child is getting a million views on youtube with their piano skills, I think youre just a proud parent. Bach is basic. All parents think their kid is special, the exception to the rule, or some kind of prodigy. A kid that can think in abstract concepts and wonder about quarks is a different story. In the first grade I was 140+. That number never changes. Sorry you are disappointed but its not your kids fault or that of the instructor. Get over yourself. You will be lucky to have a normal child. They wont leave for college at 15 and disregard every thing you say because they know mommy and daddy are “average thinkers.” They wont be trying to emancipate themselves at 12 because they figured out the stock market (didnt happen). You wont have to deal with your kid speaking in Russian for weeks just to screw with you. They also wont want to drop out the college because their PhD professors are “shallow in their theories.” The life of a gifted child is lonely. Be grateful.

  41. LOW LAT

    November 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I know it’s hard for you to understand, but actually most people underestimate or in your case overestimate someone IQ such as your child. It happens often and gets people very disappointed in the end. Don’t make to much of it!

  42. Knows what is important

    November 4, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Wow. Have a child with special needs and when you will read pieces like this about how precious “couldn’t possibly be just average” and you will laugh your butt off. Pathetic.

    • MonkeyMama

      November 12, 2013 at 12:19 am

      For what it’s worth, Giftedness is considered a “special need” also. Those kids have IEPs as frequently as students who lag behind.

  43. Carla

    November 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I had a similar experience with my son at age 6. Trust your instincts mom. My son was tested at 110 which I felt was wrong. A year later at a school for gifted kids he scored 140. They require a second independent text and that time it was 118. Go figure. Iq tests are supposed to be the same across time, an innate score in influenced by anything else, unbiased. What I’ve seen is that is utter BS at least for little kids!:

  44. Jack

    November 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    This is the most obnoxious post I’ve ever read. Clearly, the mother is boxed reasoning. The child is indeed four, yes. So there is a chance that she can test into a gifted program at 12. No one takes 4-year-olds IQs too seriously. Neither do they take the IQ-obsessed parents seriously either. Don’t confine your child to a test. I don’t even know what to say beyond this. Why don’t you teach your kid skills and allow her intellect to shine in who she is and what she masters. You think 130 says it all. Haha! When I was 6, I just circled the answers to the questions of an IQ test I was suggested for. I grew up to score 1470/1600 on the SAT on got into a top college. I write really great essays. I recently got accolades for the logicality and originality of a philosophy essay I wrote. I would rather have these accomplishments and my IQ score of 82 as a 6-year-old than to have an IQ of 140, which PREDICTS that I should have the successes. Get a life!

  45. mannep

    December 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

    wow first time I have been on this site and last, My son is gifted and it has been proven. I fought for years and finally they tested him in highschool because they thought he had a learning disability…..4 grade levels higher then everyone in his grade. This is not why I am not coming back. I feel a lot of the posts are just so angry and hostile. Shame on some of you.

  46. Momma Bing

    January 15, 2014 at 9:35 am

    4 yrs old is way to early to test for being gifted..my daughters school has a gifted program and they don’t usually test until 1st grade unless it is apparent that the child is gifted. There are several attribute a that need to be looked at before one assumes their child is gifted. How do they manage a class room setting, do they dominate peers or situations, keen sense of humor, often critical (even of themselves), good memory ( my daughter can remember everyone’s birthday even after mention it to her once), intense concentration and even being bossy!! There are many more..these are just a few. I am I no way saying your child doesn’t fit in the gifted category…some children my not test gifted until that have matured alittle more. I would suggest getting her retested when she is in 1st or 2nd grade.

  47. Nononsense

    January 22, 2014 at 2:37 am

    That teacher sounds clueless. If it were my kid, I’d pull her from the school (or at least transfer her out of that class)…

  48. Somebodiesmom

    January 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    The article written by this mom speaks of problems that parents often encounter who have children that don’t fit the profile of an average student, especially when I child may have qualities of high intelligence. The snarky responses only demonstrate how poorly society at large understand the issues involved. The mother’s frustration is quite common under the circumstances. Parents of truly intellectually gifted children are not looking to brag or seeking praise, they are quite often desperately searching for help for their child. It’s no different when a parent has a child with difficult to diagnose learning disabilities. Parents of gifted children have a huge challenge to seek out educational settings that nurture their child’s potential rather than brush them aside, content that they understand the grade/age level academics. Parents have the responsibility to advocate for their children and sometimes must seek alternatives to their present education. Not doing so risks the child becoming disaffected and under performing. Many gifted children that go unserved become procrastinators, struggle with socializing, engage in disruptive behaviors and can eventually become drop out risks. Whether the parent who wrote the article has a gifted child or not is not something the general public can evaluate based on her article. She needs resources and to connect with parents who have been through the same situation. There are resources and hopefully she has found them. Parents can start their search with organizations like the National Association for Gifted Children, SENG, and Gifted Child Society. Getting a good evaluation is important to supporting the educational needs of any child that are not adequately met by the common model.

  49. Geoff Kirwan

    February 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

    In statistics, what anon mommy above is showing is ‘confirmation bias’ – she’s convinced her daughter is gifted, and therefore any data that doesn’t support that conclusion is clearly false, and correct data must be out there somewhere. My advice is relax. Your gifted daughter, if gifted, will remain so whether she’s a patents clerk in her 20s or working on the A-bomb in her 40s. Wait and get her tested again in a couple years.

  50. Anna

    March 24, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Sorry – couldn’t be bothered to read all the comments. But if you want evidence – DO NOT WORRY, because IQ tests aren’t valid until a child is 15 years old. Read the Bell Curve. There is so much development left to go, you may still have a genius…

  51. Shelley

    April 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I was with a guy for 3 years, he always told me he loved me and that we wouldn’t break up because if you love someone you make it work. We could never work out a time when we were both free and just a couple days ago he said we should just be friends. I know he don’t me love anymore. When we were dating he said to everyone that I was his girlfriend and introduced me, told his friends he really liked me and told me he loved me, I wanted to be with him again but I never knew what to do. I tried for a long time with other spell casters to get him back but [email protected] was the ONLY spell caster that could do the love spell for me that worked, if you need help contact him today he will always come to your aid, Obviously great zalilu is the REAL DEAL!

  52. Anna Rouse

    June 14, 2014 at 12:42 am

    My son had the same experience in kindergarten. He’s just about to start first grade in a private school. His school didn’t want to test him for gifted and talented because the school was closing. But his kindergarten teacher got to be my best ally. She got him tested on a standardized test, and then used that to get him IQ tested. He tested low the first time he took the IQ test, too. He barely got a 100. But his kindergarten teacher insisted to his principal that the test admin must have screwed up and convinced the school to test him again. So they did and he scored a 135. Also, IQ can change in the early years. Being smart isn’t about how much you know, so much as how you learn. And you can teach your kid how to learn for well beyond kindergarten. So, her IQ may go up or down depending on the environment she’s in.

  53. Jessica Mantonya

    July 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    IQ actually change that much over time and usually only decreases when there is severe neglect. Rote memory actually doesn’t have much to do with IQ at all. While it is great that she can read and play music, it does not show problem solving or reasoning. Some children also show what are called “splinter skills”. This is when they excel in certain areas but lack in others. Both of my kids have had quite a bit of IQ testing so I’ve heard it all several times. My son has high functioning Autism and has “splinter skills”. While he does VERY well in some areas, he really lacks in others and it brings the overall IQ down. My daughter has been very consistent in her rankings. When she was born I enrolled her in a sibling study to watch for early signs. Luckily, she never had any. What we did learn is that there is not formal IQ testing for children under three but that their predictions are still very accurate. When she was 6 months the doctors placed her in the top 3% and that is where her IQ has always tested since she was over 3. There are slight variations in her scores but they are only by two or three points and mostly have to do with her being tired or just needing a break. While my kids have only been tested for studies, I am pro testing. I think it is nice to have a break down of their strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of developing an education plan (teach through their strengths). Honestly, I think you are putting WAY too much into all of this. If you enjoy reading, I recommend a book called “Alexander the Great” by Sean Patrick. He explains how the relation between IQ and success follow the law of diminishing returns. IQ is not a predictor of success. There are tons of very successful people that have learning disorders (Einstein included). Please focus less on what her IQ is and more on play – she only gets to be a little kid once. Also, if she is reading and playing music at the level you say and still testing around 100, you may want to look into High Functioning Autism (aka Aspergers) since that is VERY common. Not saying she has it, but you may just want to rule it out. Early intervention can make a huge difference in social development later.

  54. Jessica Mantonya

    July 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    IQ actually does not change that much over time and usually only decreases when there is severe neglect. Rote memory doesn’t have much to do with IQ at all. While it is great that she can read and play music, it does not show problem solving or reasoning. Some children also show what are called “splinter skills”. This is when they excel in certain areas but lack in others. Both of my kids have had quite a bit of IQ testing so I’ve heard it all several times. My son has high functioning Autism and has “splinter skills”. While he does VERY well in some areas, he really lacks in others and it brings the overall IQ down. My daughter has been very consistent in her rankings. When she was born I enrolled her in a sibling study to watch for early signs. Luckily, she never had any. What we did learn is that there is not formal IQ testing for children under three but that their predictions are still very accurate. When she was 6 months the doctors placed her in the top 3% and that is where her IQ has always tested since she was over 3. There are slight variations in her scores but they are only by two or three points and mostly have to do with her being tired or just needing a break. While my kids have only been tested for studies, I am pro testing. I think it is nice to have a break down of their strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of developing an education plan (teach through their strengths). Honestly, I think you are putting WAY too much into all of this. If you enjoy reading, I recommend a book called “Alexander the Great” by Sean Patrick. He explains how the relation between IQ and success follow the law of diminishing returns. IQ is not a predictor of success. There are tons of very successful people that have learning disorders (Einstein included). Please focus less on what her IQ is and more on play – she only gets to be a little kid once. Also, if she is reading and playing music at the level you say and still testing around 100, you may want to look into High Functioning Autism (aka Aspergers) since that is VERY common. Not saying she has it, but you may just want to rule it out. Early intervention can make a huge difference in social development later.

  55. advocate for kids

    August 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I just came across this and if I could speak with this mom now I would give her one valuable piece of advise – find some way of challenging your child where they are at. Public schools teach to the average and IMO encourage mediocrity. They don’t have the desire or funding to support each child in the way they need to. I was like your daughter – bored out of my skull in school. I started acting up, being the trouble maker because I was already reading and comprehending Shakespierre at 7 yrs old. I was teaching my older sister calculus at 8. Yes, potential was there but because like this mom, my mom was told I would level out I was bored in school, got average grades because why should I even bother studying when I read the book once and often ended up in complex discussions with the teacher that they could not understand. When I got to college, I was challenged for the first time but because I was unused to the discipline of studying and directing I had a hard time. After discussing with my mom she now wishes that she had pulled me out of school or had me directed to an educational facility that would have encouraged real education based on my ability instead of trying to dumb me down so that i would have class mates my age. Basically most public schools really promote social development instead of intellectual development.

  56. nettiek1234

    September 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I have the same thing going on with my daughter of 5 years old. She started Kindergarten and she can read ANYTHING. She breezed through 4th grade sight words like it was nothing. Even told me the difference between homophones. They tested her IQ yesterday and it came out 115 which is above average. I was impressed with the school district for catching it and putting her in “gifted” program for reading. They are testing her today for math as well. Her teacher even said she is so excited to be a part of such an exciting adventure. They are treating her like a 5 year old, which I love but helping her adapt to being in school. I want her to be a healthy happy child without all these huge expectations on her being overly intelligence. I am happy she isn’t considered genius. I probably would have removed her from school and home schooled her had her IQ came out higher. I figured if I keep low expectations, then I won’t be disappointed.

  57. Samantha S Egal

    October 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Is it possible the tester typed 107 instead of 170? I’d want a private psych. to recalculate her answers

  58. Ivory Blackford

    June 19, 2020 at 11:13 am

    This article is great! If it help, you can teach your child
    to read, this video reveals how any child aged
    2-9 can quickly learn to read at home: https://bit.ly/36nmkge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *