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Year Two – Post 13 | Is My Child Smart?

Intelligence includes the ability to understand, communicate, reason, learn, plan, problem solve and demonstrate abstract thought.  It includes the area of emotional intelligence, which is the ability to control the emotions of one’s self, others and groups.  There is still criticism as to whether emotional intelligence is a skill or a representation of a personality trait.  An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score that is derived from standardized tests to assess intelligence. IQ scores may be used to predict educational achievement or to identify a child with special needs. A child’s intelligent quotient is measured by a professional who is trained and licensed to administer a standardized test that compares your child’s ability to normative data gathered from research.  If a child is young, a classification of a developmental delay may be made until the child has had the appropriate stimulation for development.  If a child fails to develop with early intervention, more thorough testing will be conducted before a child is classified with a cognitive disorder.

There are many theories related to intelligence; therefore, this area continues to evolve as we become more aware of the brain’s capabilities. Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist who is a professor of cognition and education at Harvard University, proposed a theory of multiple intelligences. He feels it isn’t a single IQ number, but many abilities located in different parts of a child’s brain and the way that they work together that determines a child’s success. If nurtured and strengthened, these abilities can grow. In the right environment, children get smarter. The latest theory proposes that there are eight distinct intelligences: verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, musical, kinesthetic, logical/reasoning, mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. So, in other words, we are word smart, picture smart, music smart, body smart, logic smart, people smart, self smart and environment smart.

As you watch your child grow and learn, be aware of what normal skills he should be able to do in the area of cognitive ability.  This will give you an idea of whether he is meeting his milestones and progressing at his own rate.  Of course, a child’s interests and passions are important for him to excel in his abilities.

If you need a good resource for normative data, refer to My Baby Compass, Birth to Two, Two to Four, or Four to Seven.

–          Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series

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