The Integrative Approach to Autism part 23: IQ Relevance

Apr 05 2013

This post continues the 3-Step Integrative Approach to Autism series. Today Part 23: BEHAVIORAL Requirements for Growth: IQ Relevance

Sensitive Children and IQ:

Generally, I don’t recommend subjecting sensitive children to conventional intelligence quotient (IQ) tests of any kind. IQ tests are designed to test three dimensional thinking, abstract thinking and multi-step mathematical operations. In other words, IQ tests are tailor-made for insensitive children. Sensitive child excels in concrete thinking, logical thinking and reason, all areas not tested in standard IQ tests. However, if your child happens to have one of those tests and registers a below average score, don’t you be concerned at all. Sensitive children throughout the left twenty percent of the personality spectrum miss out at least on some social and academic milestones growing up. They spend more time being overwhelmed with novelty in a system that does not [yet] emphasize proper learning strategies through multiple exposures separated by meaningful distractions. As a result, a sensitive child may miss out on many areas where learning is limited to one or two exposures only. Over the years, most sensitive children pick up these missing blocks either through unintended exposure later on or through connecting the missing links through her integrative mind. Many sensitive children grow aware of these missing blocks and dedicate big chunks of their teenage or young adult lives to filling in the gaps from childhood through intensive personal effort. Somehow, most sensitive children catch up on their social and academic learning eventually albeit not necessarily within the time frame dictated by the standardized intelligence quotient tests. In plain English, experience increases the IQ of sensitive children and adults. As a parent, you do not have to worry about the IQ results your child scores. You only have to worry about providing a learning environment and a rich social and family experience and your child’s IQ will take care of itself with time.

A low IQ score of a sensitive child is the more reason to keep this child in a regular school, since it provides her with the experience necessary to fulfill her IQ potential. Moving a sensitive child to special education schools leads to a significant limitation to the possibility to increase IQ through experience.

While home schooling provides a more pleasant and individualized learning style for a child, it often deprives her from the necessary social interaction with same aged peers needed for developing identity, and interpersonal skills. Interacting with adults or a limited number of children in the neighborhood may fall short of providing the minimum experience needed.

Rami Serhan, MD
Author, Psyche-Smart Autism; Integrative Medicine Consultant
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