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Should Three-Year-Old Get IQ Test?

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: We have an only child who will be three in July. He has mastered his ABCs, knows all 50 states, can count to ten, enjoys puzzles, and knows his colors and shapes. Last week he started to show interest in writing/scribbling. So I gave him a paper and marker. He has now started to write the alphabet from A-Z and numbers 1-12. I consider that extraordinary and I am very proud of him, but am I just being a proud parent or do all children his age know everything my son knows? Please answer before I start to look for a program/facility to test him. All of our friends say to test him now.

A: I certainly agree that your son sounds advanced for 33 months of age. However, I would not advise testing him at this point unless you have a certain need for testing (such as specific preschool admission policy). Intelligence tests are not considered to be as valid when they are administered to very young children. It would be better to wait until he is at least five-years-old for a more accurate estimate of his intelligence potential. For parents of very young gifted children, I recommend the book Bringing Out the Best by Saunders and Espeland. It gives helpful tips on testing, preschools, toys, and so on for parents of children up to age seven. Thanks for writing!

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Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.


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