IQ Testing and Children

Last week, a study was published stating that children born during the pandemic have a lower IQ compared to children born prior to the pandemic. I am not going to link the study because I do not want to promote something I believe to be harmful, but it made me think it could be helpful to talk a bit about IQ testing in children.

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I’ve written a bit before about why IQ tests are problematic, and you can dig more into the research about why IQ tests are not super helpful prior to age six here. The short answer is, IQ tests do not accurately predict future cognitive ability before first grade, which is why in my practice, I do not give IQ tests to kids under six.

Cognitive tests for kids under six do exist, including the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, 4th Edition and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test, 5th Edition, but the WPPSI cannot be administered until a child is two years, six months old, and the Sanford-Binet cannot be administered until age two.

So, if you had a baby during the pandemic, either that child is too young for their IQ to be assessed, or the person who conducted the study is a time traveler. (Which, if it were me, I’d be publishing about my time machine and not children’s IQ scores.)

If you have concerns about your child’s development, like if they are not crawling, walking, or talking within typical limits, talk to your pediatrician. There is a huge range of “normal” for infant development, so the pediatrician can help you know what to look for and when to intervene. If the pediatrician identifies a delay, resources such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy can help the child get caught up.

Parents are doing their best right now, and studies conducted to instill fear are not helping anyone. Keep showing your baby that you love them, and they can depend on you to take care of them. Take the rest one step at a time.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

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