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Low IQ - Can it improve ?
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Low IQ - Can it improve ?

My 6 yr old nephew has developmental delays, fine motor skill issues, and has been called a "quirky" child. He has been round and round with countless doctors since the age of 2, and his diagnosis has changed several times as a result.  They looked at possibly autism, PDD, ADD, etc.  None of which stuck.  His new physician is saying that he believes that he has a low IQ, which may be driving his shortfalls.  

If this does turn out to be the case, is a child's IQ something that can be improved on, or is it a fixed measure ?  He is a beautiful boy with an extremely gentle spirit, and seems to have a very good memory.  His mother and I are desperate to understand if his IQ is something that we can improve with certain activities and more importantly, what is the prognosis long term for a child with low IQ ?
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Measures of IQ can vary because of any number of variables, including a child's physical state the day of testing, the inteference of certain conditions such as ADHD, etc. Probably the most reasonable assertion is that IQ is a fairly stable characteristic, prone to some variability depending on education, stimulation, etc. What is not possible, if a measure of IQ is valid and reliable, is great variation. It is important not to rely on informal assessments of IQ, though. IQ should be determined by intelligence testing conducted by a licensed psychologist under reasonable testing circumstances.
6 Comments
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Sounds like your nephew should be evaluated by an interdisciplanary team i.e. psychologist, occupational therapist, neuroligist to find out what is going on.  Since you mentioned that he had been labeled with PDD at one time it may be possible that he had sensory intergration problems and that may explain some of the delays in his development.  An occupational therapist has the expertise to evaluate for sensory intergration problems and provide treatment.  Encourage his parents to get him a thorough evaluation instead of accepting the notion that he has a "low IQ".  It may be that he has learning difficulties.
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Avatar_n_tn
Some kids are late bloomers.  Just continue to be caring, supportive and loving.  To put a label on something does little to fix a problem.  Many times the label turns out to be wrong.  I have a brother that is a high energy physicist who was mislabeled as "low IQ" because of his odd early development.  He remained in "slow" class until it was discovered upon entering high school that the previous tests were wrong.  Kids need someone to believe in them.  You have to believe in your heart that he can become the best he can be. Give him all the love, attention and extra help he may need.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with the doc.  If a child has adhd and even if the child is ASD, IQ tests are only as good as the person administering them and the cooperation of the child.  My son has had 3 IQ tests because he is in an NIH study for autistic children.  These tests have been administered by very well trained psychologists at a major research university that does a lot of work with autism.  His tests range from a low of 84 (it took 3 hours for them to administer this one because he wouldn't cooperate) to a high of 180.  His high score came at a time when he was unusually cooperative and having a good day.  IQ tests I believe are pretty stable by the time someone is 7 or 8 years old.  To me what is more important than IQ is someone's ability to be a flexible thinker.  The young man can certainly learn through various programs on how to be a flexible thinker.
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Avatar_f_tn
I like the comment about late blooming.  Truly, there are kids who are late bloomers.  Its not just an old fashioned notion there is science to back this up.  It seems nowadays either a child is "normal" or "disordered" based on when he or she hits various developmental milestones.  There is certainly a cohort of kids whose train is on the right track it just takes them longer to get to the same destination.
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Avatar_n_tn
I want to thank you all for your input and thoughts.  Clearly no definitive path ahead,  but we will continue to do anything and everything we can to provide my nephew with the most fulfilling opportunities in life.  He is being followed by a team of therapists, and quite honestly...my hope is that the "late bloomer" thing pans out.  Take care.
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A related discussion, Mild "M.R".with  markedly " Delayed Speech" was started.
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A related discussion, lower iq was started.
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Avatar_f_tn
I hear your concerns, i have a six year old boy who was diagnosed with possible austism spectrum, development delay, adhd, odd now his occupational therapist has advised he has a very low IQ and i wonder what the future holds for him, i have met people with low IQ's and they get through life just have trouble reading, writing etc and i have heard that children with low IQ's can pick up in their teenage years, there is hope, you never no in a couple of years they can be perfectly fine and just late bloomers, i am atleast hope so because it is something that i think of every day since my sone started school and it was picked up, i can say his speech has picked up 100%, so has his social skills and writing but not his reading and attention span, i dont think he will ever be a good reader and he will definately will always be a little immature
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A related discussion, Low IQ, is that the end of discussion? was started.
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