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Just dx with low IQ
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Just dx with low IQ

My daughter was finally assessed at the age of nine with an IQ of 77. She was premmie and growth retarded and has been plagued with developement delays, language issues, gross motors weaknesses, and lastly learning problems. Even though I've been down this road before with a Celebral Palsy child with an IQ 91I am feeling really worried about her quality of life ie how hard is school going to be at the moment problems are only with learning but will there start to be a cap social as well?  This just breaks my heart to know that learning is always going to really really hard for her. Another thing that is worrying me is what sort of jobs do people with this IQ get i.e. are they employable? she has always wanted to be a hairdresser.

Annette
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Hello,
   getting a score like this is so disappointing and raises all sorts of anxieties for parents. Remember, you have the same little girl you did before the test, with the  same strengths, weaknesses, and character. IQ is not a great predictor of happiness or how much a person contributes in this world throughout her life.

   I am assuming first off that she received this score from a licensed professional, and that this score comes from a technically valid individually administered IQ test (such as the WISC-IV, or Stanford Binet 5). If not, you may wish to have her tested privately. IQ scores tend to be very stable over time in children over 5, so if a quality test was used with no special considerations (her being sick, her language delays getting in the way etc) then the score probably does reflect her overall level of intellectual performance as compared to same aged peers.

   You and your daughter are not alone. There are many individuals in our school system who fall into the range of having below average intellectual ability. If she is eligible for special education services, then you will spend the rest of her school career advocating for her and helping her learn to advocate for herself. She is likely to struggle with her mainstream courses. Reduced work load with extended time and other accommodations are going to be important. At some point you may be deciding what type of high school diploma she will be working towards (certificate, academic, career/vocational).

Socially, you will have to keep a closer eye on her, as she is more vulnerable to being taken advantage of by others (particularly once she is a teen). She will need more support to make wise choices. She is likely to find friends based on mutual likes and interests as well as how pleasant her personality is, so if she has good social skills I would not worry about her finding friends. If her social skills are weak, ask the pediatrician or school for a recommendation for a group or a psychotherapist who can help.

Just like anyone else, she is absolutely going to be employable if she has the opportunity to earn marketable career skills. Her dream of becoming a hair dresser may take her a little longer to achieve, but there is no reason she could not enter into a variety of satisfying careers. As she goes into high school, I would steer her towards career training programs that are a good match for her strengths and temperament. There is no reason that you should not plan on her living independently (though you may have to help her with complex tasks like paying bills and managing bank accounts), and by all means do not think you are getting out of saving up for her wedding expenses.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
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Tali Shenfield, PhDBlank
Richmond Hill Psychology Center
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MindWell Clinical Psychology
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