Infants must have a lot on their minds, what with learning to walk, talk and generally grow up. Now a new worry looms: disappointing their parents by flunking an IQ test. The tests are used on babies who seem to be developing slowly.
The problem is, most of these tests do not measure present ability or predict future ability, says researcher Dr. Michael Lewis in Better Homes and Gardens, a Meredith magazine. That's because they measure IQ indirectly, testing the child's motor skills, things like coordination and manipulation of objects. Experts once thought early motor development foreshadowed later intellectual ability. But new studies cast serious doubt on that notion.Lewis worries that some kids are getting a bum rap because of the tests. Children with cerebral palsy, for instance, do not do well on the tests because of their poor motor coordination, although they frequently are of normal intelligence.
Lewis says there are IQ tests that can more accurately measure an infant's intellectual abilities. Although more difficult to administer, these tests can pinpoint children who need special education. Call the child development department at a nearby college for help in finding qualified testing facilities.