“Your child might not be capable of doing this.”
Those are words that a parent never wants to hear. Some hear it before the child is even born. Not only are these words oftentimes untrue, but they are also unnecessary.
Intelligence. What does intelligence even mean? Most would say how smart someone is, but how can this even be measured? They might be used to find a child’s “limitations”, but who are we to say what they can and cannot do?
While there are intelligence and aptitude tests that assess this sort of thing, these, like all other assessments, can be inaccurate. This is because of a variety of difference factors including how they test, and their personal, home, and school lives. Children learn from their parents first and the most, so their home can play a HUGE part in their cognitive ability. A child may be performing poorly if their parents aren’t using the most effective parenting skills, or if they aren’t modeling the educational skills that they need to develop. Laissez-faire parents who just kind of let their kids do whatever they want might not get the best results when their child takes one of these assessments. If the parents don’t encourage exceptional behavior, it certainly won’t happen. I’m in a parent partnerships class right now and I can’t stress the importance of parenting and how much it can effect a child and their educational abilities.
After reading in Chapter 6 about Frank, my mind immediately jumped to a savant. Savants are individuals who are autistic, and typically score quite low on intelligence tests, yet are absolutely brilliant in another specific area or ability. Some of these areas include math, art, or memory skills. A child who scores low on an intelligence test might be characterized as “stupid.” Savants are by no means dumb or unintelligent in any way. While this is called “savant syndrome”, it is not even recognized as a mental disorder. Just because Frank shows very little success or interest in reading does not make him unintelligent.
Reading problems are common, though, and this chapter offers many different tests that cater to certain disabilities or areas of difficulty. There is a test for everything from memory to word-finding and comprehension to reasoning. This is why reading difficulties can’t be grouped together, as different struggles require different needs. It is important to properly diagnose these problems so the right actions can be taken when getting the child the help they need to be more successful.
This chapter brought a lot of random thoughts to my head, so I just thought I’d share a few of those with everyone.