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IQ Testing: A critique for parents of children with developmental disabilities


Bruce Uditsky has completed a three-part analysis of the effects of IQ testing on children and families. Bruce is the CEO of the Alberta Association for Community Living and presents a perspective many will find of interest. The series is titled, IQ Testing: A critique for parents of children with developmental disabilities. Bruce opens his series with the following commentary: One of the most common assessments parents are told they need in order to access funding, supports or services, is an IQ test. Sometimes, IQ tests are demanded with explicit or implicit threats: “Without an IQ test your child will not or might not get the educational supports he or she requires.” Other times there is a plea, almost as if you would be doing them a favour: “It is the government that requires the test and without it we cannot get our funding.” Often parents feel they must comply, that there is no choice or that going along will lead to a reciprocal cooperation by schools or authorities on other points that are of more importance to parents. I know of no families who, by complying with IQ testing, achieved greater cooperation from authorities or achieved improved services, quality or funding. More often than not, there is a negative effect: “With that IQ score, your child belongs in a segregated class,” or “With that IQ score, you should lower your expectations. We have.” Parents may choose to cooperate with IQ testing, but with no illusion that consequentially they will gain cooperation on matters important to them. It is perfectly appropriate to choose the right challenges for your family, to conserve energy for future needs and thus at times agree to an IQ test to avoid a struggle. But it is helpful to be aware of the consequences and not assume positive ends will be achieved. With respect to school, an IQ test cannot be conducted on a student without parental permission. Parents can refuse without much consequence, other than that which comes from challenging authority. School districts are required by law to provide an appropriate education, including the required resources, to all students and this is not dependent on an IQ test or the results of one.


Bruce Uditsky
Alberta Association of Community Living
Alberta Association of Community Living
Publication Date
1 January 1970
Teachers, Families, Parents, Professionals
IQ Testing

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