IQ testing is used to measure one’s overall intellectual ability and identify areas of strengths and weaknesses within a person’s cognitive development.
Gifted individuals have above-average intelligence and superior talent in specific areas. IQ testing is used to identify individuals with superior intellectual abilities. Although many parents see giftedness as a significant strength for their children, superior intellect can come with its own unique set of challenges. For some children, school curricula can become boring, which results in reduced motivation, poorer effort, and low grades. For others, stronger cognitive abilities tend to contribute to perfectionistic tendencies, which can lead to heightened levels of anxiety and other adjustment difficulties. Social isolation and problems with peers can also be common. A cognitive/IQ evaluation can help identify giftedness and offer recommendations for better adaptation in the classroom and social environments.
IQ testing can also help identify individuals with significantly below average intellectual functioning. When assessing for intellectual disability, an evaluation will also include measures of adaptive functioning. Adaptive functioning refers to an individual’s ability to manage everyday functions, such as self-organization, self-direction, daily living skills, and self-care capacities. A diagnosis of intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation) involves impairments in general mental abilities that impact adaptive functioning in three separate areas including, conceptual, social, and practical domains. A cognitive/IQ evaluation can assist in diagnosis of intellectual disability, identification of any comorbid conditions, and connecting parents with community resources for improving adaptive skills.