Aptos Psychologist: How to increase the I.Q. of all children? Especially children with ADHD or Autistic Spectrum dificulties?Thursday, January 19th, 2012
How to increase the IQ of all children? Especially children with ADHD or Autistic Spectrum difficulties?
This technique to raise IQ applies to all children. It can be especially helpful for children with difficulties with focus, attention, sequencing, executive functioning and ‘working memory’ difficulties. Children with those difficulties are often labeled as having ADHD or Autistic Spectrum difficulties.
Can your child’s IQ be changed? Of course. Can parents and relatives help? Yes! And to raise your child’s I.Q. you don’t need Obama-Care, the U.S. Department of Education nor permission from any federal, state or local governmental entity.
How to raise IQ? Teach to the test. Well, not exactly to the test as IQ tests are proprietary information which test makers and test givers protect. But it’s fine to teach the general tasks measured by many I.Q. tests.
All good teachers teach to the test in some sense. Take the teaching of math.
Everyone knows that 5 + 4 =9 and not 8 or 10. There is one correct answer. If you want a child’s math abilities to increase you have to practice. And if you want them to remember – make it fun.
It’s the same for raising IQ. Teach the general tasks that are tested by IQ tests. And make it fun so they remember and want to learn the tasks.
So, let’s start with one way to strengthen a child’s ability to focus and pay attention.
Digit Span: Measuring digit span abilities is one task which is part of many IQ batteries. So how can this ability become stronger for all children? And is it an important task?
Why teach Digit Span? Every kid needs to learn their phone number including the area code. For safety reasons children should be able to state a telephone number so that an adult can be alerted. So, learning a series of digits is an important, useful task. So, how can we make an important task fun. See how below:
Take my telephone number for example. 831 216-6002 [Please do not call it!] Here’s how to teach a child to learn their telephone number digits:
Get a lined pad of paper and in a column write: 0 at bottom, then 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.9 Next, draw dots next to the numbers. And then connect the dots with lines.
Look at the visual image how the dots are connected. That visual pattern is what you want your child to learn. You can see the visual pattern in the image at the top of this post.
Is your child a stronger visual learner? A lot of kids with ADHD and autistic spectrum difficulties are stronger visual learners than they are verbal learners. That means if the child can see what to do they can learn it faster than if they just hear what to do.
Now make learning the telephone number digits fun:
Try different methods: For example, 1) try using a xylophone and see if music helps cement the digits together for your child. Or 2) try using a different color pens for each digit. One is red, two is blue, three is yellow. Always be consistent so color becomes associated with the number. Or 3) try just drawing the pattern over and over again.
You know your child’s strengths so play to those strengths. Make it a fun activity.
How to start? Small chunks. Teach it in two chunks – the first three digits and then the remaining four digits.
Once a child can learn 3 digits forward, teach those digits backwards. 2-1-6 and 6-1-2. Why also teach backwards? That strengths the visual and auditory memory systems.
Just like push ups strengthen physical muscles learning visual and auditory patterns with numbers strengths your child’s focus, attention and concentration. Your child is having fun doing something with you. And, your child is ‘growing’ his or her I.Q.
Pediatricians frequently recommend medications, e.g., Ritalin, Concerta, to assist with attention, concentration and focus. Research shows that a combination of medication (if they work) and cognitive-behavioral therapy for child and family provides the best results.
In my clinical experience, it only takes one concerned, involved, consistent adult to dramatically affect the overall development of children with various disabilities. So this technique can be used by an older brother or sister, aunt or uncle or grandparent. Sometimes the parents themselves have disabilities such that they are not the ideal person to help ‘grow’ their child’s I.Q.
Try the technique and let me know how it goes for you and your child.
Below is the real story of a young person whose I.Q. could grow if… [personal identifying information has been changed to protect privacy].
Jose is age 17 and a twin. His brother has been diagnosed with mental retardation. Jose’s father is in prison. Jose has an older sister diagnosed with depression. Jose’s mother has various physical disabilities and receives social security, disability. Jose has one older sister who is completing college, has a job and has a boy friend. This sister has been a positive, involved person in his life. This sister is the main person who takes Jose places, listens, helps him set goals and complete tasks. Jose’s teachers over the years report that he shows substantial difficulties with attention, concentration and focus. Jose’s pediatrician tried Jose on five different medications without success. County Mental Health referred Jose to a local counseling service where he received one-to-one therapy from a therapist to address ADHD. Jose’s cognitive I.Q. abilities to think abstractly visually and verbally are in the Low Average range. When Jose’s “working memory” abilities are tested they are low, i.e. in the Deficient range.
Can Jose’s ‘working memory’ be improved? I think so. If there are concerned adults that stay involved with Jose.
To see a book recently published by Dr. Cameron Jackson go to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/109312