A person's genetic intelligence abilities can be diagnosed using an intelligence quotient (IQ) test. IQ tests have also been developed for use with children as young as three years old. While a person's IQ is not believed to change substantially from childhood through adulthood, the tests used to determine an IQ are different depending on the age of the subject. An IQ test for kids, for example, is designed to measure what a normal child at that age would be capable of understanding.
Although there are a number of tests that claim to measure intelligence in children, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children are well-respected tests. As a rule, an IQ test for kids focuses on age-appropriate activities, such as matching a picture to one previously viewed, creating a shape out of smaller shapes, or completing a story. Each of the well-known IQ tests for children has between 15 and 18 subsets that are tested on each child to determine an overall IQ score.
In general, an IQ test for kids, when administered properly, is thought to be highly accurate. If the test is administered correctly, a child's IQ should not fluctuate substantially from one test to another. In addition, studies have shown that, in most cases, an person's IQ does not change substantially over his or her lifetime, making a childhood assessment a valuable tool.
Educational systems and parents frequently use an IQ test for kids as a basic measurement tool, or to specifically diagnose learning disabilities or exceptional abilities. Often, IQ test for kids are used to place a child in a "gifted" or an "academically-challenged" class in school. Most school systems require a child to test at a certain IQ level, among other criteria, in order to be placed in an "advanced or "gifted" classroom in grade school or middle school. By the same token, if a child is struggling in a regular classroom, an IQ test may be used to determine that the child needs to be in a classroom for children who need extra attention.
Parents may also use an IQ test for kids to help recognize learning disabilities or problem areas with their children. Although sometimes used to diagnose conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), experts disagree as to whether an IQ test is a useful or appropriate tool for diagnosing learning disabilities. If a parent suspects a learning disability, while an IQ test may be a useful clinical tool, it is best to consult with an expert before reaching any conclusions.