The Q-elite

Having read in an article that the youngest MENSA member is aged 2 and that other bright young children can be certified as brain boxes I set out to find how that can be done in the average London borough.

And in the course of that ‘investigation’ I had one of the most enlightening and constructive conversations I’ve ever hand, thanks to the persons who spoke to me, you know who you are.

I thought, how would it be possible to follow the MENSA recommendations and ask an educational psychologist of a local education authority to assess a bright child and learned that there is such a long waiting list for assessing that it would take a very long time to get a child seen if ever. The waiting lists are usually full of children with learning problems get seen first and even they have to wait very long queues to be seen.

One cannot just turn up and say, look my kid can do this and that and is absolutely wonderful. Sorry love, join the queue is going to be the answer. So realistically speaking to get a child assessed one has to pay for it and that is the only way.

So all those children who are lucky enough to have rich parents and can get assessed as having high IQ have to stand out because there is no standard testing that is broadly available to all children. I am certain that if there was a standard testing program many more very clever children would be diagnosed but as it is they just stay in their classes and learn as well as they can with the material and teaching provided.

Of course it is not absolutely impossible that Educational Psychologists that get paid to assess might make results look brighter as they really are because that is the expectation of the paying customer, namely the parent who pays to get an excellent result.

It would be much fairer to all children if they could get IQ tested aged 2 because they could be very clever, it is just that nobody knows it and once kids are fed into the normal comprehensive education stream expectation stays on a medium level and most children just want to oblige and settle for the median.  I think that results and achievements are related to the expectations that teachers have and in the current educational climate, most schools practise an average policy and so they get average results.

No school would refer an excellent pupil to an educational psychologist to get an IQ result and so we never find out what the potential would have been. Quite astonishingly how do you determine if a child is clever? Many kids play with books when they are two and many are above average readers or ahead in their class work.

I think it has a lot to do with common perception in that we are constantly told that those who pay for tests and education achieve better in life but we have never tried to test those poor pupils and we constantly talk poorer children down as non achievers.  So the common perception is low and a child grows up knowing that it doesn’t have to perform as it cannot achieve in any case. There is normally no program for bright pupils in the average comprehensive and no further propaganda is made by the Department for Education that schools can get grants for high achievers. We only ever hear of the special payments that are made for slow learners. So schools know they get extra money the more problem kids they have and so they like problem children. If schools knew they get extra funding for the better learning achievers then that would be an incentive for them to work along those lines.

If parents were given the choice to get an educational psychologist assessment for their child’s IQ if they wanted then that would be a fair choice to give to people but instead only those rich enough ever get the chance to test their child to get them into MENSA. So how clever is the MENSA system really, is it just trickery to please rich parents or can it help poorer kids to shine?

In the BBC published list of tell-tale signs for a clever child they only list some point but omit the point that MENSA makes that clever children don’t like other children. But that is not stated as a must but as possible option, which is not listed on the BBC website.

I think if you can afford to have your child tested and celebrate their true potential then that is a great starting point for that child but there are many other clever children who never even get the chance to be tested because the parents cannot afford to pay for that and then the child’s talents go mingled up and are not further developed especially because schools do not have the mechanisms to do so.

One thing all those children have in common, when you look into their faces,there is a certain maturity in their facial expression and I often get the feeling that I talk to an adult rather than a child when I talk to my clever kid but then when she goes off to play with others she suddenly turns into her age. Myif child is quite unusual in that she absolutely loves everybody and all other children and gets on with everybody and never says a bad word about anybody else, despite being quite bright and having learned to walk aged 6 months and being far ahead with her reading skills.

But despite all those kids in the Mensa testing coming out tops and being totally adorable an sweet, I think all this testing proves is that those parents could afford a test and that those kids could afford the test. The test result doesn’t mean that there are no other such clever kids around just because they could not have parents who can afford the test.

Yet if all children who are this clever would be found out about at an early age, that would benefit society tremendously as surely that could be nurtured. Why should only those children, whose parents are rich enough to test them get the future elite pampered treatment and be cherished especially high?

Poor and clever children instead get ignored and have to make do with what they got. Their talents might stay unnoticed or even vanished because those around them cannot appreciate someone clever in their midst as it so often happens.

In human evolutionary terms if all those who are especially clever were found out about then we might be able to allocate jobs to those who actually have some talent and not just those who can afford to get certain schooling.  Certainly today, as things are, we would never come across a rich person whose IQ test is low and who would give his money to a poor person because it is better in those person’s hands, instead we would rather see a rich person trying to stamp the poor person into the ground.

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