I am choking on the number 44 right now. It is not the number of pounds I need to lose or the number of days left until school's out; it is not even my age. 44 is the IQ score that Anna has been evaluated as having...with 95% confidence. For those not familiar with the IQ Index, 90-109 is considered average. 44 -- well, that falls in the Extremely Low range at less than the 1st percentile rank.
I had tears streaming down my face as I read her evaluation reports. It is such an ugly thing -- these IQ scores/tests (or standardized test in general). I am beginning to think they do nothing more than give you an inflated ego, or make you feel completely defeated. And I should know -- we have both ends of the spectrum (and a little in between) in this house.
Sometimes it is hard to put those scores into perspective. It is hard to remember that they do not tell the whole picture. A person who scores well may, indeed, be very intelligent, but they may lack common sense or social skills. Just as a person who scores poorly is not necessarily "retarded" (though technically that is the clinical definition of "retarded"). There are a number of factors that go into the testing -- and in Anna's case, her behavior and refusal to cooperate most certainly must play a role. Either way, an IQ score is only one small piece of the whole picture.
An IQ score does not measure a person's value or worth. An IQ score does not measure the amount of love that someone can bring. An IQ score does not measure a person's full potential.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:13-14
God made each of us - uniquely, perfectly, and for a His glory. I have no doubt that Anna will bring glory to God - in her own unique way. An IQ score can never measure how much glory she will bring!
An IQ score is merely a number -- a starting point that will help guide us in how to teach and help Anna as she continues to grow and develop. We know what we are dealing with -- a beautiful, loving, intelligent (despite her low scores) little girl with the will of iron.
So, we will embrace that 44...and then disregard it. Our job is to give Anna every opportunity to reach her full potential, and then pray, pray, pray, for God to use her. I have no doubt He will, and we will all watch with awe and wonder. =)
(BTW - I am not saying anything bad about Anna's evaluators. I know they all love her and want what is best for her -- and sadly, part of getting what is best for her is to first have an accurate picture of where we stand. It a very painful reality that must be addressed, and I know her teachers, aides, therapists, and case manager and psychologist all adore her and are just doing their jobs. But, man, I really wish I could jam the report back down their throats and tell them they don't know Anna at all and that their evaluations are completely bogus. They aren't - and I know it. It just hurts seeing it in print sometimes.)
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