Should Special Kids Take Standardized Tests? Intelligent Lives

While you and your child might be excited about the new backpack, lunch box and outfits back to school also brings a lot of anxiety for students with learning challenges and special needs and their parents. Not only will they be subjected to homework and (gulp) tests, there is something else looming on the horizon – intelligence testing.

You have probably heard the quote “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Usually that is credited to Albert Einstein, although it has never actually been proven that he said it. I hope he said it, since he didn’t speak until he was three or four years old. Ironically, being unable to speak is sometimes defined as being ‘dumb” and yet Einstein was clearly very intelligent.

Intelligence testing, standardized tests and many other official exams are often unfairly biased against people with challenges, no matter how many accommodations are provided. It is disheartening and degrading to the student and the results can be devastating to the parents. We know our children are struggling, we know where they have strengths and weaknesses but we also know they have so much potential. The data presented in cold, hard print can be crushing.

Lately I have been opting my child out of as many of these tests as possible. I don’t need to put her through the frustration of a long test, and I don’t need a paper to tell me how she measures up against the rest of the students her age. She isn’t in a competition with the rest of the students in her grade in the state – she is only in competition with herself, to do her best each day and move along at her own pace. If you want to opt out of any standardized tests, contact your child’s school.

We don’t have to be at the level of Einstein to have a happy life. A new film called INTELLIGENT LIVES looks at three young adults with intellectual disabilities as they take on high school, college, employment and relationships. The film was directed by Dan Habib. Amy Brenneman served as the executive producer. Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper narrates the film and also shares the story of his son. You can host a screening in your area or attend one, just check out the website

About the Author

Rosie Reeves is a writer and mother of three; including one with special needs. She works side-by-side with her daughter’s therapists, teachers and doctors. Rosie has also served as the Los Angeles Special Needs Kids Examiner. She can be reached at Rosie is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


2 Responses to “Should Special Kids Take Standardized Tests? Intelligent Lives”

  1. Arshi Gupta says:

    Hello, love to read your article and get so much information through your blog and learn new things. You write very well, am amazed by your blogging, you will definitely achieve success.

  2. Rosie Reeves says:

    Thanks so much for your comment! Glad you are learning new things!

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