Do you know how someone who's IQ is well below average feels?
We all believe that smart people can do whatever they fancy. But do you think that those of "low normal" IQ can accomplish the same? And if not, how would that make them feel? Have you ever had the opportunity to find out that?
People who are classified as borderline or slow simply don't have the capacity of achievement at advanced levels. They are usually relegated to jobs that require rote or repetitive tasks. Many of such people can be trained to effectively do lower level clerical tasks such as filing, stocking shelves, or routine tasks such as sweeping, mopping, & other related tasks. Such people realize that they don't possess the intelligence required to do medium level to complex level tasks.
It's wrong to allow anyone to believe that someone who is said to be "smart" can do anything he wants because that it isn't always true. It just isn't. There are all kinds of things that can stop a person from doing some things. So that's one thing.
Another thing is that a person does not need a high IQ to understand that every skill or ability or trait in life does not require a high IQ. There are plenty of ways in which someone without a particularly high IQ can do as well as, or better than, someone else. Those ways aren't just a matter of someone having/using a talent that doesn't depend on IQ but also on areas in life that have little to do with IQ (and those are often the areas that matter most). I know it was fiction, but there's that line from Forrest Gump (I may/may not be paraphrasing here, but I'm not going to go look it up now) about, "I may not be a smart man, but I know how to love."
Everyone can't do everything, whether that's playing professional basketball, painting a picture, or many other things that, for some reason, someone is not able to do well regardless of a high or lower IQ. Assuming the assessment of the person is even accurate, a person with a lower IQ can certainly understand (if someone bothers to point it out) that everyone is different, and that IQ is one, narrow, thing that may at times pose some extra challenges that someone with a higher IQ may not run into.
The problem for, or with, far too many people is first that far too few even really understand the different types of ability, far too few even value at all some of the abilities that aren't always associated with being "smart", and (I think) far too few people have had someone help them have a proper perspective on what, exactly, IQ (higher or lower) is "worth" and how much, and what ways, it does or doesn't count.
As with any other difference among people, there are usually so many things we all have in common that IQ doesn't always deserve the focus. Allowing someone to think that a higher IQ means being able to do anything one wants is a lie that could make a lower-IQ person feel worse about himself than he ought to. People just need to know what they're good at and not good at and either work with it, compensate for it if they can, and/or understand that it's not the end of the world not to be able to do everything one might like to be able to do.
I don't think we ever know exactly what anyone else feels. We can put ourselves in what we view as "their place" and extrapolate on how we would feel but can never know if we would be exactly right or anywhere in the same ballpark. My husband is smarter than I am. His IQ has been tested at 185. That is about 20 points higher than mine. At the same time my husband suffers Asperger's while I do not.
Socially I'm genius compared to my husband, who is socially functional only with years of practice and hard work in the moment. It is painful for him to negotiate social situations or even to maintain eye contact with anyone. Eye contact is entirely counterintuitive and alien to his nature, but he can do it at great effort and emotional cost. In the end I can try to put myself into my husband's shoes as he negotiates work and spends time with friends, and he can try to put himself into my three inch heels, but ultimately we are still too different to "know" what the other feels. We can only take a well educated guess.
My cousin had Down Syndrome. I don't know what her IQ was, only that she was capable of learning tasks like folding laundry and making beds which leads me to believe that with proper training she could have held a job and lived on her own.
As was all too common at the time, she was shut away from the world. She never went to school and never learned how to function on her own. Our family was deeply ashamed of her. She died when I was little. I never met her and only found out about her existence recently because even talking about her after the fact was some strange family taboo.
I now can try to put myself in her shoes, but will never know how she felt about any of it. I can only really know how I would feel if my family had treated me in the same way.
There comes the wise voice of pers experience.It is a lesson in humility, in appreciating each person with her/his strengths and weaknesses and appreciate them rather than make assumptions. Thank you for reminding us, & for taking the time to wri
The feelings someone has are often written on their face and tone of voice - hence the ability to understand how infants are feeling.
I have had several Very Good Responses, but as you all know, I am not allowed to choose more than one. I wish we could 'grade' answers, rather than a 'winner takes all' system.
I would like you all to please accept my thanks at such insightful answers.
I chose that by Besarien because she surprised me by the depth and sensitivity with which she wrote about my question.
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