If it helps, I once had an Autistic student (age 4) who was fluent - and read on an upper grade-school level - in two languages; who made lists of the dates the seasons change over the course of however many years he could cover before someone redirected him; and who, if you told him your birthdate and age, would blurt out the day of the week on which you were born. He did this as instantaneously and accurately as a computer (but much more joyfully). In his mind, he saw the pattern in the calendar, regardless how many years you were talking about. He tested below average on IQ tests - and not by a point or two.
IQ tests are designed for "normal" people. Whether a kid has dyslexia, emotional issues or something else, if they are out of the ordinary, their IQ scores may be affected by their uniqueness.
On the other hand, I didn't place much stock in my twins' IQ scores when they were young because I knew their Autistic traits affected their test-taking abilities. Funny example: one son, as a preschooler, was asked to read a list of letters. *I* knew he knew every letter in the alphabet. Let's say the letters were A-S-D-F-G-H-J. He said - with an increasing dramatic flourish - "A, S, D, F, double-G, double-H, double-C, C, C, C!" We were reading Charlotte's Web at home and he was imitating the Goose. He didn't get credit for knowing his letters. So I held out hope that their below-average IQs meant nothing. But they didn't. They have non-verbal learning disabilities. They learned to speak and read more-or-less on track with their peers, but have massive struggles understanding abstract concepts, from math to why - if they walk in my door carrying an iPod, misplace it and have trouble finding it - they can't reasonably conclude it's at their Dad's.
As it turns out, their IQ scores probably weren't far off. And, deep down, I always knew that. I just hoped someone else knew better, or that there was some way to discount those who didn't know better.
Whether tests are right or wrong, the bottom line is you're the parent. When you're worried about your child's development, it's natural to wish there were some expert with a crystal ball who knew vastly more than you do and could tell you for sure how things will play out, so you can be prepared. But I've found that's not how it works. Most of the time, experts can offer a functional vocabulary for things you already know about your child.
If you know she's intelligent, a test can't change what you've observed. If you are upset by the thought that she has "only" average intelligence, you might ask yourself why that upsets you so much. One point below average is, for all practical purposes, average. Ask what the range of error is, on the test. Chances are, if she took it on a different day, in a slightly better mood, she might be five points above average. That's still basically average. And if that turns out to be accurate, that's great! So many people are wonderful, lovable and valuable, with much less. And some exceptionally-smart kids out there are arrogant about it and slack off, driving their parents crazy. A daughter with average intelligence who's been interested in learning since toddlerhood is a blessing.
Edited by VocalMinority - 9/26/12 at 5:44pm