It’s a bit sad that this needs to be explained, but the brain is wonderfully complex, so it’s understandable that Joe public can be confused. When suddenly you can’t find your words, add up properly or any other of the endless affects of brain injury, one might think you are stupid. So here I’m going to try to explain why this doesn’t mean you have lost intelligence as a result of your brain injury.
Stop talking about IQ results, please!!!
I hate the way people band around these numbers, and I’m convinced the majority of people don’t know how they are calculated. For a start, most people go through their life without ever having one of these tests administered by a professional. Those stupid little quizzes that pop up on Facebook and other social media don’t count!
Testing intelligence is a very difficult and lengthy process, and then you are only being pitted against “the average person” for your age. 68% of people will fit into “average”. That is a massive group, so forgive me if I don’t personally feel “IQ” is very exciting. I have had mine tested following my brain injury, and I too am of average intelligence. Big deal!
Speed isn’t everything.
So it might take us a little longer to get there, but that doesn’t mean we are stupid. My results showed my processing speed is much slower than would be expected based on how I perform in other areas. Therefore before my accident I might have come out as above average. But the point is, I can still get there! Even if these tests show a brain injured person as below average, that could be just their processing speed pulling their overall score down. Remember your teacher always saying you get credit for showing your workings? Well that’s because that shows you are able to deduce the answer, not just reel if off parrot fashion.
Slow processing speed, doesn’t make us stupid.
As pathways have been damaged in the brain, finding the right answer takes longer. It’s in there, but it is more tiring trying to find it. Imagine the pathways are a relay team. They are all fast over short distances, so by working together the distance can be completed faster. But someone like me as the majority of their team out of action due to injury. So for me to complete the race it’s going to take more time, and believe me, I’ll be cream crackered at the end! So is that a fair race? Of course not, so these tests don’t always give an accurate picture.
The moral of my story….
Don’t discount the opinion of someone who has a brain injury just because sometimes they struggle. We still have a lot to give, but it’s like that saying…..”good things come to those who wait.”
Other articles you may like:
- A brain injury isn’t a part-time ailment.
- Am I turning into a control freak with a brain injury?
- Lack of insight when brain injury strikes.
- Judge, Jury & Executioner of my brain injury.
Do you feel people undervalue your intelligence following a brain injury? What would you like others to know?