There are times when children require a more challenging educational environment. In many schools, programs are designed to meet these academic needs. In public schools this is referred to as the “gifted program”. Private schools may have other names for an advanced program. As a parent you may see some of these signs and characteristics in your child. Some of the signs of an advanced or possibly gifted child include:
- learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
- provides very alert, rapid answers to questions
- has a wide range of interests
- is venturesome, wanting to do new things
- tends to dominate peers or situations
- needs little outside control – applies self discipline
- is resourceful – solving problems by ingenious methods
- displays a great originality and curiosity about objects, situations or events
- is involved with many exploratory type activities
- shows superior judgment in evaluating things
- is a good guesser
- retains and uses information which has been heard or read
- uses a large number of words easily and accurately
- asks many questions of a provocative nature
- has an interest in cause-effect relations
- is persistent and has a high energy level
- is independent
All children are gifted in their own ways. However, public schools (and many private schools) require intelligence testing to identify whether or not a child meets the gifted programming criteria in order to enter this type of classroom. Gifted (often referred to as IQ) testing measures various thinking ability skills including verbal and nonverbal abilities, working memory and processing speed. A gifted evaluation will provide a breakdown of intellectual strengths and weaknesses and indicate whether criteria are met for placement in a gifted program. In addition to the test identifying whether or not your child meets giftedness criteria for the school system, the report will also highlight their style of learning, strengths, and weaknesses which your child may have.
Our office provides gifted testing for such placements. Our gifted evaluation includes the following:
1. A brief interview with parent and child about their learning styles, past school experiences, and current academic placement.
2. A standardized intelligence test. The test that is generally provided are the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, unless another test has been requested or is necessary. In addition, the Palm Beach County school system has other requirements that our office also meets. The fee for gifted evaluations is $500. However, the Palm Beach County School System has other requirement that our office also meets, and which may require an additional fee.
3. Following the administration of the test, we provide immediate verbal feedback of the results to the parent.
4. A written report is provided within three days. Our reports are in accordance with Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County School Systems’ requirements.
When coming for a gifted evaluation appointment in our office, approximately 2½ to 3 hours should be allotted. While all of the time may not be needed, we want to make sure your child has opportunities to take breaks, or if the child works at a slower pace, they will not be rushed. We set aside time to give the parent opportunities to discuss the results and answer any questions the parent may have. We request on the day of the child’s testing, that the testing be done either in the morning or early afternoon, but not after a long day of school. It is important that the child be well-rested and has had a healthy breakfast or lunch, so that the child has energy and can focus adequately.
Following this evaluation, if the child meets school system criteria for a gifted program, the parent along with the psychologist discuss whether or not the child would benefit from an advanced curriculum. No single gifted class is appropriate for all children. This will vary by educational system and the individual student. However, whichever classroom is selected, it must be based on the needs, abilities and talents of the child.
If you have any additional questions regarding the process of testing gifted children or our gifted evaluation program, or would like to make an appointment, please contact us.