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To Test or Not to Test—Gifted Children?

Information and Resources about Testing a Gifted Child

How To Test If Your Child Is Gifted
By: Mindy Scirri, Ph.D.  
Disclaimer: Throughout this series, we will be using the diagnostic language and terms that most people who are searching the Internet will use to find information. We fully understand that using any term to categorize children may result in generalizations that may not apply to every child, stigmas associated with that term, and the possibility of overlooking the many beautiful positive traits that exist when we look at the whole child. We celebrate the differences that make us unique individuals and learners, and we write everything in this series with the hopes of benefiting all children and their families. Resources are provided as options for you, may not represent the views and opinions of A2Z Homeschooling, and in no way are meant to replace medical or other professional advice.  

Does your insatiably curious child surprise you at every turn? Reading at a very early age. Doing higher-level math for fun. Asking complicated questions, and living at a fast pace, constantly trying to avoid boredom. You know your child is smart, but maybe—because you are the parent—you are biased. Your child seems to be learning everything faster than peers. When you talk to other parents, you get the sense that your child is different. You are challenged to keep your child entertained as other parents sit and talk on a park bench while their children play quietly for hours. You wonder, “Is my child gifted?”

Many other parents in your situation have wondered the same thing. Some of them will choose not to have their children assessed for giftedness. Others will, but only after the insistence of teachers or other school personnel. And some will decide on their own to find out whether their children are gifted. Perhaps they want more information in order to make better educational decisions, or maybe they have a gifted or accelerated program in mind and want to see if their children are eligible. Some will just feel that they have tried everything to keep their children engaged and have decided that they need an explanation or, simply, some help.

Let’s consider the idea of testing children for giftedness by looking at the resources and information available:

Characteristics of a Gifted Child

Information on Gifted Child Assessment
Advice from Other Families on Testing a Gifted Child

How to Test a Gifted Child  

*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Although most of the resources listed here are free, those marked with a $ have a cost or require a fee/subscription in order to access the full range of materials.

 

Characteristics of a Gifted Child

Some say that gifted children are even more diverse than children in other populations. How, then, can we establish common characteristics? Well, your child may express some traits that are on such lists, but your child may also have unique interests and have very uneven development intellectually, emotionally, and physically compared to peers. This may result in misidentification, which can lead to an education that is not challenging enough to help your child reach full potential. Here are some resources for determining some of those common gifted traits—even if they are not always expressed in common ways among those who are gifted:

Characteristics of Intellectually Advanced Young People | Davidson Institute
Check out this list of common characteristics of profoundly gifted students.

Mensa Workout
For your older student…. “This quiz is provided for entertainment purposes only: it’s not an IQ test and your score will not qualify you for Mensa. Nevertheless, if you’re pleased with your score, you might want to consider taking a properly administered and supervised IQ test.”

Traits of Giftedness | National Association for Gifted Children
Browse this list of characteristics, separated into cognitive, creative, affective, and behavioral traits.

 

How To Test If Your Child Is Gifted 

Information on Gifted Child Assessment

If you see some of the characteristics of gifted children in your child, you may begin to think about finding a test for gifted kids. Maybe you want to find out more first. Below are some resources for you to simply learn about gifted child assessment:

A Place to Start: Is My Child Gifted? | Davidson Institute
Review the signs of giftedness, the difference between testing and assessment, whether to have your child tested or assessed, and which test is best.

Don’t Throw Away the Old Binet
“The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Form L-M) is the only measurement tool we have that can adequately assess extraordinarily gifted children, yet it is in danger of extinction.” Read the perspective of Dr. Linda Silverman and Kathi Kearney and their suggestions for the assessment of gifted children.

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders $
By James T. Webb (Author), Edward R. Amend (Author), Jean Goerss (Author), Paul Beljan (Author), Richard Olenchak (Author)
“Our brightest, most creative children and adults are often being misdiagnosed with behavioral and emotional disorders such as ADHD, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, Bipolar, OCD, or Asperger’s…. Six nationally prominent health care professionals describe ways parents and professionals can distinguish between gifted behaviors and pathological behaviors.”

 

Special Considerations in Gifted Identification and Assessment | Davidson Institute
Find a discussion about special considerations when you are considering gifted assessment, particularly the presence of other learning differences, underrepresentation of minority backgrounds, missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, and logistical considerations surrounding testing.

 

Advice from Other Families on Testing a Gifted Child

Back in the day, groups of children were given IQ tests for tracking in schools, but the children may not have been told their IQ scores. Why do you think that is? Sometimes, whether to test or not is the question. Other times, how testing should happen is the parent’s worry. Here are some pieces of advice from homeschooling families who have made these choices for their gifted children:

Giftedness Disguised | Raising Lifelong Learners
Colleen, a gifted specialist and homeschool mom of four gifted/twice-exceptional kids, shares her thoughts and experiences related to assessment.

Giftedness: To Test of Not to Test | My Little Poppies
Explore the perspective of Cait, school psychologist and homeschool mom to a gifted child. Find out how the family made the decision, and then what happened after that decision.

Gifted Testing and Homeschooling | Testing Mom
Read this overview and find links to blogs, articles, and other resources on gifted testing.

Gifted Testing for Homeschooled Child? | Family Education
This is a Q and A about a homeschooling family thinking about testing their nine-year-old son and a social worker’s response to that family.

How Do I Know if My Child Gifted? | TAG – Families of Talented and Gifted
Read what TAG has to say about a parent’s role in assessment, why to identify gifted children, resources, and more.

 

 How To Test If Your Child Is Gifted

 

How to Test a Gifted Child

Once you determine you will move forward with assessment, you need to know how to test if your child is gifted. Should you go to a gifted children’s clinic or look for a gifted child test online? Fortunately, there are resources for how to get your child tested for giftedness, too:

Duke University Talent Identification Program
TIP “helps gifted students assess the extent of their academic abilities with above-grade-level testing.”

How to Get Your Child Tested for Gifted Identification | Davidson Institute
Learn where to seek a gifted child evaluation, including through a local school or education department, local professionals, specialty groups, and online. Explore financial and other considerations prior to testing.

Misdiagnosis | Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
“Intellectually gifted people, whose needs are neglected or misunderstood, may exhibit traits and behaviors that resemble conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), for example. Misdiagnosis can result in unnecessary medication and unintended harm.” Check the Mental Health Provider Directory for a list of professionals who can help with assessing gifted and talented children, including those who are twice exceptional. You also download a brochure on misdiagnosis to share with your provider.

Online Gifted Testing | Homeschool Boss
Check out the information here to find out about using MAP Testing for homeschoolers, which can be tailored to the level at which your gifted child is performing.

Talent Search Testing: Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
Participating in CTY’s Talent Search is an achievement in itself. Receiving a qualifying score can earn your bright young learner an invitation to one of our recognition ceremonies or the opportunity to enroll in our engaging summer and online programs.” CTY allows the submission of prior test scores, but also provides in-person testing and remote testing using an online version of the School College and Ability Test (SCAT).

Testing and Assessment for the Gifted Child | Davidson Institute
Find out about the various achievement and ability tests that are often used in testing a gifted child. 

Back to Top

 

Did testing show your homeschooler is gifted? Need more help and resources? Get more information at the blogs below:

How To Homeschool A Gifted Child


Homeschooling Gifted Curriculum
 

Do you have suggestions for testing a gifted child? What resources helped you find out how to get your child tested for giftedness? Share your comments below….

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