Let’s say you’re sitting at home one day looking at your child while he eats dinner and you slowly come to the realization that he isn’t quite like other kids his age. You, and even teachers and other parents, often comment on the idea that your child might be what many consider “gifted.” Maybe, after administering an IQ test and receiving high scores, you realize that you do, in fact, have an intellectually gifted child on your hands! Despite this, the way he acts often worries you.
You may notice that he’s not as socially skilled as you’d like him to be. He doesn’t seem to be interested in typical hobbies and is never engaged in extracurricular afterschool activities. To top things off, your child is only a “good” student, but by no means an amazing one. This can leave you wondering if your child is in need of something that his school perhaps doesn’t offer. Understanding what “giftedness” truly means and following the right steps can be a key factor in helping your child reach his/her true potential.
What it Means to be Gifted
It’s not uncommon for professionals to use different definitions to try and explain giftedness. Some define it based on a comparison to other individuals of the same age while others base it on the needs beyond the offered necessities in a regular classroom setting. Some children who are considered gifted may not show high levels of achievement due to factors such as:
- Cultural barriers
- Physical or learning disabilities
- Motivational or emotional problems
According to the National Association for Gifted Children, “gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.”
These domains can include areas such as mathematics, music or language, or sensorimotor skills such as painting, dancing and sports. Most schools require students to demonstrate intellectual abilities within the top 2% when compared to other students of the same age, which usually means earning a standard score of 130 or higher on an IQ test.
By definition, most children fall within the average range (think of the middle of a bell curve) and only a small proportion of individuals fall at the very ends. At Rice Psychology Group, we see many truly gifted students but also many who are simply very advanced in their thinking and reasoning, but not in that elite top 2%.
RPG Gifted Testing Services
At Rice Psychology Group of Tampa, we believe a Gifted Testing Service should not be a one-size-fits-all operation based solely on IQ test scores. Our team of professional psychologists offers our Gifted Testing to individually evaluate your child to determine whether he or she would be considered eligible for the Academically Gifted Program at your local public school, or similar such program at a private school.
Our Gifted Testing Services generally begin with a brief sit-down meeting with parents to help us learn more about your child. This consultation generally includes questions such as:
- What are your child’s favorite games?
- What types of games or activities is your child good at?
- In what areas does your child excel at school?
- Is your child more of a visual or verbal learner?
- Does your child excel at memory games?
- Does your child excel at timed activities?
- Is your child good at working with blocks or Legos?
- Are there any attention or focus issues we need to be concerned about, or does your child currently have an ADHD diagnosis?
- Is your child color blind?
- Is your child anxious about taking tests? What might make your child feel more at ease about the testing process?
- Has your child been tested before and, if so, by what test?
After we’ve learned about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, a test can be recommended. We use the latest and most updated versions of commonly accepted tests of intelligence, including the WISC-V and the RIAS-2. When appropriate, we will use other standardized measures of intelligence and add academic achievement testing when schools request it.
Rice Psychology Group encourages you to prepare your child with plenty of rest and a good breakfast the day before the test. We spend some time prior to beginning the actual testing to help your child feel comfortable and at ease. We take breaks as appropriate to have a snack, move around or get a quick hug from mom or dad.
If your child makes the minimum cutoff for the Academically Gifted Program, the doctor who administered testing will provide a signed summary report with recommendations that can be shared with school personnel to assist in the process of eligibility determination. If your child does not make the minimum cutoff, the psychologist will still provide a summary with recommendations along with an analysis of factors that might have contributed to the lower score and what might be done to improve the child’s test taking abilities (if applicable).
Finally, if your child’s score is just not within the range where it is likely a retest would result in a qualifying score, we will recommend ways to supplement the child’s education at home.
Let Us Help
At our Tampa-based offices, we understand you’ll always want what’s best for your loved ones, which is something we keep in mind at all times. Let our team of psychologists properly evaluate the entire situation in a comfortable and relaxing setting designed to keep you and your loved ones at ease. Contact any one of our Rice Psychology Group locations for more information today.