Gifted

Gifted

Gifted students may be globally gifted (have an IQ at or above some arbitrary “cut-off,” such as 130), or may be more “lop-sided,” with giftedness in one specific area or areas. IQ is a composite of many different abilities including verbal, visual-spatial, fluid reasoning, memory, processing speed, and other abilities. Not every gifted student is equally good at everything. Matthew has exceptionally strong fluid reasoning, visual-spatial abilities and mathematical talent, yet has abysmally slow processing speed. As a result, his global IQ is below 130, but I certainly consider him to be gifted.

Gifted students require differentiated educational programs and services. Often, they are asynchronous and out-of-step with their age-peers, feel different socially, and are bored and under-stimulated at school. Placement in an undifferentiated classroom focused on meeting minimum state or school standards can be a very frustrating experience for such a learner. Under-challenged students may act up to get attention, appear to have ADHD, and earn poor grades despite their high ability because they have grown accustomed to not paying attention to instruction. Gifted students who are under-stimulated may lose their enthusiasm for learning and school altogether.

What can I do to help?

First, I listen to your concerns and ask you to tell me about your child. If a full neuropsych assessment is not required, I can conduct a gifted and achievement assessment which provides an in-depth understanding of the child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, academic achievement as compared with ability, interests and affinities. Next, I design a learning plan that focuses on the development of strengths and interests while also providing suggestions for strengthening any areas of relative weakness. Most gifted students are not equally skilled at everything. A child who loves math and is gifted at fluid reasoning and visual-spatial skills – yet who performs at the average level in reading – could benefit from acceleration in math and science, participation in summer robotics and engineering camps, and a focus on improving reading skills by working with a tutor and reading science fiction books. I provide school-based and extracurricular recommendations, as parents can play a very important role by providing enrichment outside of school.