We offer a variety of assessment services, including:
Testing for Giftedness
Parents of bright and gifted learners often consider seeking a privately administered cognitive assessment (an IQ test) when it appears that their child is out of sync with the typical learner. These children may appear bored or frustrated by the general education curriculum. Their academic skills may be well beyond their years and their overwhelming curiosity and passion for learning can make it difficult for a general education teacher to provide them with learning opportunities they require.
There are times when children require a more challenging educational environment. 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
- Is venturesome, wanting to do new things
- Has a wide range of interests
- Tends to dominate peers or situations
- Needs little outside control – applies self discipline
- Is resourceful – solves problems by “out of the box” thinking
- Displays a great originality and curiosity about objects, situations or events
- Is involved with many exploratory type activities
- Shows superior judgment in evaluating things
- 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
Unfortunately, the vast majority of gifted children remain in programs where there is limited challenges posed in their curriculum. In this case, testing can be a potent ally. The results of an intellectual assessment can bolster advocacy efforts when the curriculum is restrictive and gifted accommodations are sparse. Intelligence tests explore cognitive abilities; a student’s reasoning, language, and processing skills are examined and utilized to assist in understanding attention span and learning style. The results offer objective insight into a child’s ability profile.
Gifted testing refers to an evaluation that is used to determine if a child meets the intellectual eligibility criteria for placement within a school’s gifted program. The assessment requires that a child be administered a standardized test of intellectual functioning (an IQ test). The most commonly used instruments are the Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children – Fifth Edition (WISC-V), the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test – Fifth Edition (SB-V).
Private testing results can help parents in educational planning, determine whether a child may benefit from some form of acceleration, offer insight into a child's behavior and learning characteristics, and help determine eligibility for a special school program. Private testing may be used to help a child gain access to outside gifted programming, including online programs and summer camps, that may provide some of the enrichment and acceleration a bright of gifted child may not be getting during the school day. Examples of nationally recognized outside programs that offer distance learning or summer programming for gifted learners include the Stanford Education Program for Gifted Youth, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, the Summer Institute for the Gifted, and the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Our office provides gifted testing for such placements. Our gifted evaluation includes the following:
- A brief interview with parent and child about their learning styles, past school experiences, and current academic placement.
- A standardized intelligence test. The tests that are generally provided are the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test – Fifth Edition (SB-V) unless other tests have been requested. The fee for gifted evaluations is $600.
- Following the administration of the test, we provide immediate verbal feedback of the results to the parent.
- A written report is provided within one week.
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.
When the term psycho-educational testing is utilized, it refers more specifically to evaluating what underlies an individual’s learning difficulties. Psycho-educational testing is used to determine whether a child has a Specific Learning Disability (SLD), to differentiate cognitive or learning problems, to identify strengths and weaknesses to maximize a child’s success, or to plan interventions for academic difficulties. Every assessment is individualized to ensure that the necessary questions are being answered so that test results can be used optimally to assist an individual.
A psycho-educational assessment can include an evaluation of intellectual functioning (IQ), mastery of academic material (achievement tests), and tests of information processing and/or learning. Clinical assessment, behavioral rating scales, and psychological measures are also used to assist in determining other variables that may account for difficulties in learning. Test results can provide information about what accommodations are necessary for an individual to succeed at school or work, whether a child is working to his or her potential, and about the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Test results can guide recommendations for intervention, assistive strategies to use at school or home, and can recommend alternative educational placements or programs.