Is My Child Gifted?
As a parent, one of your many jobs is to encourage and foster the potential your child displays as he or she grows. But how can you decide if the potential you see is really an exceptional natural ability? One option is to have your child tested - formally or informally - to document the gifts and talents you suspect, and to use that information to make it more possible for those gifts to develop.
Why Test? There are several reasons to investigate a child's learning ability. For example, if parents and/or teachers observe that a child's learning needs are not being satisfied through the regular curriculum, or if there are possible learning disabilities that interfere with developing a child's potential, it is important to have a full evaluation. However, individual tests are not infallible predictors of giftedness, intelligence, or ability. That is why identification for giftedness and/or a particular gifted program should be multi-faceted.
NAGC Guidelines state: "Best practices indicate that multiple measures and valid indicators from multiple sources must be used to assess and serve gifted students. Information should be gathered from multiple sources (caregivers/families, teachers, students, and others with significant knowledge of the students), in different ways (e.g., observations, performances, products, portfolios, interviews), and in different contexts (e.g., in-school and out-of-school settings)." Children should be screened using qualitative as well as quantitative measures. These include but are not limited to: student products/performance, teacher checklists, parent/student nomination, achievement/performance tests, and ability/intelligence tests.
As noted by the Webmistress of Hoagie's Gifted Education Page, "The answer to the question "Why Test?" is the same for the gifted child as for any other child: you should test to answer a question. Tests can provide detailed information about the child's learning needs to parents and teachers, including gifted identification for educational planning and gifted program participation. Tests can also offer information for early intervention of learning differences, and to facilitate an appropriate education. And you should test when you need the answer to any of these questions."
There are many views on testing to consider, both pro and con, and ultimately you will need to make the decision that is right for your child and family. Below you will find information and resources to help you become aware of ways to discover if there is possible "gifted" potential in your child.
Informal Assessments and Checklists
Formal Testing and Assessments
Tests and Results