|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Testing a Shy Child for Giftedness

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Rita Culross, Ph.D.

Q: I believe my six-year old daughter is gifted. She excels in all areas at school and displays most of the behavior traits of gifted children.

I spoke to her teacher about having her tested for the school's gifted program, and her teacher feels that while she is probably gifted, she would not test well because she is so extremely shy and the person testing her would be someone she doesn't know. The teacher said that if she doesn't score high enough the first time she's tested, they won't be able to test her again for another year, so maybe we should wait a little longer.

My daughter doesn't seem to be getting any less shy, so what difference would a couple of months make? What should I do: Have her tested now and see what happens, or wait and hope it makes a difference?

A: Testing young children is a challenge for examiners. Unlike those of us who have taken tests for many years, younger children are new to testing experiences and can be less attuned to the demands of the testing situation. Nonetheless, a careful examination process can yield good results from young children.

Frequently, when a child is shy, it is helpful for the person doing the testing to meet with the child in advance. Informal interactions with the child in her regular classroom or one-on-one in a conversation or in a play setting can help the child become familiar with the tester. It is important that the person who tests your daughter is aware of her personality and can maintain her cooperation and attention. (Obviously, too, better results will be obtained for shy children in individual testing than in a group testing situation.) In working with shy children, one of the goals of the tester is to establish a rapport by being warm and friendly toward the child. An additional plus would be having a psychologist or diagnostician who has experience working with young children.

If you decide to pursue testing at this time (or even later), I would recommend that you make an appointment with the person doing the testing to share your concerns about your daughter's shyness as it might impact on her test scores. A little advance warning may be all that is necessary to ensure that your daughter's performance reflects her true abilities.

More on: Expert Advice

Rita Culross is Associate Dean, College of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. Culross has served as the consulting school psychologist for a public school elementary gifted program, and has written a book and several journal articles on gifted education.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!