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Gifted or Not?
Q: Where can I go for testing my seven-year-old daughter's intelligence? I noticed that she was not being challenged enough at school and decided to try challenging her academically at home. She is now up to 3rd and 4th grade levels in math and vocabulary. Unfortunately, when I tried asking her teacher for some guidance about placing her in the gifted program, she became defensive and stated that my daughter was not a candidate. Any advice?
A: When a child excels academically, it is one sign of possible "giftedness" in the early grades. Don't be surprised that the teacher doesn't consider your child to be gifted. It is not unusual for parents to recognize giftedness before classroom teachers.
Go to the school and find out what the requirements are for placement in the gifted program. Then begin to gather evidence that your child meets these requirements. If the school will not test your child for the gifted program, you will need to obtain sound testing of your daughter's abilities. Her pediatrician should be able to help you locate a private counselor, psychologist, or psychometrist for testing. The local university is another place to look for reliable test givers.
Keep in mind that you don't need to rely just on the school system to provide your daughter with opportunities for the gifted. Investigate local colleges to see if they sponsor enrichment programs for gifted children. Since summer vacation is almost here, you might want to look into the possibility of your child attending a summer camp for gifted children. Another idea is to let her work with a tutor who could expand her interest in a particular area.
It is great that you are working with your daughter at home. You must continue to do this. You can find more resources for educating gifted children at the following websites: Prufrock Press, and National Association for Gifted Children.
Learn more about your child's special gifts -- complete this checklist.
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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.