|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Should My Son Be Tested?

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: I am almost sure that my six-year-old son is gifted. He gets in trouble in school for talking, interrupting, and goofing around, but this improves with structure. His teacher is sweet and positive but does not provide extra or advanced work, even though he asks me for it and she knows he can do it and is very bright. She thinks it is more important at his age to fit in with his peers and not be singled out in any way. Would testing him at this point serve a purpose? A school psychologist said he didn't think it was necessary if my child wasn't going to receive special services as a result. He also said if I know he is gifted, why test?

A: The reason we have our gifted children tested is so that we will fully understand their capabilities and so that the school will hopefully provide an appropriate education for them. It's not unusual that the teacher is not offering him more, because that is not in her curriculum plan at this point. The problem here is that if giftedness is ignored and unchallenged in the primary grades, the student may have learned to show only what is expected and that to be the same as everyone else is what is desired by the teacher. By the time the gifted program is available, the student is still gifted, but he hides it well.

Many teachers take the time to provide something a little extra to a student whom they know is gifted, even if no program is being officially provided. And many parents provide outside activities and special learning fun at home to augment their child's regular education. If you have read some of the checklists on gifted behavior, and you believe your son fits the bill, I would go for it and have him tested -- though the school may not agree to do it.

Even an identification of giftedness does not allow for your son's "pay attention to me" behavior that you describe. A structured behavior plan in school where he earns points for not interrupting -- where points can be redeemed for fun things like computer time -- can still work at this age. Good luck.

More on: Expert Advice

Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.


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

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!