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Gifted and LD Child Needs a New School

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

Q: My 15-year-old daughter has an IQ of 132. She is gifted in visual and audio perception. She makes exceptional drawings, and is also being treated for Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder.

My daughter attends an exceptional private school for children who are gifted yet suffer a disorder that makes attending public school impossible for them. The problem is that we need to move. Do you know of a list of schools on the West Coast that cater to gifted/LD kids?

A: Moving is often difficult for families, and school placements can be challenging. There are resources across the country, however, that can assist you.

Historically, California has had a strong state association for the gifted. The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) could be a ready resource of parents and professionals who are aware of good gifted-and- talented programs within your state.

The University of Washington in Seattle provides services for gifted-and- talented students of all ages through its Halbert Robinson Center for the Study of Capable Youth. The Center provides assessment and short-term counseling, summer programs, Talent Search, and early entrance to college programs. They are acutely aware of good schools and programs throughout the state of Washington. Their phone number is 206-543-4160.

The American Psychological Association has just launched a new initiative in the area of the gifted. Rena Subotnik, a professor at Hunter College, is spearheading that effort in the association's central office in Washington. One of the goals of this office is to bring together psychologists from across the country in a network of professionals interested in the gifted. The office may be able to connect you with individuals or schools on the West Coast that can best serve your child's needs. More information is available on APA's website.

Good luck with your search!

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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.

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