Testing 1,2,3: Evaluating a Child for Giftedness
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Parents who think their child is gifted may find it difficult to get a proper assessment--with an overabundance of definitions, criteria, assessments, and theories on what a gifted child is muddying the waters.
Luckily, there are several places across the country that specialize in just this sort of thing. Here are six testing centers considered to be at the top of the gifted game:
The Davidson Institute – Since 1999, The Davidson Institute has offered a variety of programs for high-achieving young people across the country. They believe that like all kids, profoundly intelligent children should have the opportunity to be challenged to excel and achieve. Rather than simple IQ testing, experts at the Institute recommend a comprehensive assessment, using a multitude of tools. They refer parents to testing centers, where giftedness can be determined in order to get a comprehensive idea of each child’s abilities and needs.
The Center for Talented Youth (CTY), Johns Hopkins University – CTY began in 1972, with their first Talent Search, designed to identify, challenge, and reward academically able young people. Since then, they have continued this work. CTY identifies top academic students and provides fun and challenging educational programs (summer residential programs, distance education, and family academic programs) for students K-12. CTY’s Spatial Test Battery (STB), given via computer at hundreds of locations around the United States, can help determine a child’s gifted abilities in that particular area.
The Gifted Resource Center of New England – This center serves the needs of gifted children, adolescents, and their families. Clinical psychological and educational services are offered in assessment, psychotherapy, curriculum design, school consultation, and teacher in-service. They use several methods and tests during assessment, including the Stanford-Binet IV or WISC-III. The Stanford-Binet L-M is also sometimes offered as a supplementary test. Assessment at The Gifted Resource Center of New England usually consists of one or two intellectual instruments, a test of visual-motor abilities, a test of expressive vocabulary, and achievement testing in reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics. Testing is also available for children with more extensive issues such as possible learning problems or ADHD.
Robinson Center for Young Scholars – The Robinson Center for Young Scholars is a leading resource in gifted education for the state of Washington, but many students also come from across the country and across the world. The center investigates, identifies, and serves the needs of intellectually motivated and talented students (pre-kindergarten through college), and prepares them to be committed and engaged citizens and members of their community. The center provides a variety of testing options. There’s Limited Testing (a session of educational questions and advice on school admissions) for those who want just a basic understanding of a child’s potential giftedness, as well Comprehensive Evaluation, which requires three visits to the clinic.
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