Tips for Parents: Individual Assessment of Gifted Children
Source: Davidson Young Scholar Seminar
Dr. Edward R. Amend delivers a valuable Q & A article related to gifted assessment.
What is assessment?
Assessment is not just testing; a comprehensive assessment can clarify a child’s ability level, areas of giftedness, weaknesses, emotional functioning, and learning style. It can help in making educational planning recommendations and also direct the parent toward appropriate resources. Assessment is a process that should answer the questions the parents have about the current situation.
Do I need an assessment for my child?
The specific questions you have should drive the evaluation process, and the professional can develop an assessment to answer your questions. There are many reasons for testing a gifted child, and assessment of gifted children can comprise many different things. Often, it involves intellectual and achievement testing for school placement issues. Sometimes, assessment includes behavioral evaluation or neuropsychological testing to evaluate the level of depression or anxiety, or to rule out problems such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Asperger’s Disorder.
My child’s IQ has been previously tested. When is a good time to re-assess a gifted child’s intellectual ability?
Professionals differ on re-assessment and its frequency. While some recommend every two to three years, regardless of circumstances, I believe there needs to be a reason to re-assess, not just because it is “time” to do it. What is the referral question? What new information are you hoping to gain? Are you looking for new understanding or new recommendations? Are you now considering full-grade acceleration or other accommodations that did not seem appropriate or feasible at the time of previous testing? Are you looking to judge progress? Getting more testing and new scores won’t mean much unless you know what you are hoping to do with them and the professional conducting the assessment knows the implications of scores in the gifted range. In terms of cognitive or intellectual testing, if you have an accurate and valid assessment of a child nine to eleven years old, you may not need to re-assess cognitive ability. If one testing shows a child is gifted, the purpose of any new testing should answer a different question than, “Is my child gifted?” You already have that answer.
Reprinted with the permission of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. © 2008 Davidson Institute for Talent Development
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