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Giftedness and Reliability of IQ Test Scores

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My 10 years old son displays over 20 of the signs of giftedness listed. I was concerned he wasn't getting what he needed from the private school attended. He complained of boredom and the teachers have called him spacey. Both parties were frustrated. He is a straight A student.

I decided to get him tested about 18 months ago. He knew I was thinking about changing schools and did not want to leave his friends. He is also a quiet reflective child. The test results did not support giftedness verbal was 129 and non verbal 105. I left the matter alone but again another frustrating year at school while still maintaining his A average. I seem to be forever asking the teachers to make accommodations for him. Most often I get the reply "all the other kids could do it". What should my next step be. Note: we live in Fort Myers, Florida.

A: From your description, your son appears to be quite bored with the learning in school. His teachers view him as being spaced out in class, an indication of boredom. It surprises me though, as usually private schools cater better for individual needs with the much smaller number of students. Do they have a special class or cluster grouping for students of higher ability? What is their provision for students of varying ability? Perhaps, you may want to find out from the principal. It is also very possible that your son deliberately did not score as well as expected as you mentioned that he was not keen about leaving the current school. At 9 or 10, children usually develop emotional attachment with peers and some gifted children have strong emotions with regards to friendship.

Having said all that, he seems to be coping well at school. At least, academically he is getting straight A's (I assume there is no pressure to perform). Does he look unhappy? How is he socially? Does he have enough friends? Do you have problems getting him to go to school? If everything appears positive, you need to find out the reason he is complaining and suggest alternative with his input considered. If he suggests something, even if you feel that it may not work, allow some trial time. Instead of having to make accommodations, ask him what would be best for him. If his answers are not feasible to perform, rationalize your argument and only then make some leeway.

In some normal stream schools, bright students who do not have any special provision to develop their potential usually develop their own coping mechanism and often do well, so to speak. However, if there is anything that can be done to maximize their potential, by all means we should try our best.

Some websites provide resource information for parents and may be of help are: American Association for Gifted Children, Florida Association for the Gifted and Florida Gifted Network. Good luck!


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