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Suitable Program for a Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I have an eight year old daughter who is very well spoken and enjoys learning. She is not very active she much rather have her nose in a book. She is very creative and is consistently asking questions about everything. I am concerned because I have been trying to make the schools realize that she is bright and needs to be challenged but no one seems to understand that. She was in second grade reading on a fifth grade level, her math skills are advanced, and almost every test she has taken she has received a perfect score. Her spelling is so far ahead that last year I was getting her spelling words out of the Dictionary for her. She does not really fit in to class because the kids pick on her because she is so smart. I have tried everything and I wanted to find out how to go about getting her IQ tested so that someone would find the right place for her in the educational system.

A: Your daughter does sound gifted and it's such a shame that she is not fitting well in her class. This is such a typical case of a bright kid in a dull classroom. Other kids are picking on her simply because they may see her as being different from them and may not understand her nature and needs.

It is quite strange that the school is not doing anything especially if she is performing way ahead of her peers. Perhaps, the school may not even understand what giftedness is which is not surprising since awareness may not be as wide spread as expected and schools tend to deal with the majority rather than the minority.

I believe the first step is to get her tested to see her IQ level. You would need to see an educational psychologist in your area who does intelligence testing who would be able to suggest a suitable test. For her age group, she could be tested on the WISC-IV or the Standford-Binet series. The scores would give you an indication on where she stands on a standardized IQ test and the psychologist may be able to help identify her strengths and weaknesses and advice on what could be best for her educational needs. Perhaps, with the scores (especially with high scores), you may be able to approach the school as well. It is also likely that the school may not be able to cater for the needs of such students; so you may need to look around for other schools that are more suitable.

If there isn't a suitable program in your area, and moving is not possible, you, as a parent, would need to put in a lot of effort in helping her advance further. Look around for gifted association in your area or parents support network. It is amazing how much help you can get from others who may be experiencing similar concerns. To better equip yourself, there is a host of materials on the internet for you to read and understand. Hope that helps a little. Here's wishing you all the best!


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