Should You Test for Giftedness?

Gifted testing provides us with an overview of your child’s intricate set of abilities and potentials. This information is useful in addressing current and future needs for your gifted child.  

Whether your child is bright or truly gifted, a gifted assessment will help to uncover critical information about your child and how they process information.

This information is extremely useful for parents and will provide a framework to help make decisions which will ensure the best possible outcome for your child. 

Gifted assessments can help provide clarity on questions such as:

  • How does my child learn and process information?
  • What classroom setting will provide the proper nourishment
    for my child?
  • Is my child gifted? If so, in what way?
  • Is my child a potential candidate for early intervention?
  • What is the best way to communicate with my
    child?
  • Why is my child struggling and what can we do to
    help?
  • Which extracurricular interests should my child
    be involved in?

What Does it Mean to be Gifted?

Giftedness, by definition, is a score of 130 + (≥ 98th percentile) on a standardized measure of intelligence.  In other words, gifted children account for approximately 2% of the general population. 

In the field of giftedness, traditional definitions of a gifted child base the identification solely, on IQ scores and academic achievement. More liberal interpretations recognize extraordinary abilities in more creative areas, such as art or music. 

Regardless of the interpretation, the common factor is that unusual intelligence is the result of both genetic and environmental factors working in conjunction to influence brain development.

Gifted Children often display the following characteristics:

  • Exceptional talent in his/her ability to understand abstract ideas.
  • Quick learner with an excellent memory.
  • They enjoy solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles.
  • They have a highly developed and curious nature.
  • They possess an unusually large and sophisticated vocabulary for their age.
  • Gifted children are highly focused on certain areas of interest and ask questions that show advanced insight.

Importance of Identifying a Gifted Child

The identification of gifted learners is vital to ensure they are receiving the proper enrichment in their educational setting. If left unchallenged, gifted learners may become bored, they may show decreased motivation, and they may have trouble focusing in the classroom.

Properly identifying giftedness early is essential to ensure your child is placed in an environment where they will flourish.

Not all gifted children behaviors are beneficial. Some of the following traits may cause difficulty for a child in a variety of settings:

  • Perfectionism and feelings of inadequacy
  • Extreme self criticism
  • Anxiety or emotional extremes
  • Emotional outbursts, often labelled as
    immaturity
  • Stubbornness and instance on doing things their
    way
  • Lack or organizational skills
  • Difficulty with peer relationships

Gifted Programs for Children in Calgary

In Calgary, there are schools and programs that specialize in the education of gifted students.

Westmount Charter School is the only k-12 congregated setting in Alberta for students who are gifted. The school currently serves approximately 1200 students.

To apply for admission to Westmount Charter School, your child must have undergone Intelligence Testing (Psychological Assessment) with a Registered Psychologist. The testing results must accompany your application to Westmount Charter School.

Gifted assessments for Westmount Charter School can start as early as 3.5 years old for admission into the K-4 program. The typical assessment process involves a 2 hour appointment consisting of the following:

  • 30 minute consultation with parents to obtain consent and to discuss pertinent background information.
  • 90 minutes of testing to administer an intellectual assessment  (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V)
  • 30 minute follow up at a later date once the results of the test have been interpreted and analyzed.

For more information on admission to Westmount Charter School please click here.

The only other gifted program offered in Calgary is the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education Program) with CBE (Calgary Board of Education).

LEAP Psychology offers the most affordable gifted assessment into the GATE program. This assessment is slightly more involved and includes the following:

  • 45 minute initial consultation to obtain consent and gather relevant background information.
  • 4 hour assessment session to administer an intellectual assessment (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V)  and achievement test (WIAT-III).
  • A follow up meeting at a later date to discuss results and interpretations.

For more information on admission to the GATE program please click here.

Would Your Child Benefit From A Gifted Program?

If you have any questions or would like to get started with a gifted assessment please do not hesitate to reach out or enter your information below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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