For Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Gifted Evals. See Part 2 of this Blog Series by Clicking Here.
Is Your Child Gifted?
Is your child’s vocabulary advanced for their age? Do they solve problems quicker than their peers? Do they consume information with a passion?
Many families wonder if their student is being challenged enough at school. Completing a gifted evaluation is one of the best ways to determine if a student’s intellectual ability is significantly above other students their age. If a student meets criteria set by the Sarasota County school board, they could be eligible to participate in an advanced curriculum. Advanced programming is available within their current classroom, in a separate “gifted” classroom or magnet program and even a gifted school.
Why Private Practice?
Gifted evaluations are available through the Sarasota County School District at no cost, however, many families choose to seek testing in private practice for a many reasons. The first benefit of private practice evaluations is that the reports typically offer a more in-depth discussion about performance and provide relevant recommendations. There is also more freedom to choose the evaluator who will be spending time with you and your child. Lastly, you have the ability to pick a day/time that is most convenient for you and your child, which can increase the likelihood of getting the best performance and effort.
I’ve worked closely with the Sarasota County School District to ensure that my reports are in line with their recommendations and are well accepted. Within my practice, I provide Intellectual (IQ) Assessments as well as Academic Testing, which is required by gifted schools like Pineview and other magnet gifted programs. Additional requirements for gifted program eligibility come from your student’s districted school. For instance, class grades and teacher recommendations are factored in to a schools determination of eligibility for placement. I will speak more to the specific criteria needed to be eligible for gifted placement in my next blog.
What to Expect
As I mentioned we have flexibility to schedule at ideal times during the day. I typically schedule testing in the morning from 9a-12pm. I’ve found morning testing most helpful in obtaining top performance and focus from students if they’ve had a good nights sleep and a satisfying breakfast. The full 3 hour testing time is often not utilized but is available if a student needs multiple breaks to ensure best performance. I spend time in the beginning with the parent and student to learn a bit about a student’s strengths and preferences. The time spent with parents and students is also vital to increase a student’s comfort with myself and my office. Once a student is comfortable with the new setting I help to ensure they are not nervous and will be able to focus on tasks. When we’re ready to begin, I explain expectations and introduce the tasks we’ll be doing.
The administration of gifted evaluations has come a long way over the past 5 years. More and more clinicians are transitioning to an electronic platform for administering and scoring intellectual (IQ) and academic measures. Administration can now occur using two IPads that “talk” to each other via Bluetooth connection. I use one IPad to administer instructions, record and score responses, take notes, and control visual cues. The student uses the other IPad to view and respond to stimuli.
By utilizing electronic vs. paper and pencil administration, I’m able to improve accuracy and speed of the testing, as well as have access to real time scoring. I offer comprehensive gifted evaluations and reports that highlight a student’s strengths. The recommendations provided within my reports help schools identify students eligible for advanced placement. You can find more information about gifted testing HERE.
Angela Steranko, Psy.D.