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Double-Labeled Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I noticed there was a post about Terra Nova testing. In seventh grade; I was tested with the lengthy test, and I still remember it. I was in special education and received more time. So far; I am through the process for getting tested for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since, I did have many delays and language delays when younger. I still display difficulties today.

Still yet, my point is; I scored a 96 national percentile on Mathematics.
Does this determine eligibility for being gifted? And; approximately, what IQ range is a 96 national percentile? Just curious. Another thing is; can I still be gifted if only gifted at Math, but suck at everything else? I am an avid reader; although, I do stubble from abstract reasoning and/or concepts.

So; would this still consider me gifted? Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks.

A: Your national percentile score for mathematics is rather high, indicating that you scored higher than 96% of the students in your norm group. However, to be placed in a gifted program, an average score is usually used. Teachers do pay attention on areas of strength and try to enhance potential in those areas.

There is a possibility to be gifted, and at the same time have a learning delay, which is termed as double-labeled gifted. It is not accurate to determine an IQ range based on an achievement test, such as Terra Nova. In this case as well, only one area is being looked at. If you want to determine your IQ range, it would be best to take a standardized IQ test.

I believe that everyone is gifted in some way or other; everyone has one or more potential within oneself and the problem is whether that potential is still hidden or has been developed. If identified early, we have many opportunities in school to maximize our potential. I am sure you are gifted in Mathematics based on your scores. If you are still in school, you may want to speak to a teacher/counselor regarding your gifts and see what can be done to further enhance this potential.

As humans, we rarely excel in everything, some of us are better in some areas, some in others. If you feel you have a gift in a certain area, I feel you should find ways and means to further develop that gift. IQ and achievement tests are mere numbers as general referrals to indicate strengths and weaknesses and should not be taken as absolutes. Eventually, knowledge in power and the more you read, the more you discover hidden knowledge. Since you are an avid reader, I believe you are on the right track.


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