Further Enrichment for a Gifted Child
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My son took the WPPSI-III at age 4. He scored:
Composites/composite score/qualitative range/percentile
General language/135/very superior/99
all the other subtests indicated consistently strong skills
in all areas.
Now that he has just turned 7 and is a current 1st grader I
do not know if he should take another test or what other
programs or options might be of interest to him...annually
he participates in the Johns Hopkins center for talented
youth program for 3 months with online math courses. He
finished 2 courses within this 3 month time frame.
He will need to take the SCAT this coming fall to become
part of the CTY Gr. 2 and up program which would include a
summer camp session that happens to be located on the campus
of his independent school.
I am a single parent and he receives significant financial
aid to attend his school and participate in CTY.
Yet with all of these opportunities he wants more...any
suggestions? We live just north of Washington D.C. in Olney,
Also, he shows perfectionist tendencies and it took awhile
for his teachers to know what he can do. He is not
competitive. They say he is a kind and gentle friend and his
report cards with extensive narrative comments (2 single
space pp.) could not be better in all areas: math, reading,
science, music, art even PE)
Is he missing any opportunities for his development? Would
further testing be helpful? Are there any other programs he
would benefit from? Thank you so much for your time.
A: It appears that your son is
already getting quite a lot of what is offered to nurture
his gifts. Unfortunately, gifted children are a diverse
group. Some may be occupied with what is offered out there,
but most would need to satisfy their cognitive urges. In
your son's case, since he is the one to suggest for more
opportunities, it would be a waste if it is not given.
Gifted children learn beyond their years, so when they enter
school, it's easy for them to become bored and unmotivated
by what their classmates are learning.
I understand your concerns about the financial burden with
some enrichment programs but it really does not have to be
costly if you are willing to put in some time and effort to
personally help him. One way is if you know someone who has
a gifted child about the same age group. This helps as you
will be able to help one another come up with activities to
enrich the child's experiences. Parenting a gifted child can
be very exhausting, so any shared responsibilities would
certainly help. It would also help to join an association
for gifted children in your area (you may want to do a
search on this). Such networks are essential and provide
many resources for parents and gifted children.
Participation and membership is usually on a voluntary
basis, hence charges are minimal. There are also a number of
online programs which helps keep them busy. The key is for
them to be challenged all the time so they have no time to
be bored! You may even want to have a mini project with your
son on an activity, say, to invent something, help the
world, or anything that interests him. Have some structure
and get others involved as well. What he needs is exposure
and such activities can be very helpful. However, make sure
that he is developing evenly ĘC emotionally and socially as
well, so make sure the activities have some of these
As for testing, you may want to test him again to determine
his areas of strengths and weaknesses. The results would
help the relevant authorities to place him in specific
programs that cater for his needs.
Here is an interesting (but rather old) reading on
enrichment for the gifted. Another one on
A Parent's Guide to Giftedness. An free and excellent
enrichment program for Math (from Cambridge University).
Online network for gifted children. Best of luck.