Preschool Gifted Education Program
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 3 year and 1 month old son just underwent a battery of
tests to determine his eligibility to attend a local gifted
pre-school program. Could you please interpret the results
and comment on the validity of the cumulative tests and
whether you believe he is of gifted ability?
Peabody Pict. Vocab -Score of MA =4yr.6mos.
Detroit Test of learning Aptitude Verbal Opposites - Score
of MA = 6yr. 3mos.
Verbal Memory - Score MA = 4yr.0mos.
Numeric Memory - Score MA = 4yr.0mos
Conceptual Grouping - Score MA=6yr. 6mos
Slosson Intelligent Test - Score of IQ=141
Thank you for your help.
A: I am really amazed at the
number of tests your son went through for a preschool gifted
education program. In fact, at three, it is surprising that
he was given the tests since most have an age requirement of
at least four years of age (e.g, the Slosson Intelligence
Test that is used for a quick estimate of general verbal
cognitive ability requires a minimum age of 4 years).
The results interpretations are quite clear to show a rather
advanced ability for your son. This is based on the mental
age based on each test against his chronological age. Every
test indicated a mental age of at least four, which means
that his ability is about at least a year advanced in most
tests. Therefore, based on the test alone, I would assume
that he would possibly be in the gifted range and would gain
from early intervention based on his learning ability.
For most preschoolers, test results may not be
representative of their general ability since most of such
tests require verbal responses to item. Hence, children who
are not very able to express themselves verbally may not
score as well as children who are more verbally advanced on
a non-verbal test.
It is also believed that such tests may not be very reliable
in the identification of the young gifted especially below
five years of age. Below five years of age, it is hard to
predict giftedness with accuracy as compared to above that
age for more stable and reliable indicators.
For now, since it can be assumed that your son has advanced
verbal ability, you may want to encourage him word play,
play-writing, rhyming games and so on. For a balanced
ability in fine motor skills, he can also be encouraged to
draw, handling and using scissors, gluing words and
pictures, etc. For practical skills, include puzzles,
organizing and building toys (such as Lego and other similar
However, your son had shown above average ability based on
his chronological age and he should gain admission in a
preschool gifted education program without difficulty. He
would surely gain from an early intervention to tap on his
abilities to the maximum. Best of luck.