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IQ Tests for the Highly Gifted

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My son is 8 years old, at the age of 2 he was using my laptop and reading at around 3, and my wife who is very involved with the children let him watch her while on the computer. It took me a while to accept that Trenton was gifted. Trent took the gifted test at age 6 for the State of Florida, he scored in the 99.9 percentile.

While in the grocery store he totals the groceries in his head. Not all the time but he comes within cents. But I also noticed that you can show Trenton something one time and he can do it, not matter task or problem, if you show him a physics problem once and he retains it. I wonder how far he can go. Are other tests or other schools to test Trent? Everyday, he is getting smarter and smarter and I want to make sure he gets the best opportunity.

A: Trenton is indeed highly gifted from your description, and with scores in the 99.9 percentile, he surely need differentiation in his educational pursuits. You have had him tested for the gifted program, so I believe he is in the program and benefiting greatly from it.

I am not sure about schools in your area, you may want to speak to his school or get some support and information from a local association for the gifted. As for tests, two widely used individual IQ tests are the Wechsler's and the Stanford-Binet. The Wechsler's (WISC-IV) is a strong diagnostic test that is excellent for verbal/visual-spatial balance, plus processing speed and memory. (6 16.11 years). The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Form L-M is an excellent reasoning test with less emphasis on processing skills; it may be used as a retest to differentiate higher levels of giftedness following high scores on another test. (2 - 9+; highly recommended for exceptionally gifted children). You may need to speak to an educational psychologist with experience in testing gifted children to suggest a suitable test for him.

As you said, he is getting smarter and smarter; you do not want him to possibly experience burn-out if left on his own. Even if he is in the gifted program, you may need to give him more challenging work after school as further enrichment and to maintain his interest level. His teachers may also be able to advise how to help him. In addition, if he is tested highly gifted, you may want to write to the National Association for Gifted Children in your state/country - they are usually very helpful with supporting gifted children and perhaps linking you with a support group who are usually other parents with highly gifted children. Sharing your needs and issues with other parents and learning from their experience is often the best way to help your child. Best wishes.


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