Challenging Gifted Child for Higher Scores
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My child is in third grade and was just tested for the
gifted program, this is her first year in the public school.
She previously attended a private school and we moved her
because my husband and I felt for the past couple of years
she has not been challenged enough. She scored a 128 on the
test and my question is would she have done better if for
the past couple of years she was challenged?
We have plans to have her retested next year but I just
wanted to know because she is very smart and felt that maybe
she would have done better if she were previously
challenged. My thoughts are if you don't use it you lose it.
I wanted to know if this was somewhat true.
A: Gifted children obviously
need to be challenged, otherwise they may not develop to
their full potential. Having said that, if they are getting
reasonable exposure and learning, the scores may not be much
higher. IQ tests differ from achievement tests as it tests
children of cognitive ability rather than academic content
closely related to school learning.
Therefore, I am not sure if she would get much higher, but
with reasonable challenge and stimulation, I believe that
her scores can be a little higher – not significantly
though. Giftedness is something you are born with. You don't
lose it but if not stimulated enough, gifted individuals may
burn out and "accept" mediocrity. It is best to retest her
if you strongly believe that she has not been stimulated
enough. Make sure the test scores are interpreted well to
understand how you may be able to help her further. Good