Gifted Child's Qualities Not Apparent
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My child who is now 8, took the Stanford-Binet v5 when he
was 4 years and 3 months. We were asked to take the test
because his teachers at preschool thought he may not be
absorbing information. We knew he was smart but the test
results were very good. He scored a FSIQ of 138 VIQ of 148
NVIQ of 126 and ABIQ of 145.
In the verbal section he scored 99.9 in fluid reasoning and
knowledge and 99.6 in quantitative reasoning and visual
spatial. So it would seem that about 0.4 of a kid did better
than he did which seems absurd!
Again I know he is smart and more advanced than a lot of
kids, what I am not sure about is the gifted part! He does
not seem "gifted" as he has no major sustaining interests, he
does well enough at school but mostly he gets into trouble
and he spends a lot of time organizing his friends (he is
very popular). I did apply to a gifted program but he did
quite poorly on the OLSAT which is a requirement in our
state and so was denied for gifted placement.
Could the Stanford-Binet test be wrong, I went to a well reputed
psychologist who also does evaluations for the hunter
program in NYC so I know she was experienced!
I have been reading a lot of pages and blogs about gifted
kids and they all sound very gifted to me, I can't say that
about my kid, he is smart and I would say he absorbs
information very quickly but I don't think I understand what
gifted is?? He is my second child, my older is a very highly
motivated child who works very hard to maintain an average
standard at school. I know he is very different to her but I
have always assumed it was because school is hard for her
and not him.
Any help would be appreciated, I sort of need to work out
what to do with him because the teachers at school seem to
be getting more and more impatient with him! Thank you.
A: I believe that the results
of the Stanford-Binet v5 do indicate your son's potential. I
would consider him gifted. And the scores are certainly
evident of his above averageness. It is important to note
that the gifted are a rather diverse group and their range
of attainment will surely be varied. Amongst them, a good
number do well in national exams or meet the cut-off points
for national qualifications.
However, giftedness covers much more than the ability to
succeed in tests and exams. They may be very capable of
demonstrating some unique talent, leadership qualities,
high-level practical skills (e.g., interpersonal skills),
high capacity for creative thought, talent in performing
arts, etc. Your son demonstrates ability in the social field
which can also be a leadership quality.
Not all gifted individuals are obvious achievers. They may
still be achievers, but very few may actually see it simply
due to awareness level of giftedness in society. Some
actually underachieve due to learning disabilities; others
have their potential masked by factors such as frustration,
low self-esteem, lack of challenge, or low parent/teacher
expectations. Your son is not underachieving but as you
mentioned, is just getting by. He probably finds school
lessons meaningless or not stimulating enough for him to
have interest. He probably finds some meaning in friendship,
hence the socializing skills.
It appears that his school has failed to cater for his needs
and this is quite common in schools where gifted education
may not be given a very high regard or importance.
Additionally, when he did not qualify for the gifted program
admission, it is automatically assumed that he is better
suited for the regular curriculum. Not all gifted children
would qualify for the gifted program, especially when they
have not been challenged over the years. Being viewed as a
“trouble maker” is his way of getting some attention since
that is surely more stimulating than being bored!
I think what you really need to do is to see a gifted
specialist to get help with your son and evaluate his
strengths and weaknesses. I really feel that he needs a
better learning program to help stimulate him. He probably
finds his friends more stimulating and rather spends his
time with them. If there is a gifted association in your
area, please join the network and meet other parents with
It is easier to have a gifted child who fits in most of the
criteria on a giftedness checklist; however your son is
among the few who doesn't. If left on his own, he will just
accept being average and his gifts will not be developed.
Perhaps, you may want to speak to some at his school for
another evaluation and hopefully he will be able to get a
differentiated curriculum. It is going to be a long process
but you must not give up as he is still very young. Best of