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By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I saw an inquiry here from the Philippines about a toddler, and would like to inquire about my 8 year old girl. (she turned 8 on Nov 4). As the other person mentioned, there aren't many facilities in our country to test for giftedness.

My daughter is in third grade and has been reading at a 5th grade level since she was 6 i.e. Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl. When doing homework, she can read and understand Encyclopaedia (the hard copy) entries.

Her teacher also shares that she gets bored in class... when the class is beginning a new lesson, my daughter is already asking questions that relate to the middle of the lesson. My husband is teaching her how to do code/computer programming and she easily grasps the basic concepts.

Could you recommend an online test that she could take? As there aren't really many facilities in the country for gifted children, I will keep her in her current non-traditional school, which I know will help us address our additional needs (if any). But it would be great to find out what these additional needs might be.

A: Online IQ tests are not accepted as valid. There are many free online tests, which are generally more for fun rather than to generate an acceptable IQ score. However, you can use them to practice critical thinking and speed. Just like any type of learning, the more you practise, the better you get and it does help you sharpen your mind and it can be fun (just like quizzes). Many online IQ tests are not what they claim to be, but just gimmicks to obtain web traffic and people's custom.

In the educational settings, only valid IQ tests are accepted. You may want to try the Mensa IQ test. This online test does not qualify for Mensa membership but it is useful to evaluate your chances to pass the actual Mensa intelligence test. Of course, if you could find someone who specialises in gifted education or someone who could administer an intelligence test on a one-to-one basis, it would better enable you to gauge her strong/weak areas.

Since your daughter is in a non-traditional school, there may be little rote learning. Get teachers to help you (and themselves) understand the instances she feels boredom during lessons. Perhaps the lessons are not challenging her enough. Teachers could give her projects that interest her if she has already mastered a lesson. Read up on activities for above average children and perhaps you could help teachers come up with activities that would excite and encourage her. On the home front, it appears that you are giving her what she requires to learn further. Keep up the good work. Good luck!

Further replied from reader: Oh wow! I didn't think I would get a response. Thank you very very much.

Thank you for the online Mensa tip. We'll do that. We'll definitely ask teachers to give more challenging tasks for her. Right now, the teachers gave the entire class two weeks to finish researching a project and then write a five paragraph essay about it. I was just about to remind her to begin the project today and finish next weekend. So apparently, I'm too late. she's halfway done with her essay.


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