Is My Child Gifted? And What to Expect from Gifted Testing

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There isn’t a puzzle your kiddo can’t master, and s/he is reading way above their age.  S/he breezes through school work. And listening to his/her reasoning in different situations is better than some adults.  Yes, your kiddo is pretty smart, if you don’t say so yourself.

In fact, you’ve probably wondered, “Is my child gifted?”

And if they are, then what should you do about it.  After all, you want to make sure your child has access to all the opportunities that will bring out the best in him or her.  You don’t want them to get bored at school because it’s too easy.  You also want him/her to be surrounded by other equally brilliant children that will challenge him/her to be the best version of themselves.

But you’re not sure how gifted testing works.

Don’t worry.  We’ve got answers to all your questions about the process of gifted testing so you get a better sense of what you need to consider before moving forward.  These are some of the most common questions we get asked.

Q: What makes a child “gifted”?

A: “Gifted” is a label assigned to anyone that scores at (or above) 130 on a standardized test of intelligence. Most school districts (including Miami-Dade County Public Schools) use this score to determine eligibility and placement in gifted academic programs.

However, IQ tests aren’t perfect and have been shown to have biases against children of minorities and low socioeconomic households.  Miami-Dade County Public Schools offer children that score high on intelligence tests (but below 130) an alternate method of qualifying for gifted programs. Click here for FAQs provided by MDCPS.

Q: What does gifted testing consist of?

A: A clinical interview that covers the child’s history (birth, developmental milestones, medical history, and academic performance thus far) and the administration the IQ test, both of which are done on the same day (approximately 2 hours).  You’ll be asked to come back for a feedback session with the licensed psychologist to review the final report and address any questions you may have.

Q: How old does a child need to be for gifted testing?

A: Technically, children can be tested for giftedness as young as 2 years, 6 months old.  But here’s the problem with testing kids under the age of 6: the chances of getting a false “gifted” score are really high.  You might not think it’s a big deal, but it really is.  Kids’ brains change so much during early childhood that their IQ score may change drastically later on. (And a not-really-gifted child in a gifted classroom can experience adverse social and emotional effects.) Cognitive growth stabilizes from age 6 on, so it’s a more accurate estimate of their true IQ.

Q: What can I do to prepare my child for gifted testing?

A:  There isn’t much you can do to prepare your child for this type of test. It isn’t the kind of test you can study for.  At said, there are a few things you can do to optimize your child’s performance.

  • Tell him or her that they will be meeting with a grownup to have some fun with games, words, and other puzzles. The less you mention “test” the better.
  • Schedule your child’s gifted testing during a time of day when s/he is most energetic.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a hearty meal before testing. Also, bring some easy snacks (e.g. cheese sticks or juice box) for breaks.

Q: Will my child be tested at school?

A: It depends. Your child’s teacher makes the recommendation that your child be considered for gifted testing.  Even once the recommendation is made, it may take some time for the school district’s personnel to perform the gifted testing.  The local school districts’ psychological testing departments are often backed up.

Q: How much does private gifted testing cost?

A: At the time of writing this, the cost of gifted testing in Miami ranges between $300 to $600.

Q: Will my insurance cover the cost of private gifted testing?

A:  Probably not.  Healthcare insurance covers the cost of testing that is considered “medically necessary”.  Because gifted testing is considered ‘educational’, it isn’t considered “medically necessary” by insurance companies.

Q: My child was tested at school, but missed the gifted cut-off score by a few points. Can we test again?

A: You can retest a child for gifted, but not with the same IQ test that was first used for at least one year.  So if you want your child re-tested in less than a year, it will have to be with a different IQ test.  Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your money because the school will consider the re-test invalid.  If you’re retesting your child privately, make sure to tell the psychologist the child was previously tested and which test was used.

Q: My child qualifies for gifted.  What do I do now?

A: Once you receive your child’s gifted testing report from the psychologist, you’ll need to provide a copy to your child’s school.  That will set into motion the staffing process with the school’s special education coordinator, who will review the report, your child’s academic and conduct grades, and teacher’s recommendations in order to assign them to a gifted classroom.

You can learn more about our gifted testing process here.  Hopefully, you have a better understanding of gifted testing in Miami-Dade County after reading this.  If you have other questions we didn’t answer, please call us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult.

Envision Wellness is a private practice that offers psychotherapy, psychological testing, and life coaching in Miami, FL.  Our team has a passion for helping others achieve happy, fulfilling, and change-making lives that make the world a better place.  Each therapist has their areas of expertise.  Not sure who you’d like to work with?  Click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consult to help you decide.

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