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Giftedness

Giftedness

According to Louise Porter (Gifted Young Children-2nd edition), giftedness means, “significantly advanced development or learning.” Because gifted children are significantly advanced, their learning needs are different from those of their peers. In order to meet gifted children’s needs, they must be identified as gifted and provided with appropriate educational opportunities that meet their specific needs.

Through the use of psychological assessments, we can help you to determine whether or not your child is intellectually and/or academically gifted. We use a cognitive assessment to measure your child’s intellectual ability and an academic achievement assessment to measure your child’s academic skills.

The benefits of measuring your child’s intellectual and academic abilities are to:

  • Determine your child’s true intellectual abilities
  • Objectively measure your child’s academic abilities
  • Help your child understand how his/her abilities affect his/her learning
  • Assist gifted children in school settings by providing evidence to support the use of extension activities, acceleration in a particular subject and/or whole year acceleration
  • Assist gifted children by linking them with services where they can meet like-minded peers
  • Prevent children from experiencing negative outcomes at school, including: poor results, disruptive behaviour patterns, school avoidance and refusal, low self esteem and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression

Accelerating a gifted student

Research has shown that acceleration (early entry, single subject, multiple subject or whole year) is the right intervention for students whose needs are not being met in age-grouped classrooms. Research has also shown that children succeed both academically and socially when they are accelerated. If we determine that your child is intellectually and/or academically gifted, we can use the Iowa Acceleration Scale-3rd edition (IAS) to determine whether or not your child might be suitable for acceleration at school.

The IAS helps you to make an informed decision about acceleration because it measures many of the variables that must be considered in regards to possible acceleration. Perhaps most importantly, like a cognitive and academic assessment, the IAS is an objective assessment tool. It documents your child’s strengths and weaknesses, analyses the major factors to be considered in making a decision for acceleration, provides guidelines for weighting the relevant importance of the major factors and uses a numerical range to help guide the discussion of acceleration.

We have experience working with government and non-government schools to meet the needs of gifted children. We are familiar with NSW government school policies and procedures for acceleration of gifted students. If we determine that acceleration might be appropriate for your child, we can assist you in understanding your school’s policies and procedures and provide you with relevant documentation to support your case for acceleration. We are also available to conduct school visits to meet with your child’s school professionals to help them to better understand your child’s needs and how your child’s needs can best be met.

Children with multiple exceptionalities

Children can be intellectually and/or academically gifted and can have a specific learning disorder (such as a reading disorder or a maths disorder), a behavioural disorder (such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder) or a high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children are sometimes called Gifted-Learning Disabled or multiply exceptional.

If your child is demonstrating multiple exceptionalities, we conduct a number of assessments in order to determine your child’s specific individual needs. They might include the following assessments: cognitive (intellectual), academic achievement, behavioural and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder assessments. Should your child be exceptional in more than one area, we would provide a wide range of thorough, practical recommendations to help your child to reach his/her potential. We are also available to conduct school visits to meet with your child’s school professionals to help them to better understand your child’s needs and how your child’s needs can better be met.

If you believe that your child needs a comprehensive assessment for multiple concerns, please contact us to schedule an appointment

See Appointments for more information on what to expect in an assessment session with us.