Testing for Gifted Services

Question: From the time my son entered school, all of his teachers have said what a bright boy he is. He will get some challenging assignments, but most of the work is very easy for him. He’s in third grade now. I would like to have him tested so he can be in a gifted program next year. —Impatient

Answer: Third grade is often when schools test students for participation in a gifted program. Talk to the school about testing for your child. If the school is not convinced that your child should be in a gifted program or is reluctant to test him, you may want to have him evaluated. Be sure to choose a qualified individual whose credentials the school will recognize and who will work well with the school personnel. Typically, this will be a psychologist who specializes in identifying gifted children. Because such testing can be expensive, see if a local college offers this type of testing at a reasonable price.
Keep in mind that if you are too strong or pushy as an advocate for your son, the school could begin to see you as an adversary rather than a partner in getting the best for your child. Nevertheless, find out what special services for the gifted are prescribed by law and what the official policy is at your son’s school for identifying the gifted.

Parents can send questions to Dear Teacher, c/o Carolina Parent magazine, P.O. Box 395, Carmel, IN 46082-0395. Or send an e-mail to: DearTeacher@excite.com. ©2006 Compass Syndicate Corporation. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.