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Giftedness

Giftedness is considered an identification of superior cognitive ability (98th percentile or greater) which is significantly more advanced than other peers their age. These children are typically advanced or high potential learners and require opportunities to learn at a faster pace to stimulate their intellectual growth and achieve their full potential.  Giftedness is not a diagnosis; it is an identification of superior intellectual ability

Individuals seeking a gifted assessment often want to clarify whether their child meets a school board or private school’s criteria for gifted programming. In Ontario, all school boards require evidence/results of a standardized intelligence test completed by a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario and providing evidence of very superior intelligence. However, some school boards require more comprehensive testing to establish that a child has both the cognitive ability and academic skill development to be successful in a gifted classroom.

At CITC we provide assessment for giftedness of children who are 6 years old and up. The process of testing typically takes 3 hours and involves:

  • Assessment of cognitive abilities through standardized intelligence testing (i.e., WISC-V)
  • Assessment of academic abilities (i.e., reading, writing/spelling, mathematics).

If you require more information about Giftedness assessments or would like to book an initial consult please contact info@citcassociates.com or call/text 416-570-5050.

FAQ About Giftedness

How do I know if my child should be tested for giftedness?

Each child is different. It is difficult to generalize, but many exceptionally bright children have some of the characteristics listed below.

  • perceptive, inquiring mind
  • unusual insight and intellectual curiosity
  • superior judgment and reasoning ability
  • abstract and critical thinking skills
  • originality
  • ability to see connections between ideas
  • long concentration spans in areas of interest
  • advanced reading ability and extensive vocabulary
  • keen powers of observation
  • strong sense of ethics and values
  • a sense of humour
  • a rapid mastery of basic skills
  • special ability in one or more areas, such as music, art, computers, or mathematics

**Not all bright and gifted children have all of these characteristics. However, displaying some of these characteristics may indicate high learning potential.

Is giftedness a diagnosis?

Giftedness is not a diagnosis it is an identification of superior intellectual ability.

Couldn’t I just get my child tested through their school instead of privately?

Many school boards in Ontario do not start identifying children for gifted programs until second, third or fourth grade but there can be substantial waitlist for assessment based on needs. For this reason, parents of exceptionally bright or potentially gifted children may want to consider private educational assessment testing which can be done as quickly as 2-3 weeks which may then allow a parent to receive alternative academic placement options from their school.

What happens if my child is assessed as gifted?

If a child has a gifted test done and the results indicate a level of cognitive ability above the 98th percentile, then as a parent you have some options:

  • Stay put. If your child is happy in their regular classes and with friends, pulling them out to attend a gifted program or new school may negatively affect them socially and emotionally.  Instead consider keeping them in their current setting and enrol them in extra-curricular activities geared to their area of giftedness outside of school.
  • Step it up. You can request in writing to the school principal, that an  Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting be scheduled to help determine an appropriate Individual Education Plan (IEP) or placement program. Parents should know that according to regulation 181 of the Education Act a principal MUST schedule an IPRC when a parent requests it. See link for further details on IPRC and what’s involved. (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/hilites.html )
  • Switch schools. If your child is academically gifted across subjects, you may want them in a full-time gifted class.  This may require switching to a school with programming designed for gifted students.   These environments can provide a child with more challenge and stimulation to achieve their full potential.  They may also help them emotionally and socially if a child is struggling to fit in with mainstream school.

What resources are there to understand more?

Websites:

https://www.abcontario.ca/resources-support/understanding-giftedness

https://www.ourkids.net/gifted-kids-schools-toronto.php

Books:

  • When Gifted Kids Don’t Have all the Answers by James R. Delisle and Judy Galbraith
  • Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? by Miriam Adderholdt and Jan Goldberg
  • Smart Talk: What Kids Say About Growing Up Gifted by Robert A. Schultz and James R. Delisle
  • More Than a Test Score by Robert A. Schultz and James R. Delisle