How important is standardized gifted testing?


    It helped me knowing my son’s IQ score because it gave me perspective. When you wrote that Addison is in the 99.9 percentile, then I knew just how different he is. I needed help from a real expert since so few people have a child with his abilities. I won’t ever tell my son his IQ but it helped me to convince my husband that Addison needed a different educational environment.—Bonnie

    Psychologists are interested in individual differences between children and can often pick up emotional, social, and cognitive issues that reference or suggest extremely high abilities and talents by using intelligence tests. Psychological testing is more predictive of general intellectual ability than achievement testing.
    One possible downfall of standardized psychological measures of intelligence can be the professional who administers the test. Unfortunately, most psychologists are not educated about the differences in testing gifted children and gifted adults. And, of course, psychological testing is not available to all children and for this reason it is often called elitist. And, understandably, psychological testing does not predict who will become renowned because of the score that is attained on an IQ test.
     Psychologists who have experience with the gifted population can help parents to understand their child’s idiosyncrasies. Psychological definitions of giftedness range from an IQ score in the 98 percentile or above on the Wechsler Scales or Stanford-Binet. Twice-exceptionality, which is giftedness coupled with a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, or autistic spectrum disorder, can definitely be understood through the use of a wide battery of psychological and neurological tests coupled with behavioral checklists for parents and teachers.
    Extremely high achievement on school related testing is another clue to whether your child is gifted. Public schools use achievement testing to identify gifted children, which is fine if the gifted child is a “schoolhouse” prodigy. But it is not uncommon for gifted children to be underachievers, due to perfectionism and feeling misunderstood, and not test as well as they might.
    Children who are musical, artistic, athletic or dramatic prodigies should be identified as gifted because their abilities are so high in comparison to the norm. Emotional intensity and intuitiveness are also signs of precociousness. Using words and communicating with adults in a very mature dialogue or using complicated math skills signals that a child is capable of soaring to great heights.