Children who score in the top 5 % in formal intelligent testing are classified as gifted and talented according to New Zealand norms as specified by the NZ Gifted Association. At Pro Ed we use the gold standard of intelligence testing to assess for giftedness, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale.
Gifted children have many different characteristics, and may not always achieve well at school, especially during their primary school years. Gifted children can complain of being bored at school but display very average or even below average marks in their overall scholastic levels.
Moreover, gifted children often show widely divergent abilities, with some excelling at maths but hating written work. They may be avid readers at home but school levels indicate a child with a very average reading age. This becomes be very confusing for parents as they are well aware of their child’s exceptional abilities.
At Pro Ed our multi-disciplinary team can assesses your child across all different areas to establish their strengths and any areas of weakness.
The ultimate goal of assessing for giftedness is to optimize the child’s abilities by both identifying their unique strengths and recommending appropriate extension programmes and activities at school or home which benefit the child and enhance their learning experience.
Giftedness may show in different forms:
These are the children who have advanced abilities within their vocabulary, expressive language, thinking and inferential reasoning. These gifted children are often avid readers who do not enjoy the more physical aspects of school life.
Gifted Visual Spatial Learner
These children have well above-average intelligence and have often been identified as such by parents and/or teachers. However, these gifted visual spatial learners tend to have with difficulties with auditory processing. These two exceptional traits may mask each other so that neither the giftedness nor the learning difficulty is easily identifiable.
This learning difficulty lowers these gifted children’s IQ and achievement scores, and therefore they are not recognised as gifted and their educational needs are not met. Gifted visual spatial learners often excel in maths but have difficulties with written language. They often do very well when given the opportunity to work with technology, such as laptops or tablets.
These gifted children learn best as they experience through the sensation of performing activities, such as building with toys or making science experiments. These are children who struggle to sit still in class and listen to their teacher’s verbal instructions. They often do not excel in literacy and are described as being easily distracted and lacking concentration.
These are the gifted children that stand out and excel in maths and science subjects. As young children, they are often extremely knowledgeable in topics such as dinosaurs, the universe and natural science.
Traditional intelligence testing scales do not specifically identify these gifted children. Outside measures, such as their creative achievements, give a more reliable indication of their exceptional abilities.