Gifted Assessments

In some cases, psychoeducational assessment is sought out specifically to determine if a child is gifted, meets criteria for admission to a school’s gifted program or simply to determine their current academic strengths and weaknesses for the purposes of academic and career planning. Our clinicians can conduct such assessments and make recommendations for gifted programs or other academic goals, academic modifications and remediation.

Identifying gifted students is imperative to match their abilities with their educational environments in order to promote their learning and attainment, their motivation, and their personal adjustment. Giftedness, by definition, means a score at approximately the 98th percentile or higher on standardized measures of intelligence.

Characteristics of gifted students often include:

  • Rapid learning, at an earlier age than classmates
  • Intellectual passions—intense curiosity and deep interests
  • Exceptional reasoning and memory
  • Frequent step-skipping in problem-solving and unexpected strategies
  • Capacity for reasoning on an abstract level; sometimes rejecting hands-on instruction (or, conversely, preferring visual-spatial to verbal mode)
  • Pleasure in posing original, difficult questions
  • Ideas that sound “off the wall,” but are the product of divergent thinking
  • Advanced sense of humor; making puns that other children do not “get”
  • Reaching for excellence; perfectionism that can be asset or liability
  • Greater personal maturity than exhibited by classmates
  • Concerns like those of older students’
  • Mature notions of friendship and disappointment when friends do not reciprocate their yearning for stability, loyalty, and intimacy

However, if gifted students are not challenged in school or are having difficulties in other areas of functioning, such as in their peer relationships, you may see:

Externalizing issues such as:

  • Impatience, irritability, negativity, arrogance
  • What appears to be AD/HD, but is merely the result of boredom
  • Bossiness; dominance of class discussion
  • Hypersensitivity about perceived injustices
  • Refusal to do “busy work” or “baby stuff”
  • Low tolerance for truly challenging material

Internalizing issues such as:

  • Underachievement (which may arise from other causes as well)
  • Inattention to classroom activities; daydreaming; “sneak reading”
  • Somatic problems on school days only; crying and tantrums at home
  • Desperate attempts to be “just like everyone else”
  • Lack of joi de vivre if not outright depression

Like all other students, gifted students need challenges matched to their pace and level of learning. Therefore, an assessment is imperative to better understand the student’s abilities and to inform how to differentiate curriculum to benefit the student throughout his or her academic career (e.g., tiered assignments, encouragement of independence, substitution of more advanced work, deepening understanding, drawing connections, and applying knowledge to the real world). Our psychologists are trained in the identification of giftedness and can guide you to act as an advocate for your child in partnership with teachers.


Does my child need a psychoeducational assessment?

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments

ADHD Assessments

Gifted Assessments

ADHD Assessments