Helping Parents & Children in Calgary and Beyond
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
Learn More About Our Clinicians Who Provide Gifted Assessments
Dr. Caroline Buzanko
Dr. Buzanko helps parents and teachers understand kids’ strengths, areas of challenge, and how to best support them. She figures out what makes learning easy for kids and strategies to optimize learning.
Sally Li, M.Ed., R. Psych
Sally recognizes the importance of working collaboratively with families, teachers, and the community to address the needs of all children and to help promote overall growth and success.
Danielle is a graduate practicum student and provides psychoeducational assessments for children, teens, and adults in cognitive, academic, and social-emotional domains.
Fiona is completing an internship at Koru Psychology as part of her graduate degree. She is passionate about supporting school and home environments that facilitate positive mental health, skill development and overall well-being.
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?
- If your child consistently studies hard but the marks don’t reflect his/her effort
- If your child is clearly intelligent but, because of procrastination and poor planning skills, cannot deliver their homework or assignments on time
- If your child’s teacher notes in his/her report card that they need to pay more attention or stay more focused in class
- If your child presents with any behavioural or emotional problems related to school or home
- If your child consistently doesn’t want or doesn’t like to go to school
- If your child’s marks are good in all areas except one or two, such as Math or English
- If you think your child would benefit from school accommodations