"Despite the sorry state of gifted education in America and the forces pushing gifted students toward the lowest common denominator, some gifted children do have successful schooling experiences and childhoods that are not marred by an appalling waste of time and talent. These children tend to have parents who realize that their sons and daughters are exceptional, and like other exceptional children, these young people have special needs."
-Genius Denied, p. 77
Is my child gifted?
There are many definitions of giftedness and equally as many ways to formally identify whether or not a child is gifted. The best place to start is to determine whether or not your child demonstrates the following characteristics:
Should I have my child tested to determine his/her IQ?
Having a child tested solely to assign a number to his/her abilities is not recommended, particularly in very young children. Rather, assessments should only be administered to inform educational placement. IQ tests are most valid and reliable when they are administered to children between the ages of 4 - 9. Although, there are some tests designed for use with older children and adolescents.A quality testing experience will include both IQ and achievement tests, which will help to determine the most appropriate academic placement. We recommend reading A place to start: Is my child gifted? for more information.
How do I find a mentor for my son/daughter?
Locating a mentor for your child can be an extensive process. Before taking on this task, you may want to consider if your child is ready for a mentorship. A mentoring partnership can be very rewarding; however, it requires significant responsibilities to make it successful for both parties. You may want to consider what kind of mentorship would be the best fit for your child. Would he/she prefer a face-to-face or an online mentor? Your child may already have fields of interests. If there are more than one, assist him/her in narrowing them down. For example, if your child enjoys science, try to pinpoint a specific science topic. Does your child have a project in mind? What will she/he and the mentor be working on? Once you have established these steps, you are now ready to begin researching potential mentors. Professional and religious organizations, universities and colleges, community groups, and museums and science centers are all good sources for potential mentors. For more information about how to search for a mentor, different types of mentoring relationships, and what characteristics great mentors and mentees have, we recommend reading Mentorships: A Guidebook.
Please see Parents - What You Can Do in the Davidson Gifted Database.
Betts, George & Neihart, Maureen, "Profiles of the gifted and talented"
Davidson Institute for Talent Development, "A place to start: Is my child gifted?"
See "For Parents" on the lists of articles and resources in the Davidson Database.
Alvino, James, "Considerations and strategies for parenting the gifted child."
Webb, James, Gore, Janet, Amend, Edward, DeVries, Arlene, "A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children."
Cohn, Sanford, "Tips for parents: Smart boys."
Colangelo, Nicholas & Detterman, David, "A review of research on parents and families of gifted children."
Halsted, Judith, Some of my best friends are books. Great Potential Press.
Isaacson, Karen, Raisin’ brains: Surviving my smart family. Great Potential Press.
Rimm, Sylvia, "Ten tips for parenting gifted girls."
Seligman, M., The Optimistic Child.
Smutny, Joan, The young gifted child: Potential and promise, an anthology. Hampton PR.
Walker, Sally & Pernu, Caryn, The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids: How to Understand, Live With, and Stick up for Your Gifted Child. Free Spirit Publishing.
Webb, James, Meckstroth, Elizabeth & Tolan, Stephanie, Guiding the gifted child. Great Potential Press.
Gross, Miraca, "Small poppies: Highly gifted children in the early years."
Schultz, Robert, "Tips for Parents: Adolescence and the HG/PG Individual."
Testing & Assessment
Davidson Institute Team, "A place to start: Is my child gifted?"
Osborn, Julia, "Assessing gifted children."
VanTassel-Baska, Joyce, "The on-going dilemma of effective identification practices in gifted education."
Social & Emotional Development
Cohen, Leonora & Frydenburg, Erica, Coping for capable kids. Prufrock Press, Inc.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development, "Recommended readings on friendship."
Delisle, James & Galbraith, Judy, When gifted kids don’t have all the answers: How to meet their social and emotional needs. Free Spirit Publishing.
Frankel, Fred and Wetmore, Barry, Good friends are hard to find: Help your child find, make and keep friends. Perspective Publishing.
Greenspon, Tom, Freeing our families from perfectionism. Free Spirit Publishing.
Kerr, Barbara, Smart girls. Gifted Psychology Press.
Kerr, Barbara & Cohn, Sanford, Smart boys: Talent, manhood and the search for meaning. Great Potential Press.
Neihart, Maureen, "The impact of giftedness on psychological well-being."
Neihart, Maureen, Reis, Sally, Robinson, Nancy & Moon, Sidney, Social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? National Association for Gifted Children, Prufrock Press, Inc.
Seligman, M., The Optimistic Child.
Sword, Leslie, "Emotional intensity in gifted children."
Winebrenner, S. "Teaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom."
Acceleration Institute, A nation deceived: How schools hold back America's brightest students.
Acceleration Institute, A nation empowered: Evidence trumps the excuses holding back America’s brightest students.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development, "Educational options for gifted learners."
Knope, Muriel, "Homeschooling: An accidental journey."
Osborn, Julia,"Issues in educating exceptionally gifted students."
Rimm, Sylvia. Why bright kids get poor grades. Three Rivers Press.
Robinson, Nancy, "Food for thought: Is early college entrance an appropriate alternative?"
Rogers, Karen, Re-Forming gifted education: Matching the program to the child. Gifted Psychology Press.
Vail, Patricia & Vail, Priscilla L., Smart kids with school problems: Things to know and ways to help. New American Library.
Winebrenner, Susan, Teaching Kids With Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom. Free Spirit Publishing
Acceleration Institute, Iowa acceleration scale: A guide for whole-grade acceleration K-8.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development,"Recommended readings on educational advocacy."
Davidson Institute for Talent Development, Advocacy Guidebook.
Davidsons with Vanderkam, L., Genius denied: How to stop wasting our brightest young minds. Simon & Schuster. See pp. 77-81, 89-95, 113-118,152-154, 169-173 for examples of effective educational advocacy.
Davidson Institute for Talent Development, "Parenting tips on educational advocacy."
Karnes, Frances & Marquardt, Ronald, Gifted children and legal issues in education: Parents’ stories of hope. Great Potential Press.
Karnes, Frances & Marquardt, Ronald, Gifted children and the law: Mediation, due process, and court cases. Great Potential Press.
Karnes, Frances & Marquardt, Ronald, Gifted children and legal issues: An update. Great Potential Press.
LaBonte, Cathy, Russell, Karen & Russell, Greg, "Preparing for and holding an effective school meeting."
Neville, Christine, "Portfolio: An effective way to present your child to the school."
Osborn, Julia, "Educational advocacy for gifted students."
Smutny, Joan, Stand up for your gifted child: How to make the most of kids’ strengths at school and at home. Free Spirit Publishing.
Assouline, Susan & Lupkowski-Shoplik, Ann, Developing math talent. Prufrock Press Inc.
Berger, S.,"Mentor relationships and gifted learners."
Olszewski-Kubilius, Paula, "Parenting practices that promote talent development, creativity, and optimal adjustment."
Sloane, Kathryn, "Home influences on talent development."
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly, Rathunde, Kevin, Whalen, Samuel & Wong, Maria, Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure. Cambridge University Press.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.