Medical professionals, psychologists, researchers and other educational experts in the field of giftedness have published several helpful guidelines to help determine if a child is gifted.
Some of the most commonly asked questions during conversations about determining whether a child is gifted or not are:
- What is the process?
- Are there specific tests that should be used to determine giftedness?
- What are my legal rights?
Just as with any child, students that are gifted may have some commonalties, but each child is unique in their own right. Several components must be considered during the identification process:
- Giftedness is not static – it is dynamic. When a child is being considered for identification as gifted, the identification process should be done overtime with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their gifts and talents across domains. One test, on one day should never alone dictate whether a child is identified as gifted or not. For more information, we highly recommend reviewing NAGC’s position statement, “The Role of Assessments in Identifying Gifted Individuals.”
- Giftedness transcends all racial, ethnic, income and exceptionality groups. Students across various groups have been underrepresented within the gifted community. It is important that all children are provided the equal opportunity and access to assessment for identification as gifted. For more information read NAGC’s 2011 position statement, “Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.”
- Giftedness may be exhibited within a specific content area, interest, or category. Giftedness does not encompass all academic areas across a student’s school day. Educational professionals, psychologists, and others involved in identification, need to seek pathways to gather examples to demonstrate a child’s ability across various areas and contexts. A child that is gifted, is not gifted in everything all day long. Having these multiple data touchpoints will help to highlight those identified areas of giftedness unique to the child.
- Early identification increases the likelihood for a child to fully develop their gifts into talents. Students that have early access to academic challenges and social/emotional supports, have been found to flourish faster than their peers that were not identified until later in their school years.