Gifted Child?

Updated on November 12, 2010
K.G. asks from Minneapolis, MN
7 answers

My son is starting kindergarten in the fall and I believe he is gifted. The schools that we have chosen do not have a gifted and talented program. I'd like to have him tested but don't know where to start. I was a gifted student but things have changed a lot since I was his age.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I was one too and tested within the school district at JJ Hill elementary. Then they had a waiting list and it took me 4 years to get into a GT school. I would also think the district can tell you where to get started.



answers from Minneapolis on

I think they like to see the kid, and have them in school for awhile before having them tested or put into a special program.

I would talk to someone from your school district, principal, teacher, etc...



answers from Minneapolis on

Just a tip that I wish someone had given to me.

My son is in Kindergarten this year (full-day everyday) and we made some early mistakes I hope we will be able to recover from. My son is working at a 5th grade level in reading and 3rd or higher in Math. They thought he may test even higher but I asked them to just leave him where he was for now. This school is awesome and have been independantly providing him with across-grade level enrichment. They are very creative and he was having fun with it. However, he started burning out because it was taking his recesss time and other free time the other Kindergarteners have in his classroom. He just wanted to be a Kindergartener. We (and they) weren't pushing him, we just thought it was the right thing to do so he "didn't get bored". We backed off all enrichment because he wasn't wanting to go to school!!! My son has been excited about Kindergarten since he was 3. He asked if we thought he could run for Class President of Kindergarten on the first day :).

Here is my advice for you: Stop thinking about Talented and Gifted for now and just let him be a Kindergartener this Fall and enjoy that experience. Yes, the kids are at all different levels but it is the whole experience that sets them on the right foot for the LOVE OF LEARNING. That will get him farther in life than any test score. Provide enrichment at home and wait for the signs of boredom at school before you push him into anything. It's hard because our culture tells us we all want our children to be the brightest and best at everything they do but it isn't healthy FOR THEM. We thought we were doing the right thing and now we feel differently.

On the other hand, my girlfriend's son who is also extremely intelligent (he entered Kindergarten last Fall able to add double digit numbers in his head) was just put in a regular Kindergarten classroom half-days, no enrichment and he LOVES going to school every day and is advancing even still. My friend was being driven crazy that they weren't testing him and giving him enrichment but now she sees how it was best.

And, start reading up on the social struggles, personality, temperament challenges these kids have. It doesn't matter how smart you are if you have no friends because you are a jerk - don't we all know someone like that in our lives :)!



answers from Minneapolis on

talk to the principal at the school to see how they handle gifted children..i was told they dont even test for this until about 2nd grade. i found some websites with information on gifted children:,, and which is a minnesota chapter website.

good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

Three years ago, I was in the same position you are! I did tons of research and ended up finding a gifted specialist (phd) to do the testing. It was amazing to not only find out his IQ, but what to expect, what to pursue, pitfalls, behavior, etc. Anyway, it helped having an outside opinion BEFORE approaching the school (as different districts have different ideas about what qualifies, etc). This specialist was awesome, but in Minnesota (where we were during the testing) but now in CA I've been going crazy trying to find support or a "beacon" for school navigation. I just found this specialist (Dr. Deborah Ruf) has implemented an online assessment... this has been amazing for me as I needed to test my second child as well, but really did not want to pay again for all of the testing (typically an evaluation can be $300 plus additional for results meeting and consultation. However, this online tool is not only an IQ finder but help for beyond the results. It doesn't just give the IQ, but also which evel of giftedness - because kids are so different, even in their giftedness. The website is
The fee is $60, which is a great price to get started. The parent fills out the online form (like the background history I formally filled out for her during formal testing) and then you get general IQ brackets... it's nice that it's not a huge investment BUT what I really like is that once you do that assessment, you become part of her circle where you get a free monthly newsletter which has so many things I would have never thought about... recommended reading links, current gifted article links, advice, topics like starting kids in school early or home school, things to do, places to plug in. For me, this has been invaluable as I'm finding it difficult to navigate the school years... there is always something new and there aren't many people around to really talk to about this. What I know is that I knew her for three years while I was in Minnesota and she is well known in the gifted community, an author of a great book (I think "5 Levels of Giftedness", and most importantly, really cares about the kid as a whole ... not just right now, but looking ahead what will have the best impact. Forgive the cross post (I put this info on another post, but saw this and just thought of how I was exactly where you were... things I never would have thought about! Good luck on this new adventure!



answers from Minneapolis on

If you don't want to wait for the school district to test your son (some districts do it as early as 2nd grade) you can hire an independent source. This woman is nationally known.



answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with the posters who say to encourage him to have a fun Kindergarten experience. Don't worry much about gifted or not gifted offerings, there will be plenty of time for that. Anything you can supplement at home is going to be much better than anything a K gifted program might be able to offer. And you can find some great extracurricular activities if needed.

With that said, you will want to start educating what options you will have in the later grades. Talk with the school and see what opportunities gifted kids have when they are in elementary school and beyond. If it is limited then start researching other options in case you need them.

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