Gifted Testing and Preschools in the Naperville Area

Updated on September 15, 2008
K.T. asks from Naperville, IL
11 answers

Hi I have a 3 yr. old who appears to be incredibly bright. She didn't have speech until just after 2, right when I started taking her to speech therapy. When she was just 2 1/2 she looked up at the ceiling in someone's house and said "Octagon" and she was was an 8 sided light. I found out she knew her numbers 1-10 randomly at 18 months, and then found out she knew the alphabet. I had no clue as to how long she had known this since she didn't have speech. She is currently able to give you a word for every letter of the alphabet, sometimes more than one...can read the months of the yr. randomly, and is picking words out of her books. She counts past 100 and can count backwards, loves puzzles and the list goes on with an incredible memory, etc. She was released from speech services after 10 months. All this being said...she has some challenging behaviors and her daycare seems to think that she may have Aspergers or sensory integration dysfunction. Being a social worker, I'm familiar with these diagnosis and although I don't see it, I'm willing to consider it since the environment at home is obviously different than at school. My daughter can be very intense and is very sensitive. We were at a concert outside and the orchestra began playing music from "Schindler's List" and she literally lost her breath and began sobbing and finally was able to say..."music is sad" and I had to take her to the bathroom so she could calm down. Her high intellect does not match her emotional maturity which is typical of very bright children. She may perseverate on a task, or may choose to play independently but I have seen her play wonderfully with children as well. I feel the need to test her because a Psychologist mentioned that she may also be gifted and often gifted children are misdiagnosed with ADHD, Aspergers, etc. although gifted children can also have these diagnosis.

It does not appear that the preschool she is attending is working for her. I emailed the director some suggestions and requested that she give them to my child's teachers to assist in lowering her well as theirs. I am a real advocate of is not an easy job.

I really need some assistance as I'm considering finding a different preschool that might fit her needs. I've already done what the preschool asked and took her to a Psychiatrist friend of mine who is not ready to diagnose her with Aspergers since the preschool downplayed the report I requested them to write regarding their concerns. The report wasn't very descriptive and it said nothing about what they felt her sensory issues were. The Psychiatrist stated that she gave her the necessary eye contact and appropriate verbal responses. I understand the school needs to be careful about not diagnosing since I work in a school however they can describe in detail behaviors that are "abnormal", how often they happen and for how long, etc. Can anyone help me please? I will be getting her tested. I want to provide my child with the best opportunity to succeed.

Thank you kindly,


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So What Happened?

It's been a while, but I wanted to update those who might look at this as to what the school said about my daughter. Her evaluation was basically that she's a very bright child who needs structure, contingencies and consistency which is something I'm very familiar with being a social worker and we make sure there plenty of that at home. Her prior preschool teacher is gone and I'm glad not because she was a "bad" teacher, but she was very passive and Grace had more control than she did. Her new preschool teacher does very well with her and I do not hear that kind of negative reports from school that I used to. Her behavior at home has improved too which is nice...she certainly has her moments like any 3 year-old but she's doing well.

The school does not see any Asperger or sensory issue.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

Hello K.,
Here are some links that you may find helpful. You are doing all the right things, keep up the good work!

District 203's gifted program organization:

the National Association for Gifted and Talented Children

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Hi Kristen,

First let me give you a little background about myself. I taught Kindergarten for 3 years, worked with Special Ed for 3 years including children with Autism and Aspergers, and now I am currently teaching preschool.

While reading your post my first thoughts immediately went to Aspergers. I understand that as a parent it is harder to see what others may see. Now I am not saying to rule out the gifted idea but just keep an open mind about the possibilities. My suggestion would be to get the testing done and try to get a little more information from the preschool teachers, having them site actual incidences as well as the sensory issues.

As for finding a preschool, I am not really familiar with any that are for gifted children. However, there is a program that I know of that you can check into. It is a Saturday enrichment program offered at North Central College. Check out the FAQ's at Hope this helps some.



answers from Chicago on

I am a third grade teacher in Wheaton. After reading your insights and the opinion of the preschool, I would pursue having the teachers put down some hard data in writing. No, they cannot diagnose, but it IS their job to accommodate such a request, especially because it is due to their suggestions that you investigate clinically. Clearly, this is something that you cannot research or observe objectively. But as a teacher, I (and all teachers) have been called upon many times to furnish evidence of behaviors to doctors and psychiatrists. As I see it, providing a log of what they see: time on task, following a task to completion, ability to function independently and in grouping, emotional/behavioral triggers is necessary in helping you and your doctors to better diagnose any problems.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi, I live in District 44 in Lombard and they have preschool pre screening for kindergarden. Check your local elementary school district for this pre screening, it usually starts after the beginning of school year. If she qualifies she will have a state funded preschool for children who may be at risk of not ready for k. My first born son was the same way and not knowing anything about aspergers we didn't get him diagnosed and therapy until after first grade.My second son did qualify because of his brother and a speech issue and it was fabulous. The district pre school provides speech and occupational therapy which is crucial at a young age. Happy to say my son is 16 now and in AP classes in high school. In the band and very active and social. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
While looking into options for my children in the area, I came across the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove which is a school for gifted children from preschool through 8th grade. I didn't research it too much, but it sounds like one you may be interested in. They also offer student support for emotional issues, social skills, etc. for gifted children so it sounds like they may be more equipped to provide a positive environment for your daughter to grow in.

Their address is: 1400 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove,IL 60515. Tel: ###-###-####. Their website is:

Best of luck!




answers from Chicago on

well that is a lot to handle and digest for you as a mom. these are the times that you are thankful to be as knowledgable as you are being a s worker you know much more than the average parent.( i am a former sped. teacher) i think you should get her tested just because early intervention is best if she does carry that diagnosis and if you have any doubts it is best to know now. wherever she is tested will them be able to reccomend the best preschools for her. good luck



answers from Chicago on

In Naperville, well, really Lisle, there is a daycare called Children's Creative Corner. It's on Chicago just east of Naper by the Green Trails resturant. My best friend teaches the 4 yr old room and I used to work there. I know that they are GREAT at handling children like your daughter (advanced children) because I know their techniques. So, you might check them out.

Montessori would also be a great fit for her, as they teach all kids in multiage rooms so she would be allowed to learn what a 6 yr old is learning and be moved on to more complex stuff when SHE is ready not with the group. There used to only be one school on Rt. 59 in Warrenville, but I bet there are more now.

The other option is to look into home daycares that teach preschool. She would be in the same group as older preschoolers and therefore the skills could be matched to her level instead of to her age.

Since she is 3 you can have her tested by the school district for Aspergers. But personally I don't think she has it. I think she is just smart and being a 3 yr old. If she is sensitive to certain textures, that is normal too, just deal with those by alterering things as you must.

I don't think labeling her as Aspergers or anything like that is going to serve her in any way though. She is first a KID. Plain and simple. I personally think that Aspergers is over used as a catch all for smart kids.

I would look into the montessori first, then into the daycare I listed or a home daycare next, then look into further testing last. From what you wrote it just seems like a kid who happens to really be smart, not a kid who has issues with Aspergers or anything like that.




answers from Chicago on

Hi K.

If you live in school district 204,they do free evaluation & also a a preschool in shoreline drive..One of my friends son to preschool for speech therapy..



answers from Chicago on

Well, I hope you are intelligent also, because already raising your gifted child is very challenging. How did the pre-school react to your suggestions? Once they have perceived her as having Aspergers they will not be able to change their view, it is just in the nature of humanity to not be able to easily change perceptions. You need a new pre-school environment. You did not say what behaviors they observed so we cannot comment on whether they could be in the range of normal. They have already cost you the visit to the psychiatrist and created a lot of worry. And then when they didn't send the report in a forthright manner to the psychiatrist as they should have , well, there are more red flags than I can count. Start all over with a new daycare and don't necessarily look for one that is for the gifted, which, in old-fasioned language, 'puts on airs', but a day care home with a common sense, very experienced woman running it. As long as she is licensed and has had a large number of children she will be able to discern if your daughter should see someone from her behavior.



answers from Chicago on

You probably got lots of good responses already, so this is about a different program you can enroll your daughter in, it's offered through Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development, which offers classes for gifted and talented kids in Naperville as well as Evanston. They have lots of useful information about how to raise intellectually gifted children. The website is:



answers from Chicago on

I am not sure how to word this to make it sound right...your daughter sounds just like my friend's little guy. He is 4, and autistic, and labeled "savant". Basically, he know things he should not know at his age.

There are many places that can give full a diagnosis on the autism/aspergers/spd front. I know there is a place called "Little Friends" - I am sure other moms would be better able to assist you with that.

I hope you get all the answers you need.

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