The gifted test is specifically designed to determine whether or not a student may be eligible for identification and placement as a “gifted” student. The gifted assessment itself usually takes about three hours to complete and involves a test of cognitive ability – such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V) – or another similar test that is deemed appropriate. The gifted test also involves a screening of basic academic skills, including word reading, numerical operations and spelling. We also ask parents to complete questionnaires designed to briefly outline developmental history and to indicate whether or not there may be social/emotional issues that may have an impact on academic achievement. A written gifted assessment report is then emailed to parent(s) as soon as possible. While we do not do a formal feedback session for gifted testing like we do for our comprehensive psychoeducational assessments, parents may request a feedback for an additional cost.
Please note that every board of education is different. For example, the Peel District School Board now requires an additional test of reading comprehension, while other boards are fine with just WISC-5 testing. It is strongly advised that you clarify with your board what is required. The fee for the assessment will depends on how much testing is needed.
For more information about getting your child tested and to book an assessment, please email Dr. Valentin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can be identified as being “gifted”?
Giftedness is not a psychological diagnosis, and whether or not a child is gifted and needs enhanced learning opportunities, such as being placed in a self contained gifted program, can only be determined by an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) at your child’s school board. The criteria for determining whether or not a child is identified as being gifted vary from school board to school board, despite our concentrated effort over decades to make the criteria consistent, at least across the Province of Ontario. While most school boards have a list of criteria, most actually depend on the score obtained on a test of general cognitive ability or intelligence. For most school boards this overall score must be higher than that of 98% of children of the same age. Some school boards will consider a verbal or non-verbal score above the 98%ile.
If a child has a gifted test done and the results indicate a level of cognitive ability above the 98th percentile, then the parent should request, in writing to the school principal, that an IPRC be scheduled as soon as possible. Some principals might say that an IPRC cannot be scheduled until an assessment has been completed or for some other reason. Parents should know that according to regulation 181 of the Education Act a principal MUST schedule an IPRC when a parent requests it.
Does the school HAVE to implement the recommendations made in the assessment report?
Unfortunately, no. However, if the school board does not agree with our recommendations for intervention, gifted identification and/or placement in a gifted program, our team, upon the parents’ request, can contact the appropriate school board personnel in an attempt to persuade them to provide the services recommended. If this is not successful, parents may wish to request an IPRC meeting to review the recommendations. Our team may also be available to attend this meeting if requested, but there will be an additional fee associated with that service (please see our School Advocacy service page for more information). If the IPRC continues to deny services we deem to be appropriate, there is an appeal process that our team will assist with.
If my child is assessed as “gifted” does the school have to place them in a gifted program?
No. Only the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) can decide whether or not a student will be identified as “gifted” and/or placed in a gifted program. If our team agrees that the student needs that placement, we will do what is possible to try to make that happen.
Interested in learning more about gifted education in Canada? Have a look at the comprehensive parent guide developed by our friends at OurKids.net.