Gifted / IQ Evaluations

The purpose of gifted/IQ testing is to qualify for a “gifted” program, gain admission to specific schools or programs, or to better understand a child’s level of general cognitive abilities.

If necessary, a separate achievement test will be administered. Suggestions on how to choose the best educational style and program for your child and recommendations for how to help your child succeed in whichever program suits her needs are included in this evaluation.

A child’s cognitive abilities can increase or decrease substantially between the ages of 5 and 11. Knowing where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie can assist you in tailoring his educational and home environment to maximize his intellectual development. This is important to remember, because although IQ tests measure general cognitive ability, there are many other facets of intelligence not measured by these evaluations, such as emotional intelligence and creativity. Additionally, many studies point to increased performance on IQ with proper early intervention.

The current standards to be eligible for placement into a gifted program, through Plan A, in South Florida, include a Full-Scale IQ Score of 130 or greater on a standardized and accepted IQ test for children, although there are individual differenc3s among counties. (In Palm Beach County, a child must also score in the 90th percentile on either the math or reading portion of a standardized achievement test.) Once the child meets these criteria, his or her current teacher will complete a gifted behavioral checklist. The teacher must indicate that the child demonstrates the need for an advanced curriculum. The final decision for gifted placement rests with the school committee who reviews the test data and other information on the child.

Program Eligibility Criteria through Plan B, a plan developed to address the economic and racial gap between students, differs somewhat. Under this plan, students with IQ scores between 112-129, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and with English Language Learners (ELL) may qualify in Dade County. Minor differences exist across counties. For example, in Broward County, FSIQ scores must be between 115-129.

For more information, and for the complete matrix, follow the following link: Plan B

The most widely used for IQ test for children under 6 years of age is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV). The IQ test for kids who are 6 years old and older is the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V), and the child’s mathematics and reading abilities are assessed using the Woodcock-Johnson Fourth Edition Tests of Achievement (WJ IV), should they need it for their county.

However, if the child has been tested before and is re-testing within two years of the previous administration, or the specific needs of the child determines need, I will use the Stanford BInet-5.

Testing environment is a factor in outcome. In schools, due to lack of time and resources, children are pulled out of their classrooms, usually with little or no notice, and often tested in a library or cafeteria. Administration is rapid and efficient. Because of this, many children with anxiety, shyness, or simply language dysfluencies may not perform to their potential.

Private gifted testing affords the opportunity to get to know the examiner, a slow and methodical administration, breaks when needed, and a quiet, warm, yet professional environment, minimizing external distractions, and decreasing the emotional component that may accompany “being tested”.

Simply tell them that they are going to see a counselor or teacher who is going to ask them some questions, play some games (like finding patterns), and that it just helps the school know the best classroom fit for them.