Giftedness is not a psychological diagnosis, it is a designation given by the school board to identify students who are exceptional learners. A gifted designation is typically given to students whose cognitive ability (IQ) is higher than that of 98% of children of the same age.

Standardized intelligence tests administered as part of an educational assessment are typically done to determine if a child might be gifted. These tests evaluate problem solving and processing abilities. They also assist in identifying gifted students who do not fit the stereotypical image of high achievement or high motivation. Gifted students may also be underachievers, have learning disabilities, or be on the autism spectrum. There is a growing recognition and acceptance of multiple identifiers of giftedness and also greater acceptance of these “dual exceptionalities”.

Barbara Bishop is an educator with School District 23 who supports gifted students at school. Her website, The Gifted Nook, has ideas for online resources, videos, and books for educators, parents and students.