Gifted Programs in Boca Raton | The 411 from a Pediatric Expert

Is my child gifted? I’m sure every mother has asked herself that question at one time or another. But really gifted? As in tested and confirmed? I wanted to know more about the process. As a mom and blogger, I try to educate myself and my readers (of course) about many local subjects. Gifted programs in Boca Raton seemed like a natural thing to learn about next with school starting so soon.

I reached out to my go to healthy parenting source…Dr. Chad Rudnick of Boca VIPediatrics for a little Q&A about what’s really the deal when it comes to gifted programs in Boca Raton and beyond.

What is the gifted child program?

In Palm Beach County, the Gifted Education Program provides appropriate instruction for eligible students by delivering effective and innovative strategies beyond the basic curriculum.

The program is designed to challenge and empower students to produce quality work and to become productive citizens while protecting and nurturing their unique characteristics. The State of Florida defines a gifted student as “one who has superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance.”

In a very basic sense, gifted classes within a school are able/expected to move at a faster pace.

How do you typically identify a gifted child?

There are many facets to identifying a gifted child. It is not simply a high IQ. While there is a requirement of having an IQ of 130 or higher, the students must also demonstrate a need for a more challenging curriculum at school. Additionally, the student must exhibit the majority of characteristics of gifted children on a district checklist. The child’s most recent teacher must complete a checklist of gifted characteristics demonstrating that child shows a need for a challenging or gifted program.

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Examples of IQ tests may include:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V)
  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-IV)
  • Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition (SB5)

What are the benefits of gifted programs in Boca Raton?

The benefits to these types of programs are specific to each child. Some children require a curriculum beyond the basic requirements in order to remain focused and engaged in school. Other children benefit from a more stimulating curriculum because they are significantly ahead of expected learning for their grade level.

This in no way means that a standard curriculum isn’t as good as a gifted curriculum. What matters most is each child’s success in school and assisting them in their capacity to learn and retain information.

How can parents like me help a gifted child succeed?

A gifted child succeeds in the same way as any other child! Success in school starts in the home. A restful night’s sleep every evening, good nutrition and daily play/exercise are the pillars of childhood success in school (this goes for adults too!).

Other ways to help a child succeed in school:

  • Support with homework expectations. A good rule of thumb for an effective homework and/or study period is roughly 10 minutes per elementary grade level. 3rd graders, for example, should expect to have about 30 minutes of homework or studying each school night. If you find that it’s taking significantly longer than this guideline, talk with your child’s teacher.
  • Organizational and study skills. This can start even in Kindergarten with your child being responsible for their homework/information folder. Your elementary schooler should be assigned the task of taking their folder out of their backpack every day when they get home and bringing it to the table, desk, or wherever they will complete assignments. Additionally, they should be expected to put the folder back into their backpack every afternoon/evening once their homework is finished so they are ready for the following day.
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What is the difference between academically gifted and intellectually gifted?

This is a very important point. A high IQ does not mean that a child will automatically do well in school. Children who are gifted may also struggle in a school setting. This can be due to an underlying learning disorder or disability such as:

  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech disorder
  • Physical disabilities
  • ADHD
  • Autism spectrum
  • Emotional/behavioral issues

These children are often referred to as twice-exceptional or “2e”. Similarly, a child who is academically gifted and excels in all facets of school may not have a gifted level IQ. A child’s IQ should never be thought of as a limit to what they can achieve.

What are your thoughts regarding keeping gifted children in a traditional school setting without a specific program?

This is perhaps the most important point of this topic. In our community, we are extremely fortunate to have a multitude of educational options for our children. Be it A-rated public schools, nationally ranked private schools, or top-notch charter schools, parents have the task of determining what type of educational setting is best for their child.

Remember that just because another child is going to school X doesn’t mean that it’s right for your child who may fit better in school Y. I would argue that the child’s teacher is the most important part of their elementary school years. When the child feels supported and enjoys school, they are better equipped to learn and achieve.

The Boca VIPediatrics difference…

A big part of our parental guidance discussions with parents of 4-6 year-olds involves Kindergarten readiness and school discussion. For those considering a gifted school program, we work together with experts in child educational evaluations to test children and determine not only which schools may unlock their complete potential, but also help to determine their learning style.

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For all age groups, we also have close follow-up with parents to evaluate a child if they are falling behind in class. This way, we can utilize medical and non-medical options for academic success.

There you have it! So many great points when it comes to gifted programs in Boca Raton. And the best part is, Boca VIPediatrics basically takes most of the work off your plate when it comes to figuring out where to place your child! As a parent, this kind of guidance is invaluable.

Sponsored: This gifted programs in Boca Raton post was sponsored by Boca VIPediatrics. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are mine.