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Gifted Children/profoundly gifted entering K


I have a profoundly gifted boy. I am worried about what to do with him next year for K. He could be in 3rd of 4th grade. Socially he's amazing but he is small and I think his physical capabilities are age appropriate and that's a big issue. Plus older kids are likely mature in other ways. Do you have any recommendations in this regard? I want to talk with my school. I am in NY. there is no mandate for gifted ed. Do you have any data to point to that grade acceleration (certainly one grade) is helpful? thanks

There are many factors to be considered in making a decision about grade acceleration. The place to start is with your school district, what they offer, what they can't offer, their experience and policy. Different states and districts have different criteria. If your son has not already been tested, virtually all schools require formal testing. Many base a decision to accelerate on the child's demonstrated performance in school, in kindergarten or first grade. It's less common for a student to be initially placed in a grade higher than expected for their age group without some demonstrated ability. If your public school system doesn't have the services he needs, they should be able to make suggestions about how to proceed and find reliable testing.  That often is done by a child psychologist, often in private practice if your school district doesn't have the ability to do the testing. It can be expensive, several hundred dollars to over a thousand.

A comprehensive assessment is done of noncognitive developmental factors as well as academics. Social and emotional maturity, attitude, skills, student preferences and parent preferences are all considered. Speaking in general, not specifically for your child, not 100 percent of the time, acceleration tends toward being a positive experience, not just academically, but emotionally and socially as well. Acceleration is based also on whether or not a school has the ability to meet the child's needs.

Private schools are not always best, but that may be an option as well. If paying tuition is difficult, most schools have some kind of assistance with scholarships or waive some tuition if the parent volunteers at the school.

You can read all about the topic, including research at:

To get started, call the district superintendent's office and ask for an appointment with someone appropriate to address your son's needs. I think face-to-face meeting is better than consultation by phone.

Free Spirit Publishing,, is an excellent resource for print materials, games and activities for children and families with gifted children that you can use throughout your son's childhood. and The Critical Thinking Company,, have curricular materials as well.  

Sometimes kids take courses from on-line or local universities in subjects in which they are particularly advanced. Home schooling is an option, if your son has social interactions in ways other than school.

The two most important things to do for your son are not what you would expect, but doing them enhances your son's education and every part of life for him and the family.

1. If you are married, make your marriage high priority.
2. Have lots of family fun.

I hope this is helpful. You are welcome to ask follow-up questions if you like. Your feedback is important.

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Faith A. Coleman MD


No questions are off-limits. My strengths are understanding what questioners are really trying to ask, knowing the right questions to get to useful answers, and putting complicated, subject-specific words and concepts into language accessible to lay-persons. The topic is fascinating and can be surprising, the opposite of what might logically seem expected of giftedness. I am skilled in identifying giftedness at any age, including very early in life.


Children constitute about one-third of the patients in a Family Medicine practice. I was Director of Children's and Women's Public Health Education Programs with the Northeast Texas Public Health District. I have two highly gifted children, one of whom attended Roeper School, listed first in this site's Sponsored Links. I was the health expert for Roeper's board of directors; I maintain contacts there. I'm on the board of directors of several organizations of which I'm a member. I spent a summer as the Medical Director of a camp for kids with ADD, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders. Editor, Medical Economics Publishing Co. licensure to teach K-12 in Oklahoma, with added qualification in Journalism

Champions for Children: Advocacy, resources, quality assessment, for early childhood daycare (Board of Directors). American Academy of Family Physicians. Michigan Academy of Family Physicians Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. READ: Advocacy, education, resources for teaching and encouraging literacy in adults. East Texas Network for Children (Planning Board).

Journals: Medical Economics, Contemporary OB/Gyn, Diagnostic Medicine. Albuquerque Journal Daily, Tyler Daily News, New Mexico Daily Lobo, New Citizen Weekly, Alpena News, daily.

BA, Journalism MD University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Internship, Detroit Medical Center. Family Practice Residency, Top-100 Hospital - Beaumont. Clinical Faculty appointments to three medical schools. Faculty, Family Practice Residency, Detroit area.

Awards and Honors
Two official commendations awarded by United States Army for service and contributions to young soldiers and families. Publishing Internship, Medical Economics Publishing Company. Research Internship, Hastings Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences. Woman Medical Student of the Year. Numerous others.

Past/Present Clients
As above in experiences, publications and awards. Many thousands of patient/family encounters.

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