Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG)
Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experiences or environment. People can be gifted in many different ways, some of which include music, athletics, or cognitive abilities. For school purposes, academically gifted children are those that have high IQ’s and the ability to perform at a level usually not reached until later years. Many academically gifted children have unique ways of relating to the world because of their high cognitive abilities. They may learn at a faster pace, process material to much greater depth, and show incredible imagination, or intellectual curiosity not typically seen in the general population. Oftentimes highly gifted children need special advocates due to their tendency to be bored or turned off by tasks that are repetitive, mundane, or ones that they accomplished months or years earlier. Further, their creative abilities oftentimes set them apart from their age-mates. Often gifted children are fluent thinkers who may generate many possibilities, consequences and related ideas when faced with a problem.
Some academically gifted children do not necessarily view it as important to make good grades. As long as they know the material or information, some gifted children may not always feel it is necessary to demonstrate it just to get a grade. Some gifted children may not come into their full potential until they are in high school or college at which time they can latch on to areas of keen interest. While not all academically gifted children are high achievers, the academically gifted child has the potential to do so.
Some children with high IQ’s may also experience other problems. For example, one can be academically gifted and yet have a learning disability in a specific area. These “twice exceptional” children can be misperceived as lazy, stubborn, careless or unmotivated unless they are more carefully studied and their academic needs determined.
To qualify for AIG classes, children must test at a certain level in one or more areas which are determined by the school system. Usually the child psychologist is asked to document intellectual and academic functioning and assist in determining the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Silber Psychological Services offers AIG testing to help identify children who are academically gifted and to provide guidance to parents on social and emotional issues specific to this population.