Parents pay for gifted children

Jan. 22, 2006 at 4:51 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Many U.S. parents find they have a gifted child after teachers complain the child has been disruptive or not focused in class.

The parents often pay to have their children take a combination of achievement tests, measuring what they know, and aptitude tests, measuring verbal and numerical ability, the New York Times reported Sunday.

"There's lots of funding for kids who aren't keeping up in school, but if you have a bright child you just get a pat on the head," said Dr. Deborah L. Ruf, author of "Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind."

"Families at all economic levels prioritize their budgets to pay for testing, enrichment and learning opportunities," said Ruf.

Some in education doubt that gifted programs are beneficial for children.

"It's important to give kids normal experiences that are typical for children of that age," said Perry Prestholdt, who taught psychology at Louisiana State University. "Unique and expensive opportunities can imbue these kids with a false sense of privilege."

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