Maternal and Child Health and School nurses may identify young children who they assess as being advanced in their development, either through informal observation or developmental screening.
Families may report that their child is showing behaviours and characteristics that suggest advanced development or learning. Options regarding assessment can depend on the age of the child. Formal assessments such as IQ tests are not available for children under two-and-a-half years, and testing of very young children (under three years) is generally not considered reliable. If there are general concerns for a young child’s health or wellbeing, or if they feel further assessment is required, nurses may refer the family to a medical practitioner who may refer onto a paediatrician or educational psychologist.
For preschool or school-aged children who are showing advanced development or learning, and depending on the family’s wishes, nurses may refer them to a medical practitioner for possible referral for further assessment, which may include an IQ test.
If a child is attending an education and care service, the Maternal and Child Health nurse can seek the family’s permission to liaise with educators and share the results of any developmental screening. This can be very helpful for the educator and family when planning the curriculum.
Assisting families to make contact with associations and support organisations for the gifted is always useful. These groups can provide general support and contacts for families of gifted and talented young children.