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A student shows signs of inattentiveness. Often, he does not do work without constant one-on-one redirection. Still, minimal work is done. He is often playing with hands in an imaginary way, assuming they are action figures. He shows concern for only himself. He has no empathy for others, even when he uses inappropriate physical or verbal aggression. The child is 8 years old.

His parents are seeing him as gifted, but no classroom observation or information has been used in the diagnosis. Critical thinking activities and a diverse learning environment, as well as curriculum, are given. The child does not complete the basic work even when extensions are given to expand on the subject.

What are the steps to getting a child tested, evaluated as gifted, or having a disability? Can a child be gifted (only) and still not be able to interact with classmates and stay on task in order to get the introduction to a lesson. Thank you for your help.

Based on the descriptions you provide, your student might have what is called a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Discuss this concept with your school consultants and explore how to get the student’s parents involved in a full evaluation. If my clinical impression is correct, the student will need special education services.

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