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About Gifted Assessments
At Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, we believe that every person is “gifted” in their own way, and that everyone’s unique set of gifts contributes to the vibrance and diversity of our world.

Within the context of a gifted assessment, “giftedness” refers to a brain-based difference that enables a person to comprehend the world in complex ways that differ significantly from their peers. Contrary to popular belief, the gifted child may not be the “top of the class.” This can be difficult for a gifted student because they may not be identified, which means that they may not be provided with the enriched or accelerated academic programming that may be better suited to them.

Like most people, highly capable students are unique individuals with multifaceted interests and abilities. Some have strengths across the board while others have areas of special talent. A gifted evaluation is specifically designed to assess a child’s intellectual abilities as well as their areas of particular giftedness via structured cognitive testing. The purpose of this type of assessment is typically to determine whether a child meets certain criteria for academic placement.

Common characteristics of Gifted Children:

  • Strong sense of curiosity
  • Enthusiastic about unique interests or subjects
  • Ability to comprehend material several grade levels above their peers.
  • Absorbs information quickly
  • Creative problem solving
  • Exceptionally “adult” moral reasoning
  • Socially-aware and concerned about global issues
  • Surprising emotional depth at a young age
  • Quirky or complex sense of humor
  • Boredom or underachievement when not challenged
What Is The Process?
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Gifted identification requires a combination of intellectual evaluation, qualitative observations, and assessment of interests, abilities, and behaviors. Dr. Thurlow administers standardized cognitive testing, and reviews each child’s history and presentation in order to develop a clear picture of their talents and abilities.
What Results Can You Expect?
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The purpose of gifted testing is to help ensure that gifted youth have the opportunity to excel in an environment where their strengths are seen and they can truly be themselves.

The results of gifted testing can be used to support a case for enrollment in accelerated academic programs (e.g., GATE).

Most importantly, the knowledge that comes with confirmation of your child’s giftedness can be used to guide you, as you parent your unique human through to adulthood.


Dr. Cheryl Arutt, PsyD, Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

"I have known Dr. Thurlow for 25 years and give her my highest recommendation! She is that special kind of expert who really listens, combining her deep knowledge and experience as a neuropsychologist with her compassion as a human/parent/friend to illuminate ways to really support and deeply understand young people whose brains work differently. Her evaluations improve lives, and I always know those I refer to Dr. Thurlow will be in excellent hands."

Dr. Mandy Moradi, Clinical Consultant Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center

"I have collaborated with Dr. Thurlow in various capacities over the years. She is an exceptionally bright psychologist who is committed to the wellbeing of our neurodivergent community. There is wide variability when it comes to evaluation quality, and finding a professional who offers best practice evaluations using gold-standard measures can be challenging. Dr. Thurlow offers the kind of sensitive, thorough, and evidence-based assessments that I trust. I recommend Dr. Thurlow without hesitation."

Dr. Jesse Olague, Child Psychologist, Del Mar

"Dr. Thurlow is without a doubt the best diagnostician in San Diego. Not only does she have the experience and high-level skills to understand even the most complex cases, she is also incredibly compassionate and kind. Families and professionals alike love working with her. I trust her clinical judgment without reservation."

David Teitelman, parent of a neurodivergent child.

"Dr. Thurlow is a spectacular psychologist/diagnostician. I can attest to her expertise in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and Neuro divergence. Dr. Thurlow was able to determine significant flaws in a previous evaluation of my neurodivergent child. With her help, we were finally able to obtain an accurate diagnosis after many years of struggle.

Dr. Thurlow's consultation, compassion, and support in obtaining an accurate diagnosis has truly been life-changing for our family."

888 Prospect Street, Suite 200, La Jolla, CA 92037