Optimal Development Plan


From your initial contact with our Center, we ask what your specific needs are so that we can tailor our services and the resulting report accordingly. After the assessment is complete, you will meet with the tester and either Linda Silverman, Ph.D., Director, or Bobbie Gilman, M.S., Associate Director, for a two-hour post-test conference. The first hour of the session is spent discussing the meaning of the test results and ascertaining your child’s needs. The second half is devoted to co-creating with you a plan for optimizing your child’s development. The plan will appear as a set of recommendations in your child’s comprehensive report. We also answer your questions and provide guidance to you on supporting your child’s needs at home.


Many parents who think their child is smart are shocked at how advanced their child really is. Your bright child may actually be moderately, highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted. Similar to children who are developmentally delayed, the further a child diverges from what is typical for their age, the greater the need for a dedicated plan to support appropriate development. An IQ score of 150 is as far from the norm (100 IQ) as an IQ score of 50. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is federally mandated for students at the lower end of the curve; our Optimal Development Plan (ODP) serves a similar purpose for the gifted and can be used throughout your child’s educational career.


Individual intelligence testing establishes eligibility for special programs. Based on your child’s IQ scores, our ODP indicates if your child qualifies for selective schools, programs, provisions, scholarships or other unique opportunities for the gifted. It provides recommendations to the schools for developing your child’s abilities. Achievement testing can determine the need for subject or grade acceleration, or early entrance to kindergarten. We also assess your child’s self-concept. The powerful combination of ability, achievement and self-concept testing can support options, such as use of a mentor and substitution of online courses. Recommendations are also offered for working with your child’s learning or personality style effectively.


Our ODP is particularly important for diagnosing and meeting the needs of twice exceptional children. Comprehensive assessment provides evidence of a child’s need for an IEP or a Section 504 Plan. Our ODP specifies which services and classroom accommodations should be included in these documents. Even if these formal plans are not implemented, our ODP establishes a paper trail that can be used to obtain accommodations (e.g., extra time or use of a keyboard) in the classroom, on standardized tests (including College Board exams).


When school services are unavailable, our ODP guides parents to the interventions needed, including referrals to specialists experienced with the gifted. You will receive recommendations for resources on a variety of relevant topics. Suggestions for mentoring, counseling, camps, homeschooling guidance, and various types of therapy may also be included.


Our Optimal Development Plan, folded into the recommendations in your child’s report, is the key to unlocking doors within your child and accessing opportunities for the gifted that you may not know exist. It reveals hidden gifts, offers guidance in parenting your child more effectively and can prevent or reverse underachievement. The ODP establishes an objective basis for advocacy and helps all who read it understand your child better.