Gifted and Talented Resource Directory

Whether or not your child is a student at Grayson, the process of meeting a gifted child’s needs can feel overwhelming. Below we have provided the resources that our school community has found useful in understanding and supporting high ability learners.


  • A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students, edited by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline, and Miraca U. M. Gross.  This seminal work presents research supporting the academic acceleration of gifted students. Its success led to the creation of the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration.
  • A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students, edited by Susan G. Assouline, Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce VanTassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik. A ten-year update to the work initiated by A Nation Deceived that reviews what we have learned through its application.  These findings are an important resource for educators in designing plans for their brightest students.
  • Key Considerations in Identifying and Supporting Gifted and Talented Learners from The National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Definition Task Force.  The Task Force was charged with developing a suggested update for NAGC’s definition of giftedness, one that synthesizes best thinking in the field today and that might serve as a unifier in our field.  The board approved their work and will use this as a basis for developing an NAGC position statement this year.  We are very proud that our Founder and Executive Director, Melissa Bilash was named to this Task Force and played an instrumental role in the development of this work with other leaders in the field of gifted research and education.
  • Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults:  ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders by James T. Webb, Edward R. Amend, Nadia E. Webb,  Jean Goerss, Paul Beljan, and F. Richard Olenchak.  This is a “must read” book for parents, schools, physicians and therapists.  The authors, who are all prominent health care professionals, raise the issue that gifted children are often misdiagnosed with disorders that are at times simply a result or a a symptom of being in the wrong educational environment.
  • Living With Intensity:  Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults by Susan Daniels, Ph.D.,  and Michael M. Piechowski, Ph.D.
  • A Guide to State Policies in Gifted Education edited by E. Wayne Lord, and Julie Dingle Swanson.  Now in its second edition, this guide is an indespensible resource  from the National Association for Gifted Children, available for $15 for non-NAGC members.  As there are no federal standards regarding gifted education, this is the definitive guide of the widely varying policies by state. Our founders, Melissa Bilash and Jennifer Nance, in addition to Wendy Behrens, and Elyssa Brown, Grayson Research Advisory Board members, each contributed to the development of this guide.
  • The Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE), with support from PSEA and PA PTA, has published The Parents Guide to Gifted Education in Pennsylvania.


  • The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a national organization has many resources for helping parents to understand the needs of gifted learners as well as to advocate on their behalf at local, state, and federal levels.
  • The Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) is our local affiliate, but you can find your own state organization for gifted and talented resources in your area through the NAGC site.
  • Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) offers webinars, articles, and other resources for understanding and supporting gifted children and adults across all areas of need: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
  • The World Council for Gifted & Talented Children (WCGTC) is a worldwide non-profit organization that provides advocacy and support for gifted children. Its membership includes educators, academics and researchers, parents, and other individuals interested in promoting gifted and talented children and their educational and developmental needs. The organization also hosts a well-attended annual conference.
  • American MENSA for Young Mensans, one of the fastest growing segments of Mensa’s membership. Learn about member benefits and how to apply.
  • The Acceleration Institute, a project of the Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa is dedicated to the study of curricular acceleration for academically talented children.  They publish a guide to individual state policies on acceleration.

Resources on the Web

Weekend and Summer Enrichment Programs

  • The Davidson Young Scholars Program is part of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. This nonprofit works to support profoundly gifted students 18 and under.We will work with families for whom this would be a valued resource to complete the application process.
  • The Grayson School provides weekend and summer camp enrichment programs for gifted students in the greater Philadelphia area.
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer programs offer eligible students challenging academic work in the company of peers who share their exceptional abilities and love of learning.
  • MIT Educational Studies Program: Splash!: Splash! For one weekend in November, thousands of high schoolers flood MIT’s campus to take lots of short classes on anything and everything, to provide a brief introduction on all kinds of topics or to engage in an in-depth seminar or workshop.
  • Camp Summit is a weeklong summer camp for gifted, talented and creative kids ages 9 through 15.  They have both east and west coast locations.

For Your Students

  • littleBits: littleBits is an open source library of electronic modules (tiny circuit-boards each with specific functions) that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. No complex engineering knowledge or programming abilities are required. Their website also has a vibrant community to display projects created with littleBits and provide inspiration for new ways to combine these pieces.
  • DIY is a free site allows kids to gain skills, meet kids making cool projects, create their own portfolios, and earn embroidered skill patches for completing challenges.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare: For over 15 years, MIT  publishes  educational materials from more than 2000 classes for free!   Join over 100 million individuals accessing MIT courses online.
  • GoldieBlox:  Did you know only 14% of engineers are women?  These award winning construction toys for girls combine stories with simple engineering concepts to level the playing field and inspire the future generation of female engineers.
  • Zentangle: A meditative and relaxing method of creating an abstract drawing using structured patterns. It requires very few supplies and can be as complex or simple as you like.
  • Mensa for Kids your gifted learner will love these online games and activities.
  • For your older students who are learning to drive, one of our readers suggests The Driving Office, as her newly licensed teen driver referenced this site’s permit practice and road sign tests as the reason she was able to pass her written permit test the first time around.

Out of Level Testing Resources

Out-of-level testing is when students are given assessments that are normed at higher grade levels, to compare their current performance with that of older peers. This can provide helpful information for gifted students who may be performing several grade levels above what their chronological age would indicate.

  • Please read this statement from NAGC on the use of the WISC-V for Gifted and Twice Exceptional Identification
  • The Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa offers the Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS) for students in grades 4-9. The goal of a talent search is to discover, via above-level testing, students who need further educational challenge to fully realize their academic talent. BESTS was initiated in 1992 to identify talented students and provide parents and educators with more specific information about their academic needs.
  • The ACT ASPIRE Test is used to determine benchmarks for English, reading, writing, math and science at each grade level to provide additional perspectives on student readiness (grades 3-10).  This replaces the former ACT EXPLORE Test for 8th and 9th graders that was frequently used as an out-of-grade assessment for younger students to assess these students’ academic abilities.
  • The SCAT Test, offered by Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth for 2nd-8th graders. The SCAT test is also used to determine entrance to the CTY online course catalog.
  • Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a global leader in identifying academically gifted students and providing them with opportunities to support their development.