Many parents and professionals are reluctant to accelerate gifted children because they believe doing so will harm children socially or emotionally. However, the scientific evidence overwhelming supports academic acceleration as an effective intervention for meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of gifted children. Subject acceleration, grade skipping and early admission to university are the most well researched types of acceleration and all have social or emotional benefits to gifted children when decisions to accelerate are based on careful considerations of the child’s academic, social and emotional maturity. Acceleration is more of a gamble when children are selected only on the basis of IQ, achievement or advanced social development. Acceleration is considered to be the single best intervention for many gifted children because it typically provides the best match between curriculum and the child’s ability while also providing access to other learners with similar interests, abilities and drive. It is recommended that psychologists use their influence to counter popular myths that are not supported by the evidence and to advocate for acceleration as an appropriate intervention to meet the needs of gifted children.
Keywords: Acceleration, giftedness, grade skipping, subject acceleration, early admission to university.