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New Family Application

We are so glad you are interested in becoming a part of our community! 

Families for whom at least one offspring (23 years old or under) meets the profile are accepted into PG Retreat (PGR). Applications accepted year-round. Our Application Review Team meets monthly except for July and December. A single application covers your entire family. There is no application fee.


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How We Review Applications

PG Retreat is a unique experience for profoundly gifted children and their families.  Identification of profoundly gifted children can be difficult due to the limited number of testing instruments able to accurately measure cognitive abilities in the profoundly gifted range. Experts have categorized giftedness according to the number of standard deviations above the average ability score (IQ) on nationally normed ability tests. Individuals identified as profoundly gifted, or PG, fall into the range of scores that are at least 5 standard deviations above the average IQ score of 100. Individuals with IQ scores of 175 and higher are considered to be profoundly gifted (PG). Due to the difficulty with modern test instrument ceilings, the increased likelihood of individuals with advanced IQ scores having concurrent disabilities, and the rarity of opportunities for assessing these individuals within a general psychological practice, there is often a misunderstanding or miscommunication about what constitutes profoundly gifted.

There are many organizations that offer support and services to all gifted individuals. However, the level and degree of support and services required by profoundly gifted individuals can best be met by an organization that provides opportunities for profoundly gifted individuals and their families to meet and gather within their own community. Due to the difficulty in correct identification of profoundly gifted children, PG Retreat’s Application Review Team looks at a combination of ability test scores, performance, recommendations by professionals experienced in identifying PG individuals, and other evidence of demonstration of exceptionally advanced ability in more than one area.

How We Evaluate

There is a general absence of training within the psychological and medical community regarding giftedness and exceptionally/profoundly gifted individuals. When this lack of training is combined with the rarity of these individuals (less than 1 % of the general population), many psychologists have never had the opportunity to test a profoundly gifted child and may therefore mislabel a highly gifted child as exceptionally or profoundly gifted due to the general misuse of those terms. Profoundly gifted individuals may also have a concurrent learning disability that makes it difficult for a person without extensive experience in working with PG children to assess an accurate intelligence level. The Application Review Team recognizes that this is a complex process and therefore welcomes applicants to review our general criteria for admittance but does not limit admittance to a child having met a cut off IQ score.

Ideally, applicants to PGR have FSIQ, GAI, or Verbal Comprehension scores of at least 160. In the absence of ability test scores, a combination of performance and demonstration of exceptional ability in more than one area can also qualify an individual for membership. In many cases, a PG child with a concurrent disability can have depressed test scores. Professionals with experience testing these children are able to recognize and document that the child’s test scores are an underestimate and provide valid causes. Such recommendations are carefully considered along with other evidence of exceptional ability.

Additional Information

Families with a profoundly gifted child currently 23 years old or younger are invited to complete an application. 

Providing more more information in the application, especially when IQ test scores are not available or below the PG range, better enables our reviewers to determine whether the applicant family would be a good fit with our organization. A complete application often contains about 1,000 words. Our reviewers are members of PG Retreat who have significant training and professional experience in identifying profoundly gifted children.

Although an IQ test is the easiest way to demonstrate a child’s level of cognitive abilities, other tests such as achievement tests or SAT/ACT can also help demonstrate that a child’s cognitive abilities are far above grade level/same age peers. Additional helpful information can include narratives that provide insight into the child’s advanced cognitive abilities, work samples, or a referral by a professional who personally knows the child and has experience in identification of profoundly gifted children.

Membership in other organizations such as Davidson Young Scholars, Mensa, John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, etc. does not qualify an applicant family for membership in PG Retreat since those organizations have different membership criteria, and their members do not have to demonstrate criteria for profound giftedness.

Application Review Team recognizes both the time to complete the application as well as the sensitivity of the information provided, and carefully protects all applicant information. Personal information is destroyed after an application process is completed.

Questions about the application
or the  application process? 
email our Contact Manager
contact@PGRetreat.com

Application review except in July and December can take 2-6 weeks depending on whether additional information is requested.

Profound giftedness is a unique way of existing within and perceiving the world without, and no one instrument or checklist can accurately assess all gifted individuals. The Application Review Team works diligently to provide the opportunity for membership to all applicants who are able to provide evidence of exceptionally advanced abilities.


About the Reviewers

Joanna Haase, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Pasadena, California with over 28 years of experience. She works with gifted individuals and their families to help them understand, navigate and embrace the joys and challenges of giftedness. In addition to working with parents and individuals, Dr. Haase partners with schools and districts to educate teachers and administrators on how to better support gifted and talented students. She is a regular presenter at State and National conferences on various topics about giftedness. In her private practice, Dr. Haase also helps individuals with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Depression. She is the President and Co-Founder of the California Gifted Network (CGN), an on-line forum which provides a user-friendly place for the California gifted community to find resources, information and support.

Michele Kane, Ed.D., is Professor Emerita in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University, where she coordinated the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program for over a decade. She has been a passionate advocate for gifted learners and gifted education for more than forty years. During this time she has been a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences and has held positions as a gifted teacher, gifted coordinator, parent educator, and counselor. Currently, she is an educational consultant for school districts and parenting specialist for families with gifted individuals. Additionally, she maintains her practice as a career counselor at a community college. Her leadership positions include former President of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, former Chair of Global Awareness Network of NAGC, and currently as Chair of the Parent, Family and Community Network of NAGC. She is an active member on the boards of Profoundly Gifted Retreat (PGR), Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM), and Gro-Gifted. Michele is a contributing author to Off the Charts, Giftedness and Creativity, and Living with Intensity. Her most recent book, Planting Seeds of Mindfulness, co-authored with Dorothy Sisk, was released in 2018. She was honored by Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) as their 2018 Educator of the Year. Inspired by her experience raising six gifted (now adult) children, Michele’s primary interest remains on the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of gifted people across the lifespan.

Elizabeth Letsch, M.S., Ph.D., ABPP(RP) is a neuropsychologist with more than 20 years experience. After completing her master's degree in Educational Psychology, she counseled children with emotional and behavioral problems living in a residential treatment facility. She then earned her doctorate and worked with veterans and active duty service members with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders facilitating their adjustment to disability and helping them reach new life goals. She is board certified in Rehabilitation Psychology, the specialty that focuses on individuals with disabilities. Dr. Letsch was honored by the American Psychological Association with the Early Career Excellence in Rehabilitation Psychology award in 2009. She returned to her love for working with children and adolescents when she discovered the difficulties many families face finding a psychologist who provides effective and nuanced evaluations. By not only understanding giftedness but also understanding levels of giftedness (with three gifted children of her own) and by understanding the complexities of evaluating twice exceptional children, Dr. Letsch’s psychoeducational evaluations help families and children appreciate their uniqueness and advocate for their needs in diverse settings. Her additional interests include supporting gifted LGBTQAI+ individuals and spreading the benefits of artistic self-expression, sound meditation, and yoga.


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