David Palmer Ph.D.
Licensed Educational Psychologist (California BBSE Lic. # 2193) Laguna Beach, Ca.

My book has helped thousands of parents understand gifted testing and programming so that they can better work with the schools to find the right program for their child.

“A useful, ready reference for parents… presents the content in
an organized, even, and balanced manner … clear and simple”   
Review by Suzanne M. Stauffer, Library Journal

Dr. Palmer is Licensed Educational Psychologist, award winning researcher, university lecturer, and frequent presenter at local, state, and national events. 

Dr. Palmer was recently featured as a commentator on the Discovery Health Channel's "My Kid's Smarter than Me"

Dr. Palmer is an invited expert "Psychology Today" Blogger.  Blog Post links posted below... 

Private Testing for Giftedness?  If and When.
Is Your Child Gifted?  What to Look for and Why You Should Know
Gifted Kids with Learning Problems...  The Twice Exceptional Child
One Strategy to Use When Kids Get Too Far Ahead of the Curve

Online Articles by David Palmer

Hidden Gifts:  What to Know so Your Child Isn't Overlooked

Is it Good to Be Gifted?  Optimal IQ and the Flipside to Giftedness

ADHD or Gifted?  What Parents Should Know

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Additional Services Available

Learning Disability Assessment

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Recent Client Notes

"Thank you again for your insight.  You have been a tremendous help to us."

"Thanks to you we feel very informed and able to advocate for our daughter's best interests"

"...answers a lot of questions about our child's nature,  mind,  and personality."
 "You answered all our questions... 
it’s great to have someone like you
in the area."
 "You’ve really helped us understand our options...  thank you."

Great Links for Parents!

Book Recommendations

David Palmer, Ph.D., Psychologist, Laguna Beach, Ca

Grade Level Adjustment? Achievement and Out of Level Testing

Would your Child Benefit from a Grade Adjustment?

Kids are typically placed in a certain grade based on age only. This system works well for most kids, but can lead to ongoing frustration and school problems for some bright or gifted learners who need  a more advanced curriculum in order to stay engaged in learning. I can provide the objective information parents and schools need to help determine whether a grade skip - or grade adjustment - is the right move. Through my assessment I use criteria established through university research, and outlined in the IOWA Acceleration Scale - which is a widely recognized instrument used to evaluate a student's readiness for acceleration. For this purpose I supplement the standard IQ battery with a supplemental comprehensive individually administered achievement battery – the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement III, which is one of the most widely recognized and widely used comprehensive achievement tests available.  While an IQ test informs us of a student’s learning potential or learning style, the WJ III gives parents and school personnel more objective data regarding where the student is academically - grade and age levels, standard scores, and percentiles in several areas of math, reading, and written language. Such information is particularly valuable when families are looking into the possibility of acceleration options like grade skipping, single subject acceleration, or early entrance to kindergarten or first grade. When I administer the WJ III for families considering acceleration, I also include what is called an out of level evaluation.  For this purpose, I provide two reports based on the same test. One with data on where the student is as compared to others of his or her current grade or age level - and one report which compares the child to the norms of the grade into which they may be placed.  This is a form of “out of level testing” that is commonly recommended for use with the gifted population when considering acceleration options.  Children who routinely score at the extremes (95th percentile or above) in one or more areas on commonly administered school or state standardized or criterion referenced academic tests may be “topping out” on these tests.  That is, since these tests often assess only those academic areas the child has been exposed to at his or her age or grade level, when the student receives a percentile score of 95 or above it indicates that they have mastered that age or grade level material – they have topped out on the test.  But such tests do not provide information regarding what the child knows beyond that age or grade level material, or how the child performs when compared to others in a more advanced grade.  Out of level testing can provide this information. The supplementary achievement testing is done in a separate session which takes about 2 hours.  Addition of the WJ III to the IQ battery (or administration of the WJ III alone) is offered at a flat rate of $375,  which includes the delivery of the follow up report.


Note: Academic acceleration is the easiest and most effective way to help highly capable students. While the popular perception is that a child who skips a grade will be socially stunted, fifty years of research shows that moving bright students ahead often makes them happy.

For a comprehensive report of the research on single subject acceleration, grade skipping, and other acceleration practices from the nation’s leading experts in the area – visit the web site:  nationdeceived.org 



Contact me via email at dave@palmerlearning.com (preferred), or by phone at (949) 892 9805 or (562) 743 9520 for more information or to arrange an appointment.  I will respond via email or phone usually within one day. I am currently booking weekend appointments.