Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D.

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Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D., is a specialist in intelligence assessment and individualized interpretations and guidance for both gifted children and adults. She practices in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota, where her testing, research, writing, and speaking focus on school and educational issues, as well as related social and emotional adjustments for gifted children—particularly those at the highest levels of giftedness. Dr. Ruf was awarded the Mensa Intellectual Benefits Award for 2007.

Dr. Ruf founded Educational Options in 1998. Her familiarity with a diverse range of gifted individuals enables her to guide families through the educational system and to interpret where they actually “fit” (or don’t fit) in those systems. Her experience includes work in a variety of settings: elementary classroom teacher in Alexandria, Virginia; supervisor of elementary teachers for Moorhead State University in small towns in North Dakota and Minnesota; Cass County Superintendent of Schools in North Dakota; part-time homeschool teacher for her own children; university instructor in classroom management, school law and gifted education; elementary gifted education teacher in a large district; principal intern in a large school district; and public speaker.

Dr. Ruf earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Educational Psychology with emphasis in Tests and Measurement and Learning and Cognition. Her Master’s degree, from the University of Virginia, is in Administration and Supervision. One of her primary goals is to translate educational research into understandable and meaningful language so that families are empowered to advocate effectively for their children within the educational systems. Dr. Ruf wrote the High Ability Assessment Bulletin for the Stanford-Binet, Fifth Edition (2003) for Riverside Publishing, avoiding the statistical jargon usually associated with such assessment manuals.

In 2003, Dr. Ruf became National Gifted Children Program Coordinator of American Mensa and is currently working to coordinate efforts of numerous gifted advocacy groups while making Mensa a more welcoming organization to young people. A national presenter on levels of giftedness and how one’s intellectual profile affects adjustment, she also consults with adult groups on the intellectual and social/emotional characteristics of their members.

Dr. Ruf encourages readers and those interested in working with her to contact her directly at

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