Originally Posted by whatsnextmom
A grade above is still within the normal range of any particular class. Your child could be gifted. Obviously, I wouldn't know based on an internet post. I do know that most schools would still see him within the normal range expected for any grade academically. This just means that they should be able to accommodate him within his regular classroom. However, behavioral issues do greatly complicate the matter. Almost all accommodations at this level require a child to be an independent and reliable worker. They can't send a 1st grader who hits other children and is disruptive in class to 2nd grade for math, for example. That wouldn't be fair to the 2nd grade teacher OR her students. It's difficult to justify giving differentiated material to a child who is not actively proving themselves or who can't work independently. I know that it may not seem fair but it's really important not to use giftedness as an excuse for misbehavior.... especially so early in his schooling career. You need to drill home to your son that he's not going to get what he needs until he gains better self-control and proves himself on the work given to him.
The benefits of testing a child really depends on what is available. Testing alone won't fix the behavioral issues and even with scores, it will be an uphill battle as long as he's acting out. Most gifted programs don't start until 3rd/4th grade and some will exclude kids who have behavioral issues. You might look into an alternative schooling environment for him... maybe a charter that is more project based? My youngest is an active boy and chatter box and he really enjoyed language immersion elementary school where they were encouraged to talk (as long as they used the right language.)
My advice is to work with your son on appropriate responses to frustration as well as continue to work with the school on accommodations. I'd try to volunteer as much as you can to build up some positive relationships with the staff plus, you might get a better idea of how your child is behaving in class.
Just FYI, barely sleeping and being emotionally young are more personality traits than signs of giftedness. Some gifted kids will be immature and not sleep but many others sleep well and are average to highly mature for their age.
I agree with Whatnextmom,
You need to address the extreme behaviors now (hitting or getting physical or running away) since they are serious safety concerns for the school and other students.
If he was end-of-1st reading level in K, then the school looks like they are adjusting for his academics. I am assuming that he was reading at that level at school as well per school assessment. It seems conflicting when you write that he had to do K work, but was reading at the end of 1st level. Maybe I read it wrong, but it seems that he was getting reading work ahead of grade level already.
Have you meet with the teacher? I would. Come up with both an academic and behavioral plan for success to help him in the classroom.
Maybe request some social skill activities with the school social worker/interventionist.
In 1st grade the start of the year is easy easy and it is supposed to be to both allow the teachers to see where kids were at, to review skills, and to build confidence in kiddos that they do 'well' before being split into academic groupings.
I fully agree that no sleeping, emotionally young are broad symptoms. I have two bright (untested) kiddos, one sleeps well and the other does not!
If you do meet with the school-- I would be careful not to use the word 'bored'. It will put the school on the defensive and also boredom is not a blanket reason for hitting/high level of defiance. Try to work with the school on behavior and academics as the same time- also maybe observe and see what you notice during classtime. What is causing the behaviors? When do they occur? That will help you and the school find out how to be proactive and prevent them.
Hitting during a fire drill does not seem a 'boredom' event based on academics, but possibly a sensory reaction, anger concern, or a student to student personality conflict with the student he hit. The schools will crack down hard on physical acts of aggression since they put other kids in danger. Try to find out how to deal with those first and then move forward from there. Address the academics-- but in most 1st grades a child that is one or two years past grade level should be accommodated by a good teacher. There is a wide range of 1st grade skill sets from starter chapter book to learning letters.
Another thought is- have you had his hearing, eyes, etc checked? Sometimes undetected vision or hearing concerns can cause pretty strong behaviors in school. How about writing? Some kids that struggle with fine motor skills, but otherwise are at or way above grade level can have strong frustration levels when asked to write- the frustration can appear as anger or acting out.
I dont know about CT schools- so hopefully someone else can chime in. Some states will test for GT and others will not, same for GT services. It varies by state. If you do chose outside testing, some schools will require retesting per their own requirements.
I hope you and your DS find a good solution soon!