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#1 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am wondering...what is the benefit of finding out if your child "qualifies" as gifted? Is it a label? Is it ok to just not test them and just treat them as an individual?

 

My dd is very advanced in her language and memory abilities. She's 20 months. I'm just wondering what the purpose would be of testing her when she's older vs. just going with the flow. My hubby and I realize that we may have been gifted too.

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#2 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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it is personal (some do, others do not)

 

there are many reasons

 

largely it depends very much on how you want to educate your child

 

you can't just say " mine is gifted- I want them in that special class" - most school programs you must meet a certain criteria for entrance, this also goes for other types of programs outside of the classic school setting

 

as with "other" labels you get help if you can prove what you claim (not all is obvious to some teachers- many have no clue and have never deal with "gifted"- it can also be views as another "issue" when it is not to the uneducated teaching professional) - there are threads on this happening (think ADHD - when it clearly is not!)

 

you better grasp an understand for certain learning situations (why the child is or isn't performing vs peers) - this applies to some not all 

 

going with the flow generally means your child is not just placed into "gifted" programs, if you don't test you may be approached to do so or your child my be overlooked 

 

 


 

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#3 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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We homeschooled, and then my kids have gradually begun enrolling (part- or full-time) in a very responsive local public school that has done an excellent job of meeting their needs with no need to attach the gifted label to them. I think the label is often over-valued. For the most part we've simply dealt with our kids as individuals.

 

However my two eldest were tested by their school. Ds was tested at 14 because of his dysgraphia, which required accommodations and the giftedness just showed up when other LDs were being ruled out. Dd was tested at the same age kind of as a courtesy to the school. They were giving her lots of flexibility and grade-advancement, and the individualization was presumably expensive. By proving she fell within the highly gifted range, they were able to secure some additional funding. 

 

My younger two (9 and 13) have not been tested. They've been homeschooled mostly, and dd13 is now in school with a young-for-grade birthday and an additional year of grade acceleration, and her needs are being adequately served with that. There is no gifted program in my district. Individualization is what is practiced, more than labelling, and it was worked out very well for us.

 

It has also been useful for me to informally adopt the "gifted" label on my kids' behalf when looking for support and resources on my own. For instance when looking for fantasy novels for a 6-year-old reading at an adult level, or suggestions on what to do with an 8-year-old who is finished K-7 math. It was nice to have a google search word or forum label that helped put me in touch with people who had faced similar issues.

 

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#4 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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your child is 20 months old. 

 

wait till they get to 3 or 4 when school looms ahead - or even the option of homeschooling vs public or private school and then you yourself will answer the question yourself of what is right for your family. 

 

the age to test is advised around 5 or 6 (if i remember right). so go with the flow now and enjoy your child winky.gif

 

 


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#5 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy88 View Post

I am wondering...what is the benefit of finding out if your child "qualifies" as gifted? Is it a label? Is it ok to just not test them and just treat them as an individual?


Do you think that those of us who have had our children labeled to qualify for services don't treat them as individuals?

 

It's OK not to test them as long as your educational plan for them is working. If you homeschool, it's probably not necessary. Since my kids are in school, it was necessary. Without the TAG label, they would not be getting the services that they, as individuals, need.


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#6 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 10:37 PM
 
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You test when you have a reason to test. My eldest wasn't tested until she was 12 and only because the high school she was moving into would not accept her into the highly gifted program without scores. Prior to that, scores weren't necessary. DD was an obvious case and was given all sorts of accommodations in school based on that. DS was tested for the gifted program in school at 2nd grade (all students were.) I'm glad testing came earlier in his case because he's a very different child. He has never been secure in his abilities and often holds back from taking intellectual risks out of fear. GATE testing bolstered his confidence, allowed him in special programs where he became more comfortable actually using his talents (and I might add, he would likely not have been placed in without the scores because he was hiding his abilities.)

 

At 20 months, of course you shouldn't be worried about testing lol. It certainly wasn't in my head at that point.

 


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#7 of 19 Old 01-22-2012, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy88 View Post

.... not test them and just treat them as an individual?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


Do you think that those of us who have had our children labeled to qualify for services don't treat them as individuals?

 

 

I certainly didn't read that implication in her comment! To me it was like saying "Do you want lunch? Or just something to drink?" That doesn't suggest that if you want lunch, you don't get anything to drink.

 

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#8 of 19 Old 01-23-2012, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No I am not implying that if a child is "labeled" as gifted they are not treated as individuals.

 

It's hard to explain....by individual I meant......cater their learning to their abilities and interest without knowing whether they or gifted or not.

 

And I should have mentioned that our intention is to home school.

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#9 of 19 Old 01-23-2012, 03:41 AM
 
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Official giftedness testing is necessary when a child's needs are not being met in the traditional classroom.  When a kid is a round peg in a square hole, you need to figure out what is going on with them so that accommodations can be made -- grade skipping, accelerated curriculum, what have you.  It is all about treating the child as an individual and meeting their needs.  If you are homeschooling, testing is not necessary, since you will instinctively provide an education that fits your child. 


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#10 of 19 Old 01-23-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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Quote:
 If you are homeschooling, testing is not necessary,

 

 

in the beginning this is true but later on (still HSing) you may want it if you do add programs to their schooling such as a class a community college, etc-usually most places do not take 12 year olds unless you show some testing! some on-line programs (university affiliated) also require testing


 

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#11 of 19 Old 01-28-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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In our public school the only way to get individual attention is to have them tested. I have no idea for homeschooling. 

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#12 of 19 Old 01-28-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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We had DD tested when we were considering applying for a private school for gifted children.  (We didn't end up applying because it was just too expensive.)  For us, it's also been very useful because DD has special needs (SPD & ADHD) so she's been involved in the special education programs, where they appeared (at least at the preschool level) to not ever have worked with gifted kids before--only ones who were really behind.


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#13 of 19 Old 01-29-2012, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nuttymom View Post

In our public school the only way to get individual attention is to have them tested. I have no idea for homeschooling. 


We homeschooled until the kids were 10 and 12, and then both were tested within a year of entering public school. With hindsight, the information gained through testing would have been useful as a homeschooling parent.

 

There's a lot more to IQ testing than just plopping out a number. Finding out relative strengths and weakness, finding out where they were and weren't living up to their potential, etc. It was the OTHER information besides just the one number that was most useful.

 

It's nice to say "just treat them like an individual," but that may be easier to do with more information about the individual.

 

It's a bit like saying, "rather than figuring out what size my child wears, I'm just going to buy them clothes that fit without looking at the sizes." Sure it could be done, but it would be easier to find what fits if you have some idea what size they are before you start trying things on, and they pay attention to the sizes as you rule things in and out.

 

The more complicated the child, the more true this is. Some kids are really easy and straight forward, and some aren't. But based on not just our families but other homeschooling we known over the years, if things aren't going smoothly, testing can help figure out what might help.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 19 Old 01-29-2012, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

There's a lot more to IQ testing than just plopping out a number. Finding out relative strengths and weakness, finding out where they were and weren't living up to their potential, etc. It was the OTHER information besides just the one number that was most useful.

 

It's nice to say "just treat them like an individual," but that may be easier to do with more information about the individual.


Yes, I'm very close to having our son tested as his verbal and visual processing skills seem to me to be vastly different, and I'm beginning to worry that his deficits in visual processing might make life much harder as  he moves up into middle school and high school. In order to treat him as an individual and suit his education to both his needs and his interests, I need to know whether his reluctance to engage in anything that has to do with building, visual-spatial activities (like art) and music has to do with a learning issue or his own personality. If it's his personality, I can deal with it. If it's an issue with visual spatial processing that he's compensating for right now, then finding that out might help us to figure out how to best help  him learn. No matter what the outcome, I don't expect him to become an architect. But I would like him to know how he best learns. At age 3, it didn't matter. At age 10, it's beginning to.

 


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#15 of 19 Old 01-29-2012, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy88 View Post

No I am not implying that if a child is "labeled" as gifted they are not treated as individuals.

 

It's hard to explain....by individual I meant......cater their learning to their abilities and interest without knowing whether they or gifted or not.

 

And I should have mentioned that our intention is to home school.



Gifted testing is, by definition, ability testing. There is no mythical "extra quality" to giftedness, it just means intellectual ability two or more standard deviations above the norm.

 


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#16 of 19 Old 01-30-2012, 03:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy88 View Post

No I am not implying that if a child is "labeled" as gifted they are not treated as individuals.

 

It's hard to explain....by individual I meant......cater their learning to their abilities and interest without knowing whether they or gifted or not.

 

And I should have mentioned that our intention is to home school.



I home school but like most I do use outside classes.  There are Saturday classes and summer gifted camps that I researched in my local area, that do require a test score.  However, at this time I have no plans to use them and I have not tested.

 

A friend who is a school psych, screened my son as a 4 year old with some kind of 45 minute 5 sub part test which gave me some insight, but it wasn't formal testing.  I would say it was helpful to know that he is in all likelihood moderately gifted with no particulary peaks or valleys in ability.

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#17 of 19 Old 01-30-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Of course you can try to gauge your children's abilities without reference to standard deviations. But if a child's abilities are very unusual, it becomes much harder to gauge them with the usual tools, even with individualized attention.


I would tend to agree with Linda more on this. In a homeschooling context testing is more helpful when your child is complicated: when there are odd lags that are hard to make sense of, when there's the suspicion of learning disabilities or developmental problems that are being to some extent masked by the high intellectual capabilities. Unusually advanced intellectual level, if it's relatively even and uncomplicated, is not something I've found difficult to deal with. My eldest dd was tested at 14 by the school she had just entered and the results were absolutely unsurprising and told me nothing I hadn't figured out years earlier. My ds was similarly tested at 14 and his results were somewhat helpful in elucidating some of the confounding issues concerning his processing speed. He's the complicated kid with dysgraphia, some anxiety, and some frustrating learning struggles in the realm of music sight-reading.

 

Unless there's something a little "off" like there seemed to be with my ds, I see no need to "gauge my kids' abilities with the usual tools." I'm not sure quite what you mean here. I'm not meeting them anew in August each year and trying to find their academic level out of the blue. I'm watching them grow as they go, every step of the way. Kids' abilities are a moving target. If something seems like it's become unchallenging and uninteresting, I'll just suggest they try the next level and we'll see whether it is a better fit. A snapshot showing their verbal IQ at 151 is not going to tell me when "Life of Pi" is an appropriate book to read at age 9, or whether they need to systematically work on spelling, or whether they should use the stripped down or full program in Rosetta Stone French. Whether my 8-year-old dd's non-verbal IQ is 102 or 182 is immaterial, as it's clear she's thriving on a diet of algebra and basic high school chemistry.

 

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#18 of 19 Old 01-30-2012, 01:13 PM
 
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Unless there's something a little "off" like there seemed to be with my ds, I see no need to "gauge my kids' abilities with the usual tools." I'm not sure quite what you mean here.

Miranda



I had a feeling I wasn't making sense, and going back to edit obviously didn't help. (Make note: don't post at work when you're in a hurry and not supposed to hang out here anyway). So I went back and edited some more, and when i have found a way to put my jumbled thoughts on this coherently I'll come back!

 

 

 


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#19 of 19 Old 01-30-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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For me, testing has been primarily a confirmation that my instincts are good. I remember calling DH with the results and saying, "I'm not crazy!" I expect at some point it will be helpful for advocating; at the moment, we homeschool with a charter and can do more of less what we want.

 

What has been really, really useful, is reading about gifted learning and gifted processes (and, for us, 2E issues). That has been immense. I will say that I think my instincts here have been useful, but have sometimes been in opposition to the common culture of education, and so it has been helpful to have a kind of gifted-friendly chatter in my mind as a bulwark against the other stuff as I make decisions. (OP, whether you lean toward homeschooling or not, Creative Home Schooling, by Lisa Rivero, is the best read I've found on giftedness.)

 

Off the top of my head, the most useful ideas I've come across: asynchronous learning; need for compacting curriculum; input vs. output. Common sense, but it's been helpful (at least to me) to see these as part of a pattern common to many learners, rather than my quirky thoughts on my quirky kid.

 

But... no rush! Enjoy your little one :)

 

Heather

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