Should we look into private testing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-14-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is in grade 1 (will be 6 on Saturday).  We have, since he was wee, thought he was gifted.  Friends and family and strangers alike thought and think he is gifted.  Well tonight at the first Parent Teacher meeting his teacher, who is wonderful, said she feels without a doubt that he is.  She said right down to the personality traits (perfectionist, has to do it his way, stubborn etc) on her list he fits it to a t.  She approached the principal about in school testing as it was coming up.  Unfortunately funding only covers testing at the grade 3 level.  Another unfortunate is that at that school it isn't until grade 4 that they do anything....and it is to transfer them to another school.  The teacher suggested private testing.  Is it a benefit?  Should we do it just so we have the paperwork?  Any help is welcome!!


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#2 of 9 Old 11-14-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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I think the answer to your question depends on your answer to this...what will you do with the results?

 

Right now you have a child that you feel is gifted.  If you have a piece of paper that says he is "officially" gifted--will that change anything?  Or, would you just continue down the same path that you are already walking on due to your presumption of giftedness?

 

Personally, I would not pursue independent testing because I don't really perceive it as providing much value.  I'm going to pursue educational opportunities and extracurricular activities that are appropriate and stimulating for my child, regardless of what any test says.

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#3 of 9 Old 11-14-2012, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rnra View Post

I think the answer to your question depends on your answer to this...what will you do with the results?

 

 

This.

 

What would you do with the information? Would the schools be able to do more or different programming?

 

 

If it is 'just to know' then probably not. It is expensive-- so unless you need to (suspect con-current concerns like learning disabilities or ADHD/ADD, etc) or to get a different schooling option than no.  I wouldn't if it would not change anything.

 

If private testing would open up otherwise unattainable opportunities- I would. If official results allow you to participate or change academic schooling/approach in the same school then yes, I might.

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#4 of 9 Old 11-14-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post

This.

 

What would you do with the information? Would the schools be able to do more or different programming?

 

 

If it is 'just to know' then probably not. It is expensive-- so unless you need to (suspect con-current concerns like learning disabilities or ADHD/ADD, etc) or to get a different schooling option than no.  I wouldn't if it would not change anything.

 

If private testing would open up otherwise unattainable opportunities- I would. If official results allow you to participate or change academic schooling/approach in the same school then yes, I might.

 

 

Agree. 

 

One other thought, if you decide to wait on testing. Circumstances change. He may not always have such a wonderful, supportive teacher. I would ask this teacher to enter her recommendation for a gifted assessment into his school records so that it is available to support a request for in-school testing at a later date. You may never use it but if you need it, it will be helpful.  

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#5 of 9 Old 11-15-2012, 06:02 AM
 
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Another thought is:

 

If you do test privately- what age would you prefer? It is very argued and a hot topic but generally it is thought that testing is more accurate at 7+ (or better yet 8+) than younger. Not saying it would be inaccurate, but under 7 and it is more likely that various variables (different tests may be given, personality, the tester themselves and if they are familiar with young kids, the attention span of child, the amount of sessions needed,  sensory concerns on the part of the child, unknown learning concerns, time of day test given, etc) could give an inaccurate score. Then you can not retest for set amount of time. 

 

This is the school of thought that many schools use for GT programming not 'starting' until age 7/8/9.

 

 

Not saying it is right or wrong--- just something to consider.

 

Many people get an accurate score that is later reflected by repeat testing, but some get wildly differing scores when testing young children and then testing again in a few years. I heard of varying  results based on personal stories.

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#6 of 9 Old 11-15-2012, 06:45 AM
 
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If the schools gifted education program is in another school you might have some options there. In my district there is a pull out program in each school and there is a centralized full time gifted program. Many in our district have found that if they reach out to the administration at the full time gifted program that they can often give lots of support, suggestions, etc. Here a request from the gifted school's principle will get testing done even when the neighborhood school is unwilling to do it. If the gifted program is a school within a school you may have more options at that neighborhood school as well. Once again based on our experience, some parents send their kids to the neighborhood school that the gifted school is housed in. They find that since staff and administration is familiar with the needs of a gifted population that they are more flexible and willing to work to make sure students are challenged in the grades before the full time gifted program starts.

 

I'd suggest reaching out to the gifted school and see if they have any suggestions or ideas.


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#7 of 9 Old 11-21-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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I'm in Toronto as well- I have a 7 year old ds in grade 2 French Immersion. We had him tested privately. He was always obviously bright but he had also been showing some concerning traits and his pediatrician wanted to rule out Asperger's and ADHD as well as have him tested for giftedness. It is pricey (ours was $1800) but some of that will be covered by my husband's benefits through his employer.

 

The benefits to having him tested are that we were able to rule out the Asperger's and ADHD and discover that he is verbally gifted. It's one thing to walk into a school and tell the teacher what your child is like, different altogether to have it on an official report. The report also came with a whole page of recommendations for the teacher to keep him engaged and motivated. Our ds is very distractable and lacks focus so this was so helpful to us. His teacher this year had already recognized his intelligence but was concerned because he wasn't getting his work done, he prints SUPER messy, he is active & doesn't seem to know how to relate to his classmates. She, fortunately, was VERY eager to read the report and do whatever she can to help him succeed. We felt like this is a pivotal year because he really enjoys school but was having a hard time socially and we didn't want him to get discouraged and start to feel like he wasn't doing well, or couldn't do well. Especially once the end of the school year rolls around and it's a lot of review in class, he gets very bored when it's stuff that he already knows and he has a very good memory. So now that the teacher knows that, she can treat him accordingly instead of getting annoyed or punishing him when he isn't listening to it. Grade 4 seems kind of late to start giving exceptional kids what they need and crave, IMO. So even though the TDSB gifted program technically starts in grade 4 in select schools, there are things that can be done any time if you show a need for it and you have a teacher who is on board.

 

Another major benefit was that the assessment recommended ways for us to encourage and stimulate him outside of school. The test scores showed where his strengths are, so rather than keep trying to put him in team sports to encourage his social skills (which we had been doing and were aggravating beyond belief!) we have now signed him up for weekend science classes, there's a Saturday nature club coming up and he and his sister did PA day daycamp at the Science Centre which he LOVED, and we can make sure he gets plenty of physical activity through biking, running, skating, swimming, jumping on a tramploline, etc.

 

We may have him tested again through the school next year because his IQ scores were all over the place for the different indexes so I don't know if they would accept our private assessment for the board's label of "gifted" but for us, as long as he's happy and succeeding we will not be pulling him out of his school to put him in a gifted program. But he will have this and any other report in his file so if any problems arise we can refer to it and come up with a solution with any future teacher.

 

Long winded, but HTH. Totally worth it, IMO.


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#8 of 9 Old 11-27-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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In my experience, most people who tested were happy that they did. I finally had my daughter aged 10 tested, and both she and I were glad that we did. Yes, in some ways it just confirmed what we knew, but there is something about having it confirmed! Also, it is one thing to know your child is gifted, and another to have some sense of HOW gifted he or she is. One thing to realize she is bright, and another thing to realize she is very bright, but her processing speed is slow. I do feel that I now have a better sense of how my daughter processes and learns. And for us, the information will be useful as we consider different school decisions coming up in the future.

 

I would confirm what another posted mentioned -- that waiting a bit may give you a more accurate result.
 

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#9 of 9 Old 11-28-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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I had my son tested in kindergarten. He had a wonderful teacher who suggested it and was interested in the results. She also advocated for him to get more services when she received those results. But the administration would not accept outside testing and retested him. The private testing showed him to be gifted and the school testing ended up with significantly lower scores and put him below the school's cut-off for gifted services. After the fact, I realized that what they were offering him if he did qualify was not appropriate for his age anyway. It was all quite frustrating. 

 

In the end, the testing didn't really have any purpose. It didn't even have the comforting quality of "confirming giftedness" because 1. the contradictory results confused me and 2. I as a parent never had a strong instinct on whether he was gifted or not so I wasn't more apt to believe one set of results over the other anyway.

 

I am not sure I would go as far as saying I regret it. On the other hand, I would not have regretted it if I hadn't done it, either.

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