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Hi! My name is Eileen and i have a 5 yr old little girl and twin 18 month old girls. I have been a member of mothering for many years, but almost never post. I gain a lot of insight and knowledge from reading, though!

My 5 yr old have been exhibiting gifted characteristics since she was an infant. Intensity, perfectionism, divergent thinking, enriched vocabulary, the list goes on and on. She fits in with just about every description of the classic gifted child.

She has been homeschooled up until this point, but i am going to have to put her in K next year. She and i are really butting heads at home. Her intensity and constant need for stimulation is tough to deal with at home with toddlers.

This led me to have her IQ tested privately to qualify her for gifted k. I am afraid she will become a behavior problem if she is bored with the K curriculum, as she has already mastered it. She enjoyed the testing process (the name of the test is escaping me right now, but it was the preschool Weischler version) and half way through the Dr. came out and said she was really bright and articulate. Though, upon scoring the test, she got a 123, which does not qualify her as gifted.

Now, i am fine with that, i really am. But i do really worry about her in school. She has such a gifted "personality" (is there such a thing without making it to that magic 130 number). The Dr. even suggested having her tested again next year because she was actually very surprised that my daughter scored as low as she did.

Do i have her retested using another test? Do i do it now or wait to see if i can get it done with the school system in the next year? Do i let it go and treat these gifted traits as behavior problems that have been holding my family hostage (i guess that's another issue, though). Feel free to tell me to shut up and be happy about my very bright daughter also.
 

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Hi Eileen!

IQ scores can vary from test-taking to test-taking, and are considered less reliable in younger children. So the score may not be reflective of the scope of her ability and you may want to retest at a later date. Divergent thinkers aren't great test takers
.

Your description of your daughter sounds much like I would describe mine. We figured out, eventually, that many of the explosive, controlling tempers were related to anxiety. Things have gotten a lot better since we've started to respond to sensory/anxiety first, and since she's matured. I would highly recommend the book Kids, Parents and Power Struggles by Kurcinka.
 

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It sounds like she was assessed with the WPPSI, a version of the Weschler IQ assessment for pre-schoolers under age 6, or the WIAT - an achievement test that looks at academic skills like reading and numeracy. I'm more familiar with the WISC, the version used for IQ assessments in older children, so I'm happy to be corrected by someone who knows more about the pre-schooler versions.

If it was the WPPSI, I would talk to the psychologist again, and ask for more explanation of her subtest scores. The subtests provide a lot more information than the overall Full Scale IQ. Frankly, the FSIQ can be pretty meaningless if you have a child with a lot of subtest scatter. It may be that she has very high scores on some subtests and moderate or low scores on others. If so, it will bring her FSIQ under the benchmark for a "gifted" designation, without recognizing her very real abilities and capacities.

The WISC uses outcomes on 4 scales - Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory and Processing Speed to assess intelligence. Many gifted programs use the General Ability Index (GAI) which combines the scores of the Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning scales. These 2 scales measure the more abstract reasoning skills that correlate with giftedness. The GAI doesn't include the Working Memory and Processing Speed outcomes, that correlate less well with giftedness. These last 2 scales have timing and other issues that may confound an assessment of intelligence. I believe the WPPSI has similar issues.

Once you have a better understanding of the details of the assessment, you'll have a better idea whether to re-assess. You'll also be better prepared for discussions with potential school programs, since you can talk about her abilities as well as her personality characteristics. (I guess here I'd caution against thinking that the test outcomes are the child. By that, I mean expecting that a child with really high spatial relations scores will love math or puzzles, or that a child with low vocabulary scores won't be a strong reader. Don't let the test become a self-fulfilling prophecy - just use it as some useful information that helps understand the whole child.)

Then I would start exploring the different school options in your area. Whether she's identified gifted or not according to any IQ assessment, it's important to find a suitable learning environment that is a good fit for her learning style. That's true for any child.

Look at curriculum guidelines so you can assess where your child is. When you speak with them, ask how they provide for children who have already demonstrated ability in reading, math, etc. No school will admit that they don't do advanced academics. You want details on how they engage a child's interest, how they differentiate for children who know their ABC's or already understand addition and subtraction etc., how they cope with a child with perfectionist tendencies etc.

Absolutely, be happy about your very bright daughter - she sounds wonderful. But it's great that you are involved and caring and want to find the best place for her to learn.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Hi Eileen!

IQ scores can vary from test-taking to test-taking, and are considered less reliable in younger children. So the score may not be reflective of the scope of her ability and you may want to retest at a later date. Divergent thinkers aren't great test takers
.

Your description of your daughter sounds much like I would describe mine. We figured out, eventually, that many of the explosive, controlling tempers were related to anxiety. Things have gotten a lot better since we've started to respond to sensory/anxiety first, and since she's matured. I would highly recommend the book Kids, Parents and Power Struggles by Kurcinka.
Yes, she does have both anxiety and sensory issues! We have been dealing with her anxiety for as long as i can remember. It ebbs and flows. We actually have referal for an OT eval. for her sensory seeking issues and are trying to find an OT who will take our insurance. I will def. check out that book. Thank you for the rec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
It sounds like she was assessed with the WPPSI, a version of the Weschler IQ assessment for pre-schoolers under age 6, or the WIAT - an achievement test that looks at academic skills like reading and numeracy. I'm more familiar with the WISC, the version used for IQ assessments in older children, so I'm happy to be corrected by someone who knows more about the pre-schooler versions.

If it was the WPPSI, I would talk to the psychologist again, and ask for more explanation of her subtest scores. The subtests provide a lot more information than the overall Full Scale IQ. Frankly, the FSIQ can be pretty meaningless if you have a child with a lot of subtest scatter. It may be that she has very high scores on some subtests and moderate or low scores on others. If so, it will bring her FSIQ under the benchmark for a "gifted" designation, without recognizing her very real abilities and capacities.

The WISC uses outcomes on 4 scales - Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory and Processing Speed to assess intelligence. Many gifted programs use the General Ability Index (GAI) which combines the scores of the Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning scales. These 2 scales measure the more abstract reasoning skills that correlate with giftedness. The GAI doesn't include the Working Memory and Processing Speed outcomes, that correlate less well with giftedness. These last 2 scales have timing and other issues that may confound an assessment of intelligence. I believe the WPPSI has similar issues.

Once you have a better understanding of the details of the assessment, you'll have a better idea whether to re-assess. You'll also be better prepared for discussions with potential school programs, since you can talk about her abilities as well as her personality characteristics. (I guess here I'd caution against thinking that the test outcomes are the child. By that, I mean expecting that a child with really high spatial relations scores will love math or puzzles, or that a child with low vocabulary scores won't be a strong reader. Don't let the test become a self-fulfilling prophecy - just use it as some useful information that helps understand the whole child.)

Then I would start exploring the different school options in your area. Whether she's identified gifted or not according to any IQ assessment, it's important to find a suitable learning environment that is a good fit for her learning style. That's true for any child.

Look at curriculum guidelines so you can assess where your child is. When you speak with them, ask how they provide for children who have already demonstrated ability in reading, math, etc. No school will admit that they don't do advanced academics. You want details on how they engage a child's interest, how they differentiate for children who know their ABC's or already understand addition and subtraction etc., how they cope with a child with perfectionist tendencies etc.

Absolutely, be happy about your very bright daughter - she sounds wonderful. But it's great that you are involved and caring and want to find the best place for her to learn.

Good luck.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! I believe it was the WPPSI that she took and while we have the FSIQ, we do not have the full report yet. I did ask about whether there was a big discrepancy between sub-test scores and she said that they were pretty strong across the board. She did have a slightly slower processing speed (and i think that is due to her second guessing herself and the Dr. said this is what brought the score down). I am not sure which academic test she used, but she got a 119 on reading and 61 in math and i was surprised because i thought she was stronger in math. (In our school district, she needed a 90 in either/or)

I am really hoping to get her in to a public montessori school because the classroom is designed to accommodate a variety of levels and ages. However, it is a lottery and we have a 1 in 10 chance. The regular public schools here are some of the worst in the country, which is why i was hoping to get her into the gifted program. Yes, the academics will be more challenging for her, but more because i want her to have a teacher who understands gifted characteristics and does not see her as a liability to a classroom (and i was an elementary teacher, DD would have driven me crazy in the classroom!) The charters schools are a big mess here, so they are not an option. My other option is to keep her at her 3 1/2 day a week "unschool" (not an offical unschool, but non academic, fun, creative arts school) and continue to do the academics that interest her at home. The problem is, i actually think our relationship will suffer if she is home with me another year. She is pretty intense and has lots (and LOTS) of tantrums with me. Less so at school.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cameransmommy View Post

I am really hoping to get her in to a public montessori school because the classroom is designed to accommodate a variety of levels and ages. However, it is a lottery and we have a 1 in 10 chance. The regular public schools here are some of the worst in the country, which is why i was hoping to get her into the gifted program. Yes, the academics will be more challenging for her, but more because i want her to have a teacher who understands gifted characteristics and does not see her as a liability to a classroom (and i was an elementary teacher, DD would have driven me crazy in the classroom!) The charters schools are a big mess here, so they are not an option. My other option is to keep her at her 3 1/2 day a week "unschool" (not an offical unschool, but non academic, fun, creative arts school) and continue to do the academics that interest her at home. The problem is, i actually think our relationship will suffer if she is home with me another year. She is pretty intense and has lots (and LOTS) of tantrums with me. Less so at school.
I was going to suggest Montessori, but didn't because it isn't always an option. I'll think positive thoughts for you for the lottery!

Before my dc attended a full-time gifted program, we had some success with accommodations in public school. In-class differentiation and subject acceleration worked fairly well on a short-term basis. Our preference has been for full-time gifted for a variety of reasons, but it is possible to find some solutions in regular schools too. You are right that a sympathetic, understanding teacher is the key. Best wishes with your search.
 

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First I would say that 123 is a good score.

Full scale is very high average and most likely she scored 130+ on some of the subtest.

I would have her tested again after a year to see if the score changes.

Are achievement tests an option to get into the gifted program. Many times schools look at both achievement and IQ to determine gifted program eligibility?
 
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