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Need Some Advice

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Hello parents


I am new to this part of the forum and also new to the whole giftedness concept. So please bear my ignorant questions.

My DS is 5.5 yr old. I have always considered him to be bright, but not gifted. He learned alphabets and numbers till 10 at 1 yr and color and shapes at 18 months. Spoke sentences before the age of 2. He is very visual and good at making connection and asking questions.

At the age of 4.4 I started to teach him to read. That is when I started to notice something is wrong with his eyes. I took him to the ophthalmologist and found out he needs to wear glasses.

After his glass things got better but still my instinct kept telling me that something is sill not right. I tool him to a full eye evaluation with a developmental ophthalmologist. He was diagnosed with a whole bunch of conditions. His ocular muscles are so poor, he cannot move his eyes after middle line, and he has tracking issues because of this. He has refractive amblyopia, and two other condition whose names I forgot. Also his motor skills are very poor because of his, he cannot walk in a straight line, cannot skip, cannot catch a ball, keeps bumping into things all the time.

After the examination the doctor told me that my son’s visual memory was that of a 10 yr old. And also he is very expressive, smart and has a good vocabulary. The doc said my son might be gifted and his poor eyes are keeping him for reaching his potential. He also said my son is using his brain and his perfectionism to compensate for all the shortcomings.


I am planning on doing the vision therapy, and go on as planned with our curriculum for this year. And as his eyes improve and if I feel the need to challenge him more, or have his IQ tested, I will deal with it then.


Or should I test his IQ right now, so I will get a better picture of what is it that is going on with his child and get the help he needs and accelerate him accordingly.


Any advice please, I just want to do the right thing that is all. I am just confused, if he is gifted i want to do get him some help, but if he is not then we can go back to doing what wee did always and not change anything.

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Do the IQ test after VT. The results of any testing you do before VT that involves visual stuff or motor skills will be totally off and will be meaningless after VT. The only reason to do testing before is if you want to compare the results with additional testing after. That would be a very expensive experiment though.


Both of my kids did VT. The younger one spent all of his K year doing it. For us this meant a 4 day school week and a 5 hour round trip journey once per week. After being stuck at a 2nd grade reading level for a few years (he started reading when he was 2), within 3 months he was reading chapter books. By the end of therapy he was reading on a 6th grade level.


It's wonderful that you are intervening early. I think you will see your son make great strides. VT is a huge commitment financially, of course, but also in terms of time and energy. For kids who need it, it can be life changing.


If you want to test him now, to find out where he is academically, you don't necessarily need to do individual IQ/achievement testing. You can do some testing yourself and get a really good idea of where he is functioning. Here are some ideas:


The DORA (http://www.letsgolearn.com). This website has both reading and math tests that are comprehensive and the results are immediate. Cost is about $20.


You could give him the ITBS if you have a bachelor's degree. You can get these materials from BJU Press. Cost for this is about $40.


You could also give him K12's placement tests. I did this with my younger son and felt that the placement was accurate. For even more information, you could then enroll him for several months in the courses he places into to see what's easy and what's hard. I also did this with my son and it gave me more information about his abilities than any achievement test ever has. These tests are free, but the K12 courses are about $30/month plus the cost of materials.

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VT is a huge commitment financially, of course, but also in terms of time and energy. For kids who need it, it can be life changing.


I agree. when the doc gave me an estimate of much it would cost me, i was in total shock.


we are happy about what i have planned for him this year, so i am not going to do any IQ test, because that is going to be another expense that i don't need now.


i want to ask one more question to everyone.


i read somewhere here that if you don't challenge a gifted child at their level, they will under perform, what does that mean

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i read somewhere here that if you don't challenge a gifted child at their level, they will under perform, what does that mean


They learn to be lazy and to do the minimum needed to get by -- at least that's what happened to me in my years of boredom in public school. I didn't change until college, where I could take courses that actually meant something to me. Also, the more time you waste, the less will be learned overall. Think of it like a child with great natural athletic abilities. If s/he has great promise, but never exercises, works out, learns the skills, etc., s/he will never become a great athlete. Even if at college age, s/he decides to get started, it's impossible to catch up with what might have been.

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I understand, it is like keeping your brain trained and engaged. But how to find out what level a kid is capable of working without an IQ test.


I've found just interacting with my kids to be the best way to find out how to help them learn and what level they are at. Observation is your greatest tool! Some programs have placement tests that can help to determine what level to use. One of the programs that we use (AAS), we just went quickly through all of the material that was review and slowed down when we reached new material.


My dc ask lots of questions and so far we have studied anything that they are interested in. Sometimes we read a few books and they are ready to move on to something else. But sometimes they just want more, more, more. They want to do projects and ask questions and read more books, etc.


We also try to spend lots of time outdoors. They are interested in everything outside and are always discovering news insects and flowers and wondering why the clouds move or what different animals eat. I try to help them identify the animals and plants and to answer their questions. This is very stimulating for them (and me too!).


I try to get the art supplies out often (it would be a big disaster if I kept them out). This allows them to have fun and be creative. Sometimes they want to draw or make something specific. Other times they just want to experiment with the materials. Both activities are great!


The kids all are learning how to do simple chores around the house. This is a necessary part of life, IMO, and helping out makes them feel important and teaches them to be responsible.


I do try to feed their minds academically, but there are many other facets that need to be explored and I try to keep them all challenged and engaged at their own levels. What I've described are the main things that we do. HTH

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My DD also has major vision issues that were not picked up until she was just over 3. We have a national screening here and she was picked up in that. I was a little suprised because she too had learned all her colours, shapes, alphabet, counting etc around the same ages as your son.


I have found and HUGE difference in her attitude, gross and fine motor skills etc since she has been wearing glasses and patching. She now has equal vision in both eyes which is a milestone!


For gifted/bright kids i think you just need to keep raising the bar. For us that means i am always playing catchup. I am always lagging behind her but pressing on. It is hard to jump ahead to the right point. We work on something and she has it down so we don't keep working just because the book says so, we move on. We still do review though.


I like to use creative and open ended things. We do a lot of art that doesn't have an answer. We do activities that promote critical thinking and other things that promote fine and gross motor skills.


You might find with the vision issues that you need to scribe alot so that his level isn't help back by his inability to physically write it all down.



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