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Gifted? Does it make any difference if you know for sure?


EmmaNZ
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My son is a bright 7 year old. He's working a year or two ahead in pretty much all his subjects. He fits some of the gifted traits, but not all. He is a perfectionist, and fairly sensitive (physically and emotionally).

 

I personally wouldn't label him as gifted. He just reminds me of me. But does it matter that we do or don't know for sure? Would it help me in any way to parent him and teach him if I know he has 'x' IQ, or 'y' diagnosis?

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It's reassuring to know when you have a child move non-linearly, show highly asynchronous behavior, or is just, in general, quirky that, yes, this is normal for her. I suspect it would be more helpful educationally were she in a traditional school setting-but the emotional reassurance for mom is nothing to sneeze at.

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Certain GATE programs require formal test scores. If cost is an issue, some will allow you to use an out-of-level achievement test like the EXPLORE + a portfolio. The earliest a child can take the EXPLORE, however, is the middle of 3rd grade. So if you want access to those programs before the end of 3rd, you would need to do individual testing.

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I haven't had any need yet. I meet my children where they are. I'm not afraid to give them above grade level materials when they have clearly mastered grade level ones. Is my oldest gifted? I'm sure he is. DH and I were both labeled as such in school. So yes, he seems normal to us. When I told DH that we might be doing algebra in 5th grade, he wasn't at all surprised. He did it in 6th in public school, and if he'd been homeschooled, he'd certainly have been capable earlier.

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The label is not what is important (well, not for most parents; there are always exceptions of course :) ).

 

Understanding how your child learns is what is important. You may or may not need a test to help you understand the distinction between highly accelerated and gifted.

 

There is a difference; simply working well above grade level is not gifted. Gifted is a special needs status; the mind of the gifted learner does not work or process information in the same way that a neurotypical but even accelerated learner does, and methods that work well for an accelerated learner will often not work well for a gifted learner.

 

If your child is accelerated, just go ahead and work at his pace. Slow down when he needs to, and speed up when he needs to. Honestly, that is a piece of working with a gifted child as well, though not all of it. Working with a gifted child will make you 3/4 insane most days-- and being gifted yourself only helps you empathize; it doesn't actually help you predict their needs or where they will go next.

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Here's a definition of gifted:

What is Gifted?

 

Personally, I don't think it matters when homeschooling. What's important is meeting the child where they are and providing an interesting and challenging learning environment. The only reason I would test is if we decided to try to gain admittance to a program that required test results (like CTY or SIG).

 

Jean

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It may not matter at all. Gifted is a continuum. Many mildly gifted students do well in a regular classroom. I don't think many here care about the label per se, but there can be advantages to testing if you are unsure of how highly/profoundly gifted you are dealing with, especially if there are inconsistent test/schoolwork results or you suspect 2E

 

We tested because we kept thinking school should work and it didn't. It turned out we were dealing with more than we thought. We probably wouldn't be homeschooling if it weren't for the fact that schools have nothing to offer us except many grade acceleration and we didn't want that in our situation.

 

If you already know you want to homeschool, I am not sure it matters, unless you want to know exactly where they stand. The label is useless in many cases including schools.

 

It has helped us with applying for camps, classes etc, because it was very easy to prove that they could handle course work above their current chronologic grade level.

 

Kathy

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There is a difference; simply working well above grade level is not gifted. Gifted is a special needs status; the mind of the gifted learner does not work or process information in the same way that a neurotypical but even accelerated learner does, and methods that work well for an accelerated learner will often not work well for a gifted learner.

 

...there can be advantages to testing if you are unsure of how highly/profoundly gifted you are dealing with, especially if there are inconsistent test/schoolwork results or you suspect 2E

 

We tested because we kept thinking school should work and it didn't. It turned out we were dealing with more than we thought. We probably wouldn't be homeschooling if it weren't for the fact that schools have nothing to offer us except many grade acceleration and we didn't want that in our situation.

 

:iagree:

 

Testing was not 100% necessary in our situation because we were already homeschooling but it helped shed some light on how to approach my son's learning style.

 

I know many posters suggest to test if you suspect 2E and I agree with that wholeheartedly but our situation was actually the opposite! A lot of the families we know are dealing with clearly 2E kids and my son isn't as 2E so I couldn't do any apples to apples comparisons with other parents and it was frustrating to keep guessing. The test helped educate me more than anything else. It was helpful to have one more tidbit of info in my mental toolbox of strategies to help him and myself. But again, I know we only tested because we had a cheap avenue through the local university.

 

From the parenting perspective, I have a child who internalizes more than he expresses out loud. He is an empath and a natural diplomat and I just didn't see any peers in that department, not even among the gifted kids we usually meet. I really wanted to know what's going on and how to help him. I can't say the test helped explain that fully but I did have some comfort from finding an estimate of his mental age and learning to tailor my parenting style accordingly (I was too type A before that :D).

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It may not matter at all. Gifted is a continuum. Many mildly gifted students do well in a regular classroom. I don't think many here care about the label per se, but there can be advantages to testing if you are unsure of how highly/profoundly gifted you are dealing with, especially if there are inconsistent test/schoolwork results or you suspect 2E

 

 

Kathy

 

:iagree: to the bolded. I tested 2 kids and for one I only made slight modifications (increased difficulty level) and testing the other one totally changed my perspective in how I educate him. I wouldn't say it was necessary for one child, but for the child that was inconsistent academically with potential 2E issues it was invaluable. In short, I suspected my child to maybe fall borderline gifted with possible dyslexia. That is what I thought the results would be and I taught with that perspective in mind. Testing him humbled me and taught me how much I didn't know about how to teach him. He tested as PG with no 2E issues - just a different learning style. So knowing that information has been a tremendous help in designing an education suitable for him. I wish I had done it years earlier.

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I would say that the biggest thing testing did for us was throw open the doors for resources. I was really hesitant the first time I purchased a book about parenting gifted kids and started hunting about the internet for information.

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[understanding how your child learns is what is important. You may or may not need a test to help you understand the distinction between highly accelerated and gifted.

Will (and which) testing will tell me the difference between highly accelerated and gifted? The only test we've taken is the WJIII. My dd8 tested at the 9the grade level for her overall grade. This sounds more of an accelerated determination than a gifted, but her test administrator said she was gifted (and the same for my other two who tested 5 grade levels above). The older two only seem accelerated, but I'm not sure about the youngest (the administrator told me they were all gifted). Do I need to shell out $$ for an IQ test or take the Explore test to differentiate?

 

Laura

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The EXPLORE is an achievement test, so it won't differentiate per se between radically accelerated and HG+. However, I have a difficult time imagining how a 3rd or 4th grader could do well on an 8th grade achievement test without being HG+. "Hothousing" might get a bright-but-not-gifted kid a year or two accelerated, but 4 or 5 years ahead seems very unlikely.

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The EXPLORE is an achievement test, so it won't differentiate per se between radically accelerated and HG+. However, I have a difficult time imagining how a 3rd or 4th grader could do well on an 8th grade achievement test without being HG+. "Hothousing" might get a bright-but-not-gifted kid a year or two accelerated, but 4 or 5 years ahead seems very unlikely.

 

Yeah, I was trying to think of a situation where a non-gifted student is several grade levels accelerated. Unless the material used is super duper easy and not really "at grade level", a kid zooming through materials would have to by definition be gifted, right? Isn't IQ just a measurement of how quick someone learns compared to the average person? So if a kid is doing 8th grade material across the board in 3rd grade, their IQ will have to be higher than that of the average 3rd grader, right?

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Yeah, I was trying to think of a situation where a non-gifted student is several grade levels accelerated. Unless the material used is super duper easy and not really "at grade level", a kid zooming through materials would have to by definition be gifted, right? Isn't IQ just a measurement of how quick someone learns compared to the average person? So if a kid is doing 8th grade material across the board in 3rd grade, their IQ will have to be higher than that of the average 3rd grader, right?

I'm curious about this as well. My older son is working far enough ahead that I suspect he would be labeled as gifted if he was tested, but "accelerated" seems to describe him better than what I understand to be the definition of "gifted".

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I think the difference may be in how they get there. For example, the Swann/Robinson-type folks who school year-round and for many hours a day might well graduate their children at the same age a gifted kid would get to that same point-but has a direct linear path. For my gifted DD, it's been more like big leaps-that is, she'll go from elementary school materials in a topic, to high school level or even college level almost overnight just because of an interest, but not in all subjects. Or, like last year, she went through about 5 grade levels in math seemingly overnight and seemingly intuitively, when I can attest that she didn't actually work through five math books.

 

The end result in that is that she does habitually score quite high on achievement tests-but it's not because she's an X grader working on X grade work across the board-it's because she's a gifted younger child who seems to be able to, somehow, read test question writer's minds, and who, when she talks to you, may have great, deep, knowledge in one area, but be totally age-appropriate in another-or even behind what many kids her age are.

 

My suspicion-if you're a homeschooler and you're seeing serious differences between your child and other bright, smart homeschooled kids as far as HOW your child learns, and you think he might be gifted, you're probably going to be supported by testing. I have yet to know a homeschooler who was questioning whether their child was gifted who went for testing who wasn't told that, yes, their child is gifted-and usually very gifted at that.

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I think the difference may be in how they get there. For example, the Swann/Robinson-type folks who school year-round and for many hours a day might well graduate their children at the same age a gifted kid would get to that same point-but has a direct linear path.

 

I don't see their kids really reaching the equivalent level of a 12th grader at age 12 just by schooling year round and for hours per day. Eventually, you're going to run into developmental issues. The average child cannot do a high school algebra course during elementary school. Their brain isn't ready yet. They may be able to do some algebraic things, but there is a lot in an algebra course that they're just not going to get until a certain stage of development, no matter how many hours per day you work on math or how many days of the year you work on it.

 

It's like teaching little kids to read... You can push and push and push, but if they're not ready to blend, you might as well push against a brick wall until they are ready. Development is going to come into play. I don't think the average kid could be pushed to graduate at age 12 with a true high school level of education. If they could, you'd have a whole lot of 12 year old graduates running around from certain pockets of society (here in the US and in other countries). There are parents who push and push and push, and they do Kumon and they do tutoring and they do academic everything. Their kids may get a grade level up? But they're not drastically different from the norm. That norm is a wide range, so being one grade level up is probably still considered "normal", ya know?

 

My suspicion-if you're a homeschooler and you're seeing serious differences between your child and other bright, smart homeschooled kids as far as HOW your child learns, and you think he might be gifted, you're probably going to be supported by testing. I have yet to know a homeschooler who was questioning whether their child was gifted who went for testing who wasn't told that, yes, their child is gifted-and usually very gifted at that.

Agreed. I think parents can usually tell, especially as the children get older and the gap widens. At age 4, a child that is reading... could be bright, could be gifted. Who knows. There is a wide range of normal for when child read, and some gifted kids don't read until 8 or later. On the other hand, if the child is 8 and doing calculus, that's not something an average IQ 8 year old could do, no matter how much their parents push and tutor and all that. ;) That's an extreme, of course, but I think even a 14 year old doing calculus is not likely to be "average IQ".
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Testing my older uncovered "learning disability" that I was unaware of, which allowed me to design a program better suited to him.

 

When he was 6, he topped the IQ test in almost all categories except auditory processing, where he scored 30% percentile. The educational psychologist doing the testing told me that although not a true learning disability, *he* would feel like he had an auditory processing disorder because of this large dichotomy. This low sub-score also explained the need for the speech therapy we were already in (he could not hear or produce about 10 English sounds) and also explained his incredibly poor spelling. One of the best things we did to rectify this situation was to have him learn violin. 30 minutes of violin practice per day equates to 30 minutes of auditory work per day. Over 7 years he has brought his auditory processing up to above grade level, possibly far above grade level as he is set to take the 10th grade violin exam in a month which has an auditory component.

 

Very very useful for us.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Do you remember what the percentiles were? A child working that far ahead may qualify for a program like this: http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/Article/Davidson_Young_Scholars___Qualification_Criteria_384.aspx

 

 

She scored > 99.9% in all categories for the past 3 years. This year she dropped 1% in reading comp, which was interesting b/c this is the year she became a voracious reader. I don't think she learns any differently, but she is 'quirky.' DH thinks it's crazy to pay for an IQ test, and my pediatrician said the same thing since we're homeschooling. She asked if I would do anything differently, and I didn't have a good answer. We only spend a couple of hours a day on school work. Most of our day is enrichment like gym, art, swim, choir, etc. Some days I feel like I'm doing her a disservice by not having her do more work as she seems to handle everything.

 

Now that she's in 3d grade, I will try to have her take the EXPLORE. But, I'm curious as to how certain tests can determine giftedness (as in aptitude tests) vs. acceleration (achievement tests). For example, with the WJIII there's no way my daughter is capable of doing 9th grade work across the board, but that was her average grade equivalent.

 

Sorry to be so long-winded, but I've been thinking about this for a while. I've attended a few hs'ing gifted seminars at hs conferences and they were only slightly helpful. For example they said drilling actually makes GT turn off and do worse than other kids b/c they shut down. All my kids hate "rote-ness." I did too. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do oodles of work they already know how to do.

 

Laura

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But, I'm curious as to how certain tests can determine giftedness (as in aptitude tests) vs. acceleration (achievement tests).

 

A lot of the math problems on IQ and group cognitive ability tests like the CogAT are actually pattern recognition problems. These aren't really the kind of problems that can be easily taught- either the kid figures out the pattern or he/she doesn't.

 

My oldest always scores somewhat better on math achievement tests than she does on math aptitude tests. I was surprised by her math EXPLORE score because it was higher than would've been predicted based on her IQ and CogAT quantitative scores. I attribute that to using Asian-based math programs like Singapore with IP, MM, and Right Start.

 

DS seems more "mathy" than his sister at any given age but we don't yet have formal testing to back that up. It will be interesting to see how he does on the Math Kangaroo exam for his grade compared to his sister for her grade.

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I had a friend in school who kept asking to be tested for the gifted/talented program. She could NOT figure out why she could not get in. She was a nearly straight-A student, and studied VERY hard for all of her grades. The kept telling her (kindly) that she was "just short of the cut-off." They tried very hard to explain to her it was a learning style, not a commentary on her abilities, but she never, ever got it. To this day, she is mad that she never got in :/. I could see she was not G/T despite her high achievements, and would tell her to just focus on her own goals and not worry about it, but that always got a grumpy response (since I had been in "Animal Training" from the beginning).

 

She is now a highly respected lawyer in a large firm, having been highly successful in college and law school. She will still say "See??? I WAS right for that program!!" But, she wasn't. She would have failed miserably. The AT classes were not in her learning style at all. She tried once, to take a math class that was open to all students, not just AT, when the school opened it up to everyone-- it was an option to accelerate math by teaching it to yourself right from the book and take tests when you deemed yourself ready for each quiz and tests. We took the same quizzes and tests as the regular classroom kids. Where I completed the year's geometry course in four weeks, because I just "got it" as soon as I looked at a page, she struggled and struggled.

 

She absolutely THRIVED in a regular classroom atmosphere. She was an expert in a classroom where there were clear expectations, a lecture, regular assignments, homework, assigned readings, set things to study, and incremental goals. In this self-paced math course, her grades started to tank. I finished Algebra II a couple of weeks later, and then started tutoring her, and between us, we got her through algebra I by the end of the year, her GPA intact.

 

What she didn't get was that all of our AT classes were a bit like that. We sat in groups and discussed things. We read books from the library in history, sometimes different books in different subgroups in the class, and used our different perspectives to argue points in history. We combined history and literature together to paint a fuller picture, and might have to stop, drop, and write an essay about what someone else had read and presented the day before. It would have completely crushed her, because relative to her strengths and somewhat linear thinking, it was very unstructured, though our teachers' methodologies were very well-planned-- for us. This was how we, as a gifted group of students, thrived and thought. In the classes we had to take with typical students, we often struggled, found it hard to pay attention, and were not very engaged (and that is what she saw and was comparing herself to-- she would think, "I am a far superior student to these AT kids! They don't even pay attention in class or work very hard! None of them even outlines the book or takes notes!").

 

She was an accelerated student. A child of immigrant parents, she worked hard, and it has paid off. I feel she has NOTHING to apologize for or be ashamed of. She is highly intelligent-- probably well above average. She has achieved success in life, and met her life goals so far and lives how she has always wanted to live. But her learning style, I think, highlights the difference between accelerated and gifted, and the type of classes we had in our school is the reason why there was a distinction between accelerated and gifted-- there is a difference in how these groups learn.

 

This is also why it can matter to a homeschooler. Even at home, kids learn differently. One kid may move faster through material by being very focused and disciplined and "by the book." Another may need to pull things seemingly from the ether and synthesize things from a wide variety of disparate sources. Not all gifted learners will learn in the same way either-- there is a spectrum of "gifted" and how they function, which is one reason why having a group of gifted kids in contact with one another can be a lot of fun, as they can play off of one another quite a bit, each bringing in something a bit different.

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She was an accelerated student. A child of immigrant parents, she worked hard, and it has paid off. I feel she has NOTHING to apologize for or be ashamed of. She is highly intelligent-- probably well above average. She has achieved success in life, and met her life goals so far and lives how she has always wanted to live. But her learning style, I think, highlights the difference between accelerated and gifted, and the type of classes we had in our school is the reason why there was a distinction between accelerated and gifted-- there is a difference in how these groups learn.

 

I'm trying to figure out how she was accelerated much though? :confused: In your story, when she was given the chance to truly accelerate, she hit a developmental wall and could not do it. That's what I was talking about. A non-gifted student will hit that wall and not be able to accelerate as much.

 

In a homeschool atmosphere, a non-gifted student could probably accelerate a little bit (like K'ers doing 1st grade level work, that sort of thing), but at some point, they end up slowing down, or the other kids "catch up", because they aren't developmentally ready to continue at that fast pace. Whereas the gifted kids continue making leaps and bounds to higher level stuff.

 

I still think a non-gifted student will hit a developmental wall if you try to accelerate beyond their natural ability. You can't take a student with an IQ of 50 and work them to death to be working 3 grade levels ahead. Just not going to happen. Their brain isn't wired for that. Similarly, the girl in your story could not jump ahead in high school level math quickly - it was beyond her developmental ability.

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Her IQ was <quite high> in high school; in our state, IQ alone was not sufficient for being identified as gifted (and the cutoff was 130 anyway on that measure).

 

Her ability to accelerate was not hampered by her ability in math; it was hampered by the lack of instruction. When provided with direct classroom instruction, homework, and typical classroom work again, she was able to perform at a far higher level than the typical student-- ie, in senior year, she was able to tackle AP courses (before "everyone did it") that were truly college level that many students attempted and failed-- in those courses, her abilities really did pay off. She handled more coursework than many students and thus advanced farther in several subjects than the average population. She did go farther, faster, by graduation. She just didn't do it in an atypical classroom.

Edited by NittanyJen
removed IQ range; too much personal info going out here.
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She was an accelerated student. A child of immigrant parents, she worked hard, and it has paid off..... She is highly intelligent-- probably well above average. She has achieved success in life, and met her life goals so far and lives how she has always wanted to live. But her learning style, I think, highlights the difference between accelerated and gifted.

 

My grandfather was a very successful chemist -- he invented synthetic rubber and also worked on the bomb. He used to tell me "I would take a hard worker over a genius any day of the week." Apparently, many "geniuses" he had seen in the labs were so used to things coming easily throughout their life that they just could not handle the frustrations of research.

 

His experience just seemed to fit your friend's achievements.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Apparently, many "geniuses" he had seen in the labs were so used to things coming easily throughout their life that they just could not handle the frustrations of research.

 

This reminds me of the issue RR talks about in his problem-solving lecture.

Edited by wapiti
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My grandfather was a very successful chemist -- he invented synthetic rubber and also worked on the bomb. He used to tell me "I would take a hard worker over a genius any day of the week." Apparently, many "geniuses" he had seen in the labs were so used to things coming easily throughout their life that they just could not handle the frustrations of research.

 

His experience just seemed to fit your friend's achievements.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

Yes, she is an ideal associate. Never late, often works beyond expectations, always wants to get everything right, even if it takes extra effort, meticulous, and absolutely does not fight receiving direction; she thinks getting direction is natural and expected, though she is also not afraid to be somewhat creative to problem solve within her area of expertise, as she is an expert at the things she does well.

 

Gifted people, as has been discussed extensively in a variety of other threads, come in many packages. There are many who do work hard, and take nothing, including their gifts, for granted. There are those who get used to coasting, partly because nobody ever takes the effort to challenge them. There is a syndrome in which particularly in late high school or college, some begin to become fearful of extending themselves, after a lifetime of being labeled "So smart" "Mr. Perfect" etc, not confident in their abilities and fearful of being discovered as some kind of fraud, and they therefore stop trying to do difficult things. Many are 2E in some sense, and battle to overcome some disability that is out of sync with their abilities or age in some way, or have some kind of reverse-compensating sensitivities or quirks. Being gifted is not exactly a key to automatic life on a platter, either in terms of ease or instant success. Hard work and social support still matter.

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Gifted people, as has been discussed extensively in a variety of other threads, come in many packages. There are many who do work hard, and take nothing, including their gifts, for granted. There are those who get used to coasting, partly because nobody ever takes the effort to challenge them. There is a syndrome in which particularly in late high school or college, some begin to become fearful of extending themselves, after a lifetime of being labeled "So smart" "Mr. Perfect" etc, not confident in their abilities and fearful of being discovered as some kind of fraud, and they therefore stop trying to do difficult things. Many are 2E in some sense, and battle to overcome some disability that is out of sync with their abilities or age in some way, or have some kind of reverse-compensating sensitivities or quirks. Being gifted is not exactly a key to automatic life on a platter, either in terms of ease or instant success. Hard work and social support still matter.

 

Oh, absolutely. Hope I have not offended. I just thought that your friend had something to be extremely proud of. My grandfather was an inspiration to me, and because of his experience, I have stressed hard work with my boys over 'smarts.' I hope my dc can be gifted and hard working. :001_smile:

 

Ruth in NZ

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Jen, it sounds like your friend is "gifted". She has a high IQ, does well academically, etc.

 

I think you're using a more narrow definition of "gifted" than I am, which is fine. As Hoagies says:

 

What is giftedness? There is no universal definition. Some professionals define "gifted" as an intelligence test score above 130, two or more standard deviations above the norm, or the top 2.5%. Others define "gifted" based on scholastic achievement: a gifted child works 2 or more grade levels above his or her age. Still others see giftedness as prodigious accomplishment: adult-level work while chronologically a child. But these are far from the only definitions.
So it's kind of a nebulous thing, I guess, since no one agrees on exactly what it is. ;)

 

I also think there will be big differences between, say, a PG child and a mildly gifted child. The PG child will probably have waaaaaay more problems in the classroom. The MG child can likely cope - be a bit bored and coast, but cope. The MG child may not do as well in a classroom geared towards PG children (though having enough PG children in the same school as to have a classroom for them seems unlikely, but maybe in a large city where kids are bused from various areas? I dunno).

 

Agreed that there is a range, and that giftedness does not equal success in life. :)

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Oh, absolutely. Hope I have not offended. I just thought that your friend had something to be extremely proud of. My grandfather was an inspiration to me, and because of his experience, I have stressed hard work with my boys over 'smarts.' I hope my dc can be gifted and hard working. :001_smile:

 

Ruth in NZ

 

That is exactly how I took it :). I was agreeing with you and just extending the converation!

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I had a friend in school who kept asking to be tested for the gifted/talented program. She could NOT figure out why she could not get in. She was a nearly straight-A student, and studied VERY hard for all of her grades. The kept telling her (kindly) that she was "just short of the cut-off." They tried very hard to explain to her it was a learning style, not a commentary on her abilities, but she never, ever got it. To this day, she is mad that she never got in :/. I could see she was not G/T despite her high achievements, and would tell her to just focus on her own goals and not worry about it, but that always got a grumpy response (since I had been in "Animal Training" from the beginning).

 

She is now a highly respected lawyer in a large firm, having been highly successful in college and law school. She will still say "See??? I WAS right for that program!!" But, she wasn't. She would have failed miserably. The AT classes were not in her learning style at all. She tried once, to take a math class that was open to all students, not just AT, when the school opened it up to everyone-- it was an option to accelerate math by teaching it to yourself right from the book and take tests when you deemed yourself ready for each quiz and tests. We took the same quizzes and tests as the regular classroom kids. Where I completed the year's geometry course in four weeks, because I just "got it" as soon as I looked at a page, she struggled and struggled.

 

She absolutely THRIVED in a regular classroom atmosphere. She was an expert in a classroom where there were clear expectations, a lecture, regular assignments, homework, assigned readings, set things to study, and incremental goals. In this self-paced math course, her grades started to tank. I finished Algebra II a couple of weeks later, and then started tutoring her, and between us, we got her through algebra I by the end of the year, her GPA intact.

 

What she didn't get was that all of our AT classes were a bit like that. We sat in groups and discussed things. We read books from the library in history, sometimes different books in different subgroups in the class, and used our different perspectives to argue points in history. We combined history and literature together to paint a fuller picture, and might have to stop, drop, and write an essay about what someone else had read and presented the day before. It would have completely crushed her, because relative to her strengths and somewhat linear thinking, it was very unstructured, though our teachers' methodologies were very well-planned-- for us. This was how we, as a gifted group of students, thrived and thought. In the classes we had to take with typical students, we often struggled, found it hard to pay attention, and were not very engaged (and that is what she saw and was comparing herself to-- she would think, "I am a far superior student to these AT kids! They don't even pay attention in class or work very hard! None of them even outlines the book or takes notes!").

 

She was an accelerated student. A child of immigrant parents, she worked hard, and it has paid off. I feel she has NOTHING to apologize for or be ashamed of. She is highly intelligent-- probably well above average. She has achieved success in life, and met her life goals so far and lives how she has always wanted to live. But her learning style, I think, highlights the difference between accelerated and gifted, and the type of classes we had in our school is the reason why there was a distinction between accelerated and gifted-- there is a difference in how these groups learn.

 

This is also why it can matter to a homeschooler. Even at home, kids learn differently. One kid may move faster through material by being very focused and disciplined and "by the book." Another may need to pull things seemingly from the ether and synthesize things from a wide variety of disparate sources. Not all gifted learners will learn in the same way either-- there is a spectrum of "gifted" and how they function, which is one reason why having a group of gifted kids in contact with one another can be a lot of fun, as they can play off of one another quite a bit, each bringing in something a bit different.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out succinctly your experience. It mostly jives with the esoteric way that I've had (totally unscientific) of differentiating giftedness.

 

Based on this reasoning, what is the next best way to test rather than spending $$ on a very expensive IQ test. Or alternatively is it better to take the IQ test b/c you get the professional interpretation along with it?

 

 

Laura

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Based on this reasoning, what is the next best way to test rather than spending $$ on a very expensive IQ test. Or alternatively is it better to take the IQ test b/c you get the professional interpretation along with it?

 

 

Laura

 

Try calling a local university to see if a grad student in psychology might be able to administer the WISC. I've heard of people getting it done for $150 which is pretty darn cheap.

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I think (but I sometimes get told I'm wrong about this, though I disagree with that) that if you have a lot of giftedness in your family you can assume your kid is gifted unless he sticks out as different. This can be guessed by having a surplus of gifted adults populating your family tree. Another indication could also be that your own relatives skipped grades as children. If you have a reason to think that you or your child are gifted, right or wrong, you'll probably find stories of giftedness among your relatives. Maybe you won't know until you start to talk about it.

 

I disagree that the upper levels of giftedness can't do well or will have problems in school. That totally depends on the child, maybe to an extent the family as well. The system fails IMHO in the talent develoment of the very gifted. I don't think that necessarily translates into problems (here's hoping- and a few sucess stories suggest it is hopeful).

 

If you want reasons to test or reasons not to there's long lists for both. Given the story about the gifted learning style as the deciding factor it helps to ask if you're considering a school gifted program. If you are, then you need to ask them because they know what their program offers and who they best serve so they already have their preferred list of tests to screen for compatibility.

 

Which kid are you considering testing?

What kind of extra support and/or opportunity would you provide them if you knew the difference?

Would you put them in a different school or significantly change their lifestyle?

Is there something they or you want for them to do but you're not sure if it's beyond their ability?

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But does it matter that we do or don't know for sure? Would it help me in any way to parent him and teach him if I know he has 'x' IQ, or 'y' diagnosis?

 

Only if you need to know for some reason. For us, it mattered because dc was not working at any level- fighting us on everything. Once we knew what the right level was, we could focus on behavior.

 

ella

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We did gt testing through a local university to help a friend complete his Psychology class. Though it's not official, it was a relief because it really explained why she had all of her "quirks" especially overexcitabilities. And it also gave me more confidence in acceleration and compacting her work.

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