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testing for dys qualifying *updated qualifying info in post 96*


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It is impossible to find a tester in my area for giftedness. I can find a tester, but her primary area of expertise is dyslexia & she is phenomenal at that.

 

I *kind of* wish I had never read that it is important to find someone who is experienced with this population specifically. I mean, I know it's valuable information, but I think I'm letting it get in the way of the fact that I just don't have that resource available to me (that I can locate). Apparently, in my area, there's just not enough interest to generate a person that can specialize.

 

From past testers, how much difference does the tester make y'think?

 

This is from her web page. Do you think it sounds like a fit? Otherwise, I have to start looking out of town.

 

 

Evaluations for:

• Specific Learning Disorders
• Dyslexia
• Giftedness
• ADHD
• Executive Functioning
• School Readiness

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It's hard to know for sure from the description.

 

We used the portfolio & Explore method. Mentioning it as a more affordable alternative. We did test for IQ a few weeks after I submitted the DYS application because we heard of a free opportunity through a clinical study on autism (kiddo enrolled as a control subject and the WISC4 was administered as part of the study on all participants). I thought I would use the results as back-up if DITD asked for it but they approved his portfolio/Explore application.

 

The clinical study wasn't concerned about giftedness and I don't think the intern who tested DS was trained to ID it but I had enough of a ballpark to "know" and feel better about the educational and emotional decisions we were making at the time.

 

(ETA: I did contact a tester afterwards, one who was very familiar with giftedness, to calculate a more accurate score using the extended norms criteria based on that study's WISC4 test. It was still affordable, just about $100, compared to the price of testing out of state with GDC or someone else.)

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We used the portfolio + EXPLORE as well. DD had been tested a couple of times when she was much younger, first as part of testing for a possible ASD, and then by the school system for an IEP and early entry to K, but they had been so long enough (and in some cases, the incorrect tests), that it wasn't enough by itself. In both cases, I can't say the testers were terribly experienced with GT.

 

DD's EXPLORE scores said the same thing her preschool testing had, so I didn't feel a need to go further.

 

Unless your child has some reason why you think the EXPLORE wouldn't work, or you have reason to test for possible 2e Issues, I'd really suggest looking at the talent search testing for DYS and similar programs, especially if you can't find the ideal, GDC type specialty gifted testing service.

 

 

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If you're just looking for a number, anybody holding the proper state license (or trainee supervised by someone with a license) can administer an IQ test. Where parents talk about the importance of a tester familiar with giftedness has to do with the interpretation part.

 

A tester who specializes in average IQ kids with LD's risks an "everything looks like a nail if you've got a hammer" attitude. He/she might see overexcitabilities as symptoms of a LD when they're actually part of the giftedness. This is particularly a concern with a "twice exceptional" child (or 2E + a physical disability like my little one). 

 

The school district psych who did a WPPSI on my little one back in January had no clue what to do with the results. She didn't even bother to calculate any sort of composite scores because the subtest scores were so all-over-the-map. DD had subtest scores ranging from >99th percentile at the highest to  <1st percentile at the lowest. Classic "head in the oven, feet in the freezer" situation. We had an IEP meeting yesterday where everyone agreed that the testing was not valid due to the previously unsuspected hearing loss. The school will retest next year after DD has received and adjusted to using her hearing aids.

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Ok. We have the EXPLORE results, I just can't imagine what we have that would make up a portfolio. Honestly, this is my failing...I think *I* have some EF issues, coupled with the fact that I rarely keep things. I don't have stories from specific times of their childhood, I didn't write anything down or record anything, etc. The output we have, I don't consider high, but I have NOTHING to compare it to. So it's intimidating to send in something that might/might not be exceptional, b/c I don't really know. I've read all over the internet btw, including past threads here, & I do think I'll try to compile something & just see what happens. 

 

 

Please forgive my terrible formatting. I really could use some guidance here. I feel very out of my league. 

 

 

 

*Edited to remove quotes*

 

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It sounds like this doctor might be more familiar with school-based programs? I guess the Davidson wording is based on what parents get from the GDC? I believe GDC provides a ton of interpretation and detail. Having said that, the tester I used for the extended norms calculation reassured me that should I need to attach the one page doc she sent me with the extended norms scores, that DYS would accept it if needed or at most to call her back and she will send an explanatory letter to them. Since she didn't test DS she couldn't provide interpretation. She has dealt with DYS and knows their criteria well I think. But I don't know enough about this to reassure you completely.

 

Here's some info about portfolios: DYS FAQ, and on the public Davidson site. The wiki that a poster put up is now not available, unfortunately.

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Oh one more thing...I would call DITD to ask them. They are very helpful and will answer your questions thoroughly. However, you might have to give them 2-3 working days to get back to you (that's how it was a few years ago when I called them).

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The tester we went with is more experience with ADHD and autism than with dyslexia or giftedness. My two boys have a big difference in their processing speed scores so that was useful to know since it can feel like tortoise and the hare in our home. My older boy is the kind that refuse to answer so having a hyper patient tester who could get answers out of him was essential. I was in the next room so I could hear everything and it was really "drawing blood" to get verbal answers out of my older boy (has always been that way).

Explore testing would be cheaper though if you are looking at qualifying for DYS. We went with WISC because I was interested in my kids processing and working memory scores. There is no Explore testing near us anyway so that would mean a road trip to Reno which is still cheaper for us after adding hotel, gasoline and test fees. We paid $600 for testing per child and the tester did the extended norms since older boy hit the ceiling for 8 out of 10 subtests.


ETA:
The tester did the below for us. The tester we went with is very familiar with DYS and had done for quite a few DYS applications.

"Please include a complete written report in its entirety for individually administered IQ (intelligence) and achievement tests. A full written report often includes the tester’s observations, tests administered, test scores, explanation of findings, and recommendations."


For portfolio, I submitted my kids' math and science work. We just submitted a few weeks ago. I figured if the portfolio is not what DYS want, they would let me know.
You need a teacher recommendation too. I just asked my kids' homeschool science teacher to fill up the recommendation form for them. Luckily she is familiar with DYS and didn't mind doing the recommendation form for both my kids.

ETA:
The report we received was three pages per child with full subtests scores on the first page, recommendations on last page.

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There is no Explore testing near us anyway so that would mean a road trip to Reno which is still cheaper for us after adding hotel, gasoline and test fees. 

 

I believe Explore is being discontinued but for the benefit of others who are curious, you can test through Belin Blank. They sent the test packet to our charter school teacher who agreed to be our proctor.

 

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I believe Explore is being discontinued but for the benefit of others who are curious, you can test through Belin Blank. They sent the test packet to our charter school teacher who agreed to be our proctor.

 

 

My charter school admin last year doesn't allow their teachers to proctor :(  We'll do Explore for both boys through Duke TIP if they still offer this fall as we intend to do a road trip to Reno anyway. If not than my older could do SAT or ACT for talent search.  He keep hitting ceilings on the usual tests so it would be nice to know where he falls on above grade level tests.

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Okay, I really have, like 10,000 questions, but we'll be heading to music in a few minutes. When I disappear you'll know where I went.



Help me understand. This is how I'm currently thinking...telll me if I'm on the right track or just reaching.

I think to q for DYS you need to demonstrate working 3 years ahead..am I right?

So, the 5th grader demonstrates a strong showing in a test 3 years ahead..& he's in...but the 6th grader is strong in the test...but it's only 2 years ahead, so it's not strong enough. It has to be, tippy tippy top scores.

So, if that's true, where does that put us? Taking the ACT? Seeing how he responds to that test?

It's very interesting. 

So much to think about.

 

Edited out details.

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My charter school admin last year doesn't allow their teachers to proctor :(  We'll do Explore for both boys through Duke TIP if they still offer this fall as we intend to do a road trip to Reno anyway. If not than my older could do SAT or ACT for talent search.  He keep hitting ceilings on the usual tests so it would be nice to know where he falls on above grade level tests.

 

 

I thought my score report stated that this was the last EXPLORE through Duke Tip & they would be administering ASPIRE beginning in the fall, BUT, I just looked & it doesn't say that anywhere. I just think I read it SOMEWHERE.

 

There goes my EF dysfunction, again.

 

This is why a portfolio sounds hard to me. It's hard to ME, not to my children.

 

Bless my poor children's hearts is all I can say. They have me for a mother. Haha.

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So, if that's true, where does that put us. Taking the ACT? Seeing how he responds to that test?

 

It's very interesting. Both boys are outwardly bright, but it is the older one that makes people remark. Yet it's not the older one who's q'd.

 

 

 

Haven't done the Explore but my older has done plenty of standardized tests since he was in public school. What pulled my older boy's English/LA composite scores down consistently was reading comprehension. His subtests scores for English actually have some that hit ceilings.

 

It might be worth running the ACT sample tests to see what might be the Achilles heel for your children.  My library has the "The Real ACT Prep Guide" by ACT.

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On the portfolio, math is the easiest to quantify, because it's usually numbered, with algebra 1 being 8th or 9th grade depending on where you live. On writing and other more subjective stuff, I asked friends who were PS teachers or who had older kids to look at it and let me know where they thought it would fall.

 

I will say that I imagine it's easier to do portfolio before 6th grade-after you get into high school content, it's hard to define a precise grade level that isn't based on number of credits completed more than course level.

 

 

 

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Davidson wants to see subtest scores and not just the composite VIQ, PIQ, and FSIQ numbers. That's why the letter we got from the GDC as part of the WPPSI-IV extended norms study that DS did a few years ago wouldn't cut it for DYS application purposes. The report doesn't have to be super in depth but it does have to be more than just a summary letter.

 

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I would think a psych would give at least subtest scores in the letter, even a summarized version? The free testing we did included those subtest scores and because I asked them, raw scores as well so that extended norms, if the need was there, could be calculated. I would think that isn't too much to ask a psych to include. It's usually the interpretation of those subtest scores that hike up a psych's fees more no? Sorry, I am not experienced with psychs but going by what we received for free testing, we did receive the four main subtest scores with scaled and raw scores breakdown in each sub-subtest area, and of course, the FSIQ. No GAI was given in our case.

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I thought my score report stated that this was the last EXPLORE through Duke Tip & they would be administering ASPIRE beginning in the fall, BUT, I just looked & it doesn't say that anywhere. I just think I read it SOMEWHERE.

 

There goes my EF dysfunction, again.

 

This is why a portfolio sounds hard to me. It's hard to ME, not to my children.

 

Bless my poor children's hearts is all I can say. They have me for a mother. Haha.

 

I thought I heard that somewhere too. It can be overwhelming for anyone...I hope you are not being too hard on yourself.

 

I agree with Arcadia about trying the ACT for your older.

 

These things are just so hard to say. There can be so many factors on reaching those scores...one of my friends' kid just got so bored with the math test even though he is very advanced in math. Or maybe it was all that computation. Like my kid, he refused to use the calculator but he works slightly slower than my son and lost more points than my son did because of that but his other scores pulled him up to the composite and he still got in with the portfolio. I don't want to give you false hope but I think there's merit in trying since your son's scores are pretty close to the cut off (imho). You could still give the ACT a try because of that head room too.

 

Let me know if you want me to delete this later.

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I haven't read all the replies, but I would go to the Davidson Gifted Issues forums and ask about testers.  I *do* think it's important to find a tester who is familiar with giftedness.  I've heard of too many parents paying $$$$$ for testers who "specialized in giftedness" and didn't even know how to use the extended norms on an IQ test so their scores were invalid.  Add the 2e issues to that, and it's even more challenging.  They used to have a map with recommended testers identified on it.  I'm sure it's still buried there somewhere.  I would ask and see who other DYS parents recommend in your area.

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This is why a portfolio sounds hard to me. It's hard to ME, not to my children.

I didn't have work samples when we did the wisc testing since DYS application was actually not the top priority for us for running the WISC. When the psych called and said both my kids qualify, then I ask my poor kids to be neater in their work so that I have some samples to submit. The psych report came in the mail two weeks after testing.

 

I would look at the 8 parents questions on the DYS app that you have to answer. That took hubby and me a week to decide on our answers for both our boys.

 

The 8 questions I am referring to is in the DYS checklist linked below

http://print.ditd.org/young_scholars/ApplicationChecklist2.pdf

 

I kept plenty of my kids doodles :lol: too bad I can't submit those :)

 

Good luck

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Ay. I think I've decided this tester isn't the one. In fact, I think I'd have to basically travel to a major metropolitan area to find one. I learned that the ballpark for the GDC in Denver is....up to $3000! And I have 2 kids!!!  I'm sure the workup is amazing & worth every penny, but GOSH that's so much money! ;( That's so discouraging. I'm guessing anyone I could find that would give me the interpretations & such is going to be that kind of money. 

 

I really have to decide if it's that meaningful to us.

 

I mean, my kid needs a piano. He's at a level that the digital keyboard is a hindrance.

My other kid needs a 2nd guitar to participate in a local "rock band." He wants to play his classical guitar, fingerpicking, but he needs to be amped to be heard over the upright bass, other guitar(s), drums, & whatever other instruments they are going to string together. They're getting creative :).

Both kids want a ukelele.

Both kids want 2nd instrument lessons (piano & strings)

First kid also wants a fancy keyboard for recording music using the sounds available.

 

I know none of this is academic, but, it is a choice...there's only so much money...give them the tools they really want to make more & better music...or pay for this level of testing.

 

I think when I am very practical...it's a no-brainer for me. 

 

I don't think I'll be pursuing this any longer. I'll probably spend some time coming up with a portfolio for the younger & just see what happens.

I'll retest older using the next level of tests & see where that puts us. 

 

Thanks to you all for your input today/tonight, especially quark & arcadia. Just reading & re-reading some of the same things has been useful to help me process things. If I have more moments of intense "oh my gosh, what do I do?!" haha I may be pm-ing you. ;)

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Thanks to you all for your input today/tonight, especially quark & arcadia. Just reading & re-reading some of the same things has been useful to help me process things. If I have more moments of intense "oh my gosh, what do I do?!" haha I may be pm-ing you. ;)

 

Anytime! Take care.

 

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If I have more moments of intense "oh my gosh, what do I do?!" haha I may be pm-ing you. ;)

I submitted just before April Fools day. So if they have issues with my kids portfolio, I'll PM you to give you a heads up. The "gifted centers" we asked all quoted much higher for just the wisc testing.

 

My home has more musical instruments than I can count so I do understand the headache with budgeting. Luckily I can still teach my boys piano so I am only paying for one instrument. I do not have space for a drum set in my home unfortunately.

 

My older boy's music theory class use MusicFirst software for music theory and music composition classes. It is cheaper than Sibelius or Finale.

 

ETA:

I don't know if they sell to homeschoolers but below is the MusicFirst website

https://www.musicfirst.com

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If you send stuff to relatives, check your scanner folders! A lot of what was in DD's portfolio was the neat stuff that I'd scanned to send to grandma (or, in some cases, post here). And a lot of it wasn't official schoolwork, but stuff she'd done on her own. One notable example was a 15 page behavioral and taxonomic study she'd written, complete with diagrams and range maps...of a stuffed snake! (Yes, this was what my kid did for FUN at age 7....).  For similar reasons, if your DC keep notes or write/do a lot of stuff on their computer, check that, too. There were also photos of DD's construction of the Odyssey out of legos and stuff like that. It was easily as eclectic as our homeschooling has turned out to be. 

 

I will also say that doing that portfolio was very validating for me. It showed me just how much she was learning and how individualized and specialized her education was. I've actually kept adding to it at the end of each school year since. No one again may ever need to see it, but it's nice to have.

 

 

 

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I will confess I just totally wimped on the portfolio. One of my YS is 2e and her EXPLORE scores did not quite make the cutoff even though her WISC cleared by a wide margin. So we did a WIAT and she qualified (barely). Her disability really affects timed output.

 

I think most Universities of a decent size do this testing for reduced fees but you have to dig. They don't advertise it because they don't have to.

 

I had to call the local State U and speak directly to the psychology graduate department. It was not mentioned on their website and they still had a six month wait list. But they would do IQ plus achievement plus some other sundry tests for like $300.

 

So if you are a bit of a disorganized underachieving homeschool mom like myself it may really be the best option for you.

 

Just cold call them and see what you can find.

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Belin-Blank has been saying all along that they are not dropping the EXPLORE until there is another test that is equally recognized-which I translate into meaning "We're not changing until DITD does".

 

I still plan to move to the ACT next year-DD has reached the point where the EXPLORE just isn't useful, but it's nice to know.

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Belin-Blank has been saying all along that they are not dropping the EXPLORE until there is another test that is equally recognized-which I translate into meaning "We're not changing until DITD does".

 

I still plan to move to the ACT next year-DD has reached the point where the EXPLORE just isn't useful, but it's nice to know.

 

DS hasn't seen enough of the math yet to make a switch from the EXPLORE to the ACT/SAT so I'm glad that the EXPLORE isn't going away.

 

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I still plan to move to the ACT next year-DD has reached the point where the EXPLORE just isn't useful, but it's nice to know.

I think the ACT covers more math topics (trig included) than SAT which is why our tentative plan is for older boy to take Explore when the younger boy takes, then SAT later as a test run to find weak areas. He could be a guinea pig for the new SAT since scores won't be automatically kept.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Both kids accepted despite my pathetically embarrassing attempt at portfolio :)

Just to give those going the portfolio route encouragement

 

Wonderful! Congratulations to all of you!

 

Oh Arcadia, that is wonderful! And encouraging! 

 

The worst they will say is no (but I've often heard that they don't say no outright...they usually ask for more information first).

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I'm encouraged! I pulled out work today to try & find some samples. 

 

Anyway.

 

I'll pull something together to submit b/c I can purchase/provide a TON of resources/opportunites/materials to help them grow with the same $$ I would spend on testing so...yeah...that's what I've decided about that. 

 

Win, lose, or draw, we have to go portfolio route.

 

 

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. Two troubles are that 1) I am not a keeper. I am a tosser. and 2) His work looks grade level to me.

Edited TMI.

 

I collected all these samples after the psych testing so the samples were what was done less than two weeks before submitting the application :lol: I didn't date the samples because I forgot to.

 

The teacher recommendation screen is at the last page of the application, after the portfolio.

 

ETA:

For grade level comparison, I just based on what my local public school is doing. Here algebra 1 is in 7th, geometry in 8th. physical science in 8th.  My dad is also a retired school teacher so he would express surprise over what he thinks is above grade level work. 

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I can see where that comes across different than I meant it. What I meant was...I might not be the best judge b/c my grade level standards are pretty high ;). In other words, I think my perspective of typical/average/above average/below average might not be the most accurate.

 

I'll delete so as not to muddy the waters ;). 

 

ETA: Thanks for the feedback :).

 

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Arcadia, thanks so much for taking the time to share. 

 

You know what's funny? My son is building a portfolio this week for his writing class. It is driving him crazy. One of the things he has to include is a "resume" & one of the categories is "chores." He frustratedly called out, "What do I put if I don't have any chores????"

 

I replied, "What about managing your laundry, unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, keeping your room & bathroom picked up, & mowing the yard."

 

After a pause he said, "THOSE are chores??? That's just stuff that has to be done."

 

I had to laugh to myself. Because I'm doing the same.exact.thing. over this DYS portfolio. On the same.exact.day even. I'm thinking, "What do I put for xxx??" "Oh, THAT counts??? But that's just stuff we do?!?!" 

Haha. Perspective ;).

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. On the same.exact.day even. I'm thinking, "What do I put for xxx??" "Oh, THAT counts??? But that's just stuff we do?!?!" 

 

Haha. Perspective ;).

 

I agree.  I was however a project manager in tech for three years before kids :lol:  One of my boys would consider brushing his teeth a chore.

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 Comparing grade levels in other areas feels much messier!

 

I agree with you.  That was why I compared his vocabulary work which he does for fun to whatever grade some public schools who use the same book would use it on. I am sure a lot of kids on the WTM boards can do the work at his age, just that it is a convenient (to me) sample to use.   The same thing for the balancing equation sample.  It was a worksheet for 5th graders yet public school typically covers it when they do physical science. Again a convenient sample. Things like literature would be harder to grade match to public school.  Things like world languages would be messy too because what happens if the world language is the heritage language of the child.

 

Music and Art are areas where comparing grade levels is hard but producing a portfolio is easier. Videos can be submitted.

 

Isn't your daughter doing a science project at the university? That would provide lots of "convenient" samples.

 

I agree that Math is an easier subject to benchmark against state standards compare to other subjects or interest.

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That's why I found asking friends with kids (or who taught) PS was helpful, because my feelings were basically "Oh, that's normal". And a lot of our samples were stuff DD did on her own.

 

I do think being on this board skews perception, too. Compared to the kids here or on the DYS boards/groups, my DD seems pretty average. It takes getting out of that bubble to realize that, yeah, most kids don't take college textbooks to bed with them for light reading!

 

 

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What I meant was...I might not be the best judge b/c my grade level standards are pretty high ;). In other words, I think my perspective of typical/average/above average/below average might not be the most accurate.

 

Understood! I can relate!

 

 

I don't want to offer false hope...BUT, you guys sound so much like the DYS parents I know. :lol:

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That's why I found asking friends with kids (or who taught) PS was helpful, because my feelings were basically "Oh, that's normal". And a lot of our samples were stuff DD did on her own.

 

I do think being on this board skews perception, too. Compared to the kids here or on the DYS boards/groups, my DD seems pretty average. It takes getting out of that bubble to realize that, yeah, most kids don't take college textbooks to bed with them for light reading!

Or casually mention that he's designing his own programming language, prompting a heated debate with his sister about how much he can borrow from existing languages without running afoul of legal and/or ethical boundaries.

 

I think at 9 I was reading Babysitters' Club and dancing around to Michael Jackson with my BFF in her basement.

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