Never officially been labeled gifted.

Tammy - posted on 02/25/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I keep hearing people talk about getting their child tested and labeled gifted and wondering what this was. I know my children are gifted because they score 99 or100% on every standardized test they have ever taken, all could read before K, and all except my 12 yr old and baby get straight A's and are the top of their classes without any effort. Thanks to my oldest, our school offers a "gifted" program where in Jr. high they get to go to gifted class for an hour a day and also able to take high school math. My oldest son was also in the program but it never involved testing just grades and teacher recommendation. Also my daughter now goes to a "gifted" high school which involved an application much like a college app and the SAT test (she scored better as freshman then I did as a senior and I was considered smart lol!!) My son is applying to the same school as we speak. I guess my question is what kind of test is there to determine "giftedness" and what is the purpose. Does it help in getting better schooling ect...

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Zoe - posted on 03/26/2011

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It cost us $200 to take our daughter to an educational psychologist, and while our district doesn't have any special programs for gifted students, it gives us a foothold on establishing that our daughter has special needs. It's also helped us understand where her strengths are, and where she will need some support.
For example, she gets writer's block, but she is a very capable writer. That she is in 3rd grade but reads like a high school freshman isn't a fluke, her scores predicted that and she needs support (not a 3rd grade reading program!) She wants to learn Greek, but it seems she average for learning codes and symbols, so it may take her a while to learn that alphabet, but once she does it should take off like her English. (And that with the kind of intelligence she has, that isn't a nutty idea, it suits her). She is great at straight memorization (multiplication tables) but needs support with integers (I had to really work with her to not calculate them, but just memorize them.) She has that perfectionist streak and doesn't understand why if she is the top reader in her class, the "mad minute math" is such a challenge for her.

We felt it just confirmed what we already knew about our child, and I really suspect for your high school student that would even more so be the case. If it gets him into a school where he would be with peers, it seems like it would be worth it.

Deborah - posted on 02/26/2009

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Wow .. you really are in a rural area and can see why there would be no GT programs in the earlier years, but it sounds like the school has been willing to help and provide a form of acceleration and that is not a bad thing. You kind of have what I wonder is not the solution: Old School house approach where kids are taught by ability and not necessarily age and are sometimes taught all in the same room. Not saying that is your situation but closer than the typical public school.

As for funding for the school ... having your children tested will not necessarily provide that b/c as you said your children are the only ones that are gifted and they really wouldn't have justification for starting a program for gifted on that alone, but as long as they are working outside the box then it really isn't an issue, b/c even with the label of gifted and programs in public schools they can still pigeon hold kids to the guidelines of the program and not really work with the individual. And as for your son ... he is the type that a lot of experts talk about with HG kids and the slipping through the cracks. You probably need to work with the school and have them think outside the box such as Kylie suggested. Find what motivates him. It sounds like they would be willing to work with you since they had with your other children.

Kylie - posted on 02/26/2009

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I'm not sure about funding for schools but wanted to post re: the homework issue. My daughter also has not been formally diagnosed "gifted" because I do not wish to label her but she has been tested on off level achievement tests linguistically from which the child psych tells me is highly gifted.



While she actually has become an almost straight A student in the past 6 months, she still balks at homework. She has just entered 3rd Grade and we were informed it will be compulsory from now on and if not completed they will keep her in at lunch to do so - I was not impresssed as I do not see the value in making children do work that they have already mastered. Anyway enough babbling, I negotiated with her teacher for her to do different homework that still covered the basic areas they were after - ie. linguistic homework is what she hates doing as it is so far below her level, that she is now allowed to write a creative story, in whatever format they are working on in class - at present a narrative, using vocab and grammar at her own level. She happily sat down and wrote away last night. Maybe you could try negotiating with the school. There are some great online sites that provide project ideas etc.



Motivation is a hard thing, I went from achieving in the high 90% consistently in Year 7 to 30% in Year 8 in High School (my father died while I was in Year 7) and continued on this path for the rest of my schooling. I also continued to blitz the tests but just refused to work - unfortunately, I was allowed to slip through the system as I remained in the top 2 classes for all subjects so I suppose in their eyes wasn't doing too bad at all.



Thankfully though my motivation and drive returned when I started my career and I have a great career. When I look back the only thing I think may have motivated me (my sisters' tried to convince me not to waste my intelligence but I paid no attention to them), would have been someone "cool" that I respected (sad but as a teenager very important), who had a great career in an area I was interested in that may have acted as a mentor. My husband is doing this for my nephew at the moment and it is actually working wonders.

Tammy - posted on 02/26/2009

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We are from a very small and rural school.  It takes 5 towns to get a class size of 20 kids so until my daughter came along there was absolutely no gifted program and AP still doesn't start until high school.  The only thing they offered was letting her skip grades but she is a very social child who has great friendsand I decided not to seperate them.  The teachers actually did a good job for her getting reading material and stuff that was above her grade level and when she out grew our school library personally picking up books for her at a University library.   I guess I thought IQ tests were not really considered valid anymore and was wondering what other kinds of tests there were and if it helped the school get funding for gifted programs.  I know right now my children are the only kids considered gifted and not just really smart at our school and my daughter is now at a residential gifted high school and my other son will go next year.   The school seems to work ok for my oder children who are very socail and self taught and motivated but I was wondering if getting an actual test would allow my school to get funding because it's not really meeting my 12 yr olds need as he is gifted but not social or at all self motivated (refuses to do homework cause it's stupid and boring but aces every test and gets 99-100% on all standardized tests).  With my older children it was as obvious as the fact that they had blue eyes that they were gifted and their performance matched the expectations. The problems arise when the tests show one thing and the performance doesn't reflect that.  Does getting an official "diagnosis" help?

Deborah - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi Tammy ... when people are talking about testing for gifted they are talking about IQ tests and there are many versions. Most kids get tested through the school system. So if I am reading your post right and again it is late so I am a little tired ... but are you saying that the first stage of gifted offered in your public school is Jr. High? That seems really late. Most schools offer some form of gifted at the latest 3rd grade yet others at kindergarten level. Now AP classes (a form of gifted programs) tend to start in Jr. High.



But as for your question of the purpose of testing ... it really comes down to your children. Even if they were not in any gifted programs but were happy in school then there would be no reason to test them. It really is for classifying them as gifted so they can be a part of the programs but also if your child(ren) were not happy or were disruptive or incredibly bored... many reasons ... this might be why someone has their child tested. Also there is many levels of gifted. When children are starting out in public school: figuring out what level they are could help assess what they need. Level 1 and 2 children tend to be fine in AP classes. It is the highly gifted children and specifically the exceptional and profoundly gifted that need more including acceleration. These type of kids are the ones that you read about that start college at age 13. So putting them into AP classes alone would not typically solve their problems.



But if your childrens' needs are being meet and they are already in some form of gifted program there really is no reason to 'test' them. And a lot of people will argue that people put too much emphasis on testing.

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