View Full Version : Can't Prove Giftedness :(


Zimmerman
02-14-14, 06:14 PM
Hello community,

I'm new to this forum and looking for help. Our ds, just turned 6 has had issues with kindergarten. He was moved from a high function structured class to a more chaotic and lower functioning class due to a horrible teacher. New teacher is kind and flexible though.

Many many people feel our ds is gifted. His pre-k teacher, a gifted educator we know, and several teachers outside our district. His teacher has noted that his vocabulary is more adult like and beyond the norm. It's typical for our ds to pretend he is in a lab testing and building guns to dispense medications as much as a normal child would play with cars. He has tested at high average academics but IQ scores don't reflect his giftedness. His first test score was 80 something and the schools test came back at 103. He is a visual spacial learner and auditory learner. The special Ed teacher said she had never seen a child act more adult like during academic testing, wanting to know how many points he had achieved and how he was doing. As his anxiety increased his scores dropped. Anxiety is common in both ADHD and gifted populations. He uses words like discussion, privacy, area, angle an hypothesis in the correct context. It's hard to describe his mixed bag.

He has been diagnosed as sub threshold ADHD, and sensory integration disorder. All his senses are very acute. His environment effects him more than internal distraction. He does really well seated at his own desk, is generally on task and finishes his work. He has advanced fine motor dexterity but lags behind in writing tasks. He is impulsive and "busy" but not physicaly hyper.

I believe some of his class issues are due to boredom. So all these people comment how highly intelligent he is and how adult like he talks and responds as well as his desire for older peers. He doesn't have Aspergers. Has anyone had a 2e child that they can't prove that the child is gifted? Is there any hope to help him? Most of my educator friends think he needs to be in the gifted program. I'm lost on how to help.

LynneC
02-14-14, 07:55 PM
Who has done the testing?

Zimmerman
02-15-14, 10:46 AM
The first set of IQ testing was done by a developmental psychologist that specializes in adhd, Aspergers and autism. We drove an hour and a half there and then waited a half hour. She did all the testing in one day with a 45 minute Brel for lunch. His IQ was 80 something then. Wisc test Developmental psych said he was a poor tester. He would give the right answer then keep talking and he's lose points.

The school then had a tester come in and do a Stanford Binet. Then a special Ed teacher administered academic testing. The IQ scores was 103. His highest score was visual spatial and was 108. However a child tha memorized logos from commercials (American family logo) and could math it to a building or could match the logos of the united Methodist church in different towns is probably much more visual spatial than he scored.

We don't necessarily think our ds is highly gifted however the scores don't reflect his academic achievement or how most individuals perceive him. My husband and I are both at least high average and had certain areas where we were accelerated in school. So it would make sense that our ds is at least somewhere closer to where we function.

He does take medicine. Quilivant XR 4 ml a day. However he started in December. His behaviors are much worse at school, I believe due to overstimulation with a class of 24 students. Several teachers in and out for special services. Several low functioning special needs students to attend to. Two sets of doors, one one each side of the room, and a busy and cluttered class. I believe they underestimate his sensory sensitivities and how much he reflects the environment. In small groups he does much better.

CrazyLazyGal
02-15-14, 04:18 PM
How would being in the gifted program help him?

sarahsweets
02-15-14, 06:06 PM
He's six years old. I don't care how gifted he is you can't learn peer interactions or good social skills unless you are immersed in an environment with exposure to multiple types of people. The early years will teach him how to harness that intelligence.

dvdnvwls
02-15-14, 07:03 PM
I would call this maybe precociousness but not giftedness. Roughly, I think the useful definition of "gift" (regardless of what's in any published standard) is "a very specific ability in which the child already achieves outstanding adult performance". In other words, just being a smart kid doesn't make him gifted.

Lunacie
02-15-14, 08:17 PM
He's six years old. I don't care how gifted he is you can't learn peer interactions or good social skills unless you are immersed in an environment with exposure to multiple types of people. The early years will teach him how to harness that intelligence.

Wouldn't an environment where the child is accepted for being himself instead of being judged

as different or just weird be better and less stressful in developing social skills?

dvdnvwls
02-15-14, 11:33 PM
Wouldn't an environment where the child is accepted for being himself instead of being judged

as different or just weird be better and less stressful in developing social skills?
There is that, but (as they say) it "cuts both ways". Being placed in a special environment, even one that's supposedly better, often carries its own stigma and its own set of problems.

stef
02-16-14, 04:35 AM
wait and see! keep him intersted and stimulated. have fun too, he's your kid!

if he doesnt go into a gifted program later watch out for the "crash" when the day comes that he will really have to to study something and he doesn't know HOW to study because everything has always been very easy for him.

watch also that he doesnt feel isolated and misunderstood, in school, for being very bright.

sarahsweets
02-16-14, 04:53 AM
Wouldn't an environment where the child is accepted for being himself instead of being judged

as different or just weird be better and less stressful in developing social skills?

Of course thats the best environment and I didnt mean to imply that the child shouldnt be himself. Maybe I wasnt clear enough and I should have prefaced what I said by saying that this was what I felt worked for me. What I meant was being in an environment with peers of all skill levels (like those perhaps less intellingent than the OP's son, or just plain different) were important in the early years. He is 6 years old. I know from my school years, before there were as many separated special ed classes, when I was in kindergarten, I had some very good friends with special needs. Had I not been exposed to them, I am not sure I would have understood our differences when I got older. Maybe my peers were able to understand me better with the adhd because we were all together in the k-3 years, but I guess I will never know. I think it gave me a better well rounded view of my little social world that there were all kids of kids and we were all worthy of kindness and friendship. Now, past grades k-3 I think is where I can see the need for different classroom environments for special needs kids, gifted kids etc. But for me, having that immersion at such a young age made me feel less different for having adhd, allowed me to feel part of the "regular" world before I got old enough to realize the separate but equal thing really happened in school. Once I was in about 5th grade I realized that kids could be cruel and I suffered through some mean times that still haunt me today.

zette93
02-16-14, 11:22 AM
Does he have an IEP? It sounds like he was in one special day class already and was moved to a different class with kids with intellectual disability? If this is the case, you need to find a way to document that the class is not meeting his social and functional needs, and get the IEP team to change his placement. Hire the best bulldog advocate you can afford to help make this happen. (Or if you have the means to homeschool or pay for the right private school, do so.)

My DS8 (who has Aspergers and ADHD) also impresses everyone with his vocabulary and analytical insights. (For example, he watched a Nova program on physics and figured out that light isn't made of atoms.) Yet in IQ tests at age 5 and 8 he scored dead average (103). I just think he is very bright in a way that isn't measured on those tests. Add a form of dyslexia in the mix and he doesn't look bright academically, but when you talk to him you can see a clear gap between what he understands and what he can output.

Due to extreme behavior in first grade that was becoming increasingly aggressive and violent, his public school tried to put him in a special day class with kids with Downs Syndrome and other mild intellectual disability. Rather than fight a bad district, we pulled him out to homeschool. Then I found a "non-public" (ie special ed) school specifically for kids with AS. We paid privately ($15k/yr) until we could move to a different district. Then we hired a pit bull advocate (who charges $200/hr) to make the case to the district to agree to that placement and pay for it. Altogether we spent about $18k, but from now on his schooling is free and he's in the right place.

Obviously not everyone has the resources that we do, but I do know of other families who became very educated about special ed law and were able to get a similar outcome on their own. (Their kids had to stay in the bad placement for a year or so while their parents worked through the system.). Other parents I know have taken the private school or homeschool route. You have to figure out the right placement, and then how to fight or pay to get there.

zette93
02-16-14, 02:54 PM
Just wanted to elaborate on some of the alternate school situations some parents I know have found. (Most of these kids have Aspergers, a couple have ADHD -- I've actively sought out other parents dealing with the same issues...)



Special Day Class for high-functioning kids, public school, free
Non-public (ie special ed) school, free (paid by school district) (one parent used an advocate, the other was able to make the case to the IEP team on her own)
Montessori charter school -- free, got in by lottery
Private Montessori school affiliated with a church -- with sibling discounts, paying $1100/month for 3 kids
Private school catering to "gifted" kids, class size of 10, school is 8-12am 4 days a week, $7k/yr
Charter homeschool -- option for classes onsite 2-4 days/week, free

mamabear78
02-16-14, 06:21 PM
I have researched this issue a lot as well, regarding my DS who is ADHD (combined), and what I think is "gifted." I define gifted as having a unique high intelligence in at least one area, being able to see things from a different "outside of the box" point of view. He is in first grade and in a new school. He did not pass enough of the screeners at the beginning of the year to get to the next step of school testing, therefore he is not in the gifted program. I wrote a thread about it.

I decided not to push it and just see how this year unfolds. He is doing relatively well so far in first grade. He is academically advanced (bright) for his class, and seems to show no stand-out signs of ADHD in the classroom thus far. His teacher describes him as being a typical boy for his age in comparison to peers when asked about the ADHD. This currently thrills me, although I'm well aware that this won't always be the case in school.

He is extremely perceptive about his own hinderances (even though he's unaware that he has any). I find his perception to be amazing. He told me recently that he could perform better at school if he was able to stand. His teacher is great with any of the children standing while they work at their desks, so he works more efficiently.

Back to the gifted program and ADHD. I have been immersing myself in literature concerning ADHD, trying to grasp a better understanding on it and my child in order to best help him for success in esteem and life in general. Since learning more I re-read his neuro psych eval. I realized that a lot of the fluff in it that didn't make a lot of sense to me, made more sense now. I knew he had scored in the very superior range on Matrix Reasoning, so that was a strength, but I missed that his overall Perceptual Reasoing Index score was in the gifted superior range.

I started researching again about being Twice Exceptional. Through my reading I have come to the conclusion that a child that is ADHD and Gifted can be very hindered if not served in both areas of need, DEPENDING on what kind of gifted program your school has. I also learned that when a child is 2E, many programs will accept just the PRI or the VCI score on an independent stand alone basis.

I'm hoping I'm making sense. I have no idea if your child is gifted or not, but I do know that for mine he has been very happy in just good old regular ed this year. I also know that my son is highly handicapped in processing speed and working memory, depressing his overall scores on that little important test--boo. Being gifted in the visual-spatial realm is not going to do much for him in the classroom, but lo and behold, the gifted program at his school concentrates on abstract, creative, logic and divergent thinking. PERFECT for him. Therefore, at some point I'm going to pursue it so when the bottom drops out in the classroom, he still might have a little light shining when he gets to go to his more creative class.

Good luck! Excuse typos and novel...I'm in a rush and not re-reading.

dvdnvwls
02-16-14, 07:09 PM
I am not a parent, but I work with children on a regular basis.

Parents tend to believe their children are "gifted" when in fact they are clearly not. "Above average", even "WAY above average", does not equal gifted. I was in all the so-called gifted classes available in my school (which was not much). I am not gifted; I was just a smart kid.

Gifted kids do math better than the high-school math teacher. Gifted kids play soccer better than their coach. Gifted kids play their musical instrument like a pro already, and strangers pay to hear them. That's gifted.

Canadian Mess
02-16-14, 08:31 PM
My two cents on this for what its worth, he's 6. Regardless of how intelligent, creative or talented a kid is, at that age group they are learning how to socialize with others, story time, drawing their favourite things, and eventually counting and reading at a very basic level.

Perhaps when he is older, when the classes become more in depth about topics like social science, math, English reading and writing skills/creative writing, science (chemistry, physics, etc), biology, ... that's the time to assess his level of giftedness and to see if he needs a higher level of class that what is offered to students normally.

Otherwise, it may be too early for him/her- it could put a high demand in workload, or expected grades at too high a level, and he may like the normal class with all levels of intelligence which is predisposing him to the real world and what people think like.

mamabear78
02-16-14, 08:34 PM
I am not a parent, but I work with children on a regular basis.

Parents tend to believe their children are "gifted" when in fact they are clearly not. "Above average", even "WAY above average", does not equal gifted. I was in all the so-called gifted classes available in my school (which was not much). I am not gifted; I was just a smart kid.

Gifted kids do math better than the high-school math teacher. Gifted kids play soccer better than their coach. Gifted kids play their musical instrument like a pro already, and strangers pay to hear them. That's gifted.

I worked with children for years as well, and now, obviously, I am a parent. I'm sure you know there is a lot more to being gifted than being better than your teacher in a particular area.

Over-simpifying giftedness is the same as oversimplifying ADHD. I'm not trying to argue or challenge, but I'm very aware of what gifted looks like. I am recently more aware of what ADHD looks like due to my son's diagnosis. Neither are simple and neither fit in a box. Gifted does not mean savant, prodigy or genius. It is it's own exclusive term.

Gifted is one of those terms that immediately makes folks roll their eyes b/c you are "that parent," thinking your child is a genius. Not true for many people out there, however true for some :cool:. Quite frankly I didn't even know what it truly meant until I was told that my child seemed to be in that population.

Zimmerman
02-17-14, 10:16 AM
We don't qualify for an IEP. I was simply hoping for him to be pulled out of class for work on his reading. He was grouped with higher functioning children due to the fact that I had major issues with the teacher. She would berate my son and force him to walk recess everyday. She refused to even try offering sensory accommodations per our OT and developmental psych. Our ds was suffering from major anxiety. She has ha many complaints over the years. However she felt that he was bored and needed more challenge. And that was the high functioning class. Gifted is usually defined in a school setting as the top 2-5%.

Our nephew is going through similar issues. He is bored out of his mind and has completely stopped working. His teacher refuses to challenge him. How would you fell if they made you do kindergarteners math all day? He's is 9 but reads like and adult and does high level math in his head. He's in 3rd grade.

Gifted kids tend to cause major problems when bored and struggle when they aren't challenged. I was just hoping to give him some options or to allow him to learn about additional information. That is all.

There is nothing we can do. Hope for the best.

CrazyLazyGal
02-17-14, 12:53 PM
Gifted kids tend to cause major problems when bored and struggle when they aren't challenged. I was just hoping to give him some options or to allow him to learn about additional information. That is all.
For what it's worth, I was in the top 1% academically, but I didn't get bored or struggle when I wasn't challenged because other aspects of school and work were challenging enough.

Why not find other outlets for his abilities such as weekend activities or summer camps?

Daydreamin22
02-17-14, 01:41 PM
Pretend like he hasn't been diagnosed with anything and take him to an outside of school center that tests for Giftedness. There are tons of kids who don't know they're ADHD who get tested for it, I bet.

meesie
08-28-14, 09:55 AM
:)

Hi. I don't know how helpful this will be..but..

I have 2 kiddos. My youngest has Aspergers with no co-morbids and tested both in school and outside by his child psychologist of having a 140+ IQ which puts him in what they refer to as superior intelligence and Moderately gifted category. He is my child who was not considered very smart until he proved everyone wrong. I was offered gifted pullout in Kindergarten and declined it for him with an understanding that we would pursue at start of 1st. grade ( this new school year) My spouse and I wanted him to develop and mature socially in Kindergarten. It worked out great and he is doing well so far.

On the other hand my 3rd grader has ADHD combo with inattentiveness being the main issue. He has always done fairly well academically. He had 3 years of prek special ed for speech issues but always exhibited anxiety. We knew very early on and his pediatrician kept an eye on him for years. We had no reason to medicate earlier (until recently)because the school never complained, as a matter a fact several teachers asked for permission to test for gifted. I declined it and told them no way, no how. Here is why.

He has been seeing my younger childs psych. who is very very good and has worked with ADHD, ASD kiddos and various other issues for 25+ years. He officially diagnosed him. He knew him before meds and after starting them. He has flat out told me that my oldest has an above average IQ, not anywhere near his younger brothers, but high average. This psych has only given him parts of tests from the various IQ tests as well as processing speed and achievement based tests. He told me that full out testing like my youngest had would not be beneficial to my son, it would frustrate him and there is no point. My son shows no learning disorders, but has a slow processing speed and is at level for academics. There is no way he would score a 130 minimum to be eligible for Gifted. Maybe, in certain areas such as Verbal he would, but the slow processing speed would hinder him advanced paced gifted class work. Not to mention it would just seem like extra work to him. (punishment) LOL!!

If you truly believe the testing does not show his true self, maybe visit a Gifted Board like Davidson Gifted forums. They do have a 2E board and many of the posters can help you with the various sub scores and give you an idea of what may have brought his total score down.

Good luck, and remember you can always supplement at home.