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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Mini Money Mustaches => Topic started by: Abe on March 14, 2021, 09:08:47 PM

Title: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Abe on March 14, 2021, 09:08:47 PM
Hello everyone, I have a question about schools in general. We live in a fancy-pants neighborhood for reasons I won’t bore you with. I grew up in a rural area and my wife in a lower-middle income suburb of a larger city. Our education up until college was ok, but not especially noteworthy, nor were our college or post-college schools. We’ve done well for ourselves, and I realized somehow did it without the rat race that schools seem to have turned into now. My son is going to be in kindergarten and I guess there’s a gifted-talented program that he gets tested for, which people are very focused on. At least us plebes who send our kids to public school instead of one of the several pretentious private schools. The school system is at baseline one of the best in our state, for elementary at least. I guess middle school involves being exposed to the riff-raff from nearby neighborhoods whose both parents work for a living. Perish the thought! High school is apparently fine too.

(Don’t worry, half the people we’ve talked to already look down upon us for throwing our son to the public school wolves and hope he doesn’t die penniless under a bridge due to our thoughtless schooling plans).

All of this seems kind of nuts and basically designed to put kids on the rat-race treadmill at an early age. Anyone have good data one way or other? Depending on how our economy is in 20-30 years, he is going to be either financially independent or living in a post-apocalyptic fiefdom mining the landfills for plastic to burn for heat alongside us, so I’m not especially concerned about “connections from college” or whatever leads to success in most jobs. I expect him to figure it out the hard way like we did, but have a bigger cushion if needed. Who knows, he may just do something actually helpful for society and live a normal life. Obviously I’m projecting, but this place is a parody of a New York Times article when it comes to schooling, and would appreciate some advice from people who don’t own 2-3 range rovers.

Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: reeshau on March 14, 2021, 11:29:04 PM
What exactly is your question?  Whether to allow the school to test him?  Whether you should be in public school?  Just blowing off steam? Something else?

Giftedness questions have not been treated very kindly here.  I am sure you have searched for prior topics on it.  But this is a financial board, not a childhood development one.  So take all opinions here with a grain of salt:  there is more spouting off than genuine experience and wisdom, at least around this topic.

Let me take the opportunity as the first response to go down the rabbit hole a bit:  the thing about giftedness, if measured as IQ, (which is not always a good measure for really young)  is that it is a normal distribution. So if your kid tests as a 130 IQ,  (2 standard deviations, or 98% by whatever means you are using) many people will just say "they are really smart.  Lucky them, they have it easy!" But it isn't easy.  Nobody would downplay the need for support if your child tested at an IQ of 70.  But that's just it--those scores are both equally different from "normal," and it's not a matter of simple ability; it also changes how they learn.  A highly gifted child can struggle with school just as much as anyone; they might even be able to hide their struggle, but then they won't just fail to reach their potential, but can develop severe mental issues as well.  And many highly gifted kids are "twice exceptional," which means they have a mixture of high ability and developmental issues, which need to be addressed together.

So the real point of supporting a gifted child, or finding out if that clinical definition fits your child, is not to maximize their lifetime earnings or prestige, but to understand how to help them develop naturally into who they are.  Of course, as in all things in the human condition, this idea is twisted beyond recognition by parents with their own agendas.  Those GT tests for kindergarten?  There are study books for them.  Hell, there are *prep classes* for them.  So I don't discount the ugly expression of this topic that you see around you.  But you can't control how other people will screw up their kids; you can only control how you approach things, and what you will do.  If you think your son may be gifted, the best thing to do is to support him and listen to him.

The #1 place to begin your own research into what this is all about is Hoagies Gifted.  They also have links to parent groups in your area, and books for deeper reading.

A little background on my experience.  Our son began reading individual words just as he turned 2.  (I'm not talking about "at" or "the."  I'm talking about "hippopotamus" and "giraffe.")  While we worked with him on the alphabet, etc. this was his doing--we discovered it, not caused it.  It so happened during the following year we had an opportunity to move to Ireland for work.  As we were planning this uprooting of our family, his reading also progressed.  Distracted as we were, we didn't really do anything about it, in regards to our move, until about 2 months before D-Day.  We started to worry about what kind of development support options would be available for us in Ireland.  So we sprang for a WISC III test with a child psychologist, with the goal of targeting his development until "normal" school age.  He came out of that test, age 3 yrs, 1 mo, being judged at a 2nd grade reading level, among other measures.  The psychologist said, "get him in school."

So since then, now 3 years ago, we have had to advocate for him with his teachers, who are all (deservedly) pretty jaded about every person's "special child."  Only, it isn't always bragging, but brings as many needs as it does opportunities.  We have spoken with every teacher he has had about his situation, and bring the documentation, too: tests, teacher evaluations, etc.  Our school district has just conducted their annual GT testing, and so now he is officially recognized by his school.  (One bad thing about a very large, public district--no flexibility to circumstances.  Follow the process because It's the process, no matter the situation)  We have yet to see what effect this will really have, although extra attention is promised.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: secondcor521 on March 15, 2021, 09:33:46 AM
Dad of three gifted kids who went to a variety of public, private, parochial, and online schools.  Oh, and homeschooled also.

I think around here they test kids for GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) sometime in second grade, and GATE officially starts in third grade.  Around here it's either IQ-based (WISC-III I think) or portfolio-based (think extraordinary budding artists / musicians), and there is starting to be some provision for those twice-gifted kids that @reeshau mentioned.

In third through eighth grade, there are generally separate GATE classes with teachers who are somehow certified to teach GATE kids.  The idea is that gifted kids learn differently.  I think it was in general a good thing for my kids to be in the GATE classes because they could be around other kids who were like them intellectually.  (I also think it was a good thing for my two youngest kids to go to an all-inclusive Title I school and be around kids who were quite different from them as well.)

Starting in about sixth grade, a lot of the GATE kids started taking classes at the junior high, and then classes at the high school while in junior high.  Two of mine ended up going to a magnet STEM junior high, and they all took AP or IB classes in high school.  One has graduated with a regular college degree and the other two are working on theirs.

I don't think it's so much a "get your kid ahead" thing as it is a "support your kid in the way they'll do well in school" thing.  I mean it could be, if you fell into that.  We didn't, although I'm sure I bragged about my kids' achievement to my parents and occasionally my friends.  We just always focused on doing what we thought was in our kids' best interest, whatever that happened to be.  All three of our kids, while sharing the trait of being gifted, have taken fairly different paths.

I also wouldn't get the GATE thing mixed up with the wealth thing.  There were plenty of smart kids who came from lower income households, and all across the income spectrum as well.  We had our kids be friends with kids they liked and were good kids, regardless of economic status.  And we didn't make any sort of deal about what kind of car we drove vs. their friends.

Although I will say our middle kid got quite the experience, because he went from a public high school where we were relatively speaking upper income folks, to an expensive private high school where we were among the bottom (although not quite "poor" enough to be on "scholarship").  He learned that wealth is relative, and that having wealth can be something that can mess a family up, or can just be a thing that happens to be a thing.  Again he became friends with kids whose parents were multibajillionaires and kids whose parents were starving artist types.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: LiveLean on March 15, 2021, 02:56:18 PM
Around here, parents of kids who didn't test into gifted via the school can pay to have them privately tested. The going rate is $400 and for that price, not surprisingly, 100 percent of kids tested privately prove to be gifted. Amazing. We have a child psychologist neighbor who makes a fortune doing this. I asked him at a neighborhood party if he'd ever tested a kid that wasn't gifted and he took great offense. Wouldn't answer my question either.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: StarBright on March 15, 2021, 04:07:45 PM
Do you wonder if you should let your child participate?

It certainly doesn't hurt to get the testing done. And then it really depends on the GT program. Some are focused on achievement and the rat race and some are more holistic and focused on the social, emotional, and academic needs of a child. You know best whether or not that works for your kid.

My older child is 2E (Gifted but also has a disability (adhd or ASD, still TBD :)). He had a very hard time in school until they focused on his academic needs.

We live in a super rat-racey district so his GT program is more about achievement than I'd like, but we're lucky to get IEPs for gifted education, so I strike all the language about test scores. We do have to regularly advocate for the right balance for him. But him having the label from the school district gives us a leg to stand on when we advocate for him.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Freedomin5 on March 15, 2021, 04:55:51 PM
I think there’s value in putting gifted kids together - letting them know there are other people like them. It’s lonely and discouraging when you think no one understands you.

Here’s an article to get you started. There’s a ton of research on the emotional lives of gifted children and the fact that it’s not IQ that predicts success, but resilience. And if going to a GATE program will allow your kid to be educated by teachers who understand gifted kids and possible twice exceptionality (the official term is “twice exceptional”, not “twice gifted”), then there is benefit to that.

Also, I hope your district is not still using the WISC-III. That would be very unethical given that we are currently on the WISC-V.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: nessness on March 15, 2021, 05:00:53 PM
Around here, parents of kids who didn't test into gifted via the school can pay to have them privately tested. The going rate is $400 and for that price, not surprisingly, 100 percent of kids tested privately prove to be gifted. Amazing. We have a child psychologist neighbor who makes a fortune doing this. I asked him at a neighborhood party if he'd ever tested a kid that wasn't gifted and he took great offense. Wouldn't answer my question either.
This is how it worked when I was a kid too. Somehow all the kids in the GATE class (in fourth grade) knew who had been privately tested and looked down on them as not being REALLY gifted.

More to OP's point, preschool seems really early to test for giftedness. I assume there will be another opportunity to test into the gifted program later, right? I guess I would let my kid take the test, but I wouldn't do anything special to prepare for it and wouldn't stress about the results.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Mrs Brightside on March 15, 2021, 05:31:13 PM
You sound really unhappy about the fancy neighborhood and seem to look down on the people in it. Why do you live there again?


More on the gifted topic, I agree that 1) preschool seems very young to test and 2) you aren't doing your kid any favors keeping them out of a gifted program if they belong in one. I don't know anything about the whole private testing baloney. Speaking as a person who was in a gifted program at a public school, it gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself. This is a good thing, because you find out you're not the best at everything or you may fail sometimes. And that's ok, you become more resilient. It's also mentally draining to be so bored at school, especially as you get older. Do you really want your kid spending 80% of their time at school staring at the wall because they finished their work and the rest of the kids didn't?
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Abe on March 15, 2021, 08:05:42 PM
Thanks for your all input. We will probably defer testing until we have reason to think our son wants something more interesting in class.  I asked around and it looks like he will get tested at least once during the next school year and again some time in early elementary. It’s not a “now is your chance or else it’s over” situation that some parents were telling us. The lack of functioning website and communication from the school district in general due to covid is annoying. Anyway, this plan seems reasonable if the apparently hyper-competitive nature of the parents doesn’t interfere with the kids and teachers’ interactions. I’d say my wife and I were somewhat reluctant participants in the gifted/talented programs of our respective districts (or state in my case since my district barely believed in education outside of Sunday school, and has the lawsuits to prove it). Overall our experiences in those programs were not inspiring us to pursue the same for our kid. Hopefully things have changed in the last 25 years, and we can keep him out of the rat race many are gearing for in our area.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: jac941 on March 15, 2021, 10:16:45 PM

Do you really want your kid spending 80% of their time at school staring at the wall because they finished their work and the rest of the kids didn't?

This is a real issue for all bright kids (not just gifted ones) as they move through school. Our district doesn’t have a gifted program at all. We’ve definitely had some behavioral problems with our bright but probably not gifted child as he’s gotten older and not been challenged.

To the original poster, truly gifted kids are different. They’re not just bright (which is how some of these programs choose these kids). If your kid isn’t doing something that makes you think he / she is gifted, he / she probably isn’t.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Allie on March 16, 2021, 02:48:52 AM
If not being used to push kids into stressful situations or for purposes of ranking, I find most testing provides really valuable formation to anyone who is able to analyze it.  In our district gifted is optional.  If you won’t be forced to choose a gifted placement, I’m not sure what harm the testing would do...it could help you understand your child’s areas of strength and weakness and then tailor your parenting or teaching to what works best for them. 

My son is highly gifted and before his testing, his teachers were always frustrated that he wasn’t paying attention or wiggling or distracted.  Once he was tested and they realize he knew the material already and was bored, that sort of behavior was excused as long as he wasn’t distracting others.  But, once they knew he was gifted, things like sloppy handwriting and less than perfect effort were constantly being picked at, because they assumed he should be able to do everything at 100%.  Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: chemistk on March 16, 2021, 06:04:52 AM
My advice is based entirely off my experience as a kid who was considered 'gifted'.

Fuck. that. term.

In practice, I get it. I went to private school my whole life (Pre-3  -> College) and halfway through the second grade, my parents pulled me out of the school I was in, homeschooled me through the end of the grade, and then enrolled us in a much better (aka more stable - more kids attending) school. As part of the enrollment, I was tested for my aptitude and in that aptitude test, they administered some version of a 'gifted' test which I apparently passed because I was offered the chance to skip the third grade. My parents ultimately gave me the option to do so and that's what I did.

I was absolutely not ready to skip a grade. An 8 year old in the 4th grade? I had an awful time adjusting - skipping a year, at least at that point, meant I was expected to catch on to all the concepts that were covered in the previous grade without actually covering them, although i think I was given a binder with an overview of the stuff I had missed. Hard to remember now. But worse than being behind on rote stuff, I was emotionally not ready to skip a grade and for that I was bullied, bad.

In a vacuum, I was ready - I caught up pretty quickly to the rest of my class and still ended up being one of the top 3 or 4 kids grades wise. I would easily have been top if I actually studied, which I didn't.

In reality, I wasn't ready - there's just so much more to one's aptitude for learning than their perceived intelligence and cognitive ability. I suppose if my school had offered a gifted track, where I was given the opportunity to be grouped with other top performers, I would have adjusted better. But that wasn't the case.

Worse for me, once the bullying thing subsided a couple years later, I let the skipping-a-grade thing get to my head and for most of high school I slacked because I was generally able to get through exams and quizzes with a quarter of the time devoted to studying as the other kids in my grade.

^^
That's a really specific anecdote, take it with whatever grain of salt you will.

Will i be pushing my kids into gifted programs? Hell no. If they demonstrate aptitude, the program is sound, and they have a genuine hunger for moving into that sort of program, then we can cross that bridge as a family.

I think it's utterly laughable that your district (or, any district) would try and do gifted testing for preschoolers (or really, any grade Pre-4).
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: secondcor521 on March 16, 2021, 06:56:32 AM
^ The idea of advancing a student a grade (or two or three even) as an alternative to an actual gifted program is definitely a Very Bad Idea.  Bright kids are frequently intellectually advanced but average emotionally and maturity-wise.  This really becomes noticeable in middle- and high-school when physical maturation, dating, driving, and other sorts of maturity markers have to be dealt with.

We advanced our eldest son in third grade under somewhat odd circumstances (his mom wanted him in a particular private school and they had no second grade slots available but did have a third grade opening) and had him repeat third grade a second year to put him back with his age group.

Also, our district will do the testing, and the parents can decline to enroll their kids.  Kids tended to enter GATE at different ages from third to about sixth grade; almost all of the time they stayed in the program once they started.  But some GATE qualified kids never enrolled for whatever reason.

Again I'd urge the OP to separate testing from enrollment and also from the rat race and economic factors, as well as hoity-toity parents (although the last of these can be difficult since if you're kid is enrolled they'll of course know about it).
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: StarBright on March 16, 2021, 07:09:15 AM
I think there’s value in putting gifted kids together - letting them know there are other people like them. It’s lonely and discouraging when you think no one understands you.


I think ^ is very important. We certainly think it has made a difference with our son. It is means a lot to him to belong to a group and he has blossomed socially this year being with other kids who move more at his speed.

In his non-GT class we experience the same problem Allie mentions, which is expectations of perfection because he's capable.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Abe on March 16, 2021, 06:19:26 PM
My advice is based entirely off my experience as a kid who was considered 'gifted'.

Fuck. that. term.

In practice, I get it. I went to private school my whole life (Pre-3  -> College) and halfway through the second grade, my parents pulled me out of the school I was in, homeschooled me through the end of the grade, and then enrolled us in a much better (aka more stable - more kids attending) school. As part of the enrollment, I was tested for my aptitude and in that aptitude test, they administered some version of a 'gifted' test which I apparently passed because I was offered the chance to skip the third grade. My parents ultimately gave me the option to do so and that's what I did.

I was absolutely not ready to skip a grade. An 8 year old in the 4th grade? I had an awful time adjusting - skipping a year, at least at that point, meant I was expected to catch on to all the concepts that were covered in the previous grade without actually covering them, although i think I was given a binder with an overview of the stuff I had missed. Hard to remember now. But worse than being behind on rote stuff, I was emotionally not ready to skip a grade and for that I was bullied, bad.

In a vacuum, I was ready - I caught up pretty quickly to the rest of my class and still ended up being one of the top 3 or 4 kids grades wise. I would easily have been top if I actually studied, which I didn't.

In reality, I wasn't ready - there's just so much more to one's aptitude for learning than their perceived intelligence and cognitive ability. I suppose if my school had offered a gifted track, where I was given the opportunity to be grouped with other top performers, I would have adjusted better. But that wasn't the case.

Worse for me, once the bullying thing subsided a couple years later, I let the skipping-a-grade thing get to my head and for most of high school I slacked because I was generally able to get through exams and quizzes with a quarter of the time devoted to studying as the other kids in my grade.

^^
That's a really specific anecdote, take it with whatever grain of salt you will.

Will i be pushing my kids into gifted programs? Hell no. If they demonstrate aptitude, the program is sound, and they have a genuine hunger for moving into that sort of program, then we can cross that bridge as a family.

I think it's utterly laughable that your district (or, any district) would try and do gifted testing for preschoolers (or really, any grade Pre-4).

Thanks for your input. Our stories are very similar except the homeschooling, and I think that’s why our outlook is similar too. I’d rather my son be in a gifted program and stay at his same age, for the same reasons you mentioned about skipping grades.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Allie on March 16, 2021, 10:54:17 PM
Also, I’ll just put this out there, I think testing at a young age for giftedness is a good thing!  This doesn’t mean you need to skip a kid five grades or make them spend hours on stupid projects or even treat them differently than their peers.  It is just good to have the information and to be able to provide that information to others. 

My son is great at math...one of the reasons I homeschool is that he is over half way through high school algebra and he’s just about through with his technical 4th grade year.  But, he is insanely easy going and personable and acts like your basic everyday, happy go lucky kid (which he is and he’s awesome).  In kindergarten, I was called into talk with the teacher.  She had concerns.  He wasn’t paying attention, he was constantly interrupting by talking to his peers, and he was repeatedly falling out of his chair - especially during math - which he was not participating in.  She thought he had adhd and strongly recommended I go get an assessment and consider treating it.  Since I work with kids and behavioral health for a living, I did not do this.  But, if I hadn’t known better, he could have easily been sent to our pediatrician with a behavioral based assessment that indicates he has severe adhd and sent home with a twice a day regimen of adderall.   

Universal testing of all very young kids helps filter out kids who could benefit from specialized care before their boredom makes them a problem in a traditional classroom. 
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 17, 2021, 06:30:26 AM
If your child is happy and thriving at school, then don't worry about it.
Testing won't really reveal much because a gifted 6 year old can rapidly become an average 8 year old.

The major benefit of identifying a "gifted" child is to meet their otherwise unmet needs. Gifted children can present as below average, learning delayed, demonstrate behavioural problems, develop anxiety, etc, etc, but that's *if* their intellectual needs aren't being met.

Not all gifted kids need special accommodations at school. Some adapt just fine and seek out extra stimulation on their own if they need it. Some start needing it later in their schooling, while some need it very early and then never again.

Each child is individual, so if you don't want to test them from the get go, that's fine. Unless they have an unmet need, then the testing may not produce anything actionable. Be attentive to your child and respond to their individual needs. If they display any signs of struggle, have them evaluated appropriately, like any parent would.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: DaMa on March 17, 2021, 07:49:06 AM
My advice is based entirely off my experience as a kid who was considered 'gifted'.

Fuck. that. term.

In practice, I get it. I went to private school my whole life (Pre-3  -> College) and halfway through the second grade, my parents pulled me out of the school I was in, homeschooled me through the end of the grade, and then enrolled us in a much better (aka more stable - more kids attending) school. As part of the enrollment, I was tested for my aptitude and in that aptitude test, they administered some version of a 'gifted' test which I apparently passed because I was offered the chance to skip the third grade. My parents ultimately gave me the option to do so and that's what I did.

I was absolutely not ready to skip a grade. An 8 year old in the 4th grade? I had an awful time adjusting - skipping a year, at least at that point, meant I was expected to catch on to all the concepts that were covered in the previous grade without actually covering them, although i think I was given a binder with an overview of the stuff I had missed. Hard to remember now. But worse than being behind on rote stuff, I was emotionally not ready to skip a grade and for that I was bullied, bad.

In a vacuum, I was ready - I caught up pretty quickly to the rest of my class and still ended up being one of the top 3 or 4 kids grades wise. I would easily have been top if I actually studied, which I didn't.

In reality, I wasn't ready - there's just so much more to one's aptitude for learning than their perceived intelligence and cognitive ability. I suppose if my school had offered a gifted track, where I was given the opportunity to be grouped with other top performers, I would have adjusted better. But that wasn't the case.

Worse for me, once the bullying thing subsided a couple years later, I let the skipping-a-grade thing get to my head and for most of high school I slacked because I was generally able to get through exams and quizzes with a quarter of the time devoted to studying as the other kids in my grade.

^^
That's a really specific anecdote, take it with whatever grain of salt you will.

Will i be pushing my kids into gifted programs? Hell no. If they demonstrate aptitude, the program is sound, and they have a genuine hunger for moving into that sort of program, then we can cross that bridge as a family.

I think it's utterly laughable that your district (or, any district) would try and do gifted testing for preschoolers (or really, any grade Pre-4).

Thanks for your input. Our stories are very similar except the homeschooling, and I think that’s why our outlook is similar too. I’d rather my son be in a gifted program and stay at his same age, for the same reasons you mentioned about skipping grades.

+2
I never met anyone with a similar story.  I skipped twice, and like you I caught up on my own, got lax toward the end, and still finished top 5%.  I was tested in 2nd grade mainly because I was reading way ahead of my class.

There was no emotional or mental health support, and I was never in a group with others like me.  I was bullied in elementary school.  I have depression and anxiety, am introverted, and struggled with social situations.  However, I believe my dysfunctional home life was a much greater contributor than my school life.  In fact, my academics were really the only positive self-esteem I had.

It is highly unlikely I would have allowed one of my children to skip a grade.  They are all bright, but not exceptional, and we never tested them.  Today they have programs to allow children to study ahead of grade level without skipping, which is a much better way to go, IMO.

Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Dicey on March 17, 2021, 07:56:42 AM
You sound really unhappy about the fancy neighborhood and seem to look down on the people in it. Why do you live there again?
Maybe because years ago, Abe was moving to a new city and asked for advice from this very forum? The overwhelming response was to live as close to work as possible. Now his career has taken him to another new city. I expect he took our mustachian advice to heart, just the way he did last time ;-)

I got the distinct impression what Abe's looking down on is the pretentious parents, not everyone in the neighborhood. In my many, many trips there for work and to visit friends and family, I discovered Texas takes pride in its "bigger is better" spirit. My friends moved from Beverly Hills-adjacent LA with their two kids and a minivan to a very small Hill Country town. They're native Texans; they knew what they were getting into. She loved her minivan and he his econobox. She said their vehicles were immediately and constantly scorned. "You need a truck" he was told, and "You need a Suburban" was the message for her. She said it never let up. People thought they were poor, and kept offering them deals on their used Suburbans until they finally caved. She got a lightly used Suburban after they had another child and he kept his econobox.

Based on Abe's comment, I'm guessing Range Rovers have replaced Suburbans, at least in the big cities.

I have thoughts on Gifted Programs, based on personal experience, but I'll come back to that later, after I give it a little more thought.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: waltworks on March 17, 2021, 09:25:50 AM
For those folks who haven't seen the story in Malcolm Gladwell's book, there's a reason you don't test preschoolers, usually - because a 3 year and 11 month old is MUCH more capable than a 3 year and 1 month old.

At that age, you also have issues with moodiness, being afraid of the test admin, etc. Your results are going to mostly be garbage.

By the time you have kids who are 8-10 the age gap doesn't matter much, but for very young kids it's silly to put too much effort into testing.

I was tracked into the gifted cohort as a kid and I am not sure it was a good thing. I learned early on that making mistakes or having to work hard to understand something was a sign of weakness (this was in Los Alamos NM, so there were a lot of *actual* gifted kids - as in graduate at age 12 and go to MIT type stuff). I achieved quite a bit less academically later (think graduate school) than I think I could have because of this - eventually stuff gets hard for everyone, no matter how clever you are, and nobody cares when you're writing your thesis how old you were when you finished Diff Eq.

Luckily for me I liked sports and also kinda sucked at them, so I finally did learn to (sort of) work hard at things and be ok with failure. But being labeled "gifted" might not have been great when I was young.

I guess what I'm saying is that you should do what's best for your kid and their future, rather than worry about how the gifted label makes you feel as a parent. My oldest miserably failed the gifted test he took at the start of 3rd grade (either because he's not, or because he basically panics about any test, or both), but we're trying to teach him that success has more to do with busting your butt and being thoughtful and calm/collected than just being smart.

-W
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: joe189man on March 17, 2021, 10:17:34 AM
Abe it sounds like you are wondering if you should participate in the GT or GATE testing for the young one, and it sounds like you are thinking of not doing the testing, is that correct? Is there anything your child has done that makes you "raise an eyebrow"? Are they reading early or super creative/ vivid imagination?  If you dont suspect anything is out of the ordinary and plan on public school anyway i think you can wait till 2nd grade.

Our son was tested young (~3.5 yo) for a variety of things because the daycare said they were having behavior issues with our son. they were worried about his development or autisim or who knows. His testing came back ok but tested GT, we recently had him re-tested at 5+ yo just to confirm and to check things out again before we looked at private GT schools vs other options. He is still testing as GT but was also diagnosed with fairly extreme ADHD, which in our minds along with some sensory things is the more pressing issue as compared to the GT needs.  Finding a school for GT or ADHD is easy, finding one that deals with both is nonexistent so far in our research, please PM me if anyone knows where a school like this may be, please.

Public schools, at least where i live, don't typically offer GT programing for kids in Kindergarten and 1st grade and test in 2nd grade and offers some GT programing there after but its not much and varies dramatically. with all that said we are currently enrolled in public kindergarten for the fall but are also exploring a private school that deals with ADHD and other learning disabilities (LD)s.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: tygertygertyger on March 17, 2021, 10:37:14 AM
In my area, children can test into "selective enrollment" programs - GT programs in the public schools. My friend's child tested into one for his kindergarten class, and they did decide to enroll him there. (He also could have attended the neighborhood public school. Both were good options.)

Generally speaking, GT assessment results at that age correspond more closely with higher socioeconomic class more than anything else. Despite being from a diverse area, indeed the other students in his class are the children of lawyers and other white collar professionals with higher salaries. Broader vocabulary, easy access to books and experiences, more focus from adults, and well, plain capital. None of this is bad, by any means, but the general population at his public school is more diverse (ethnically and socio-economic status) than his GT class.

Around here it's a good idea to join the GT program because it gives you an edge to get into the higher rated public high schools, which you need to test into. There is a much clearer distinction between the general public high schools vs the selective enrollment ones, moreso than the elementary schools. I used to work for the company that created the assessments, and some of my friends "joked" about my giving them the answers. Uh, nope, your kids will all do just fine without, and my career can continue. 

Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: secondcor521 on March 17, 2021, 10:37:51 AM
Finding a school for GT or ADHD is easy, finding one that deals with both is nonexistent so far in our research, please PM me if anyone knows where a school like this may be, please.

I don't know about your specific location, but what I noticed in my experience was that the public schools often were the best option.  It seemed this was because of scale:  in a small private school, out of 25 kids you might have one kid who is GT and ADHD, and since private school budgets are almost always under pressure, doing something for that one kid might not happen.  Public schools with 400 kids might have 16 GT+ADHD kids, and that many kids plus their associated parents advocating for them creates enough oomph to at least provide some training for the GT teacher and maybe some additional support of some kind.

So bottom line, make sure you include your local public school in your list of options and give them a chance to surprise you positively as perhaps a better option than specialized or private schools.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: joe189man on March 17, 2021, 11:33:47 AM
Finding a school for GT or ADHD is easy, finding one that deals with both is nonexistent so far in our research, please PM me if anyone knows where a school like this may be, please.

I don't know about your specific location, but what I noticed in my experience was that the public schools often were the best option.  It seemed this was because of scale:  in a small private school, out of 25 kids you might have one kid who is GT and ADHD, and since private school budgets are almost always under pressure, doing something for that one kid might not happen.  Public schools with 400 kids might have 16 GT+ADHD kids, and that many kids plus their associated parents advocating for them creates enough oomph to at least provide some training for the GT teacher and maybe some additional support of some kind.

So bottom line, make sure you include your local public school in your list of options and give them a chance to surprise you positively as perhaps a better option than specialized or private schools.

This is the likely route we are taking, we already did a bunch of the leg work with our local school district, applied for an IEP, and had an hour long zoom call with the elementary school principal and counselors, and folks at the district level. I think our son can do well there and they have resources for him and other similar kids. We are lucky to have several private GT school options but all of them are focused on the GT child and not a GT kiddo with ADHD, and to your point didn't have the Counselor and OT resources that public schools have. we were also afraid of him getting kicked out after a few months at a private GT school because they couldnt handle him. we also have 2 LD type private schools in the metro area but they cater to all LD kiddos so autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and others. we have spoken to them both and are not sure its the right fit but on the flip side as they cater to a similar kid just not with the GT aspects. We just want to check all options for him, but public school with additional therapy as needed will be the likely plan
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Laura33 on March 17, 2021, 12:23:13 PM
I could say a lot about this, but to try to distill it down:

1.  Do not judge by your own experience.  Life is different, school is different, neighborhoods are different.  Learn how your school system works and figure out the best spot for your kid within it. 

2.  There are two things to consider:  (a) your child's actual needs, and (b) the practical implications.  Most people think about (a); I will encourage you to think about (b). 

  (i)  In most places, the best teachers want to teach the best students.  That means that the gifted classes will often have much better teachers (not to mention more interesting work) than the "normal" classes.  Anecdote:  in my daughter's HS, they have "GT/AP," "Honors," regular, and remedial tracks.  She was GT/AP track, her best friend was Honors.  DD busted her ass in English, writing papers every week or so; her friend did not write a single paper all year -- they'd get question-and-answer sheets, "draw a picture"-type problems, and the like.  For the Honors class!!  So in our school district at least -- which, btw, is a pretty darn good district -- if you want your kid to learn to plan an essay or, you know, write decently (as will be required in college), they'd better be on the "gifted" track.

  (ii)  In most gifted programs, it's much easier to drop out once you're in than it is to get in if you've missed the first entry point.  In my kids' ES, the "on-ramp" was 2nd grade; by 5th grade, they were a full year ahead, and it was almost impossible for a late-bloomer to join.

  (iii)  Who knows what your kid will want to do for college.  But colleges generally want to see the kids take the hardest classes available to them.  If your kid is capable of, say, calculus in HS, and the school offers calculus, and your kid doesn't take it, that will put him at a disadvantage to the other kids who did.  And as above, depending on how your school works, your decisions in the early years can limit his choices and options in the later years. 

Not that you need to make any specific decision.  And no, that's not the way things should work.  But that's the way they do work.  And the most important advice I can give you is to understand long-term impact of any choice are before you make it.

3.  Returning to (a), don't let your obvious disdain for the rat-racers and social climbers -- or your own experience -- poison your view of "gifted" education as it may apply to your child.  Yes, I am biased about this:  I was a Food Stamps kid who never really fit in and who was ID'd as gifted before kindergarten thanks to some of the "Great Society" programs of the early '70s, and that set me on a path to the kind of career success and financial security that I literally never dreamed was possible for a kid like me.  Yes, gifted programs can be horrible, or they can be gamed by rich parents to give their kids a leg up, and all that.  But for the right kid in the right program, they can be lifesavers.  Sometimes literally:  I've read articles suggesting that gifted kids make up half of HS dropouts and a significant proportion of suicides. 

Again:  not advising you to jump on the chase-the-top-spot bandwagon.  But do try to look objectively at both how the school system works and your kid's own needs, rather than relying on your own past experience to conclude that it's all silly excess. 
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Psychstache on March 17, 2021, 12:52:47 PM
So being a school psychologist who has given IQ tests to hundreds of students and worked in education in Texas for my entire adult life, I have some (mostly random as they are coming to me)thoughts.

It is very reasonable to be suspicious of our GATE programs. Many of them are just more quantities of the same work the on-level track is doing at their best. Oftentimes, they can just be a way to re-segregate schools so parents can make sure their child doesn't have to deal with the poors and 'others'.

IQ testing tells us something, but it isn't entirely clear what it is they are telling us. The best correlate we have to high IQ test scores is high academic achievement, so for schools that drive their GATE programs are likely mostly identifying high achieving kids moreso than gifted kids. For some kids who are truly high achievers, most of the poorly run GATE programs are actually good for them. The issue comes when a district has constructed a 'GATE' program for high achievers and they have true gifted students placed in them, especially when it is a gifted student who is not 'teacher-proof' (ex. think a gifted student who is more contrarian than typical high achiever in a gifted program or is a 2E like gifted+ADHD or gifted+ASD).

Most districts that I have worked with don't look at GATE identification until a little bit later. Even some of our most sophisticated IQ assessments have huge SEMs when you are testing the youngest age groups, and if they are using garbage like the CoGAT as a group screener then we might as well just have the kids take one of the Facebook ads tests, results would likely be just as accurate.

Absolutely under no circumstances should you ever have your child skip a grade pre-high school.

I may add some more thoughts later, but I need to work on making this crazy headache go away.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 17, 2021, 01:13:27 PM
So being a school psychologist who has given IQ tests to hundreds of students and worked in education in Texas for my entire adult life, I have some (mostly random as they are coming to me)thoughts.

It is very reasonable to be suspicious of our GATE programs. Many of them are just more quantities of the same work the on-level track is doing at their best. Oftentimes, they can just be a way to re-segregate schools so parents can make sure their child doesn't have to deal with the poors and 'others'.

IQ testing tells us something, but it isn't entirely clear what it is they are telling us. The best correlate we have to high IQ test scores is high academic achievement, so for schools that drive their GATE programs are likely mostly identifying high achieving kids moreso than gifted kids. For some kids who are truly high achievers, most of the poorly run GATE programs are actually good for them. The issue comes when a district has constructed a 'GATE' program for high achievers and they have true gifted students placed in them, especially when it is a gifted student who is not 'teacher-proof' (ex. think a gifted student who is more contrarian than typical high achiever in a gifted program or is a 2E like gifted+ADHD or gifted+ASD).

Most districts that I have worked with don't look at GATE identification until a little bit later. Even some of our most sophisticated IQ assessments have huge SEMs when you are testing the youngest age groups, and if they are using garbage like the CoGAT as a group screener then we might as well just have the kids take one of the Facebook ads tests, results would likely be just as accurate.

Absolutely under no circumstances should you ever have your child skip a grade pre-high school.

I may add some more thoughts later, but I need to work on making this crazy headache go away.

I love this post so much.

Yes, there is such a huge difference between the concepts of gifted vs high achieving.
I worked with special needs kids for years, and a lot of gifted kids are very poor achievers because their needs aren't being met, especially if they end up just having a heavier load of work dumped on them.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Abe on March 17, 2021, 07:13:26 PM
Thanks again for your all's input. Everyone's comments have helped us figure this out much more than when we started!

Sounds like in general testing won't hurt at this age, but may or may not mean anything. I guess boredom or inattentiveness is the main indicator at this age that he should be doing something more interesting than regular classes. There also is a wide range of quality of programs, with variable testing mechanisms. I think we'll just see what happens to some extent, since there are multiple opportunities to re-evaluate the kids as they age and settle into some kind of trajectory. Also, will keep our baggage out of it and be objective about this process.

Also @Dicey, you're right. It's range rovers now.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: waltworks on March 17, 2021, 08:02:38 PM
For those who are bored/curious about this subject, check out Stanley Terman:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_Studies_of_Genius

-W
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: mm1970 on March 18, 2021, 03:00:55 PM
So being a school psychologist who has given IQ tests to hundreds of students and worked in education in Texas for my entire adult life, I have some (mostly random as they are coming to me)thoughts.

It is very reasonable to be suspicious of our GATE programs. Many of them are just more quantities of the same work the on-level track is doing at their best. Oftentimes, they can just be a way to re-segregate schools so parents can make sure their child doesn't have to deal with the poors and 'others'.

IQ testing tells us something, but it isn't entirely clear what it is they are telling us. The best correlate we have to high IQ test scores is high academic achievement, so for schools that drive their GATE programs are likely mostly identifying high achieving kids moreso than gifted kids. For some kids who are truly high achievers, most of the poorly run GATE programs are actually good for them. The issue comes when a district has constructed a 'GATE' program for high achievers and they have true gifted students placed in them, especially when it is a gifted student who is not 'teacher-proof' (ex. think a gifted student who is more contrarian than typical high achiever in a gifted program or is a 2E like gifted+ADHD or gifted+ASD).

Most districts that I have worked with don't look at GATE identification until a little bit later. Even some of our most sophisticated IQ assessments have huge SEMs when you are testing the youngest age groups, and if they are using garbage like the CoGAT as a group screener then we might as well just have the kids take one of the Facebook ads tests, results would likely be just as accurate.

Absolutely under no circumstances should you ever have your child skip a grade pre-high school.

I may add some more thoughts later, but I need to work on making this crazy headache go away.

I love this post so much.

Yes, there is such a huge difference between the concepts of gifted vs high achieving.
I worked with special needs kids for years, and a lot of gifted kids are very poor achievers because their needs aren't being met, especially if they end up just having a heavier load of work dumped on them.
+1

My  husband and I were "gifted".  Our older son was also identified as gifted in 4th grade, and I expect the 3rd grader will be also, if we have him tested again in 4th.

Giftedness is a spectrum.  Giftedness often comes with personality quirks, and emotional issues, and different ways of learning, and those are a spectrum.  My family members are very low on that spectrum, more typical really.  So, we opted to keep kid #1 at his normal elementary school and not move him to the gifted  "track" at different school.  I'd wager that a good % of the kids that test into the GATE program are high achieving or "pushed", and not really "gifted".

I've know other gifted kids who REALLY needed to be in that gifted program, because it DOES deal more effectively with the personality quirks and the different ways of learning and different needs.  My kids and my husband and I are more middle-of-the-road high achievers.  I work with a lot of people who have PhD's in engineering, and one of my coworkers made a comment about engineers and ADHD and other social difficulties.  I hadn't ever thought of that before, but I do have a lot of coworkers who fit that bill.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 18, 2021, 03:03:41 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 18, 2021, 06:28:21 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 18, 2021, 08:16:42 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.

Potato potahto.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 18, 2021, 09:18:31 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.

Potato potahto.

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on March 18, 2021, 10:41:39 PM
I could say a lot about this, but to try to distill it down:

1.  Do not judge by your own experience.  Life is different, school is different, neighborhoods are different.  Learn how your school system works and figure out the best spot for your kid within it. 

2.  There are two things to consider:  (a) your child's actual needs, and (b) the practical implications.  Most people think about (a); I will encourage you to think about (b). 

  (i)  In most places, the best teachers want to teach the best students.  That means that the gifted classes will often have much better teachers (not to mention more interesting work) than the "normal" classes.  Anecdote:  in my daughter's HS, they have "GT/AP," "Honors," regular, and remedial tracks.  She was GT/AP track, her best friend was Honors.  DD busted her ass in English, writing papers every week or so; her friend did not write a single paper all year -- they'd get question-and-answer sheets, "draw a picture"-type problems, and the like.  For the Honors class!!  So in our school district at least -- which, btw, is a pretty darn good district -- if you want your kid to learn to plan an essay or, you know, write decently (as will be required in college), they'd better be on the "gifted" track.

  (ii)  In most gifted programs, it's much easier to drop out once you're in than it is to get in if you've missed the first entry point.  In my kids' ES, the "on-ramp" was 2nd grade; by 5th grade, they were a full year ahead, and it was almost impossible for a late-bloomer to join.

  (iii)  Who knows what your kid will want to do for college.  But colleges generally want to see the kids take the hardest classes available to them.  If your kid is capable of, say, calculus in HS, and the school offers calculus, and your kid doesn't take it, that will put him at a disadvantage to the other kids who did.  And as above, depending on how your school works, your decisions in the early years can limit his choices and options in the later years. 

Not that you need to make any specific decision.  And no, that's not the way things should work.  But that's the way they do work.  And the most important advice I can give you is to understand long-term impact of any choice are before you make it.

3.  Returning to (a), don't let your obvious disdain for the rat-racers and social climbers -- or your own experience -- poison your view of "gifted" education as it may apply to your child.  Yes, I am biased about this:  I was a Food Stamps kid who never really fit in and who was ID'd as gifted before kindergarten thanks to some of the "Great Society" programs of the early '70s, and that set me on a path to the kind of career success and financial security that I literally never dreamed was possible for a kid like me.  Yes, gifted programs can be horrible, or they can be gamed by rich parents to give their kids a leg up, and all that.  But for the right kid in the right program, they can be lifesavers.  Sometimes literally:  I've read articles suggesting that gifted kids make up half of HS dropouts and a significant proportion of suicides. 

Again:  not advising you to jump on the chase-the-top-spot bandwagon.  But do try to look objectively at both how the school system works and your kid's own needs, rather than relying on your own past experience to conclude that it's all silly excess.

I'll bite, since this is an interesting topic/question, and one I'm intimately familiar with.  I'm responding here since, like @Abe , I hail from a small town and was identified as gifted at an early age.  Turns out, it wasn't a total mistake, so I went from the farm town to the top schools and beyond.  I hire and have hired many, many extraordinarily gifted folks.

I've also served on an admissions committee for a top school for years, and now serve on the board of one.  Suffice it to say I've spent a lot of time in/around gifted environments and gifted kids, though I'm not in education full-time.  But all of that is preview. 

I quoted @Laura33 above since she's exactly right.  More on that soon. 

I also share @Abe 's frustration with the parents of kids at selective/gifted schools throughout the years.  Suffice it to say that I know the atmosphere, and the higher up you go, the worse it gets.  That's just how the world works. 

@Abe , your question is a social/cultural question as much as an educational one, so personal background is a must. My grandfather was a sharecropper, but, like @Laura33 , my parents made decisions that set me up for unprecedented success.  Like other kids mentioned, I learned to read at a young age: my parents simply read books to me, and at age two, I memorized books.  When I was nearing three, apparently I told them I could read.  They didn't believe me.  Then, one day, I sat at the kitchen table, read the newspaper, and then began talking about it.  They thought maybe I had heard about the local news, so they handed me another article and quizzed me.  Turns out, I could read.  Nobody ever taught me, other than my parents reading children's books to me. 

From there, I attended public schools until into high school, taking advantage of what few gifted programs existed.  I was bored to tears most of the time.  Some of my gifted colleagues turned that boredom to ... other pursuits.  None felt like they fit in, really, even though most of us got along with others just fine.  More than a few gifted kids had boredom-related disciplinary issues.  E.g., I thought it would be funny to get disciplined for reading during reading class (since I had read the semester's book on day one or two).  The teacher finally sent me when I pulled the 10th or so book out of my pants.  I got out of class and read something more fun in detention, so I'm not sure who that punished. 

Or another story along that vein: a junior-high math teacher once made a deal with me to leave me alone if I would just do her work and not bother her.  She knew I was taking college math classes in the summer and was way beyond her grade level already.  Great, I said--deal made.  And I held up my end perfectly.  It went well for a long time.  But ultimately, she didn't hold up her end: for some reason, she decided she didn't like some of my friends outside of her class, so she started picking on me in class.  (I didn't learn why/what or so on until much, much later, and it had nothing to do with me at all; all I knew is at the time is that she reneged on her deal.)  What did I do?  I started being a clever a** and handing in math tests with correct answers...in base two.  And so on.  And the tests started coming back with funny handwriting for the grades, so I kept it up--I knew she was getting help somewhere, which had to be annoying.  (Kudos to her for calling my bluff rather than fighting me, though, as that was probably wise.) 

Years later, I invited her colleague to a fancy benefit, a beloved friend and mentor who helped me get the hell out of that place and into an amazing school.  He told me she had come to him for help and he could barely contain his amusement at it.  He had me the next year and I killed it in his class...but he wasn't boring and he didn't provoke me.  Instead, he gave me textbooks for self-study to help me bridge the gap of coming from a normal/subpar school to one full of kids whose parents were virtually all MD/PHDs (and usually both parents). 

Here's the basic problem, @Abe: our society rewards academic giftedness so much so that it attracts the climbers, hucksters, and too-intense parents to the extreme.  They're part of good educational environments--by nature.  Yet you want your kid to get the best education possible and you want to set him up for success, rather than let him languish in some crap school with the kind of teacher you get who can't get excellent students who actually like learning and instead ends up being a behavior monitor.  That means seeking out excellent academic programs...because our society rewards giftedness.  As Laura put it, you don't want your disdain to punish your own kid--and I say that as someone who shares your disdain, and also lives in a pretty upscale place. 

The good news is this: kids tend to learn their virtues from their parents, rather than their peers.  So that small-town wholesomeness vibe you have will rub off.  I have extraordinarily gifted friends who I can tell had parents like you.  Your kid will take the best from both worlds. 

As to the practical points: Like others, I don't trust the preschool-age "giftedness" tests.  They're pretty useless and include a lot of noise.  Like others, I don't recommend advancing your kid in grades.  You can advance a kid's academic work, but you can't make a kid's brain older or the kid more emotionally mature.  I know a lot of kids who have done it: the success rate is surprisingly low, and the best case is that the kid keeps up, doesn't look as talented, and struggles socially.  Why do that?  You're setting your kid back in almost all cases. 

@Abe , our society rewards giftedness to such an extent that it incentivizes the wildness you see among the parents.  They come together, as one, and there's no way to separate it.  Many parents perceive that the world fiercely rewards those types of talents--and markers that at least look like those--so they fight viciously to get them.  But you can use your own wisdom to nudge, encourage, and educate your child about options without that kind of craziness. 

My best friend in high school scored within 100 points of perfect on the standardized tests--good enough to get into almost any school in the United States, save maybe 3-4.  His parents shouted at him over his poor performance.  My parents, by contrast, thought it was great that I was even taking the test and doing OK.  Turns out, his parents came from India and knew many people living in utter poverty, having had to scramble out themselves through pure academic success--by beating millions on one single test.  My parents, by contrast, didn't know or really even appreciate that I could score virtually perfect scores and above the top quartile for every graduate school in the USA in the areas I was looking at.  Yet the system we have rewards that. 

Here's the thing: the top few kids at local state school do just as well and are just as talented as the top kids from Harvard or Yale.  I've interviewed and hired both.  The difference is this: the below-median kid at local state school may well struggle, whereas the below-median kid at a top program will get interviews and offers the other kid will have to fight for or can't get at all.  It's not fair, perhaps...but that's how the world is.  Better to learn that young. 

And I've been on both sides of this: there's a reason people turn to things like programs to sort through 10,000 resumes, especially when you know that probably 50% of the applicants can do the job perfectly well.  What those programs do is sort for really high achievement, drive, and some solid basic skills.

Abe, you're wondering about the downsides, and to me, instead, you want your kid to get the upsides.  If your kid is gifted, you want him/her to be on a path to fit in more, to jump into peer groups that will be a better fit, and so on.  I fit in best and did my best once I moved to gifted programs.  My parents started off by taking me and letting me go far away to summer programs, and that's when I realized that there was truly a place for me, where I could be somewhat normal, and that eventually led me on to better educational places.  And I didn't lose a whit of my love for the salt-of-the-earth people I grew up amongst, and still miss many things about that environment today. 

Once again, I urge you to reread @Laura33 's post.  She's spot on about all of it.  Find the best program you can for your kid and let your kid go for it.  It'll open more options later, especially within the educational system we have.  That's how the world works, and the upsides far outweigh the downsides...which, by the way, will (probably) mostly be felt by you, rather than your kid. 
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on March 18, 2021, 10:59:06 PM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.

Potato potahto.

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.

This is more common than most realize (save the psycho part).  I was launched from nowhere to a top school, but within a year, most of the gifted peers I left behind in the crappy school system had at least been arrested.  Boredom + intelligence + time + confinement = problems.  Especially when you throw some hormones in the mix. 

You want your kid somewhere where idle trouble looks like getting chewed out for building a tesla coil from home depot parts and killing nearby TV/radio signals, not somewhere where idle trouble looks like shooting up someone's empty car with airguns.  ("I'm smarter than Officer Bob" sounds great to the idle teenage brain until it learns--the hard way--that silly old Officer Bob has loads of real-world experience, wisdom, and time...which ends up mattering far more.) 

The public education system caters to standard diplomas, which certainly has its place.  It's a hammer, though, and it wants standard nails.  Or it beats on them a bit.  Many of those schools have lots of support for those struggling to hit passing, but little for those idle with boredom.  And you know what they say about idle hands...
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: StarBright on March 19, 2021, 07:28:10 AM

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.

This is more common than most realize (save the psycho part).  I was launched from nowhere to a top school, but within a year, most of the gifted peers I left behind in the crappy school system had at least been arrested.  Boredom + intelligence + time + confinement = problems.  Especially when you throw some hormones in the mix. 

You want your kid somewhere where idle trouble looks like getting chewed out for building a tesla coil from home depot parts and killing nearby TV/radio signals, not somewhere where idle trouble looks like shooting up someone's empty car with airguns.  ("I'm smarter than Officer Bob" sounds great to the idle teenage brain until it learns--the hard way--that silly old Officer Bob has loads of real-world experience, wisdom, and time...which ends up mattering far more.) 

The public education system caters to standard diplomas, which certainly has its place.  It's a hammer, though, and it wants standard nails.  Or it beats on them a bit.  Many of those schools have lots of support for those struggling to hit passing, but little for those idle with boredom.  And you know what they say about idle hands...

^ this was also my experience. I managed to stay out of trouble because I had an extra curricular/job that I was passionate about that also took a lot of time, but in general jail time, pregnancy, and lots and lots of drugs and drinking were the mainstay of my cohort in high school. I was at a lower middle class school though and happened to attend right at the time they gutted gifted programming. So we went from GT programming in middle school to nothing in high school. Most of us had no classes left to take by the end of our junior year.

One kid, perfect SAT score, super bright was going to be the first person from my high school to attend an elite school (MIT), he pulled a dumb prank during his afternoon study hall of his senior year and the principal was so p*ssed that he got the kid's admittance revoked. Idle minds cause big problems.

And my brother sounds very similar to Malcat's. He actually was misdiagnosed as ADHD as a child and years later it was confirmed that he had a super high IQ and a touch of OCD. Proper assessment at a younger age could potentially have made a huge difference in his life (his 20s were marked by substance abuse and were sort of a lost decade).
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 19, 2021, 07:37:31 AM

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.

This is more common than most realize (save the psycho part).  I was launched from nowhere to a top school, but within a year, most of the gifted peers I left behind in the crappy school system had at least been arrested.  Boredom + intelligence + time + confinement = problems.  Especially when you throw some hormones in the mix. 

You want your kid somewhere where idle trouble looks like getting chewed out for building a tesla coil from home depot parts and killing nearby TV/radio signals, not somewhere where idle trouble looks like shooting up someone's empty car with airguns.  ("I'm smarter than Officer Bob" sounds great to the idle teenage brain until it learns--the hard way--that silly old Officer Bob has loads of real-world experience, wisdom, and time...which ends up mattering far more.) 

The public education system caters to standard diplomas, which certainly has its place.  It's a hammer, though, and it wants standard nails.  Or it beats on them a bit.  Many of those schools have lots of support for those struggling to hit passing, but little for those idle with boredom.  And you know what they say about idle hands...

^ this was also my experience. I managed to stay out of trouble because I had an extra curricular/job that I was passionate about that also took a lot of time, but in general jail time, pregnancy, and lots and lots of drugs and drinking were the mainstay of my cohort in high school. I was at a lower middle class school though and happened to attend right at the time they gutted gifted programming. So we went from GT programming in middle school to nothing in high school. Most of us had no classes left to take by the end of our junior year.

One kid, perfect SAT score, super bright was going to be the first person from my high school to attend an elite school (MIT), he pulled a dumb prank during his afternoon study hall of his senior year and the principal was so p*ssed that he got the kid's admittance revoked. Idle minds cause big problems.

And my brother sounds very similar to Malcat's. He actually was misdiagnosed as ADHD as a child and years later it was confirmed that he had a super high IQ and a touch of OCD. Proper assessment at a younger age could potentially have made a huge difference in his life (his 20s were marked by substance abuse and were sort of a lost decade).


Oh yeah, we used to joke constantly that my brother would likely end up in jail. The kid got kicked out of multiple daycares as a toddler because he could always find and manipulate another kid into doing insane, destructive shit. Summers were hard because there was no school to occupy him, and at 7 he demolished our veranda the day before the new buyers closed on our house and we were moving to another city.

Him dumbing down by 12 was the best thing that ever happened to my family.

Oh, and interesting detail: he never did well in school. He could, but he didn't.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: tthree on March 19, 2021, 01:17:53 PM
I would recommend reading this book, as it is a well researched summary of giftedness, intelligence and success:  https://www.amazon.ca/Ungifted-Intelligence-Scott-Barry-Kaufman/dp/0465025544 (https://www.amazon.ca/Ungifted-Intelligence-Scott-Barry-Kaufman/dp/0465025544)
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Abe on March 19, 2021, 08:04:24 PM
I appreciate everyone's thoughtful commentary. We'll see how the testing goes and see what the kid decides to do, and at what age. While I still think testing at a kindergarten level is a bit...error prone...I agree that it's better to deal with the rat-racers and give my kid the opportunity we didn't have growing up (at least to be around peers). He's above-average intelligence, per his current teacher's reports, and that's as far as I've asked.

Luckily his grandparents aren't the "you only got a A? Where's the +?" kind of people, so neither are we. I guess I am afraid of him burning out because he's competing against peers who are pushed too hard by their parents. Unlike his peers, he will really have no external reason to do so.

Time for some projection: I was in a similar position and nearly washed out even without any real pressure from parents (and the main reason I declined a scholarship to one of the Ivy leagues - the idea of that environment was too stressful). After skipping a grade, I was initially the kid in the back reading some other textbook and showing up for tests. For a while I was the kid skipping boring classes to go paint a giant mural in the parking lot with the hippy art teacher. Eventually I just stopped going to class and showed up for tests only. That lasted well into the didactic part of med school. Most of that was a stress response to the pressures involved. Though I weirdly ended up in a very good position in the end, that was by no means guaranteed, and mostly because I rebelled (some call it committing self-sabatoge) at what people "expected" someone of my abilities to do.  I still have mixed feelings about people praising me in that regard, even though I ended up basically where they all said I would. Though it was an unusual process (i.e. one of the few non-Ivy League people here), it gave me some insight into how life works. (but yes, they were right, it's awesome.)

A few of my friends burned out because of that pressure, and the fallout is continuing well into our 30s. Conversely, a lot of my classmates from my hometown are in jail or addicted to various drugs (not from med school, don't worry). So there's a lot of damage across the spectrum, and that's what in the end we worry about most. We'll just have to watch for that level of stress and if it gets unnecessarily intense, encourage him to back out before he ends up pseudo dropping-out and being angry at the system like we were.

Ok, done with the projecting. Will go read this weekend what you all recommended, appreciate the advice!
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 20, 2021, 08:55:02 AM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.

Potato potahto.

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.

Meh.  If a kid is showing problems in school, and you've already eliminated abuse and physical problems then you already know that their learning needs to be different.  So there's still little real benefit in kindergarten giftedness testing from that perspective.  I still say potato potahto.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Cranky on March 20, 2021, 09:14:48 AM
I think a lot is going to depend on the school, as well. IMO, a really well run classroom should be able to accommodate kids who are working at a variety of levels. I'm a retired Montessori teacher, but I've certainly seen standard public school classrooms that did a bang up job at this.

Being very smart or working at a more advanced level should not equate being bored in school, and many kids who are bored in school are not geniuses, IME.

My grandson just turned 5. He starts kindergarten in the fall. He reads on about a 7th grade level. We will wait and see how his school handles this.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 20, 2021, 09:19:49 AM
I'm not entirely convinced that pre-schoolers can really be accurately tested for 'giftedness'.

Yes, they can, and it can be critical for identifying the source of learning or behavioural problems.
So if the kid is having issues, it can be very helpful.

However, if the kid is doing really well in school, then even if they are "gifted", they might not need anything extra, and it also might be temporary. Some really high IQ kids at 5 end up average IQ kids at 10.

So just because you *can* detect "giftedness" at a very young age, doesn't mean that detecting it is useful if there's no indication for it.

Potato potahto.

Not really..

I'm agreeing with you that screening really young, totally normal kids for "giftedness" is likely not at all useful, but that doesn't mean the testing itself is useless.

If a kid is showing school problems at a very young age, their learning needs may be different, and the testing can identify that. So it's not the test that's useless, it's the way it's used sometimes that is. My much younger brother had behavioural problems in school very young, and we expected an ADHD diagnosis, but it turned out he was off the charts intelligent and needed special education to keep him from going off the rails as a full on little psychopathic terrorist.

Meh.  If a kid is showing problems in school, and you've already eliminated abuse and physical problems then you already know that their learning needs to be different.  So there's still little real benefit in kindergarten giftedness testing from that perspective.  I still say potato potahto.

Yeah, exactly. If they need special accommodations, then testing helps reveal what *kind* of special accommodations they need.

Maybe "giftedness" testing means something different to you than it means to me, but what I'm talking about is the normal assessment that kids who demonstrate challenges go through when the school needs to determine what their challenges are and what accomodations they need. Those assessments can show a lot of different things, and guide a lot of individualized learning supports.

A "gifted" kid can present A LOT like a kid with ADHD, and it is actually important to be able to tell the different because they need very different accomodations.

I have years of experience with special needs kids of all types, and my experience has shown me the incredible value of effective evaluations and interventions, especially when challenges present in extremely young kids. I'm shocked that you seem to be basically dismissing individualized care as useless.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 20, 2021, 11:22:24 AM
I have years of experience with special needs kids of all types, and my experience has shown me the incredible value of effective evaluations and interventions, especially when challenges present in extremely young kids. I'm shocked that you seem to be basically dismissing individualized care as useless.

Maybe this is just coming off as something other than intended.  Both my parents (and my stepmom) were teachers for the majority of their careers.  My mom taught special reading programs to kids for decades.
 Individualized care certainly isn't useless!  I'm more questioning the age at which the information leads to real value in individualized care.  Kindergarteners around here are 4 years old.  Can you outline the different steps you would take to fix a behaviour problem 'gifted' four year old vs a behaviour problem 'bored but average' four year old?  Most of the methods/treatments that I'm aware of would look awfully similar for the two.

You mentioned IQ tests for example.  IQ tests are usually not considered very valid for very young children and often give wildly differing results because of this.  They're typically built upon assumed pre-knowledge of the test subject.  Most 4 year olds are ahead of the game if they're not crapping their pants in class.  (And there's a whole other argument of the validity of IQ tests for adults as well, and how well they actually measure intelligence . . . and even what it is that we consider intelligence - but that's probably a different conversation.)

In later grades though, sure.  Makes a world of sense then as the kid is developed enough that there are more concrete differences in approach that can be made.  But kindergarten?  With the high risk of misidentification?  Meh.  Largely useless.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 20, 2021, 11:38:32 AM
I have years of experience with special needs kids of all types, and my experience has shown me the incredible value of effective evaluations and interventions, especially when challenges present in extremely young kids. I'm shocked that you seem to be basically dismissing individualized care as useless.

Maybe this is just coming off as something other than intended.  Both my parents (and my stepmom) were teachers for the majority of their careers.  My mom taught special reading programs to kids for decades.
 Individualized care certainly isn't useless!  I'm more questioning the age at which the information leads to real value in individualized care.  Kindergarteners around here are 4 years old.  Can you outline the different steps you would take to fix a behaviour problem 'gifted' four year old vs a behaviour problem 'bored but average' four year old?  Most of the methods/treatments that I'm aware of would look awfully similar for the two.

You mentioned IQ tests for example.  IQ tests are usually not considered very valid for very young children and often give wildly differing results because of this.  They're typically built upon assumed pre-knowledge of the test subject.  Most 4 year olds are ahead of the game if they're not crapping their pants in class.  (And there's a whole other argument of the validity of IQ tests for adults as well, and how well they actually measure intelligence . . . and even what it is that we consider intelligence - but that's probably a different conversation.)

In later grades though, sure.  Makes a world of sense then as the kid is developed enough that there are more concrete differences in approach that can be made.  But kindergarten?  With the high risk of misidentification?  Meh.  Largely useless.

Well, I shared the specific example of my own brother who needed specialized interventions at the age of 5. Everyone was certain that he had ADHD, but testing showed he didn't. The program the school came up with for him was amazing for his behaviour issues. Once they pinned down what he needed, he behaved very well at school. At home? Yeah...not so much. There was no managing his behaviour.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 20, 2021, 11:58:19 AM
Well, I shared the specific example of my own brother who needed specialized interventions at the age of 5. Everyone was certain that he had ADHD, but testing showed he didn't. The program the school came up with for him was amazing for his behaviour issues. Once they pinned down what he needed, he behaved very well at school. At home? Yeah...not so much. There was no managing his behaviour.

You didn't actually outline what the special interventions were in the special ed class.  How did they differ from the way that a 'normal/bored' five year old would be dealt with?  Why couldn't they be effectively implemented at home?
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: waltworks on March 20, 2021, 01:34:29 PM
I'm a little confused about why you're arguing with Malcat about this, GuitarStv.

She is saying: this kind of testing can help figure out what is going on if a kid is acting weird.

You are saying: this kind of testing is not going to be great at determining if a kid is going to go on to be an amazingly smart and talented adult.

They are not mutually exclusive at all, and (IMO) are both true.

-W
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: gaja on March 20, 2021, 01:43:10 PM
A slightly different perspective here: Both DH and I grew up bored to death in school. So did our parents and siblings. What little testing we have done point to high IQs, but we haven't bothered getting very high quality testing, so we might be leaning more towards high achievers than real gifted. Our kids are in "normal" schools, and we have always made it very clear to them that:
-the point of learning is the joy of learning. Grades are just numbers that show where you have the opportunity to learn more. We have made a game out of seeing how many different grades they are able to collect, and we have sent several praising letters to the teachers who have managed to give clear and understandable feedback on how they can improve.
-the main point of going to school is to learn social cues, and how to interact with different people. If we had been homeschooling, I have no doubt we could be done with the next three years of curriculum before Christmas. But we can't teach them how to interact with their peers, especially when they are from very different socioeconomic or ethnic backgrounds, or how to navigate the emotional mess that is friendships and teenage years.
-Arts are important and valuable. If you are able to dream up a good story, make an excellent drawing, or read a good book during class - good for you! Just make sure you don't bother the teacher or other pupils.
-Grades are irrelevant, careers are irrelevant, but they know we expect them to become "gagns menneske" (impossible to translate, but something like people who make a conscious effort to be a positive and useful impact on the world).
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: better late on March 20, 2021, 01:50:21 PM
I think a lot is going to depend on the school, as well. IMO, a really well run classroom should be able to accommodate kids who are working at a variety of levels. I'm a retired Montessori teacher, but I've certainly seen standard public school classrooms that did a bang up job at this.

Being very smart or working at a more advanced level should not equate being bored in school, and many kids who are bored in school are not geniuses, IME.

My grandson just turned 5. He starts kindergarten in the fall. He reads on about a 7th grade level. We will wait and see how his school handles this.

If he's 5 and reading at a 7th grade level you might find this site helpful: https://www.davidsongifted.org/
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: waltworks on March 20, 2021, 02:03:16 PM
When I was way ahead in school the solution they came up with was to have me basically be a TA. I memorably almost blew up the chemistry lab as a sophomore (and almost lost my hearing in one ear) due to an over-enthusiastic water hydrolization demo.

That worked for 9-10th grade  or so but then I just left and went to college. I spent the earlier school years not in school for elementary, and writing computer code in a notebook in middle school instead of listening to the teacher. So putting me in charge of a bit of the teaching was great and got me more engaged (and social) with other kids.

I've implemented something similar in both academic and non-academic (ski racing) settings with younger (kindergarten/early elementary) kids and for some kids it works great to have a little bit of responsibility for helping out others and teaching.

-W
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Cranky on March 20, 2021, 03:22:30 PM
I think a lot is going to depend on the school, as well. IMO, a really well run classroom should be able to accommodate kids who are working at a variety of levels. I'm a retired Montessori teacher, but I've certainly seen standard public school classrooms that did a bang up job at this.

Being very smart or working at a more advanced level should not equate being bored in school, and many kids who are bored in school are not geniuses, IME.

My grandson just turned 5. He starts kindergarten in the fall. He reads on about a 7th grade level. We will wait and see how his school handles this.

If he's 5 and reading at a 7th grade level you might find this site helpful: https://www.davidsongifted.org/

It runs in the family - his mom also read well when she started school.
Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: Malcat on March 20, 2021, 03:24:21 PM
Well, I shared the specific example of my own brother who needed specialized interventions at the age of 5. Everyone was certain that he had ADHD, but testing showed he didn't. The program the school came up with for him was amazing for his behaviour issues. Once they pinned down what he needed, he behaved very well at school. At home? Yeah...not so much. There was no managing his behaviour.

You didn't actually outline what the special interventions were in the special ed class.  How did they differ from the way that a 'normal/bored' five year old would be dealt with?  Why couldn't they be effectively implemented at home?

I was a teenager, I don't remember exactly what they did, but a lot of it was engaging him in special projects to keep him stimulated. He basically had a completely different curriculum than the other kids. We couldn't do that at home with my mom doing night school and me, a teenager, being his primary care giver most of the time. But we were incredibly grateful that at least he was manageable at school. We were so afraid he would get kicked out of multiple schools like he was from daycares.

Title: Re: Gifted-talented testing...on preschoolers?
Post by: reeshau on March 20, 2021, 07:09:21 PM
When I was way ahead in school the solution they came up with was to have me basically be a TA. I memorably almost blew up the chemistry lab as a sophomore (and almost lost my hearing in one ear) due to an over-enthusiastic water hydrolization demo.

That worked for 9-10th grade  or so but then I just left and went to college. I spent the earlier school years not in school for elementary, and writing computer code in a notebook in middle school instead of listening to the teacher. So putting me in charge of a bit of the teaching was great and got me more engaged (and social) with other kids.

I've implemented something similar in both academic and non-academic (ski racing) settings with younger (kindergarten/early elementary) kids and for some kids it works great to have a little bit of responsibility for helping out others and teaching.

-W

It's interesting you mention this--I had a similar experience in "computer science" class.  (BASIC programming)  I and two of my friends were quite disruptive.  The wise teacher (who he taught math to my Dad) understood that we not only knew all the material, we knew more than he did.  So we were excused to the computer lab for all lectures, and helped out the other students when they got stuck.  It was a very productive, win-win solution.