With apologies to the Bard, “To test, or not to test, that is the question.” Testing children for giftedness can be expensive, time-consuming, and, if not done well, useless. Yet, when done by someone who understands giftedness, the results can bring great insight into learning styles, asynchronicities, behavior issues, and more. Testing can also open the door to services and enrichment opportunities otherwise not available. So, should parents of gifted children have them tested? If so, what’s the right age? And how do parents find qualified people in their area? GHF Bloggers have the experience, information, and insight from both sides of the question.
3 Tips for Gifted Testing ~ Help My Child Thrive (Teresa Currivan)
The picture of the typical kid referred for gifted evaluation: sits nicely in class, raises hand to answer every question, aces all tests and quizzes, wants to please the teacher, is typically fair-skinned, middle class, and generally well put together. These kids could be gifted, sure. But, the reality of gifted often looks more like this…
Assessments ~ Free Learning (Julie Schneider)
The waitlist had been six months long. I remember thinking, “He’s just an exuberant and curious little boy. Nothing is wrong with him. It is just all the uptight ninnies around who think he shouldn’t climb up a slide who are a problem.” Thousands of questions, hours of observation, and interviews with other adults in his life revealed answers.
Is This Just In My Head? Giftedness, 2e and Assessments ~ Random Everyday Blessings (Tabitha Ferreira)
One family’s journey towards answers and a reminder to trust your gut.
Our Adventures in Homeschool Testing ~ BJ’s Homeschooling (Betsy Sproger)
At our house we chose not to test, as our daughter was already doing well in our homeschool. We were able to adapt things to meet her learning needs at home. However the testing issue did come up again, but not in the way that you might think…
The Question of Testing ~ The Fringy Bit (Heather Boorman)
“Should we get her tested for autism?” I anxiously asked the occupational therapist. I had been pondering it for months. Does my daughter have autism? Doesn’t she? What explains her behaviors? Or thinking? Or who she is? KBear’s OT answered like a seasoned therapist. She answered my question with a question. “What would be your goal in getting the assessments done?”
The Struggle to Test 2e Kids ~ Yellow Readis (Kathleen Humble)
We’ve had a lot of experience with testing over the years. We have gone through the gauntlet of testing many times. Each time, we were sure this was the ‘definitive’ test. After all that experience, and the benefit of hindsight, I now think there is no such thing as a definitive test. There is only the best you can get at the time.
Specialists and doctors are neither omnipotent, nor mistake free. But there are a number of things you can do to make testing for giftedness and disabilities a more useful experience. So here are my best tips.
Thinking of Having Your Child Evaluated? Here’s What I Wish I Had Known~ Not So Formulaic (Ginny Kochis)
I have a three-inch think folder stuffed in a cabinet drawer. It hearkens back to a time when I thought I was sure of three things:
1. My daughter was broken
2. I had failed as a mother
3. God had made some serious mistakes
Now that I’m on the other side of it, I am certain none of those things are true. My children aren’t broken, I’ve not failed as a mother, and God’s not the kind to mess things up. While that period of testing was an emotional and financial roller coaster, we learned to scale mountains and build bonds. If you’re thinking of having your kiddo evaluated, this is what I wish I had known.
To Test or Not to Test?~ GHF Blog (Dr. Dan Peters)
Why test? This is a common and reasonable question to ask given the time and financial investment testing requires. When making this important decision, I recommend asking this guiding question, “What is the reason for testing?” There are several potential answers to why testing may be needed:
What’s so controversial about testing for gifted services?~ Gifted Challenges (Gail Post)
Intellectual, or cognitive testing is a considerable undertaking. It can seem like a perilous choice – as if an evaluation, an IQ score, a potential diagnosis could define and somehow change your child. You know your child – you have lived with his strengths, weaknesses, quirks, struggles and amazing moments of brilliance. Yet, could results from this snapshot in time diminish who he is – and what you know to be true?
Why Test if We’re Homeschooling? ~ Homeschooling 2e (Mary Paul)
I’ve felt for a long time that we’re stumbling around in the dark trying to figure this kid out. As soon as we figure out one answer, more questions pop up. What’s going on? Why isn’t he doing XYZ like other kids? Why is he acting like this, or doing that? We just don’t know!
Resources for Understanding Testing and Assessments
Giftedness is not only measured by test scores or academic achievement, but sometimes those are tools that can help us understand our children and their needs. Many families seek assessments (qualitative or quantitative) in order to understand how their child’s brain works. The full scale score can be handy, but the subtest scores – when tests are administered by qualified and experienced testers – can be eye-opening. Testing is not necessary for every child, but when behavioral issues indicate unknown obstacles, an assessment can be a good way to determine if a child is so skilled at compensating that the surrounding adults are unaware of the effort being put forth in this regard.
After all, not all children are gifted and all gifted children do not learn alike. These kids are asynchronous, intense, and endlessly fascinating to live with. Sometimes their giftedness may be easy to communicate to others in the community, but sometimes it’s hidden by twice exceptional (2e) issues or by the expanded complexity of race and culture (Gifted Cubed). Having a gifted or 2e teenager can add a whole new layer of complication to parenting. Additional resources here give some perspective to those of us raising such children and reassure us that we are not alone.
Don’t miss these topical books from GHF Press:
A concise guidebook for parents considering their educational choices, Making the Choice discusses how to balance the emotional and academic needs of gifted and 2e children, their parents, and their families. In Making the Choice, Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and Mika Gustavson, MFT, demystify and de-mythify some of the perceived barriers to homeschooling and other alternatives. For those families wondering if alternative education is an option they should consider, Making the Choice offers ideas, guidance, and encouragement to fully evaluate the option.
by Jen Merrill
When is life like a prize fight, a garden, and a quiz show, all hurtling down the road on an office chair, wrapped in song? When you’re living in the land of the gifted and twice exceptional. Jen Merrill, author of the Laughing at Chaos blog, brings laughter, tears, and honesty to her latest book by GHF Press, If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional. Join Jen on her journey through discovery, understanding, and acceptance, as she copes with the challenges that only the gifted and twice exceptional can create. So, pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and start reading. You’ll swear Jen’s written about you!
GHF also offers resources for understanding your gifted/2e child’s social needs and finding community for yourself and for your child. Check out our online classes, where kids make friends and gain mentors. Dear GHF also answers questions about
FREE Downloadable Brochures:
The Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children
The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children
Twice Exceptional—Smart Kids with Learning Differences
Gifted Cubed — The Expanded Complexity of Race & Culture
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