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Old 03-02-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

ds is our first child, he's not quite 2.5. we've been told by family, friends and even his teachers that he is quite advanced for his age (he speaks in full sentenses, can spell his name, can count 1:1 up to 13, correctly identifies right and left sides, etc.) we are continuously amazed because we have not pushed him or even taught him some of this stuff. he has had a pretty notable memory for quite some time. anyway, he's also veeery active, well-behaved and happy, but very active. my husband was tested a few years ago (as a school project, so unofficial) but estimated IQ was in the superior range (awww yay dh!). i've always known he was smart, but has trouble with the emotional side of life... which can really get in the way of potential- intellectual or otherwise.

anyway, i know this is a ways out, but we've been talking about ds's future schooling, and i don't think i'm comfortable putting him in a traditional school because of his activity level (plus, i don't necessarily think traditional classrooms are well suited for boys' learning styles anyway). Dh was labled a problem child in school because of his activity level (they didn't call it ADHD back then, but he was diagnosed in adulthood). i think part of the behavior problems stemmed from his intelligence- being advanced and bored with the material, but not having anyone that knew it or challenged him to excel.

so fast forward to my question: we are strongly considering having ds's intelligence tested. not because i necessarily care about his "level" or about being validated in my own thinking about how smart he is or isn't. i want to do it in order to get recommendations about parenting a (potentially) gifted child as well as future schooling (or preschool) so we can make decisions such as where to move (we would like to sell our house in the next few years and feel it should be near whatever school we would enroll him in).

so this is completely new to us... can anybody point us in a direction? no idea where to go or how to find somebody. i google searched our area (large metro), but am not coming up with anything that looks like what i'm looking for.

(and if you read all this, thanks!!! )
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:56 PM   #2
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

Maybe the early childhood education or psychology department at a nearby college? We have birth to 3/early headstart here, but its more for learning delays, I don't think they work with "gifted" kids.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

I was tested as a child..several times. There were no schools for the gifted in this area, so they had me skip a few grades when necessary. I skipped K and 3rd. In HS I did college level work. That was the best my district could do. Anyway, I *think* the near by university (Texas A&M) provided the testing.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

You might want to check out mothering.com's forums. They have a parenting gifted children section, and those mamas know their tests! What I gather from occasional lurking, though, is that they aren't reliable measures until children are older, 6 or 7 years old. Furthermore, getting a score doesn't relieve you of your dilemma, ie, how to educate an active, bright child when schools are designed for 'average' children (whatever that is). I say, follow your instincts with the schooling. Do the research and find one that is a good fit for your son, his personality as well as his intelligence. Tests come later and seem mostly to confirm what a parent already suspects.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

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Originally Posted by elsieme View Post
You might want to check out mothering.com's forums. They have a parenting gifted children section, and those mamas know their tests! What I gather from occasional lurking, though, is that they aren't reliable measures until children are older, 6 or 7 years old. Furthermore, getting a score doesn't relieve you of your dilemma, ie, how to educate an active, bright child when schools are designed for 'average' children (whatever that is). I say, follow your instincts with the schooling. Do the research and find one that is a good fit for your son, his personality as well as his intelligence. Tests come later and seem mostly to confirm what a parent already suspects.
This. At this point I would just trust your gut. You know your child better than anyone else. Do your best to provide enrichment opportunities and don't worry about numbers and special programs until later.

As far as a school I would suggest a Montessori program. I feel like there is a good balance between self-directed learning and sitting down and being part of the group in Montessori programs. He wouldn't have to conform to someone else's schedule all day, but he would get some assistance with that skill set. He would also have the benefit of being with children that are older than him which I think would be helpful/enriching if he is more advanced than children his own age.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

I work full time but we homeschool. The girls haven't been tested but they meet the criteria for being gifted and I am (tested), and they are already learning well above their ages. I don't want to fight with a school about how dd would rather be doing experiments on heart function than going over her ABCs, so we do it ourselves. It's something to look into if you can.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

I was a 'gifted child'. They wanted me to skip a grade at school but my parents felt I was quite small for my age and emotionally not ready. I belonged to a 'gifted child society' and we did special activities on the weekends and holidays, I think it was associated with MENSA? I suspect my ODD is the same way. Haven't really thought about yet what we will do, if anything. She is incredibly bright and understands a lot of concepts that are well above her level. She speaks clearly, she could draw stick figures of people at 24 months, count to 12 at 19 months, say her ABCs at 20 months as well as spell her name and recognise some words, knew all colors and shapes. Also she did most of it without me really 'teaching' her if you know what I mean, although obviously I do provide the means for her to learn it. Why don't you look into MENSA and see if there is anything they might suggest or provide. I also know that it's hard for them to really do IQ tests until kids are older so it is difficult to assess their level.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

If there's a local private school dedicated to gifted schooling, you might call for a recommendation. I believe they have child psychologists that come in to do the testing (we were looking into it for dd but could not afford the very high tuition here).
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

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Originally Posted by elsieme View Post
they aren't reliable measures until children are older, 6 or 7 years old.
This. FWIW, my kids could do those things by that age, too and I never started them with any type of training for it. I am not trying to diminish his accomplishments in any way, I think it is probably just more common than most first time parents realize.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #10
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Re: where to start... assessing my child's intelligence?

I would also suggest reading the chapter in Nurture Shock about intelligence testing. It does a good job of talking about what types of tests are good when, and why. Also why testing young often isn't a good predictor of future performance.
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