Monday, September 7, 2009

IQ testing at 5? Are you kidding?

I guess by now it's time to share why we think our daughter is gifted.  Because everyone thinks their kid is gifted, right?  So what makes us so sure? 

We tested Oldest's IQ one month shy of her 5th birthday. We didn't really want to do this, but we were in a disagreement with her teacher over her behavioral challenges. It was a civil disagreement - she thought we needed to test for things like ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Our sense was that she wasn't buying that our daughter might be acting out in class because she was/is highly intelligent and her needs weren't being met.  We weren't sure yet, either.  It was a terrifying, scary time.  Isn't not knowing always scarier?  I think so. 
So we did a full evaluation, including IQ. Because what the hell?  If the teacher wanted to learn about  the other stuff, I wasn't going to take any chances.  She tested well into gifted range and came up negative for other behavioral disorders.
She was then (and still is) at a Montessori school.

When I researched our public elementary school her Kindergarten year, the Principal virtually scoffed at the IQ numbers I gave him, saying they had to be inaccurate b/c of her age and told me that the GATE program (Gifted And Talented Enrichment) started in the 4th grade there (in other words, don't bother me with this until then was the message I received). Our school system is one of the best in our state, by the way.

In part because of his cavalier attitude toward her abilities, we decided to keep her at the Montessori school where she started at 2 1/2 years old. She started second grade two weeks ago, and ended first grade reading at a fifth grade level. Mathematically, she's right at grade level.  Which is so typical of a gifted kid - the asynchronous development. 

I shudder to think what challenges we would be facing in our public school right now, while not even yet eligible for the GATE program. She would be THAT KID (future post on our experience with that already coming soon to a blog near you).

We are happy she is at a Montessori school, which follows the philosophy of  "follow the child" and that every child should be allowed to work at their own pace and level, regardless of whether that level is the official grade level of the child's age.  Each child is treated as an individual, not just as a class that must cover certain requirements, whether they are ready for them or already learned them. 
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