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Parents of G&T kids - is this plausible?

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#1 The Old Feral

Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

A strange thing happened yesterday.

DH has our kids (8 and 7yo) with him this week while I work.  They tagged along while he met a couple to sell them something.

There was a complication which took awhile for DH and the fellow to sort out, and while they did that the lady of the couple kindly amused our DSs with a chat and some games.

After it was all sorted out, the lady told DH she had to speak to him about our kids.  She said she co-ordinates a G&T program at a primary school, and DS2 and possibly DS1 have all the hallmarks of gifted kids, and implored him to chat to me then get in contact with her for more information about having them assessed.

Well, this has come as a complete surprise to us!  Granted my kids are pretty clever, but I've never seen them as especially so.  DS2 is a B and C grade student, dislikes school, only really picked up with his reading in the second half of grade 1.  He hates puzzles and working out problems himself and will cheat if he can, won't apply himself at all to things he's not interested in.  DS1 is better academically, but not exactly streets ahead of where he should be.  No teachers or any other professionals who've worked with them have mentioned anything like this before, and this woman spent less than an hour with them.

So my first instinct is to feel slightly chuffed but conclude that the lady is probably talking bollocks..... but maybe I'm just doing my kids a huge disservice.

WDYT, and how would you react if this happened to you?

#2 tenar

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:05 PM

Gifted doesn't have to mean "genius".  There are degrees of giftedness and your kids don't have to be composing music aged 3 or whatever to be gifted.  

Some gifted kids fly very much under the radar because they are bored at school.  It can lead to huge problems for them later on because if they aren't challenged enough at school they don't get the opportunity to learn to work hard at something, to persist, to try things that might not work, etc.  These skills are hard to pick up as an adult.

I would suggest that you have nothing much to lose by getting them assessed, and if what you gain is a route to schooling that better suits your kids then that's a huge plus.

Good luck!

#3 Isolabella

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

Like Tenar I would probably follow up.

Apart from some money and time, not much to lose and the potential to help your kids if the lady is right.

My brother was tested in first grade due to being disruptive in class and not working well. Turns out he was Mensa standard and bored.

#4 The Old Feral

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:16 PM

My brother was tested in first grade due to being disruptive in class and not working well. Turns out he was Mensa standard and bored.

Well the first part of that describes DS2 pretty well!  And I have a pretty high IQ so perhaps that's part of the reason he doesn't stand out to me.

I appreciate the advice from both of you and you're right, there's no harm in checking it out.  I'm just surprised that if she's right, that it's gone unnoticed by so many and for so long.

#5 SplashingRainbows

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

I would ring her and thank her for her kind words and ask what it was that made them tans out to her

I'm sure she would happily oblige if you explained it was very out of the blue and whilst you appreciate her comments you'd like to know more before spending the time and $$$ on assessments.

#6 schoolmum

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Its not impossible that they are gifted. They may not be achieving academically as they may be bored at school, or are "dumbing themselves down" to fit in with peers.
Giftedness is not just about a high standard of reading, maths etc, it can be the way they think about things and use that information, what is often called "thinking out side of the box"

I have a gifted son, it was his kindy teacher that recommended that he be assessed, after he lashed out physically at her and another teacher. The results came back as highly gifted, and the kindy made sure that the program was stimulating for him.

I don't know where you are based, so I can only pass on what I know happens in Adelaide regarding assessments. We had ours done through the education dept, by referral from the kindy teacher. It took a few months to happen, but it was free, and also well recognised by the school. We also had our younger son assessed  through the dept a few years latter, with the support of his teacher, as he was showing signs of being gifted but as he was the sort of kid that would "fly under the radar" it was thought to be a good idea to see where he was at. It turned out he wasn't, but it gave us good insight as to what his strengths and weakness in learning were.

I guess if it is something you wish to explore, then when school goes back have a chat to their teachers a few weeks in, once they have had a chance to get to know them. Or if you can talk to last years teachers, and see what they think.

You could also check out your states Gifted and Talented association websites, and see what information they have there.

It will do no harm to look into it, as the worst thing that can happen is the results will come back with them not being gifted. If you are worried what to say to them if they do get assessed, I used to just say that we are finding out how your brain works and learns things, I never told them that they are being assessed for being gifted.

Good luck.

#7 kpingitquiet

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:28 PM

I would look at some of the criteria for G/T kids of his age group and see if any bells start ringing. Stellar students =/= gifted children. Boredom, distraction, issues with authority, and often even learning difficulties coupled with high IQ can all contribute to Gifted kids under-performing at school. Underachieving in some areas and overachieving in others tends to be more common.

I was assessed as highly gifted in pre-school and was never a remarkable student. Same for my cousin who was assessed at a similar age. We both excelled, with ease, in the subjects we enjoyed. We blew off the rest. His sister, a woman of high intelligence but not meeting the markers for "Gifted," was a straight-A student and is now finishing her PhD at Oxford.

#8 Isolabella

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

After my brother was tested mum never had me tested (didn't want to have a number to compare kids).

I remember her telling me upon starting high school, to be prepared to go in and out if help maths class as I would need help in that area. Turns out I was the top of the form, constantly getting the mathematics prize. Doing year 12 problems I year 7, 3rd year Uni geometry questions in year 9. I was actually quite bright and superb in visual special arenas.

I did some aptitude testing post school.... Top 99% for all areas.... Except comprehension. I already knew that though.

So not all of us bright ones stand out early.

I am debating whether to get my kids assessed. I have my suspicions my eldest is bright and middle child very bright. School is allowing my 1st grader to do 4th grade maths so there is no real push as such needed ATM. He is being challenged.

#9 baddmammajamma

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

I would follow up, as well -- who knows, she might be onto something! However, if she pushes you really hard to get your childen assessed through a particularl provider ("a dear friend of mine") or pushes on special services she can offer you, I'd be a little wary. wink.gif

The posters above have done a good job of capturing the many reasons why a gifted child might underperform in class (I lovingly call my daughter a "Gifted Slacker").

Interestingly, there is research that indicates that if one sibling has been identified as being intellectually gifted based on psychometric testing (IQ testing), it is very likely that other siblings in the same family will also score in the gifted range (usually within 5-10 points of each other):


(Gifted Minds are one of Australia's best known practices for testing and advocating for gifted kids)

Edited by baddmammajamma, 09 January 2013 - 07:48 PM.

#10 The Old Feral

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

Thanks everyone, your replies have shown me that I know very little about what G&T actually means - I had visions of Mozart and 10yos doing university maths.

I'll do some more research and, as suggested, give the lady a call for more info.

A lot of you are saying that being G&T doesn't necessarily equal success at school... so what DOES it mean for children of that age?  If one or both of my children were found to be G&T, what would happen next?  There is no G&T program at their school.

#11 katrina24

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

I would google some information about giftedness.  I always knew DD was bright but wouldn't have necessarily said gifted. But, when I looked though checklists of gifted features it was like reading a page about DD.  

I also agree that classroom performance alone can't be used as a predictor of giftedness. It's hard for your teacher to know you can easily do 84x3 in your head when the task at hand is 6+7 if you know what I mean.  Many gifted kids are early or exceptional readers but again, not all are, so you can't rule it out based on that either.

#12 KSparkles

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

Mmmm - I just posted in G&T thread that I was wondering about DS the younger sibling to his confirmed gifted sister. I reckon he is at least a "bright coaster" and DD is definately a "gifted coaster".

OP - I definately would get them checked out, it really cant hurt.

#13 baddmammajamma

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

The Old Bag: This is a "busy" site, but there's some good Gifted 101 information on it:


#14 The Old Feral

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

Thanks Quill, I'm going to have to take a break from the computer for now but will get back to you with some questions.  I'm in Victoria.

I had a quick look around your last link, BMJ, and realised that my own IQ score, taken in high school when I was playing up, puts me well into the gifted range.  A fact nobody bothered to share with me at the time! The observations others have made about cruising through school (and life!) ring true.  

Lots to think about.  

#15 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

Is it worth having a child tested if you know the school does no G&T stuff?

We've got no choice in schools (country living at it's finest) and according to DD1s teacher, she tested out as capable of performing at a level 2 years above her grade in both maths and reading. She's basically spent the past 12 months sitting there bored off her nut waiting for the other kids to catch up.

Even though the teacher knew she was bright, there is nothing offered. Have you found that getting your child tested actually made any kind of difference?

How do you go about getting the testing done?

#16 ~ky~

Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:34 AM

My eldest DD was a bright preschooler - reading, writing and spelling well at age three, all self taught. However, when she started school she was never much more than an average student. She sat the gifted and talented program high school exams last year (at 11y 2m) and has gained a place in the program for high school next year.

My DS showed no interest in anything as a preschooler except numbers. He is a just above average student according to his teachers but having home schooled him for 3 terms a couple of years back, I know that he is already working way above his age level and his brain is incredible - if anything, I believe he is much brighter than his sister. However, he also does not test well at all due to aspergers. Hopefully, when he sits the exams next year (they test how your brain works, not what you know) he will test better than usual as he really needs extension as he is bored at school.

DH was an underachiever at school but is very bright although he doesn't believe so. I was a top student who dropped out because I was bored - according to testing when I was 13yo I have an IQ of 142 which I guess is nothing to sneeze at.

#17 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

QUOTE (Quill @ 09/01/2013, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, you'll get biased answers to this, but in my experience, the more information you have, the more options you have. It may be that at the school they say that they don't offer any extension, however the more proof you have the better position you're in to negotiate with the school.

that's kind of what I was thinking. She's got a new teacher this year so I will speak to her early on and see what she's willing to do. I was horrified when we got her 'writing' book home at the end of the year and she'd clearly done 1 free writing exercise all year and it was literally one sentence. The rest of her writing book was stuff they'd all had to copy off the board. This is the same kid who happily sat down and wrote an A4 page (notebook lined) letter to her grandparents with only a couple of spelling mistakes. No wonder her effort dropped to practically none by the end of the year.

I will contact the websites you've listed and see about getting some testing done.

#18 SisterMaryElephant

Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

Okay, well I'll be the unpopular one to suggest that  a one off conversation is perhaps not something to go crazy over.

When my youngest was about 18 months, a woman at swimming, observing her very well drawn pictures of mermaids, was convinced DD2 was gifted, that I should look into starting her early, etc. All because my little one was an obsessive drawer.  Funnily enough, this woman was also a G & T coordinator at her school.

G&T has become an industry and people in that industry like to talk up the negative aspects of not acting on your child's 'giftedness  They feed on guilt that you're not doing enough for your child.  And if school isn't meeting their needs, or they';re showing signs of being unhappy, fair enough.  But if it's something that has come out of the blue, then I'd read a bit online to see how your kids match up, consider and assess it year by year.

#19 CallMeFeral

Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

And here was I clicking to see what Gin & Tonic kids could possibly be.

#20 PrincessPeach

Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

Totally plauseable.

Out of 6 grandkids on the maternal side of my family 5 of us are academically G & T. All 3 boys were tested because they were disruptive in class. Turned out they were simply bored senseless.

The acadmeic qualifier on that is because giftedness exists in more than one form.

#21 ednaboo

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

QUOTE (CaptainOblivious @ 09/01/2013, 09:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it worth having a child tested if you know the school does no G&T stuff?

We've got no choice in schools (country living at it's finest) and according to DD1s teacher, she tested out as capable of performing at a level 2 years above her grade in both maths and reading. She's basically spent the past 12 months sitting there bored off her nut waiting for the other kids to catch up.

Even though the teacher knew she was bright, there is nothing offered. Have you found that getting your child tested actually made any kind of difference?

How do you go about getting the testing done?

There are G & T services available outside school.  Quill mentioned CHIP, there is also Gateways in Victoria and I believe there are G & T parent-run groups in various regions.  CHIP offers extension in Language and Maths, but not science apparently, which I find odd.  Both CHIP and Gateways offer weekend, after school and holiday programs in Metro areas.  I don't know if they do any regional stuff but it's worth a look.

I would be miffed if school were not making efforts to extend.

OP: my eldest was recently assessed by a neuropsychologist and found to have ADHD as well as being gifted.  His school didn't really identify either issue, as the giftedness partially compensates for the ADHD, but the ADHD means he is achieving nowhere near his potential.  Now that I have the formal assessment I feel I can ask the school to offer him some extension work.  

My DD(5.5) has also been identifed as gifted.  It was her teacher who recommended her for extension (with Gateways).  I don't plan on having her tested at this stage as I don't see the need, but if the school had not identified it I would consider it.

ETA: links

Edited by ednaboo, 10 January 2013 - 04:09 PM.

#22 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

thanks ednaboo. I'll check out the links original.gif

#23 ednaboo

Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

CO: this was the Parent Support Groups I was talking about.  This is Victorian but there may be others.

#24 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

QUOTE (ednaboo @ 11/01/2013, 01:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
CO: this was the Parent Support Groups I was talking about.  This is Victorian but there may be others.
Fantastic. Thanks original.gif I've been following the links all over the place and there is a branch in the NSW version which is not too far from us.

#25 ednaboo

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

Also should have posted this: Gifted Resorces.  This page has been updated more recently.  original.gif

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