You guys are awesome! I appreciate the replys and can't wait to hear your responses once I answer your astute questions!
Roxieb73: I will be VERY interested to hear what they say about your son! Good luck! I certainly hope you get more info!!! I will be grateful if you pass it along!
Welcome to the politics of giftedness ---Ha! Thanks!
What are the options for your ds at school? Have you approached the school previously, or will this be your first attempt at advocating for accommodations/services/etc?
We do NOT have gifted services at our school. We live in IL, which is apparently not the best state for gifted services.
We did advocate for our son, however and here is our story. Well, Let me start off by saying I think we just hit back luck in terms of teachers. At least that's what lets me sleep at night!
This was his first year of school and it did NOT go well. For his Kinder year (half day) he came home BORED or should I say disillusioned. He was so excited to go and LEARN. Well, of course that wasn't in the cards! Sadly, his teacher was NOT equipt to have a kid like him. She differentiated by putting him in a corner completing worksheets, if anything. She was VERY inconsistent! So we went to the administration. We didn't complain about her at all, just said that this wasn't enough. He moved my son to first grade for math acceleration only, at our request. We were thrilled! The problem there was that the first grade teacher did not believe in acceleration and made it horribly tough on my son. She'd email home about NOTHING trying to make it something, with lines like, "see this is what you get when you try to do two grades at once." etc. You get the drift. Also mentioning often that my son seems to not be "focused". We'd get ONE line in the message that said, "but he aced his tests." She clearly doesn't get it. Uh! Finally, we find out that this principal is leaving...Our barely there support is out the door. That about sums up our year...Sad. I'm so prayerful this incoming administrator is willing to help us a bit more, but as evidenced by our experience, it is all dependent on the teacher's themselves, isn't it?!
Was achievement testing included with the testing, or does your school do any type of standardized/norm'd achievement testing? It can be very helpful to have the achievement testing along with IQ testing when you're advocating for acceleration and/or differentiation.
Our school administers the MAP. This is how we were initially taken seriously. My son's scores were off the charts all year in both math and reading. Math 209; Reading 195 for Kinder
We chose to privately test with the WISC at our local university. Even though our principal seemed supportive, in our last meeting, even he did not feel acceleration or a skip was our best option for next year and that the first grade teacher would be able to differentiate enough. His comments were that other kids were catching up and that our ds was not that atypical. That obviously this year showed him it was too much to try to subject accelerate. Honestly that ticked me off. Here my kid is multiplying and dividing and his age-mates can barely count to 100.
My dh and I both decided we really just needed more information so that we could finally feel confident ourselves to begin advocating again next year. They just made us question ourselves, ya know? I know you do, by reading of your experience. I'm booing the snide remarks you were given!
Austin-That was our answer too...that he just wasn't that into the verbal section. I just needed more...and I guess I was hoping that was it. lol.
Geofizz-I think I answered the why test question in my comments to polar bear.
In terms of how he is doing in school, I will reiterate it's hard to tell with the lack of support we saw this year. He has a clear understanding of the subject matter for sure and he's NOT a behavior problem at all! Our biggest issue are boredom and the fact that he looks like he's not focused. Our psychologist told us that looking unfocused could look like ADHD, but was VERY typical of someone who scores so highly in Perceptual Reasoning and not an issue for our son at all. lol. We find that to be true at home too. He can watch a movie with his sister/play around, etc. and run back to the kitchen for our game night and trounce us all at Qwirkle without even trying! It's actually pretty amazing! I'm glad to have that knowledge under my hat as well.
I'm curious, how did the acceleration and skip work for your ds?
ABQMom-I laughed, cried and cheered reading your blog. You're ME!
Thanks for making my day!
ALL- When I hear my own story even I cringe. How could BOTH teachers be so bad? How could even the principal state that my son isn't that special? Maybe he's not, maybe we are those nutty parents and don't realize it, etc. That is why we had him tested. We needed answers! Apparently the achievement testing just wasn't enough for them.
All these struggles he encountered this year have been heartbreaking. This gifted road is a blessing and a curse, so utterly disillusioning. We are trying to get information, advocate and find our balance. None of which is easy. School has really been a sad experience thus far and we just want to help him navigate it better in the future. Any help you all can give is appreciated. We appreciate the support and understanding!!!! We just want to meet with this new principal and teacher and have a PLAN! I can't let another year slip away or watch my ds's confidence in himself deteriorate any further.
That being said, I'll ask again, what does all this mean? Looking at all his scores, what are the needs of a boy like him?