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    #3988 - 10/22/07 06:14 AM Hi, I'm back again
    thebees Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/23/07
    Posts: 8
    You all have been so helpful to us, thank you! I still have trouble figuring where I belong here, and whether my kid is "smart enough," so I don't contribute much, but I have learned a lot by reading everything you all write.

    We received DS's scores from the testing and were shot down again for the acceleration. FSIQ of 132. He had a 19 on Block Design and a 17 on Similarities, a 16 on the others in the VC and PR areas except a curious 11 on Picture Concepts. He really fell apart in Working Memory and Processing Speed with WM 116 and PS 106. His VC worked out to a 136 and PR of 133. I had asked them to use the GAI of 142 because there was such a discrepancy but the school psych acted like she had never heard such a thing. She insisted that the reason his processing skills were so low was he just wasn't developmentally ready for advanced tasks and therefore shouldn't be accelerated.
    His Woodcock Johnson Achivement scores (she said) reflected this as well. He was in the 99th percentile for most items (and 99.9th on untimed writing samples) except writing fluency 80th and math fluency 89th (the timed written tests.)
    I explained that he has fine motor issues, horrible handwriting and can barely tie his shoes at 10 1/2. But this was just more fuel for their not-developmentally-ready fire.
    To be honest I'm not totally for the acceleration at this point myself, but only because he has been having a lot of success with making friends and being a leader in this gifted class, which is new for him. But the work is not challenging in the least and my requests for them to ramp it up have fallen on deaf ears.
    I guess I'm just stuck at this point.
    Seems a shame that abilities would be ignored because of weaknesses in other areas. They suggested I have him take piano lessons instead of accelerating him. I'm just bewildered.


    Edited by thebees (10/22/07 06:17 AM)
    Edit Reason: typo

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    #3996 - 10/22/07 11:04 AM Re: Hi, I'm back again [Re: Dottie]
    doodlebug Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/06
    Posts: 433
    Loc: Illinios
    Hi Thebees. Sorry to hear your frustration and bewilderment. I'm wondering if your son has ever taken any out of level testing. It was the out of level testing that convinced us that our son needed to be accelerated. The Iowa Acceleration Scale helped us feel confident in the decision.

    But it sounds as though you are willing to leave him where he is if they would just "ramp it up" in terms of challenge. Why won't they differentiate curriculum for him? Are they trying to label him with some sort of pathology or disability and ignore the scores on these tests?

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    #4003 - 10/22/07 05:21 PM Re: Hi, I'm back again [Re: doodlebug]
    thebees Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/23/07
    Posts: 8
    The reason we originally asked for whole grade acceleration was that we were told there could not be any subject acceleration due to state curriculum and EOGs.
    DS had requested to start learning pre-algebra/algebra, which we had been working on last summer. He reads high school/college literature on his own but is forced to read 4th-6th grade fiction for and in class (and not allowed to read ahead.) Science and social studies were no big deal because in the gifted program those are areas where enrichment vs. acceleration seems to work fine for him. Writing is his weakness, he seems to be at-grade-level there and keyboarding seems to be helping.

    I'm sure they weren't aiming at a disability. That would require an IEP and just cost them more money. They were just trying to say that the average of his skills was more important than his strengths, developmentally.
    Honestly, I think that because he has few to no behavior issues, makes high grades and appears to be doing well socially, they prefer to keep him safely right where he is. I get that, but also wonder if that is what is truly best for him, intellectually and motivationally, now and in the future.

    We are having him tested on the 8th grade Explore test through Duke TIP in February and we are having an independent Psych go over everything to see if we have a ?legal? case for differential instruction. That's all I can come up with to advocate further.

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    #4014 - 10/23/07 07:21 AM Re: Hi, I'm back again [Re: Dottie]
    doodlebug Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/06
    Posts: 433
    Loc: Illinios
    That does sound like a good plan. Take a deep breath and relax. February will be here before you know it. I'm glad to hear that there AREN'T behavior issues or problems with adjustments. I'm sure that the EXPLORE test will help with advocacy.

    Good luck!

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    #4052 - 10/25/07 11:33 AM Re: Hi, I'm back again [Re: Dottie]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    Good morning!

    Welcome to club. Many, many kids have profiles similar to your sons. FWIW, he did GREAT!!! He is clearly gifted, possibly highly so, and has ceilings and near ceilings in the subtests that most experts consider the best estimates of cognitive ability.

    And his achievement is correspondingly high. I personally think he would be fine with an acceleration, even with those "lower" processing scores. The WMI is fine at 116, and the PSI is certainly nothing to worry about at 106. His WJ fluency scores are well above average (50th).

    So many school admins and psychs are trained to present the data exactly as yours did. We were told not to consider acceleration too, but to take up a sport and an instrument. This at age 6! (We ignored that advice, *grin*) Well, I shouldn't say ignored....he has sports, instruments AND accelerations!

    Anyway, your friendship reasons are definitely things to consider, and you may have to hash this out in your own mind, but "on paper", I'd say he's an excellent candidate. However, schools are hard to fight.

    And while many gifted kids DO have IQ's in that 132 range, most do NOT have GAI's in the 140's, and achievement consistently at the 99th percentile.


    I loved everything Dottie said, so I just quoted it again. My DS11 scores are also "average" in the processing speed department. He did benifit from Occupational Therapy at age 7, and perhaps also would have benifited from vision therapy, but he is doing better since his grade skip because he enjoys learning and feels less like a freak. The older kids he is with are also bright and interesting and fun for him to be friends with. His advisor just emailed me asking isn't it interesting that he has gravitated towards the most academically able boys as friends. I think that some kids can and do make friends in their subject acceleration classes, but for my kid, he needed to be whole grade accelerated to get the social thing going. He is very loyal to his grade.

    We were able to have his scores looked at by one of the Davidson Consultants because we were in the YSP. With a 40 point spread, we wanted to be sure that there was no hidden disability. The consultant explained that not every subtest on the IQ test is highly correlated with actual intelligence. On some test, such as being able to name simple pictures of common objects, being able to do average is actually all one would expect. I can't say that the fear of a hidden disability is 100% gone, but it is 97% gone. That is a very good thing.

    I believe that you can suggest a trial gradeskip for 6 weeks and see how it's going. I think that if you explain that schools are build for the majority, and really don't exist to fit you, but that we are going to try to do our best to make it fit as well as possible, and that means trying things until we find out who you are and what you can do, and what is the best we can do with the availible resources.

    There definitly are situations where going up to an unsatisfactory fit class means more busy work and no benefit. But there are also many situations where things work beautifully, at least for a while.

    Good luck whatever you decide to try!
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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