IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful?

Posted by: Grinity

IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 02:59 AM

I've been curious - what is the most helpful about whatever kinds of formal assesments your child has done?

For us the most important thing was being able to join YSP and being able to fill out the Iowa Acceleration Scale. I always hoped that if we had gone to a tester who was familiar with beyond the usually gifted children that we would have gotten a lot more specific parenting advice and school placement advice, but, alas, we went to a local tester, who, while kind and well meaning, sent us off in directions that wasted a few years of DS's educational life.

The good news is that I was able to learn (eventually) from other parents in the YSP what a tester might have been able to teach me. So I'm always going on about being sure to get an experienced tester, unless the school is going to do it for free, that is. wink

What I don't take into account is that even if the tester is perfect, it takes time for us parents to wrap our minds around the implications of LOG. (Level of Giftedness) So I'm asking you who have gotten some kind of testing for your child:
What tests:
What age(s):
What questions you had in your mind:
What you learned:

Thanks so much,
Love and More Love,
Posted by: LMom

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 06:12 AM

Testing DS5 was one of the best thing we have done regarding him being gifted. I had lots of second thoughts and doubts before the test, but I am so glad we did it. 5 may not be the best time to test due to ceilings and such, but I think we still got what we needed. DS3 will be tested when the time comes.

I think the most valuable thing was that it finally sinked in, that we finally got it, that perhaps he is little more than just clearly gifted. We knew he was gifted, we just didn't realize how gifted he was.

I was no longer a crazy parent, I was a crazy parent with paper which clearly shows that DS was way beyond his peers. His teachers knew he was gifted, but they were even farther behind us when it came to how much he could do. They did need to see the achievement tests. I also have test results which allow him to attend gt programs and camps.

Getting to DYS has been beyond wonderful. Being able to meet real people who really get it is priceless. I cannot say enough good things about it. I feel like we started a new chapter in our gt journey.

As for testing itself, it's extremely hard to get an appointment with people listed on the Hoagies, long waiting lists and/or tests we didn't care for. We did go to a "local" psychologist who had supposedly some experience with gifted kids. DS5 liked her and I think she did great job with the testing itself.

We didn't really get any good advice besides "You would need to grade skip him. He could even be in the 2nd grade academically, but then he cannot really be in the 2nd grade socially." She told us that he should still go to school for social reasons. No, thank you. She didn't have any school information about the area where we lived except the typical "There must be something in ..."

To sum it up. It was well worth the money!

What tests: WPPSI-III, WJ-III
What age: 5 years 3 months
Posted by: bianc850a

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 07:04 AM

What tests: WISC III (5.5 year old) for gifted school application. WISC IV and WJ-III (7.5 years old) for DYS and SCAT for JHU CTY summer programs.

What questions you had in mind: My dd has always been tested as requirements of a program/school. I think I have always known she is gifted. She has what I call an "old soul".

What you learned: That she is even more gifted than I thought and that I will never really "get" the way her brain works.

My dd has been tested by the same psychologist in all instances. The psychologist came to our home for the first test and allowed me to be a silent observer. I had told my dd that this nice lady was coming to play and do puzzles with her (my dd loves puzzles). She was waiting for her at the door! The psychologist doing the testing is very familiar with gifted children. My dd was very comfortable around her. The testing experiences have always been positive and ideal (nice knowledgeble tester, good health, rested/fed child, cooperative child, etc).

DD is currently in a great fit academically. She is moving ahead so fast academically (specially in math) that sometimes I need to look at the numbers and realize that is ok. She is really capable of doing what she is doing.

Posted by: Lori H.

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 07:24 AM

My son only took the WIAT the month he turned seven. Even though he has motor dyspraxia and sensory issues and took the without taking breaks, he did very well on the achievement test, scoring grade levels ahead of age mates even though he had only homeschooled for about two hours a day the year before he took the test. He did well enough on the achievement test that the tester told us that he did not get to the point where he missed enough questions to stop the test. The test was stopped because they ran out of time and our insurance would not pay for any more testing. The tester predicted the score he would make on an IQ test based on the achievement test, but he said to really find out how highly gifted he is, he needed to be tested over more than one day because of my son's fatigue issues. My son was even tested on spelling but he had to write the words, which I thought was strange considering that handwriting was one of his problems, but he managed to test slightly above grade level on that before his hands got too tired to continue. I believe that he was actually at a higher grade level in spelling than the test showed, especially now since he won a regional spelling bee at age 9. I most tests are set up for kids without motor disabilies, but he can compensate enough that he can do well on everything except things requiring visual motor integration. He is slow at 3D puzzles and I can't see that it has an adverse effect on achievement. I think he might score lower on an IQ test because of his lower than average visual motor integration, but I think what really counts is what he is able to achieve and he is able to achieve at a very high level if he is given the opportunity to learn the way he learns best.

I know that achievement tests like the WIAT only cover a small number of questions at each grade level, but I found that my son was able to skip a lot of the math curriculum and work at the grade level it showed on the achievement test because he picked up concepts very quickly, but we had to work around handwriting issues.

I think the test was more helpful than an IQ test would have been for me because we had homeschooled for a year and I wasn't sure what grade levels he was working at. We didn't use an actual curriculum and he did a lot of things online, playing educational games and of course, he read a lot but he chose to read things like his children's science encyclopedia and National Geographic Magazine. He just didn't have any interest in the books his public schooled friends, even his older gifted friends, were reading. He has always loved books with a rich vocabulary that make him think. I think because of what he chooses to read, he is able to use a higher level vocabulary in his speech and I think he probably comprehends at a higher level than than his public schooled gifted friends who are several years older, but if he were in our public school he would be held back from achieving at a high level partly because of his sensory and motor issues.

If I had to choose between an IQ test or another achievement test, I would choose an achievement test because on it says that scores on elementary school achievement tests have a lot to do with IQ and where kids end up later in life.

I am curious about his IQ, but I wonder if it would be affected by his visual motor integration difficulties. I just think an achievement test gives me more useful information. I would have liked for him to take the Explore test but I could not make him miss one of the most fun Cub Scout activities to do it. Hopefully, next year things will work out so that he can take it.

Posted by: crisc

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 07:26 AM

What tests: SB-V and WJ-III

What age(s): 4 years 9 months and 5 years 1 month

What questions you had in your mind: My initial question was whether or not I should move my son from his current preschool where he was having behavior issues and complaining of boredom to a more expensive, more academic Montessori school. I knew DS was probably very bright, if not gifted but I needed proof to make such a drastic move for my son, especially since I have two other children attending the same preschool.

What you learned: That DS is much more gifted than I could have imagined. He wasn't reading at 2 or even 3 so I really thought that his scores would be in the above average to mod. gifted range. Since he had the SB-V, I must admit that I go out of my way to find new challenges and exposures for him. I also have started to advocate for a grade skip for this fall. I know that without test score this would not have even crossed my mind. The WJ-III testing was done solely for entrance to the DYS program. We are still anxiously awaiting the decision.

We had all our testing done by a private psychologist that is retired and does testing out of her home. She used to live locally but since she retired she moved 1.5 hours and one state away. Prior to retirement she did testing on gifted children as an occupation. Our local gifted group has had many children tested by this woman.

When I called to make an inquiry for testing, she went out of her way to get to know my family. She offered great advice and just listened as I talked about our struggles. Even after the testing has been completed, she calls and e-mails frequently just to follow up and check in on us. When she finds a new resource in my community that may be of assistance she is quick to make the contact. My son thoroughly enjoyed the testing process. I know that when DD3 and DS1 are ready for testing I will have no hesitations about the 1.5 hour drive to use her.
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 07:39 AM

What tests: SB-V, administered by a gifted specialist in our area who was referred to us by friends who have an HG+ kid. (We probably would have thought DS was just a smart kid if it weren't for this friend I met in early childhood classes. She kept saying "your son is so much like my son was at that age" and recommending that we have him tested.)

What age(s): 4.1

What questions you had in your mind: We wanted to know if DS should go to kindergarten early, and in our district, you have to prove IQ >130. We probably would have had to fight hard for early entry since DS is 4.5 months past the cutoff, and we wanted advice. We also thought, maybe he's just really smart, and we're crazy to put him through this at such an early age. I was very worried about the fact that I would be in a separate room while he was tested - DS had never been alone with a stranger.

What you learned: DS was very HG+, and we were not crazy. We learned that with his level of giftedness and personality, early K wouldn't be a great fit, especially since we have a preschool teacher who "gets" him. (This was a surprise and a relief for me - i was young in school and still very bored, so I thought the recommendation would be early k to move things along. Relief because we have more time to figure out how to work with the schools, get over denial, etc.) We learned that we will have to reassess DS's education quite often, and we will have to be flexible. We were reassured that we could do this. We were given info on how to work with the schools (and tons of other resources.) Also, we didn't "put" DS through anything - he loved the testing. We will go back for achievement testing next year so we can apply to DYS when DS is 5.

Interesting side effect: since the testing, DS4's confidence level has greatly increased. Re: games and "inventions" etc, we used to hear more "that's too hard" and now we hear "no! don't help me! I can do it myself!"

I am also so happy that I found this website before we took DS for testing. I got so much great advice about how to prepare my "never been with a stranger" kid for this long test. (Long for him - about 1.5 hours.)
Posted by: Kriston

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 09:52 AM

What tests: WJ-III (administered by public school in K because of teacher GT ID), then WISC

What age(s):5.9, then 6.7 for the WISC

What questions you had in your mind:
For WJ-III: None, since I was sure he was GT but wasn't aware he was HG+. After I saw the test scores and saw how rough a time he was having in 1st grade, I wondered if the public school could handle him.
For WISC: Is he really qualified for DYS, as his WJ-III indicates, or is he the MG kid that my GT denial says he is. What should we be doing for his education?

What you learned: He's been admitted to DYS, and we're homeschooling, at least for this year and next. Beyond that, I'm trying to stick to day-by-day decisions... Also, the WISC showed me that his processing speed is significantly slower than his PRI score, so I learned that I need to be patient with him if he seems to be dawdling. That bit of info was second in importance only to getting into DYS to me, I think, especially now that we're HSing.

I'll add a question, if that's okay, Grinity...

*What you still want/need to know:*

My answers: Is DS3.5 HG+, too? Is there a better educational option for DS6.5 than HSing?
Posted by: crisc

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 09:55 AM

*What you still want/need to know:*
I still want to know what is best for DS5 in regards to schooling. I don't think any test is going to tell me that.
Posted by: Kriston

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 09:59 AM

Don't we all wish!
Posted by: Ann

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 12:45 PM

Good thread Grinity! DS2 is too young to test, but you guys are giving me a lot to think about.

It reminds me that I'd like someone to put our conversations into book form. Learning what has/hasn't worked for other parents is invaluable. I've moved on from the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book. I find myself combing through old posts when I need something specific for DS.
Posted by: Cathy A

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 04:46 PM

Age: 4 yrs. 6 mos.
My questions: What the heck is going on here? I know my older DD is smart but this boy looks like a different kind of animal. Am I crazy? What should I do for him?
What I learned: Yes, he IS a different animal...I am NOT crazy...I need to research the options (gradeskip is looking good.)

Tests: WISC-IV, various writing diagnostics
Age: 8 yrs. 9 mos.
Questions: Is she really at a different LOG than DS? Why does she seem so GT verbally (orally) but not in writing? Why is writing a struggle for her?
What I learned: Yes, once again, my instincts are confirmed, she IS at a lower LOG than DS, she IS verbally GT, I am not imagining the writing issues although it's less clear what the cause is, I now have some strategies for helping her.

Overall, testing has helped me be a better advocate for my kids because I have hard evidence supporting my observations. This not only helps me convince others of what my kids need, it helps me convince myself! It's so easy to be swayed by ALL those other people--including family and professional educators--who are telling you there's nothing different about your kids. You really start to question yourself. Having data has really firmed my convictions! grin
Posted by: acs

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/25/08 08:34 PM

What tests: WISC IV (9y 10mo) and SB5 (10y 8mo) and ACT (12y)

What questions you had in your mind: We wanted to know how gifted he was. We had a good school situation and hadn't felt that we needed testing, but then I thought it would be good to have for later, should problems develop. I had heard that testing should be done before 10 if you think your child is HG. Since DS was almost 10 when I read this, I rushed to get him in before the window closed. As it was the tester felt that DS's scores were already an underestimate because of ceilings (and I think fatigue). His VPI came in just under 145 and his GAI just over 145, but his FSIQ was under 130! He had two 19's in the VPI subtests.

So in a year we did the SB5--the tester thought it would be good because if its higher ceilings. He hit ceilings on half the subtests and again had a score that the tester thought was an underestimate (between 140 and 145).

By this time I began to realize that we really were too late to be doing IQ tests, that we had really already missed the window.

So we waited and had DS take the ACT. I think this gave us a much more accurate sense of what DS could do because we no longer had to worry about ceilings. His scores are higher than we would have predicted based on his SB5 and WISC scores and are certainly not the result of hothousing.

What you learned: We knew DS was highly gifted. Our interactions with the psych definitately confirmed this and were part of our process of realizing that DS was way above MG. But, given the price and the scores that the psych said were probably not accurate, I am not sure it was totally worth it. Since we waited so long to start the testing process, I wish we had cut right to the talent search testing and skipped all the expensive testing.

The nice thing, though, is that DS loves any test he gets to take.

I guess that other thing that was nice, was that the psych told us that he had never seen a HG kid this happy and well-adjusted. That has been very encouraging, because having heard this I do worry less about the choices we had made.

Posted by: Grinity

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/26/08 03:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Lori H.
I think he might score lower on an IQ test because of his lower than average visual motor integration, but I think what really counts is what he is able to achieve and he is able to achieve at a very high level if he is given the opportunity to learn the way he learns best.

Lori H,
I totally agree with your point here, and think that it is an excellent one. When I say: Gifted is as Gifted does, I am trying to say what you just posted.

Posted by: bk1

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/28/08 05:59 PM


WISC IV and WIAT (partial), age 8 years 2 mos

Test was given by school as required part of assessment for fine motor/OT issues.

We had wondered for years about our child, because he seemed HG to us, but his school didn't seem to think so. They grouped for math last year (one of their few deviations from the 'heterogeneous classroom') and DS wound up in lower groups.

After the test, he got OT, but no accommodation for giftedness. It confirmed our impression of our child, helped us understand that his strength is verbal but he is also gifted in math (just less so).

I thought with concrete "proof" of his smarts I would be able to get the school to differentiate for him, but they really don't seem to recognize that DS needs more. The school's lack of response prompted us to contact a gifted testing expert, who looked at his scores, took a detailed history, and advised us to get him out of this local "great" elementary school by next fall and begin applying next fall for some private schools for the gifted that are in our area for the following year. (We have already missed the boat for Fall '08 for private schools). I had to laugh when the gifted testing expert asked if I had heard of DYS and recommended we apply for DS. I told her about this board!

DS begged not to go to the school in K, and we kept sending him there because each year, there seemed to be some hope on the horizon that they were going to accommodate his needs, and it just never came to fruition. We were about to throw in the towel after last year, but then we thought the test scores would make the school see the need, and he got assigned to a "star" teacher this year. This star teacher told me at the first parent-teacher conference that we needed to give our third-grader help at home to help him learn his addition and subtraction math facts! The IQ and achievement tests meant nothing to this teacher. The teacher now says DS is "excellent" in math-- but only because he's seen the results of the "predictive assessments" (i.e. practice tests) for the state NCLB exams, and DS did really well on those.

Posted by: Wren

Re: IQ test/Assesment: What was most helpful? - 03/29/08 04:49 AM

The tester we used for preschool admission testing also does Hunter (SB5) and she talked to us how the SB5 creates really fat tails. She said too many kids were hitting the ceilings and she didn't like the test.

Anyone else hear feedback like this? I understand it is a relatively new test. Hunter ended up with 50% more kids in the second round, kids scoring in the 98th percentile, than they expected because of the fat tails.