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    Joined: Oct 2009
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    It's been a long time since I've posted. My DD (almost 13) is finishing a rotten school year. Not all of the reasons are 2e related, but the "if you're so smart, then why can't you..." attitude has been more prevalent than any previous school year.

    She's angry. I'm angry. DH is angry. The teachers and administration are frustrated and I've crossed over into being "that parent." The latter is problematic because I'm employed in the same district.

    The main foci of our spring semester were DH's diagnosis of MS and subsequent hospitalization and DD's brief psychiatric hospitalization (both occurred in Feb). Her school was sympathetic to her needs for about a week after that and then started back with the focus on compliance rather than content.

    DD finally got a 504 meeting (ADHD & GAD), but the teachers disagreed with the need for accommodations. There has been quite a bit of subjective interpretation of DD's behavior as laziness, taking advantage, manipulation, etc. They don't see how hard she tries to comply, but DH and I do. On top of everything, she's bored to tears and under stimulated. How do we even start the 504 plus more challenging content conversation?

    I don't know where to turn for advocacy. She's just under the DYS criteria on the SAT CR (570/560/550, 8 on the essay - 7th grade). She missed 5th grade EXPLORE criteria by a similar margin (English, reading, and composite were each 1 point too low).

    We don't have formal IQ testing, but we do have extensive medical bills now, so I don't see it happening soon. I'm actually a little afraid to "bargain shop" for a tester since I think a 2e specialist would be our best chance of "proving" that she's PG (she's a Ruf LOG 4 based on milestones).

    I'm afraid we're losing her. The school just doesn't see what DH and I know to be true. We're just another "my kid is special, can do no wrong" whiney self-deluded set of parents, the kind teachers make fun of in the lounge at lunchtime. I shot myself in the foot by sending some emails before I waited to calm down. I really wish I hadn't... I'm hoping I'm not the only parent here who's wished there were an undo button for that.

    FWIW, she's identified GT and enrolled in the GT elective. She loves that and band. Past that, the GT pop is served only through pre-AP and AP coursework. Rules for acceleration are rigid and require high scores on multiple-choice tests... DD will always do well on these, but not as well as a PG non-2e kid, I think. She tried one, didn't clear the hurdle, and is too afraid of "failure" to try again.

    Assuming there's someway we could figure out how to get a qualifying DYS app put together, does DYS help with the 2e aspect at all? Does DYS consider 2e issues and lack of exposure to advanced content when looking at achievement testing? (She's never been accelerated other that her own personal pursuits.)

    Maybe she's not PG or even 2e. But everytime I let myself believe that and stop trying to help her, something she does smacks me upside the head and says "you're her only advocate and you're not allowed to quit."

    What would you do? Scrape together the money for testing? I hate middle school. Just as much as when I was a middle schooler.

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    Welcome back - but I'm sorry to hear your family is having such a difficult time. How is your DH now?

    I can't answer your DYS questions, but it doesn't sound like an easily remediable situation in that school, does it? Is homeschooling a possibility? Would you trust your DD to be alone working at home for enough time to let you combine that with still working, or is your DH at home now, or...?


    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail
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    My heart goes out to you. 2E issues are difficult to deal with. I want to caution you that a high "IQ" score won't necessarily get you the reaction that you want/need. My oldest was 2E and I still remmember the comments that flew at the IEP meetings. The sad part is that I couldn't completely blame them because high IQs don't impress me either. My point is that what these teachers/adminstrators/counselers/nurses are looking for is the likelihood that the student will succeed.

    Despite your DD's reluctance, I think the best course of action is to prepare her for the school's multiple-choice tests so that she can clear the hurdle. From the test numbers that you provided, I believe that with the right encouragement preparation and mindset, your DD could pass the school's hurdles.

    As for DYS, I can't say whether they would be helpful for 2E issues, but they do provide a family consultant who does advise on advocacy issues. My DYS is not 2E, so I have no personal knowledge in that regard. However, if you look at the application materials, they indicate consideration of other factors. I would imagine that age (your DD is on the younger end) and ADHD would be taken into consideration. The application itself is fairly short and you only need 1 recomendation. If you can throw a portfolio of four items together, it may be worth an attempt to apply without the IQ scores. The worse DYS can do is say no and if you really want to go to the time/expense, you can do an IQ test later and try again.

    I hope the situation improves for you. Middle school is reputedly the worse. By high school, the academic options improve considerably.

    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Hi,
    So sorry you're having this trouble. We did apply for DYS for our DD8 (in 3rd grade) because we were also having trouble with her current teachers; the thing is though, although they offer to advise/help (and we passed this along, believe me!), the school/teachers have to be willing to listen--ours have shown zero interest in learning anything about gifted, and relied on what I have come to believe is a bogus evaluation suggesting ADHD, ODD, Aspergers, and dysgraphia. I think it's bogus because I've read James Webb's Misdiagnosis book and don't think she meets the criteria, plus the evaluation was based largely on questionnaires from the current teachers--who can't stand DD. Very disappointing, because the previous two years
    at the same school (and literally the same Montessori classroom) with different teachers were just wonderful. Regardless, my understanding is that Davidson accepts any kid who can meet the criteria (and they accepted us!); the tests and scores they accept are posted on their site (but as Quantum2003 points out there are also alternatives). And it is free!! and really a wonderful resource; I am so glad that for example this site exists. I just think if you're already "one of those parents" it may not do you any good. We also became "those parents" this year, even though we tried our darndest to be respectful and cooperative--but at some point you do have to speak up and advocate, and even though we thought we were still being respectful I guess all that mattered was that we disagreed with the teachers.

    Best of luck dealing with this.
    Take care,
    Dbat

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    Can you request a full evaluation for special Ed services based on the GAD, and have the school psych do an IQ test? When I was teaching and running Child Study, the school psychologist was the biggest advocate during meetings when he had found an IQ in the gifted range.

    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Thanks to everyone for the kind words and advice.

    She's not a good referral for special ed services (currently has straight A's, although by the skin of her teeth and Herculean emotional effort when the GAD is prominent).

    Credit by exam for acceleration is not even on the table for DD at the moment. That's the kind of thing that has to be *her* idea or she won't be cooperative at all. It would also skip her from middle school to high school if she were successful across the board. I'm sure there are 2e ramifications of such a change that I haven't even considered.

    Is this a crazy idea?: what if we re-envision public school in our family's worldview as a place where you go to see friends, get to play in the band, etc. We'd require her to "play the game" as it were. Keep up an A/B average and not get in trouble. In return, we, the parents, could spend this advocacy time and energy (and what little financial support we could throw at it) on afterschooling. Sort of a live and let live with the school until she can get access to the wider range of high school curriculum? I certainly can't be the first person to have thought up such an arrangement. Does it ever work? Will the boredom and "spaciness" still cause her friction and pain?

    I think with the lack of money and the need for both of us to continue working full time (DH is currently well but takes super-expensive medication... maintaining access to traditional health insurance is sine qua non) means that I'll have to just get creative.

    I'm really tired of trying to make her fit the school's paradigm. Trying to get the school to even look at a new paradigm has only been an exercise in conflict.


    DD12, 7th. Dx'd ADHD/GAD. No IQ test. EXPLORE & SAT just miss DYS but suspect HG+
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    Originally Posted by zarfkitty
    Is this a crazy idea?: what if we re-envision public school in our family's worldview as a place where you go to see friends, get to play in the band, etc. We'd require her to "play the game" as it were. Keep up an A/B average and not get in trouble. In return, we, the parents, could spend this advocacy time and energy (and what little financial support we could throw at it) on afterschooling. Sort of a live and let live with the school until she can get access to the wider range of high school curriculum? I certainly can't be the first person to have thought up such an arrangement. Does it ever work? Will the boredom and "spaciness" still cause her friction and pain?

    I think this is a great idea!! smile Good for you for thinking 'outside the box'! We were kind of contemplating something along these lines before we got DD8 (back) into her old Montessori school. She needs work on her social skills, and if you got the right teacher(s) who were willing to help, it could be very useful. We will be hoping that she learns *something* next year, but we will still be doing EPGY for math anyway to give her an individualized approach, which of course they really couldn't provide for each kid. That's the only subject for which she has requested advancement, so we'll see what she has to say next year.

    I really hope things work out for you all; best of luck. smile

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    I finally had the meltdown email moment this past week, so you're not alone. I'm helping you row that boat. smile

    My son is 2e, missed the cutoff for gifted by one point so is currently being served in special ed only for his deficiencies. And even with a boatload of accommodations, it was still the most stressful challenge I've faced yet to keep him from failing two of his core classes for zeros - due to the school failing to comply with accommodations, teachers changing the rules without notifying me, and the special ed chair retiring and letting things slide so that it was me squeaking the wheel or nothing at all.

    Here is a thought to consider - even if you get accommodations (and they do help), it is not going to solve the problem. Your child is still going to be bored, and it will only get worse as the subject material gets more pedantic with each new year. It is because of this realization that I'm getting my son retested by a neuropsych this summer to see if we can't get him qualified for gifted and for accommodations - and getting him either out of the mainstream classes for his core subjects or at least giving him more opportunities to be creative in them.

    I couldn't tell from your posts, but if you have insurance, it will often pay for the neuropsych evaluations (which need the IQ testing as part of the process) if there is a medical concern - i.e. memory processing, etc. So if you can get a psychiatrist to recommend a full neurypsych eval to find the root of the 2e challenges, your insurance just might cover it. I understand the medical expenses - we've been there, and you just have to deal with what you can. But it might be worth pursuing to see if you can get insurance to cover the testing.

    And as to the meltdown, his math teacher called me that afternoon after she read it. I started to apologize for the this-is-so-frustrating diatribe when she stopped me. I really appreciate what she said, "When you are the parent of a twice exceptional child, you do not have the luxury of not being 'that parent', because if you aren't going the extra mile to advocate and hold the school accountable, who will? Half the teachers will think your child is playing them and the other half will be annoyed at the extra work being required by them for a kid who is obviously bright. Only a few will understand the real gaps they're dealing with and accept and teach the 'whole child'. So you continue being 'that parent' and make sure the school knows that you won't get tired and give up."

    She's one of the good teachers, but there were plenty this year who pushed back, and pushed back hard the closer it got to the end of the year, when it came to accommodating my son.

    So just keep pushing and doing what you need to do. It's not a popularity contest. It's just what you've had put on your plate to have to do. I didn't ever want to be "that parent", but I don't really have a choice. Sometimes we're not really given a choice - just a mission in life. And this seems to be ours.

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    I was also going to suggest looking into whether or not your insurance will pay for a neuropsych exam - ours covered the bulk of the cost when we were referred by our pediatrician.

    We have two 2e kiddos - one in elementary and one in middle school. For both, the thing that far and above all else has been helpful is understanding how their challenges impact them and how to remediate/accommodate etc for the challenges - and that's where having neuropsychological evaluations followed up with whatever the neuropsych recommends in terms of other therapies and evals.

    Second most important thing was keeping them as close to where we can re their intellectual needs - which can be quite a challenge in school as you've discovered. Re idea of rethinking the purpose of school and after schooling to give the intellectual challenge - that approach didn't work well for our kids - they are mentally exhausted by school even when it's beyond boring intellectually due to their 2e challenges, so there is very little energy left over to want to study anything else after school no matter how interesting. Plus in the early years we needed some of that after school time and energy for helping remediate challenges. The thing that worked best for us was to advocate for the intellectual challenge within school.

    Re help from Davidson, my approach has always been to grab information from everywhere you can and use what's helpful... But also be sure to prioritize time and effort where you're going to get the most return on your time and effort. Davidson doesn't take much effort to apply, so go for it even if it doesn't turn out to be useful. At The same time, I would consider talking to your pediatrician re how to obtain a comprehensive eval from a neuropsych.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear



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