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    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Isabel Offline OP
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    I was active in this forum a few years ago when I was trying to figure out if my son was gifted and immediately after, but since I didn't find any good gifted programs where I live and he seemed happy at school I ended up deciding to let it go. He is now 11 and mostly happy, well-adjusted, and popular among his classmates. He is doing well at school but he is not especially high achieving and he doesn't believe he is very smart. He is quite disorganized, his notebook is full of doodles and he seems to always find shortcuts to technically do what he is required to do with minimal effort.

    He is not especially bookish but he has become very good at drawing and teaches himself with Youtube tutorials. He has been learning Japanese on Duolingo and last year apparently he walked up to a Japanese lady who was visiting his school and introduced himself (in Japanese). He is quite goofy and likes to joke in class but he is mostly well behaved.

    I have been talking to his teacher and they are going to have him tested again because he is beginning high school next year and they want to know where he is at. My impression is that he is pretty average at this point but I don't have many children around to compare. He does have occasional glimpses of brilliance (for example, last year we were checking the sugar amount in a box of cereals in the store, which was 9 gr per 100 gr and on our way home he commented 1/11 of the cereals was sugar).

    His score at age 5 (WPPSI) was:

    FSIQ 131, 98th percentile
    GAI 149, 99,9th percentile

    I am now trying to figure out where we stand, also because the person testing him this time won't be focused on giftedness.

    Does it seem likely that he was just precocious and he is now just average?

    Last edited by Isabel; 12/04/23 03:11 PM.
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    Studying Japanese for fun is pretty intellectual. Maybe he finds short cuts because he's bored in school. Since he's popular and happy, you could find academic opportunities for him on the weekends like a Japanese class or ask him about which subjects he likes without homeschooling him or asking for much of his free time to be dedicated to formal classes. He could read books in Japanese and get into literature that way, or learn about how different movements covered in English class (or high school English class), such as romanticism, are covered in visual art, since he likes drawing.

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    Isabel Offline OP
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    Thank you for the suggestions. So far we have mostly let him be. He is in an alternative school where they don't get homework or even grades so there was no pressure for him to perform. We take him to extracurricular classes when he shows interest but often he says he prefers to learn on his own. I really didn't want to get carried away because of the gifted label and end up putting too many expectations on him.

    However, next year he will be attending a "normal" school where he will be required to take tests, turn in assignments and so on, so my old worries are returning.

    I guess I have always been somehow in disbelief about his scores because it seems with such high scores his intelligence should be more obvious, but my references might not be accurate, since I suspect many of my relatives might have been gifted too.

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    Welcome back, Isabel!

    I noticed just a few things in your post that stood out to me, and will comment on those.

    << He is now 11... he is beginning high school next year >>
    Is he grade accelerated? I ask because in the USA, the typical relationship between a child's age and grade level is a 5 year difference:
    . . Age of student - 5 years = grade level.
    . . In this case, age 11 - 5 yrs = grade 6 (USA middle school).
    . . HS nxt yr, age 12 - 3 yrs = grade 9 (USA high school freshmen).
    Am I understanding your child's age and grade level correctly?

    << He is quite disorganized, his notebook is full of doodles and he seems to always find shortcuts to technically do what he is required to do with minimal effort.>>
    Sounds creative.
    Possibly Twice-Exceptional (2e)?
    Possibly a Visual Thinker, and compensating?
    The book Different Minds by Temple Grandin (Nov 2023) may be of interest.

    << ... mostly happy, well-adjusted, and popular among his classmates ... He is quite goofy and likes to joke in class but he is mostly well behaved. >>
    Those two descriptions seem to be compatible.
    That is, if I understand him to be gregarious, social, outgoing, well-mannered, having a sound sense of empathy and support for others and a well-developed sense of self-control and self-discipline. The role of "entertainer" MAY indicate a gifted child's efforts to fit in and be accepted, and/or boredom, or and/or a strategy of 2e compensation.

    Reading about Executive Function may provide insight regarding both organizational skills, and self-discipline. Here's one link, from Understood.org - https://www.understood.org/en/articles/what-is-executive-function

    << I am now trying to figure out where we stand, also because the person testing him this time won't be focused on giftedness. >>
    What will the tester be focusing on?

    << He does have occasional glimpses of brilliance (for example, last year we were checking the sugar amount in a box of cereals in the store, which was 9 gr per 100 gr and on our way home he commented 1/11 of the cereals was sugar).>>
    Mathematical prowess and/or an affinity for math is great, however it is not the only sign of brilliance.
    In this vignette, I see a combination of curiosity and math, playing well together. smile

    << His score at age 5 (WPPSI) was:
    FSIQ 131, 98th percentile
    GAI 149, 99,9th percentile
    >>
    IQ scores are typically considered stable at about 8 years old and beyond.


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    Isabel Offline OP
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    Thank you for the helpful reply! He is not grade accelerated. We live in Spain and children go to high school at age 12. So far, he has been in a mixed-age and ability classroom, although I guess at least some of his classmates are probably also gifted (this is a small private school with a high percentage of children that don't do well in public school, so there are relatively many non-neurotypical students.)

    Regarding the 2E, I wouldn't be surprised if he had some degree of ADHD. I suspect I have it myself. I guess the test will give us more information.

    You have nailed it regarding his gregarious nature. Just today I told his teacher DS is not trying to gain her approval, but his peers?. I suspect he has been underperforming on purpose since he began school just to fit in, and even though he now wants to be "smart", I suspect he has been disengaging for so long that he is having trouble catching up. It is not that he is below average, but probably not performing as well as he could.

    Regarding the focus of the test, last time he was tested at a unit belonging to our local University that specializes in giftedness, while this time he will be tested at school by someone in charge of diagnosing all kinds of learning disabilities, although they are aware he has previously scored as gifted.

    Last edited by Isabel; 12/04/23 06:13 PM.
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    aeh Offline
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    Nice to "see" you again, Isabel!

    I am going to first reference my original response to your post several years ago:
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted....Trying_to_figure_out_DS5.html#Post241778

    Many of those points continue to be relevant, if not more so. Especially this:
    "If he has spent two [now more like seven] years realizing that his age peers are working on the rudiments of skills that he has already mastered long ago, he may have developed masking behaviors, so that he won't appear different from his peers. This is especially likely in a socially-oriented child. ...If he continues to be in settings where his academic and cognitive abilities are far outside the norm, he will likely continue to experience internal or external pressure to hide his natural curiosity for the sake of fitting social norms."

    In terms of the upcoming evaluation, I would echo indigo that an area to consider in addition to cognition would be executive functions. An evaluator whose practice is usually focused on learning challenges should have experience and tools to examine this, either through direct measures or through rating scales completed by you and your child's teachers (and sometimes by the child).

    Another spin on the apparent lack of effort or organization, though, is much simpler: there may never have been a need to use either set of skills in school. If a skill has no real-life function or added benefit for someone (child or adult), it might, quite naturally, not be used. As a homeschooling parent, this has been one of the measures by which I determine the appropriate instructional level: the skills should be achievable at a solid level of mastery, but should be just challenging enough to require some work and management, appropriate to their overall developmental context. (E.g., I don't expect a 10-year-old to manage all of their tasks across all subjects, but I do expect a 13-year-old to keep track of tasks spelled out for them with some detail on a schedule--but not necessarily to plan out all the components of an open-ended long-term project.)

    IOW, there is a bit of a chicken and egg quality to this: he may not display executive function skills because he has never had any call to use them. But if he does not display them, his educational environment may withhold more challenging instruction from him--the instruction which may very well be the meaningful, naturalistic conditions that he needs to incentivize the exercise and further development of executive functions--thereby inhibiting the development and demonstration of the very skills that appear to be in need of growth.


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