Monday, February 2, 2015

To Test or Not To Test Gifted Children


I know this is a late post for the Hoagies blog hop, but I felt very strongly to write a post. Selena is a Twice Exceptional child, what does that mean?  Simply put she is gifted but is also on the Autism Spectrum or has learning disabilities as well. We are faced with the dilemma of having her tested. What does that involve? Well, depending on who we go through it could mean a 3 hour screening with a psychologist or the equivalent to that split over a few days.

What will we learn from this screening? First and foremost the Psychiatrist will get confirmation of his diagnoses of ASD, (Autism Spectrum Disorder) as well as her IQ and her strengths and weaknesses.

I am on the fence post, I want to know that our psychiatrist is correct in his diagnosis but I don’t want a whole bunch of unnecessary labels placed on her that will go with her the rest of her life. As the parent and teacher since we homeschool, I already know her strengths and weaknesses, I have seen all the signs of ASD.

I know for us screening or testing is a matter of fact, do I like it? No, I do not after raising a child who was developmentally delayed, and was told she would never learn to ride a bike, or play an instrument, to which she proved them wrong. Yet, knowing that much of the testing and screening they put her through was accurate, and the reason we now have our granddaughter/daughter and two grandsons who were adopted through foster care.

There are times when I think testing or screening is needed, when we have a child who is in need of help with skills especially life skills. Though to test or screen for giftedness or how smart they are I feel is a personal choice. I know for us we will have to have Selena tested and screened but because of her age she will never know the results. We will have the peace of mind of knowing that our insights and the diagnosis of our psychiatrist is correct, but we do not want her knowing what might hold her back, because believe me once she knows then yes, they become a huge Brick Wall.

I am not all for testing or screening just for giftedness, you know your child better then anyone, you know as their parent their strengths and weaknesses. You know when they began to read, you know how strong they are in math. I feel every child takes to testing in a different way, some excel from the challenge and some fold under the pressure. Is there truly an absolute test out there that fits all children gifted or not? I am not linking to a whole lot of research, and believe me I have done a lot of research, but I am more talking from a person who has already been there and done that. I have seen first hand what testing and screening can do good and bad for a child.

If you are looking for help with areas of weaknesses for your child then I say yes, have them tested and screened. If you are just wondering how smart they truly are or how gifted they may or may not be, you as their parent already know that answer. The schools have so many different programs and ways of determining what is right for you child. That does not mean we do not as parents need to step in and advocate for our child to get them into these programs.

If you do choose to have your child tested or screened I know I would ask myself is the results something I would want my child to really know? It could make them feel more awkward and less normal then they probably already feel.   

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1 comment:

  1. Great post, Debbie! For us it was not possible to hide CoGAT results, because A goes to a gifted program. In fact, after the email came in, the other girl in the program told her even before we did. I hope testing will give you some additional insights about Selena. When will it be done?