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I've mentioned this testing center before. If anyone's curious about it or interested in going, I have some info for you that isn't on the site. I called this morning to get the ball rolling on Ben's testing (probably Sept). Here's how it works:
1. You call for info. and tell them just a tiny bit about your child so they know which forms to send (age, why you suspect giftedness, particular concerns like behavior, whether the child lives with both parents or if additional forms are necessary, etc.)
2. They mail or email the forms to you w/o obligation (a gazillion forms!!)
3. You send the forms back for review by the staff.
4. Phone consultation is set up to go over the forms and make a game plan *if* testing is recommended (even if testing isn't recommended, the phone consultation is well worth the money). The phone consultation is billed in 15 min. increments, $120/hr, and usually lasts 1-2 hours. I say "if" testing is recommended, because he said they don't always recommend it based on the responses to the form, whether testing has already been done and can just be re-calculated, etc. ... OR ... they do recommend it, but it's step 2, 3, 4 on the ladder, not step 1 (like, if your responses indicated there may be a visual or hearing problem, you'd see those specialists first)
5. If testing is recommended, you'd make an appt to come to Denver. The tests, depending on what your needs are, run in the $800-1800 range. For very young children, they usually test in 2 mornings. For older children, it's about the same time as a school day. There's also a fee for the closing consultation to go over all the results, what everything means, etc. It may or may not be recorded for listening later (highly recommended! Brain overload of information given.) You'll leave with a hand-written report, and then a full report will be mailed to you a few weeks later.
All in all, people I've talked to highly recommend it. It costs in the neighborhood of $2500-3000 when all is said and done (plus the cost of travel). Both parents are encouraged to attend, but if that's not possible, one can attend via phone conference.
Wow, that's neat. Any benefits that you know of in doing that privately vs. through a school system or something? I am not really thinking of doing it any time soon, but it's interesting to know what's out there.
I can't wait to see Ben's results. He's definitely off the charts and I hope it will give you guys a platform for pursuing whatever other options you want and need.
Definitely not even close to scheduling it yet. He said we'd receive the paperwork either today or tomorrow, and then we'd have to schedule a phone consultation (which dh isn't sold on, yet). Then we'd test only if they tell us we should.
As for testing here vs. schools ... this testing center is WAY more detailed. It's not just an IQ score or a screening to get into a gifted program. It's personality, learning style, hidden disabilities, etc. It's like ... how do I describe it? ... it's like the difference in going to an Optometrist vs. an Ophthalmologist. One can give you a pretty good idea about how well the majority of people are seeing, and they can even give contacts/glasses to help them see better, but for people who have specialized needs, an Ophthalmologist is the one to see them (surgeries, etc.). Does that make sense? Basically, the tests they use have a higher ceiling and lower floor. It differentiates between average, above average, gifted, highly gifted, exceptionally gifted, and profoundly gifted. Most tests stop at 140. These go over 200. The score itself doesn't matter as much as the information it provides does.
I know this is a super old post, but I just came across it when I googled the Gifted Development Center. Did you end up getting your son tested? Can you tell me how things went if you did go through with it?
I've been considering starting the process with my 3.5 year old, but I wasn't expecting it to be that expensive. I can't imagine getting DH on board for that cost, but I've had my eye on this place for about a year now.
Yes! We actually did end up going there when he turned 6. We worked with Bobbie Gilman and Linda Silverman (though there are others who are great, too). We'd originally had our consultation with someone else, but she retired.
We had the option of testing all day just once or breaking it into two shorter testing days. We broke it up, because he performs best first thing in the morning. He did the WISC on the first day and the WJ on the second day. We went home with stacks and stacks of information, lots of hand-written notes, a couple of books, and a preliminary report of findings. A couple of weeks later, they mailed the final report with recommendations, which we were able to copy and send to his doctors, therapists, and the Davidson Institute.
It was well worth the trip IMO. It was very expensive, yes, but it was just me and my son (my husband conference-called into the meeting after testing, and my younger son stayed with grandparents). Ben and I got to have our own mini-vacation ... zoo, sledding, visiting a couple of friends in the area, etc. It was a very memorable trip, indeed! We learned a lot about who he is and how his brain works, and it really enabled me to better tweak what we're doing at home to customize his education. It also helped my husband realize that homeschooling really is the best answer for Ben.
Hope that helps!
OH!! I mentioned that we did testing when he turned 6 (Dec 2011... tested in Jan 2012). The reason is that the WPPSI is the preschool test, but the ceilings are much lower, there aren't as many subtests, and the test generally isn't as accurate as the WISC. After our phone consultation, they suspected he would hit ceilings on the WPPSI, so they recommended waiting for the WISC, which has a minimum age of 6. (The best age to test is 8-9.) They were right. He maxed out two of the subtests, and because he completely bombed one of the subtests, it further confirmed the report we got from the neurologist suggesting he has Asperger's. We followed up with a behavioral psychologist later and found that he also has ADD... which until then, we hadn't even suspected (and still don't fully agree with). The Asperger's diagnosis answers a lot of our questions about weird behaviors up to that point, so we were thrilled to have an answer. The WJ confirmed his working levels as well, which helped our decision making process for group activities and for curriculum choices. They also recommended, based on both the Asperger's and the WJ scores, that we start now with spelling bee training. Spelling was his highest subtest (which didn't surprise us), but he needs work on "self" to be able to compete in national level spelling bees. On that recommendation, we put him in his first spelling bee this year. He came in 7th for the entire Austin region of homeschoolers. We were proud! The only reason he didn't win was that he got nervous, spelled a word too quickly, and reversed two of the letters in it.
Thank you for following up! I was planning on waiting until he turned 5 to start this, but his Montessori school has suggested that we look into gifted schools. They all require testing for kindergarten (or maybe it's first grade), so we'd need to have him tested sooner in order to get in. I'm not sure if we want to go that route, but if the Montessori school doesn't think they can teach him, then we don't have too many other options. We specifically chose them because we thought they'd be more resourceful than public schools (which they are, but it's apparently not enough).
Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond!
Thank you for following up; I'm glad to hear it went well!
I was planning on waiting until he turned 5 to start this, but his Montessori school has suggested that we look into gifted schools. They all require testing for kindergarten (or maybe it's first grade), so we'd need to have him tested sooner in order to get in. I'm not sure if we want to go that route, but if the Montessori school doesn't think they can teach him, then we don't have too many other options. We specifically chose them because we thought they'd be more resourceful than public schools (which they are, but it's apparently not enough).
Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond!
Last edited by sleddog77; May 2nd, 2013 at 03:59 PM.