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I just want to hear any experience from moms that have a gifted child that also has delays socially. My son is going into kindergarten in Sept. He was diagnosed at 2 with autism, but now he fits an Aspie better. Actually, we have a doctor appointment about this, to "change" or update the diagnoses, anyway...
He has tested overall IQ of 135. Some areas were higher, some lower, and they gave us 135 as the average. He will be 5 in August. He reads and does math at a 2 grade level. He's just so bright, his memory ect.
But my concern is, the school, its a public school, is very focused on his social delays. Now he is very social, but has difficultly with reading others, and is impulsive (possible ADHD, I really don't know) My husband and I are concerned because we don't want his to not be given the education he can handle based on this.
Secondly, this school doesn't even start gifted and talented extra classes until at least 1st grade, though I can't even be sure, as we inquired and they told us they don't really know when the elementary school starts those classes...(the kindergarteners go to a seperate place) My son was in the preschool program through the public school because of his diagnoses.
I was upset because before puting him in the preschool there, DH and I were ADAMANT about him not being placed with children with learning disabilities, because DS is not slow. THey assured us that he would be in with other Aspie kids, that were cognitively typical, but have social delays as well. Then whn I had the chance to visit him for a field day event during the last week of school, we saw he had a child with downs in his class. It was too late to do anything about it, but I still went to his case manager and complained that he is not supposed to be with children with cognitive delays, I mean he's much brighter than average 4 year olds! She told me that they never promised that, which was bull...
DS will be main streamed in kindergarten. Kindergarten here is only 2 1/2 hours, and DS is already light years beyond his peers. THe thought of sending him to kingergarten to essentially learn nothing bothers me. But then again, because of his social issues, I don't know of he could handle a gifted school, beside I don't think that there are any near here...
Any one that has been through this have advice?? Thanks
I have a gifted/aspie 6 year old who also has motor skill delays. We've always known he was advanced + kinda weird, but we didn't get the gifted + aspie diagnosis until recently. We've known about the motor delays since he was born. They don't really hold him back much, but he's definitely on the low end of normal there.
Let me start by saying I'm not anti-school at all. For most kids in the center of the bell curve, it's a great option. For kids who are advanced, delayed, or both (2E), it's sometimes not the right choice. A specialized school or homeschool would be a better option for many/most of those, depending on how bad the school system is and how far the advancements/delays are in comparison to other kids.
We've chosen to homeschool. When Ben was 4, we called the district asking about his options, but we got no's for every question asked or modification requested. Here, they don't start any divisions until 3rd grade unless a child is profoundly behind (they said only kids with genetic disorders, etc. would be removed from mainstream classes until 3rd... no gifted or slightly delayed). He's been reading since just before he turned 2, and at 4, he was doing 1st grade math, so we knew he'd be bored in class. Now that we've had the opportunity to meet with several psychologists and therapists, we've been assured by all that homeschooling was the right choice. He'll be starting 4th grade this fall, but his subject matter will vary from 3rd (math) to adult (reading). He'll be doing 6th for english & latin, 8th for spelling, etc. We're really able to customize his education, and we're also available to guide him in social etiquette. He doesn't always recognize body language, get jokes, or things like that. With his motor delays, I'm able to do a lot of the writing on his school work while his therapists work with him at his level (PreK fine motor). He's also able to be in a multi-ability bowling league so that the differences aren't apparent to anyone. With handicap scoring, he's usually on top, so that boosts his self-esteem as well. There were 4 aspies and a child with a heart condition included in the league last year (among others... ranging from ages 4 to 18), but they were all on an equal playing field.
I'm a little curious about the testing you had done, too. Which test was it? (I'm assuming the WPPSI-III?) How wide were the variations on subtest scores? The reason I ask is that Ben's Asperger diagnosis was further confirmed in IQ testing (WISC-IV), and we were able to throw out a couple of scores that were obviously not accurate because of motor & social delays. He had perfect scores in two of the verbal areas, but bombed a third. (The WPPSI-IV with extended norms will be available this coming Fall... my younger son was a guinea pig for it. The current version is limited for the upper end of gifted kids.) Ben also took the Woodcock-Johnson test proving that the bombed areas of the IQ test didn't match his actual ability. He was given the 2E diagnosis and recommended for Davidson Young Scholars, even though be barely missed the cutoff (we'll submit a portfolio in liu of the IQ requirement) . He was given an estimated IQ of 160 and advised to continue his various therapies before possibly re-testing in the future. If your tester didn't mention any of that or mention using the GAI on the WISC in the future, it's possible the score you were given is actually lower than it should be. Also note that the WISC has more subtests available than the WPPSI, but the WISC has a minimum age limit of 6, so you'll have to wait a bit for that.
(Edit... sorry I didn't respond to this sooner... I've been out of state since June 7th. Just got home. )
Children with Downs Syndrome are often mainstreamed into regular classes, especially in elementary school. Many public preschool classes are all inclusive, meaning they have both special needs and typical developing children together. I really wouldn't take the presence of one child in the class and assume it was a special education class.
It's also pretty common to hold off on starting gifted programs until mid elementary. The reason is that most children who appear to be gifted (and by that I simply mean ahead of the class) average out within the first few years. At that point it is much easier to see who actually needs the extra enrichment. In our district they test in Grade 1 and start the program in Grade 2.
I guess I would find out at what point your district would test and identify him as being gifted. And then find out what services he would even get. I was pretty excited when my daughter tested in, as I thought it would improve her lackluster education. No such luck though. With the district's budgeting issues they just don't have much to offer. They do have identify some children here as "twice exceptional" meaning they both qualify for TAG and also have a learning disabilty or some other special need. I don't know how that work with a social issue, but with a diagnosis on the autistm spectrum your son might be included in that. The whole idea is to make sure special needs children who are also gifted don't miss out on being identified and receiving TAG services.
Thank you both. I am in NJ, and since my post I have been doing some online research and I called my DS kindergarten school (its only K in the school for the whole town, then they go to their respective elementary school for 1st grade). NJ does require children be identified as gifted in kindergarten and given the extra programs for learning, I was very surprised to learn that.
Also, although his case worker told me there wasn't any gifted program until later in school, his kindergarten confirmed that there was.
I really don't know what tests he was given. It was standard for all kids accepted into the preschool program for classified kids. Also kindergarten here is only 2 1/2 hours, so I imagine next year will be much like preschool in that resepct. I don't expect him to really learn much. He'll spend most of his time at home, so we'll just continue what we've been doing which is provide learning experiences at home.
As for first grade, I suppose I at least know that he has to be given some type of gived class as per state regulation. But whether the inclass material will be no easy for him, I'm going to wait and see. Homeschooling is not an otion for us for several reasons, so we will be sticking with public schools.
1. Consider "afterschooling", a form of homeschooling in which you supplement challenging material at home (weekends, summers, whatever... and in whatever subject matter you feel needs challenged or that the child requests). The majority of schooling would still take place at the public school.
2. Read up on the school's acceleration policy. Some allow subject and/or whole grade acceleration on a case by case basis when it makes sense to do so. (Read this: IRPA - Iowa Acceleration Scale ... it's the standard world-wide, not just for Iowa). For very gifted children, grade skipping is only a temporary solution, because they simply learn faster than those in their classes. Also, for kids with Asperger's, the social differences become much more apparent, so grade skipping might not be the best solution. Here is more information about acceleration (I'd read only volume 1 if I were you... volume 2 is the same, but with all the minute details & statistics thrown in): IRPA - A Nation Deceived - Get Report
3. Look around for public charter schools and/or private schools specializing in gifted children or gifted subject matter that interests your child. We have a wonderful gifted school here, but it would cost $23,000/yr to send our two kids there, and it's a 45 minute drive one-way. Not an option for us! (They have a great summer camp, though. We've done that.)
Thank you for so much info! I didn't know after-schooling was something with a name, meaning that's kind of what we do. Its like he will be going to public school more for the social benefits, but we offer him the new learning material at home when the situation presents it self. In other words, we don't have a lesson plan, but when ever there is a chance to teach him something we do. Which is daily, really. And you are right on the money about Aspergers kids and skipping grades. DH and I had talked about how he's going to be a bit socially immature already and grade skipping might make that worse. I definiately like the idea of after schooling. Maybe next year since he will only be in school 2 1/2 hours a day I can make it a fairly regular part of the day to continue learning, but in a fun way. I now he could not come home and sit for another hour or two. Plus I have a 2 year old and one on the way! Thank you for your help.
Homeschooling/afterschooling doesn't look "like school" unless you're using a very traditional school-at-home approach. I know, through forums and real life, only a handful of people who do that. He wouldn't have to come home and sit at a desk to learn (unless he wants to). Afterschooling can use textbooks or not, can include classes or not, can be child-led or parent-led, and can include all/few/one subjects. It's really anything you want it to be. If a child isn't getting the nutrition they need, you give them something like Pediasure or vitamins. That's what afterschooling is for, and every child's needs will be different. If it looks too much like what he's already doing at school, he'll probably learn to resent it over time. As time goes on, and the homework stacks get taller, you'll have to be more creative about ways to sneak in extra learning, too.