I haven't posted here before, but have read a few threads and see some of what I'm experiencing with my 3-year-old son in what a lot of you have written.
Son shows some of the usual signs of giftedness - early reading, fascination with numbers/letters, incredible memory, long attention span, etc. He's also struggling to fit in at daycare (he's been there part-time since he was 12 months, so has known the other kids for ages, but chooses not to engage with them). He gets very frustrated when things don't quite go the way he intended, which leads to him screaming, which, naturally, makes the other kids wary of him. Lately, he's been becoming agressive with some of them, pushing them out of the way and notletting them be anywhere near his 'creations'.
His daycare asked to have a meeting with me - they'd like to have him observed by an Ministry of Ed. person. Have any of you had this with your child/ren, and how did you find it? Was it helpful, and were they knowledgable/understanding about some of the issues relating to giftedness? I'm concerned that they might solely focus on the negative behaviour aspects and not pick up on his seemingly inbuilt 'sensitivities' and emotional intensity that seems to be part and parcel of giftedness.
We had our daughter assessed by MOE (Special Ed Early Intervention) which is presumably the same as your daycare are talking about. The woman was absolutely wonderful - very positive, knowledgeable, kind and helpful. They observe children both at daycare and at home. This means you have the opportunity to talk with them as well, and the "testing" is very laid back and fun.
My daughter's pre-school teachers thought she was probably gifted, but wanted to rule out Asperger's, because of some of her behaviour. It turns out she is gifted with minor learning difficulties, and we have later discovered, is highly sensitive.
Our son (at pre-school, soon to turn five) has now been referred to MOE, at our request, and will hopefully be assessed by the same MOE lady. I guess it will always come down to the individual person, but I have no hesitation in recommending the person who helped us.
For your information, our daughter was hardly ever interested in engaging with the other children. She chose to hang out with a teacher, or by herself. Occasionally she would play with a younger child, and occasionally another child (a boy) who is likely gifted. Otherwise she kept to herself. She is now seven, and doing fine. She doesn't have the traditional close or best friends, and spends a fair bit of play time by herself, but she is still friendly and happy enough. I think she hasn't meant the "right" person yet, that she will click with.
Our son is also currently being assessed further with regard to possible Asperger's. So far he has been assessed as likely gifted (he was too young at the time to do a full assessment), and diagnosed with mild dyspraxia. Regardless of whether he has ASD or not, he certainly struggles with managing his emotions appropriately, which may be the case with your son.
I found that the MOE lady was actually very positive in her approach, and she certainly gave ourselves and the pre-school useful techniques to use with our daughter.
A MOE lady came to DS kindy for a one hour observation (not our home). Though we didn't tell him she was coming and even though many parents visit the centre to get a feel for it before enrolling their child, DS must have known she was different as he was perfectly behaved for the hour she was there. Before she arrived and immediately upon her leaving he was his normal self "chaos in motion". MOE lady said he wasn't in the top 5% of worst behaved kids so she couldn't help him.
Perhaps this is a different assessment more "behaviour" focussed rather than "gifted" focussed. Be sure you get the right assessor I guess.
DS was referred by Preschool at age 3 1/2 in order to rule out Asperger's. They were great, really nice & he responded well, they concluded he was gifted & not aspergers or ADHD (further testing has also indicated a slow visual processing speed, which causes him HUGE frustration & when combined with his perfectionism has led to major issues encouraging him to read or write)
OMG-this is exactly what we are going through at the present with our 4 year old and yes he is has been referred for assessment by the MOE. I can't tell you how it's turned out yet, but I can definately keep you posted if interested. Take a deep breath and know that you're not the only one in this situation and smile for the unique child you have. :-)
The MOE lady assigned to my son was somewhat useless - her advice (without even meeting/observing my son) was "find another carer for him". Not so easy when you're a single parent reliant upon your job and work strange hours like I do. She eventually came to see him for about half an hour. Then it took over a month for her to get back in touch with me. Then she 'forgot' to send off the referral for further assessment from a psych./speech therapist. So it's now the end of the year, and we're only just on the waiting list to be seen. Grrrrrrr....
On a more positive note, my son's behaviour has improved markedly at daycare, thanks to some one-on-one help from staff there who've really taken it upon themselves to get to know him and his needs. He's also much happier about going!
I hope you are assigned a much more on-to-it case worker, Stacey!