When my youngest daughter was nearly seven she was tested using WISC IV and came out on the 99.9th percentile overall. She possesses excellent social skills and a positive self esteem.
She duly skipped a year, and joined one of the clubs for gifted children. There are clever children in her class. She participated in an open day at One Day school. But at all these places we have yet to find someone like her. So she pulled out of Explorers Club after a year and decided against One Day School because it was on the same day as orchestra at her regular school and she couldn't bear to miss that. My older daughter has also been identified as being gifted using the same test, but she too is worlds apart from this bright little spark of mine.
I know my youngest is lonely for someone who is like her and it breaks my heart. She is also very lazy and I don't think she realises what she is capable of, although she is very aware that she doesn't work to capacity and that school is "boring". (This school does have a part time teacher devoted to its G.A.T.E. programme.)
My question to those of you reading this forum is: If she was your child, what would you do next?
Well I have no idea what I would have tested as at at that age but, I totally related to the "someone like me" yearning .... or just being understood and appreciated for who and how I was.
As a child I was definitely 'isolated by difference' even though I had no issues with making or keeping 'friends' - being in primary school and trying to figure out if others can even really be 'friends' if they have no clue who and how you are and dont think/communicate on a level that would enable the sharing and understanding of that type of information contributed greatly to that.
This may sound harsh - and I dont mean it to be, I mean this to be as helpful as it can be .... but one of the things it would have helped to be able to share is what it felt like to be regarded as 'lazy' by adults who seemed hellbent determined to turn you into what and how they have decided you "ought to be" based on their perception of your 'intelligence' as if you were nothing more than a 'brain on legs'.
Seriously - it was like EVERYONE had 'designs' over my life and ME didnt matter. My WELL BEING didnt seem to matter - it was like I was just a tool to be used by adults to achieve THEIR desired outcomes.
It was all about the 'busy work' and 'results on paper' - when what I was lacking - irrespective of their age was someone to EXPLORE ideas/concepts with me and SATISFY that need.
IF she were my child, I would be attempting to address the IDEA of needing an 'age peer' who 'shared my world', I would be encouraging ANY relationship that would nurture what satisfies my childs emotional psychological and intellectual needs and pay little heed to much of the populist educational/psycho-social theories.
I cringe everytime I see kids being described as lazy .... I grew up believing that that was who and how I am because others had decided it to be true of me based upon their own perceptions and beliefs - even though they had no idea of my life experience. Just trying to cope with the extraordinarily increased amount of sensory and emotional information in 'normal settings' takes a great deal of effort and energy - even if the effort to cope isnt observable to others (one may COPE to the extent that one isnt even seen to have any 'issues' in many areas but that doesnt mean they arent there). If you are born into a life where that is the only 'normal' you know, chances are it wont be something you can articulate either.
"Lazy" was also a term often used to describe me being engaged in activities/mental processes (that required mental effort/energy) that I naturally sought to engage in but were not in accord with what adults expected of me - eg I could be busy in my mind trying to understand some aspect of social dynamics instead of making my bed or "learning" something I already knew .... and the matter at hand of most importance/significance to me is so irrelevant to the adults that they perceive it as 'doing nothing' - no matter how much effort I may be putting into what I AM actually focused on.
If it were my daughter, I would love, nourish and nurture, accept, praise, encourage,listen to, seek opportunities for (without forcing them upon my child) and just try to understand how I can support them finding a sense of wellbeing, satisfaction and enjoyment of life.
You need to go back to the pyschologist who did the testing to find out an IQ score from the percentile. The actual score will be calculated by her exact age at the time of testing, and also depend on whether the psych used the GAI (General Ability Index) or Full Score (the GAI is used when there is a processing speed issue and/or working memory issue). GAI is a composite score that is based on Verbal Comprehension and Perceptual Reasoning subtests, and does not include the Working Memory or Processing Speed subtests which is included in the Full Scale IQ.
Regardless of the actual IQ score, with a 99.9th percentile ranking your daughter is a highly gifted little girl.
Thanks for that Sue. Working Memory and Processing Speed were indeed included. Contacting the psych would be the obvious choice, I suppose I just hoped there was some formula on the net somewhere. Naive I know :)
Tiz Me, your inferences are way off base and I found them insulting.
My daughter was in the 99.8th percentile and her IQ was 136. I don't know what the 99.9th percentile would be but we can guess it would be higher than 136 :-)
My daughter was also accelerated and this year she started high school at 11 years old in the high achievers class. Finally she has to work hard, she is finding there are some things she doesn't know yet and she loves it! She has also made several friends (in her words - "the not boring people").
She could also be described as lazy but she really isn't, she just needs quite a lot of down time for her body as her mind is going all the time.
Over the years my daughter has had many friends - there has never been anyone who is just like her so instead she has friends who fill different needs (the swimming friend, the dancing friend, the adventurous friend, etc). Perhaps the one friend who can fill all their needs only exists on TV.
One thing I would suggest is retesting with a different instrument to get a clearer idea of her abilities. Her percentile ranking on the WISC suggests that she hit the ceilings on two or more subtests, so while you have a *baseline* for her level of giftedness (highly gifted at the least) you have no idea how highly she COULD score if she were to take a test that had more difficult items. The SB-V and the old SBLM are both more suited to gifted individuals but finding someone who will administer these tests may prove challenging. Research suggests that children who hit one or two of the ceilings in a test like the WISC often score *much more highly* on a test like the SBLM that includes more difficult items.
The reason I suggest retesting is that the WISC does not differentiate well between the levels of giftedness (it was never intended to measure giftedness), and levels of giftedness are important! The difference between a child who is highly gifted and a average child is immense - as is the difference between a profoundly gifted child and one who is more typically gifted. Currently you have no idea just how gifted your daughter is. If she is exceptionally or even profoundly gifted her current educational situation may well be inappropriate for her.
Deborah Ruf has an excellent website and book about the levels of giftedness that you might want to check out. learning about and understanding the levels of giftedness can go a long way towards supporting these kids and helping them to understand their differences.
@country girl - is your daughter Year 9? (I know some colleges start at Yr 7 so just wanted to be clear about how accelerated she is). My DD is 10, a young Yr 7, HG+. Based on the work her older brother is doing in a high stream Yr 9 I know she could work much further ahead than her current enriched Yr7 work - she likes to teach herself Yr 10-11 maths from his books for example - but she is adamant she would not want to be any more accelerated for social reasons and looks with awe/horror at the teenagers walking to the nearby secondary school. It is a real puzzle for us how to keep her happy and stimulated until she feels old enough for college. That is superb that your daughter has been able to be accelerated such a long way and be so happy with it.
I really am regretting that "lazy" statement! :) I didn't choose my words well at all! It's just that if there is a way out of getting out of doing pretty much ANYTHING that doesn't absolutely thrill her to bits, she will find it. We're talking a much larger context than the academic arena here.
Elle, I have two pieces of writing by Deborah Ruf open on my computer as I write this message. I am so grateful to you for the 'heads up' about her. It is like she is looking into our life and writing about it! I am looking forward to delving more deeply.
Country Girl it sounds like the acceleration has worked really well for your daughter. I hear what you're saying about having different friends that fulfill different needs. I suppose I was just hanging out for someone that "got her" in a way that her other girlfriends don't. I'm not giving up hope on this one! :)
@anon, yes she was 11 when she started in year 9. I didn't really think it was all that exceptional really as she is only moderately gifted and I was surprised there were no other 11 year olds in her class seeing as she is in the high achievers class. She has since turned 12 and although we often talk about her being in a class with 13 and 14 year olds there seems to be no problems with it. We just went year by year with the understanding that if when she finished year 8 and wasn't ready for secondary school we would come up with a Plan B.
Like Kate's daughter my daughter always tries to find the easy way out of things. We have found she is very motivated to do well at secondary school as it is actually hard and she isn't achieving highly at everything. Quite a change to have to work hard rather than just knowing everything.
It is usual for a full IQ score or GIA to be included in a cog assessment report, unless the assessor thinks there is some good reason for not doing so (e.g. extensive variability in scores), but that should be explained clearly in the report, if so and would be unusual. If you haven't already done so, Id encourage you to contact the assessor and discuss.