Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What to tell kids about gifted testing?

An interesting question came up from a mom the other day. If you think your child is gifted, having him/her tested is usually one of the first steps toward figuring out an appropriate educational plan. But few gifted children are satisfied to sit through a test, then be told "yes, you're bright." How bright? What did the numbers say? What sections did I do best on? Did I get any questions wrong? Do other kids have scores like that? Curious kids want to know. They can go to the library or Google and read up on IQ like anyone else -- probably faster than anyone else.

So this is a question for parents who've been through that. What did you tell your child about the tests they took for ID'ing them as gifted? How did you answer their questions?

3 comments:

Jackie said...

This topic was a problem for me as a child, and as a result, we've been careful not to let our son know specifics about test results. When I was young, I found out my IQ (my father explained it) was in the 150s. He explained that this was really smart. However, I was curious about many subjects and at the time, I had read information that said "Genius" was an IQ of 165 and above. Because like many gifted kids I was a perfectionist, I was bothered by not being a "genius" until I was into college! When people told me I was smart I'd react with a "yeah, right" attitude.

With DS, we explained the reason for testing was so that we could get a good idea about how he learns things and what type of school to find for him to go to (testing was prior to K). We did not share the "number" with him or other family. I think for us it is simply going to be used as a tool in forming gameplans for education, and identifying best fit solutions. Oh, and it is also useful (necessary) in understanding some SID and attention issues.

Jackie

Laura Vanderkam said...

Jackie- your answer to your son sounds like a good one. I'm sorry it had to come from your own experience of thinking if you weren't a "genius" (as if that word has a specific number on it) all bets were off!

Anonymous said...

We tell our homeschooled kids who regularly tested in the high 90's percentile this: Now you know what you are capable of. This is what you should expect of yourself. You are a smart, motivated learner. Congratulations on your hard work. Keep it up and you will have a very successful life.

All of our kids are a bit above average intelligence wise, but certainly NOT close to the top 2 or 3 percent as their test results would indicate. They simply love to learn and work hard. This is what you should instill in your children if they are to do well in school and in life.