At what age should (if you think children should) children be tested?

(22 Posts)
BlackeyedSusan Fri 03-May-13 00:35:35

testing can be worth fuck all to schools. some people get accomodations without testing, some don't get accomodations with testing, very similar results. depends on the school and any other difficulties the child has.

testing does help the parent know that they are not deluded though. grin it has helped find out why sometimes dd presents as "slow" -slow processing speed.

cory Mon 29-Apr-13 11:00:30

I only think testing and labelling is useful if either:

a) the giftedness is coupled with some kind of SN (e.g. ASD) and it is actually the SN that needs support

b) the child comes from a family background where normal engaging of interest, stimulation of curiosity etc will not be happening

Iljkk put it better than I can:

"I get the impression that when a very clever kid flounders (misbehaviour especially) at regular school it's usually because they were going to flounder anyway: there's typically some issue along with the cleverness (problems at home, Autism or ADHD perhaps). That's why I said success at school is mostly about the social life. If they have a good social life, they can put up with a bit of boredom. Learning to tolerate a bit of boredom is a lifeskill in itself."

The children I know who combine cleverness with well developed social skills and an active self-starting disposition have rarely been bored at school and have never got into trouble.

Snoopingforsoup Sun 28-Apr-13 10:26:34

I should also say, I've never had to say anything to nursery or school about what he can do - they knew for themselves and knew what to do with him.
Getting 'swallowed up' in the education system would be unlikely from my experience.

Snoopingforsoup Sun 28-Apr-13 10:24:24

Hi, just seen this.
My DC was like that at two. Nursery knew how to keep him busy and encouraged his reading etc.
School picked up on him straight away and have been great at giving him appropriate work since. Never had to have him formally tested.
The label G&T is a double-edged sword in my experience.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 26-Apr-13 19:16:02

Sorry I haven't replied, hadn't noticed that this thread had more responses tend to chat on here too much blush

Please don't apologise, I wanted honest answers and it's great and reassuring to hear that children aren't necessarily 'swallowed up' and can and do receive the appropriate support.

He is reading and spelling now, very basic stuff I hasten to add (apart from the sight reading which does make my jaw drop)! We're just mucking around with fridge magnets and he likes spelling 'cat', 'dog' etc. He also knows basic addition when it's presented physically, i.e. 1+1=2, and numbers up to 100 in and out of order.

That is just what stage he's at btw (only a partial boast, he'll always be a genius to me!) wink It may well be that by the time he reaches school age he will have plateaued so I guess waiting until then might be the way to go.

simpson Thu 25-Apr-13 21:38:57

DD is 5 (reception) and reads at a mid yr3 level and the school seem to cope with her fine. She is certainly not "swallowed up in the education system" They have said she is G&T in literacy (pretty bog standard in numeracy, although picks up things quickly) and goes into higher classes to get books etc.

Her writing is also very strong and they (the school) are fine with challenging her. I have no need or want to get her tested...

Marne Thu 25-Apr-13 17:17:31

I think the age of 2 is wayyyyyyy too early (sorry).

A 2 year old could be very bright but does not mean he will still be ahead at the age of 6 (all children develop at a different pace).

We have never had dd1 tested, have left it up to the school, she was bright at the age of 2 but we didn't think much of it, at the age of 3 she was diagnosed with Aspergers (this wasnt a shock at all) and now at the ago of 9 we have been told she is G&T, the school give her lots of encouragment, she's working with children a year older than her as the school put her with children working at her level (the best they can). We have never had any major problems (just small problems when we moved schools). She's doing great and is happy (and thats the main thing).

SaveMeNow Thu 25-Apr-13 09:56:51

Oh if only that was all true!!!

If he's happy and contented then I would suggest leaving testing until he has started school and can read and write (so about 5). However if he starts to be unsettled, not enjoying nursery or anything else comes up then it may be an idea to look at it earlier.

I believe it's completely true that the earlier G&T children are identified the better as yes they can just switch off, become disruptive etc. It's much harder to fix things once they have gone wrong than it is to make sure they don't go wrong in the first place.

xigris Sat 13-Apr-13 09:55:04

Morning! DS2 is 3 and at our last meeting at his nursery they said he was rather 'advanced'. He never bloody stops talking is very verbal and had really good fine motor skills. I don't know if he's G&T has hadn't really thought about it until the nursery manager, who's an ex primary school teacher, talked to us. They're going to put him in their pre school even though he's not meant to start until September in order to give him more of a challenge, maybe that's an option for you?

Jinsei Sat 13-Apr-13 09:46:48

I don't think there is any need for testing. If he is truly exceptional, this will be noticed by those that need to know, and hopefully they will cater for his needs. If they don't, that is something that you'll have to deal with at the time, but I can't really see how the presence or absence of a label is going to make much difference to that. Tbh, the label is far more likely to say something about you as a parent than about the abilities of your child - and you definitely don't want to get labelled by teachers as being a pushy, over-zealous mum!

Your son is so little, you really don't need to worry about all of this right now. You don't need to teach him, or do anything special with him. Just let him take the lead, follow what he is interested in, encourage his curiosity about the world. And be ready, but not over-eager, to tackle any problems as and when they arise. smile

lljkk Sat 13-Apr-13 09:45:07

What does swallowed up by the education system mean?

I think there are equal numbers of stories here about kids who find regular school doesn't suit and those who find it's absolutely fine & they find their own way to thrive. So you don't know until you try.

I get the impression that when a very clever kid flounders (misbehaviour especially) at regular school it's usually because they were going to flounder anyway: there's typically some issue along with the cleverness (problems at home, Autism or ADHD perhaps). That's why I said success at school is mostly about the social life. If they have a good social life, they can put up with a bit of boredom. Learning to tolerate a bit of boredom is a lifeskill in itself.

nevertheless, There are some pants stories about kids not being stretched, though they always seem to describe schools that are absolutely not following Ofsted Guidelines about differentiating teaching to individual ability.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sat 13-Apr-13 01:12:36

Thank you for your replies, it's really good to hear about your experience lijkk, it's not often that you hear from people that have actually been labelled as such.

One of my friends is the head teacher from a school I used to teach at and she said she would be concerned about him a) being swallowed up in the education system and b) being misunderstood if he were to become bored as he may become disruptive.

I know that his life wouldn't change now if he were to be tested so I'm not sure what the point would be but is there an age or certain level of achievement that I should be aware of? I just don't want him to get lost iyswim. I have decided that this week we are going to look at how to tell the time and maybe look at bus timetables, can you tell I'm floundering confused?

lljkk Fri 12-Apr-13 19:47:53

the younger a G+T child is labelled, the better the support you have etc.

Is this really true in your opinion?

I was ID'd as top 0.5-1% Gifted with formal testing at age 7 & I don't think being ID'd as Gifted ever did me any good.

I dunno, maybe there are different rules for truly Profoundly Gifted. I think the statistics are that I've probably never met anyone like that so can't comment.

I would have thought that even the most amazing 2yo will still have some areas where their development is completely bog standard normal or even where they are under-developed (like PE, Art, Music or Social Skills). So plenty of scope for plenty to learn in an ordinary environment. Success at primary school is mostly about the social life, anyway.

motherstongue Fri 12-Apr-13 19:39:38

DS was very advanced at the same age, I found that his abilities pushed us (his dad and I) along in the direction he wanted. However, at no time have we ever wanted to have him tested as we couldn't see how this would benefit him or us. If it was for a medical reason, then yes I can see why you would do it but even though our DS displayed what some people would possibly call autistic traits, we personally didn't want him labelled as anything. He is now 14, the traits are pretty much gone and the ones he still displays are just a part of his character so we are glad we didn't go down that road. He is still highly intelligent but has always got the stretch and stimulation he needs as he demands it from those around him in the nicest possible way. Hope that helps. Btw I am only saying this is what worked for us and those with kids with SEN quite rightly should get the help if they need it and be tested if that is what it takes.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 12-Apr-13 18:10:33

goody I have PMed you.

What does he do that makes you think he is G&T?

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 12-Apr-13 16:34:29

I guess it's the label that the tests are for (I don't even know what the tests are or by whom they're carried out). I was told that you needed this in order to get funding for SEN care at school level. I'm in a bit of a mess about knowing what to do, I am a LP and just seem to be getting lots of questions (every day) even by strangers in the street about what I'm going to do about his education in the future.

Tested for what though?

You don't need to do anything, he is only 2! Let him start nursery, he will thrive there and they should stimulate and push him in what he is interested in.

Ignore silly questions by family members.

He is only 2, no matter how bright he may be he still has lots to learn, he won't be getting bored anytime soon!

forevergreek Fri 12-Apr-13 16:18:32

I would leave it. Our eldest (3) is v smart, well we think so smile and many others comment. However at nursery we just leave him to go with the flow ( and at home really). He will ask for info about xyz or explain things and do things which are well ahead of average, but he's also happy bashing some play dough and playing trains. So I would just say if he needs more he will find it.

Also one thing can work will all ages just at different levels. Ie play dough, a baby can poke it, a toddler generally make shapes/ roll, then they make proper models , and (cough), I may just love it myself! Swimming they go from floating with help, to Olympic standards, all from the same pool. Hence most resources stay the same, just used differently

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 12-Apr-13 16:16:20

Thank you clabsy, I do worry a lot about when he goes to nursery as I don't want him to be thought of as unusual. It's such a British trait to be ashamed of being different and not to want other parents to know how well your child is doing, I am already making excuses for his abilities when we go to toddler groups etc. Gah, I suppose I should just be grateful and not moan!

clabsyqueen Fri 12-Apr-13 16:11:35

No need to rush to do anything if you ask me (an educator by profession) and testing 2 year olds can be like putting frogs in a box! Very unpredictable! 2 is also such a young age to get a label (of any kind) If he starts to get bored at nursery then you can raise it with them and they might have some ideas for a suitable course of action (if theyre good) but I'd say let him have fun. He's going to have the big challenges of getting along with others, sharing and coping with routines and expectations of many different adults. I hope he has fun.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Fri 12-Apr-13 15:28:28

Everything I have read has pointed to getting tests done at a young age and claimed that the younger a G+T child is labelled, the better the support you have etc.

Is this really true in your opinion?

It is becoming more and more evident that ds is a lot more advanced than his peers and I was told he is G+T (after NO testing whatsoever) at his 2 year check up with the HV. I am now being asked questions by family members (very well meaning) about how I'm going to keep him interested in things and what will happen when he goes to nursery etc.

He is now 2.2 fgs and whilst I love the fact he is bright, do I need to do anything (have him seen by someone and who?) before he starts nursery at the end of this year?

I have NO idea what to do confused

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