Are Potential Plus any good? Their website looks a bit dodgy!

(15 Posts)
EmmaGoldmanSachs Mon 17-Jun-13 10:33:51

But is their telephone advice etc helpful (and do they charge loads)? I think they're the modern version of NAGC in the UK - but the website has an air of 'out to fleece parents who think their pfb is a genius'. I'm hoping this is unfair, and they just farmed out the web design to someone insufficiently gifted in that area grin

For reference, dd is 11, having a lot of problems in school, we could possibly do with a bit of external support & advice. Its very hard to disentangle to what extent her issues are related to potential 'HLP'/giftedness, and I think DH & I have never really thought about it in this way. However, a couple of years back when she saw the ed psych, she was assessed on all the various verbal/non verbal reasoning tests as falling in the 99% / 99%+ percentile.

The bits I've read on the Potential Plus website about asynchronous development / hypersensitivity / perfectionism also all strike a real chord.

Actually, I'm also struggling with all of this really because my mum used to volunteer with NAGC as it then was back in the 70s and was pretty vocal about how generally the dc with problems actually just had barking parents . . .

I've namechanged (but haven't posted on G&T before anyway, mainly stick to the safe havens of Fiction & Chat) because I don't want to discuss dd in the wilds of t'internet anywhere she's likely to spot it!

Pearlington Mon 17-Jun-13 18:59:12

Potential Plus is just a rebrand of NAGC. The consultant services are excellent and free to members. I really like them.

inthesark Mon 17-Jun-13 21:09:24

If she scored that on tests, I think she is gifted no question, and if the potential plus stuff strikes a chord, you're probably barking up the right tree.

With PP+ (sounds like a caffeinated tablet to me), people do self-select though, so I think you are right to have a level of reservations about just how useful they are. We've found the meetings very good (DD loves them) but the free telephone advice a bit wet and generic. Haven't tried their assessments and think you could probably do better elsewhere though.

What sort of stuff is going on - if you can give some hints then there might well be some other resources that would help.

EmmaGoldmanSachs Mon 17-Jun-13 21:19:31

Many thanks for your responses. We're not anywhere near any of the meetings, unfortunately.

I don't think that dd really needs 'assessment' as such. The problems that she's having are to do with social skills; for example managing to contribute to groups appropriately without being overly dominant. She also tends to get very 'hair trigger' if she feels anxious/threatened which can obviously be a big problem in school. A further complication is that she has some dyslexic/dyspraxic type problems with writing, which was the main cause of her referral to the EP from school (spelling/writing well below age, but reading 5-7 years above it).

I'd not really thought of any of the issues as being linked to giftedness - without wanting to sound arrogant, I probably would have come out similarly on those sorts of tests as a child (hence the NAGC links . . .) and I just kind of breezed through school in a fairly 'golden child' sort of way. But then one of the EP's comments about 'asynchronous development characteristic of gifted children' made me wonder whether it was a route we ought to explore, and as I mentioned, all the stuff about perfectionism, over-reaction etc is very much dd in a nutshell.

EmmaGoldmanSachs Mon 17-Jun-13 21:20:31

Pearlington - if it isn't an intrusive question - what sort of things have you been wanting from the consultant services?

inthesark Tue 18-Jun-13 11:24:22

In your position, I think I'd be looking for an Ed Psych with experience of giftedness to assess her within school then. Would the school be prepared to get their local Ed Psych in? It might be a start at least.

PPUK Tue 18-Jun-13 13:31:44

I picked the traffic up about Potential Plus UK and, as CEO of the organisation, I thought I would post.

I'm sorry that you feel you do not want to use our services as we work hard not only to provide 'parent friendly' support but also to ensure we help as many families with a child with high learning potential no matter what their income level or need. When the Government scrapped the national Gifted and Talented programme in 2010 (which had paid for our free helpline), we were left with a difficult choice; we wanted to provide as much as we could free of charge but we needed to generate enough income to stay open. The alternative was closure.

So yes, we have to charge for some of the services we provide and yes I wish we didn't have to. However, our helpline remains free of charge and we have concessionary rates of membership and a Scholarship Fund for members to help ensure we help as many families as possible. The assessment service itself has been developed and tested by a group of ordinary parents who want to get it right for their hlp children and has been highly valued by those families who have used it. It is also seen by them as good value for money and is certainly about the professional support we give rather than our balance sheet. Our services are used by professionals and lower income families alike; our Fact Sheets have the Department of Health's Information Standards certification; and an evaluation of our telephone advice is seen as between 90-100% good or excellent by parents as are our Big Family Weekends.

As for self selecting; isn't that the case with any issue our children face? It certainly was for me.

fubbsy Tue 18-Jun-13 14:06:18

Whatever you decide to do OP, please ignore your mum's remarks about the kids with problems having 'barking' parents. You are not the cause of your dd's problems.

EmmaGoldmanSachs Tue 18-Jun-13 16:35:17

Hi PPUK - many apologies, I wasn't implying that you were definitely out to fleece people . . . its just the website does come across a bit more like a commercial organisation than a charity, and I just wanted to find out a bit more first.

fubbsy - thank you for the support - in fact I think my DM's problem was mainly severe culture clash (she is from a very working class background, and the branch she got involved in met in the Unicorn school in Kew, which is pretty full-on professional middle classes). I'm sure she was actually lovely in person to everyone, and reserved her doubts for when she got home!

Turniphead1 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:59:12

We recently had a good experience of PPUK having visited their MK offices for an assessment. The assessor really "got" DS and they are very (obviously) verygeared for "high learning potential" children. They don't make any bones about the fact that the assessors are not ed psychs but their assessment gives a good general picture and can highlight any strong differences of ability and refer further when necessary.

I have found their downloads extremely helpful too - but haven't used the phone helpline other than to book the assessment.

Pearlington Thu 20-Jun-13 12:40:45

Turniphead - out of interest, is your DS immediately obviously exceptional and happy to show his knowledge/aptitude or would they have had to work quite hard to see it?

Turniphead1 Fri 21-Jun-13 13:49:05

Hmmm. Tricky question. Overall, I would say its fairly obvious. He is quite introverted but once comfortable in a setting he talks in ways that about his passionate interests / abtract concepts in ways that are fairly exceptional.

But he wouldn't stand out in the way an 18 month reading Shakespeare would. He doesn't hide his abilities though -but he isn't a "show off " either.

chillikate Wed 26-Jun-13 22:30:49

We also had a PPUK Assessment. Very recently. It was an amazing experience, and very liberating for DS.

DS started having severe behavioural issues 6 months ago, having been a "model child" up til then. Because of not wanting to look like a pushy mum, when he started school I didn't make them aware of his abilities. Basically hes been coasting, and hiding it well. The teacher thought I bwas cuckoo when I suggest HLP but after spending time with it she saw it too. It was then confirmed by the assessment which has also identified some learning difficulties that we were not aware of. For us it is proof to us, DS school, and DS himself that he needs more.

Turniphead1 Thu 27-Jun-13 19:55:05

Hi Chillkate. How long did it take you to get the written report?

chillikate Thu 27-Jun-13 21:33:36

The assessment was only 10 days ago!! Hoping it'll be here next week. We were told 2-3 weeks.

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