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How can I find out if my child, in Northern Ireland, is Gifted?

(7 Posts)
lowmaintenance Wed 02-May-12 13:12:34

My DS in P5 is doing great academically (especially maths and music) but has struggled with bullying, friendships, behavioural issues etc. He has been very unhappy for much of his school life, although he has a nice young male teacher this year which is helping. I've had meetings with successive teachers, the head, the SENCO teacher, and asked if he needs to be assessed for ADHD, Aspergers etc. and they've all said no - he's basically just a handful! The more I read about it the more I think he may be on the gifted side - he has all the traits - intolerant of other children, incredibly intense about whatever he's interested in (eg. won't read, but when he finds a book he likes he'll read the whole series in a week), always asking questions, dreadful handwriting, bored stiff by most of school. The school say that he's not achieving exceptional enough marks for them to class him as G&T, but I think he is underachieving because he is so frustrated and unhappy. Can I get him assessed privately? Or is there some test he could take so that at least I'll know if I'm on the right track - before I start pushing the matter and making a fool of myself?!

Niceweather Wed 02-May-12 13:41:14

Have you had a look at the NAGC website?

They should be able to give you some good advice - sounds like you could be on the right track. Being G&T is not just about achieving high marks - think Einstein and Edison. Perhaps he has a low level issue such as mild dyslexia which is holding him back but he is compensating enough for it not to be picked up.

AThingInYourLife Wed 02-May-12 13:48:19

G&T just means "quite bright compared to his peers" - it's top 10% in a school, so it's not even exceptionally clever, depending on the school.

I'm not sure a child who is bored at school and underperforming is really a candidate for being considered anything other than an average kid who is not that inspired and maybe has problems with application.

If he's the next Edison or Einstein you just need to encourage him to work hard and his undeniable, once in a generation genius will become obvious with time.

lowmaintenance Wed 02-May-12 14:47:46

To niceweather - thanks. Yes, I've looked on their website but they don't seem to have a presence in NI.
To Athinginyourlife - I'm not saying my child is the 'next Edison or Einstein' - but I don't think his problem is just one of 'application'. G&T doesn't just mean 'quite bright' - from what I've read it can mean that a child is very developed in some ways but under developed in others, causing all kinds of problems. I feel that he has some kind of 'special need' that hasn't been identified - he is unhappy, feels that he doesn't fit in. Some of the other kids call him 'freak'. I am just trying to work out what the issue is and how we can help him.

irishmumonthemove Tue 08-May-12 21:52:07

Hi Lowmaintenance. Have you heard of the Centre for Talented Youth based in Dublin City University? I know you're in the North but maybe it would be worth contacting them to arrange an assessment. It costs 45e for an assessment and then you would know his level. They test verbal reasoning and abstract reasoning.

Looking at their website, it doesn't say they only cater for Republic of Ireland kids so it may well be open to your son. If he passes there are weekly courses, summer day courses in different locations around the Republic ( for teenagers, summer residential courses in Dublin ) available. There is also a website called with plenty of info.

lowmaintenance Wed 31-Oct-12 20:16:16

Just thought I'd give you all an update. A friend who works with kids suggested we get DS assessed for Aspergers. I went to our GP, who referred us to the local Children's Centre, who fast tracked it to the Autism Assessment Unit. We just had our initial meeting with them - two months after seeing the GP, which I think is pretty good. And the initial opinion of the Educational Psychologist is that it isn't Aspergers, it's High Ability (the new term for Gifted) as I had originally suspected. DS is going to have a full assessment, and the health authority will then work with the school to ensure his needs are met. And we've already been offered a support worker to help him with 'emotional regulation' - dealing with all the feelings of frustration and anger and alienation that cause the problems. I feel like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders. At last we are starting to understand this poor wee man who has such potential but has had a really hard time. Thanks for your interest and support.

irishmumonthemove Wed 31-Oct-12 21:39:29

That's great LM. You were on the right track so. Very best of luck to your boy.

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