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CAT's and their true meaning.

(11 Posts)
grenadiergirl Fri 08-Jul-11 14:49:43

I need some help and just don't know where to turn. My Son C sat his CAT's last September and received very high results across the board with Verbal 94%. Quantitative 95% and Non-Verbal 99%
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I always knew he was a bright boy although he has never got on well at school; labelled as lazy, disruptive etc etc.

He is now coming to the end of year 7 and I am devastated for him. His latest progress report has thrown me. While currently level 6+ in maths and English everything else is between 4- to 4+ with a 2- in French (which he hates).

The problem is this, as I understand, 6+ is above average at this point yet everything else is below the level expected at the end of year 7. From discussions with C he feels an enormous amount of pressure to be a "genius" in everything based on the CAT scores he received and constant reminders of this from his teachers.

I feel like i am the worst parent in the world. I believe there is something not quite right with him and have been aware of his differences since he was about 2. He does, in my opinion, display dyspraxic tendencies although over the years i have been convinced by others that I am just making excuses for him.

Is it too late to go to the doctor with my concerns? Have I left it too late and the damage is done to his self esteem, self confidence and educational potential?

Things with his behaviour have deteriorated since getting those damned CAT scores.....at least before that there were no major expectations on him!

rosar Fri 08-Jul-11 17:20:10

How could you possibly be the "worse parent in the world"? There's a long queue of us already, so take your place please.

He's very bright, he's probably been struggling for a while at school, not in the academics but maybe with less than decent support pastorally. Is he considered quirky? A half decent school would see it as a duty to get a full house of A*s with those CATs. Academically easy, but pastorally interesting, would be what a decent school would say.

Y7 is quite early, lots of time this summer to explore EP recommendations, and may be tremendous help in coming to terms with the next few years when there'll be other, age-related, social challenges.

IME a state funded EP may mean an infinite wait, he isn't even on the SEN radar. If you'd paid for a private EP assessment when he was much younger, it may have been less informative. Don't be convinced by others discounting what you've seen from age 2 as potential dyspraxic tendencies, an assessment will provide evidence and he won't be struggling alone anymore with what he's probably known for ever.

Another parent (Snowdrop?) reminded us of the importance of emotional intelligence and the capacity to defer pleasure. Well he's had more practice of that than most, so plenty of hope and potential.

I'm sure other parents will come along shortly with their experience of therapies such as brushing and audio-training etc. As for those teachers reminding him what he could be, but apparently unable to help him make it happen, well you have to look after your own these days, don't you?

oldmum42 Fri 08-Jul-11 17:35:13

No Idea what CATs are (I'm Scottish), iq type tests? But very bright verbally and "failing" at school would suggest maybe Dyslexia or associated problems?

By "failing" I mean a bit mis-match between his ability and his results..... I can tell you from experience tho', a school is likely to try and deny there is a problem is your bright childs underachievement makes them "average" rather than years behind. Listen to your gut, there is clearly some type of problem here, where it is Dyslexia or something else, so stand your ground with the school and try and get to the bottom of it. It's your DC own potential they should be trying to reach, and telling him he's not living up to the tests and is lazy (a typical label given to dyslexics BTW!) is not the way to do it.

Talker2010 Fri 08-Jul-11 20:33:43

Scores in the 90s are below average ... you suggest that you have % scores but that is not how CATs work ... a score of 100 is average ... "very high" would be over 120

Talker2010 Fri 08-Jul-11 20:35:46

But ... then again if his teachers have been expecting "genius" levels from him then they have reported something other than the "score" to you ... but I am still not sure where they would get a % from

Talker2010 Fri 08-Jul-11 20:45:17

Ah ... unless they gave you the percentile (unusual but possible)

rosar Fri 08-Jul-11 22:28:25

The standardised scores for his percentiles will be between 123 and 139.

Talker2010 Sat 09-Jul-11 08:36:48

I am just surprised, Secondary schools where I am issue scores not percentiles

grenadiergirl Fri 15-Jul-11 11:22:30

Thank you for all your comments. I have had a bit of a breakthrough thanks to the advice of another mum whos son has a disorder on the autistic spectrum (not sure which). I'm now in contact with Parent Partnership and they are amazing. RE the CAT results; the % i quoted was his scores in relation to the national average as demonstrated after his actual scores which were 123 125 and 139 respectively.

We did an online test called the Aspie quiz and although it in no way replaces the need for a full medical investigation; the results he got were very interesting and strongly point to a ASD disorder. I've collated all relevent info and showed it to the PP lady and she was horrified that no one in any of his schools had picked up on it, saying he is so clearly suffering some sort of disorder and has pushed through getting him assessed, statement etc......

The long and the short of it is that I feel very let down by the Education System, should have trusted my own instincts and that the info I needed came from another MUM!! MUMS ROCK!!

adamschic Fri 15-Jul-11 12:03:30

Hi, Your son is obviously very bright and I can understand your concerns. DD scored something like 121 quantative, 128 (sciency one) but unusually 105 for verbal in year 7, her SAT's had been level 5's except for written english which was a 4. All level 7's by key stage 3. Finally getting A grades in English.

In fact, with a mixture of GCSE grade A* and A but a B in Maths she was top achiever at GCSE in her state comp. Unfortunately is struggling now at AS level and I am hoping she will pull it back but have had to come to terms with the idea that she might not achieve her potential.

Another girl I know scored much higher in CAT's, was on the G & T register along with DD but came unstuck at AS level and is now doing a modern apprentice in business admin. I will be gutted if DD doesn't make it to uni, because of all the expectations. I suppose what I am saying is that it doesn't always follow that potential is reached and sometimes these tests can backfire.

I recognise certain dyspraxic/aspie traits in DD still. She is certainly not a typical teen but mostly lovely and I am incredibly proud of her. She has always got on very well with different groups of people at school but didn't have much desire to fit in socially since hitting her teens and is happy in her comfort zone spending time with family. Looking back I'm grateful that we didn't have all that fitting in behaviour that some of her friends went through and I really don't think it will have any bearing on the adult she is becoming.

One teacher hinted there might be something in infant school but it was 11 years ago now and not as 'normal' to label kids in but I do sometimes wonder what the outcome would have been if I had followed it up and what they were trying to tell me. So good luck with the statementing.

grenadiergirl Fri 15-Jul-11 13:15:28

Thanks Adamschic. At this point i'm less concerned about the academic side of this and more with his health, happiness and self perception. He is very unhappy. C is also on the G+T register.
C is an amazing boy and i can't tell you how much I love the fact that he is unique. I probably have a softer spot for him as he has never been understood by others. C also doesn't fit in socially but sadly he is at a stage whereby he wants to and is baffled by how his peers react to him.
It may be a godsend that he is 1 of 5 children so in a way he has been able to develop some social skill and develop relationships with his siblings albeit strained ones!

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