Sunday, April 27, 2008

What does it mean?

I wish every IQ test came with a key like the one at Hoagies Gifted. I wish everything written about giftedness also came with a comparison chart so that you could reference the appropriate scores on whichever IQ test had been administered.

I also wish children came with manuals. Unfortunately, while IQ tests do help in that regard, it still doesn't tell you everything you need to know.

When my son was finally tested by someone knowledgeable about giftedness, I was surprised at his scores. They seemed lower than I was expecting, but I was pleased that someone had recognized he was gifted. I didn't understand about the more current tests being renormed for the Flynn effect such that higher scores corresponded to lower scores on newer tests. I didn't understand that some of the older tests used a ratio score rather than a population normalization. I didn't understand that what I thought was a pretty good score was much better than I thought.

It took a long time for it to sink in that my son was exceptionally gifted with subtests running from highly gifted to the profoundly gifted range. I used to ignore information on exceptionally gifted and profoundly gifted children because I didn't think it applied to my son. I wish I hadn't ignored it because it does explain a lot of the behaviors I never understood. Once it finally sunk in that I had an EG child, I spent a lot of time going over and finding papers and articles that I had previously ignored.

I'm still not certain what it means to be exceptionally gifted. I can certainly list a series of negative consequences. A child in this IQ range feels ostracized by peers, misunderstood by teachers, and is generally miserable in the public school system. They are very sensitive and empathetic to those less fortunate, but also very hostile and angry for the mistreatment they receive. They get bored extremely easily. They do not have to be prodigies, although I'm sure there are some who are. They like to goof around and make jokes, much to the frustration of their teachers. I'm guessing a number of them enjoy reading because it's the only stimulation they get if their gifts are not recognized.

Unfortunately, most of these observations only point to what highly gifted children and above are not or how they shouldn't be treated. It doesn't explain how they should be dealt with educationally because an educational plan must take into consideration their individual personalities and interests as well as motivation. It would be nice to put all children in this range into some sort of category, but there are few of these children and they are very individual. If there were some way to group them, perhaps educational institutions would be far more considerate in dealing with them and their parents. In most places, however, they are so rare that they are assumed to be no different than your average gifted child, except more difficult.

1 comment:

Crimson Wife said...

I'm still not sure what to make of my DD's scores. I wish there was some way to figure out whether they're a ceiling or a floor that didn't involve spending several thousand dollars on further tests. I also have a hard time thinking of her as PG because she's doing very similar things to what I did at the same age and I don't consider myself to be PG.