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  1. #1
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    Default A little overwhelmed ...

    So my DS1 started prep this year. His teacher has mentioned to me that they did a prep screener test and out of the 100+ preppies he's scored the highest in the test. He's a late April born so also one of the youngest in his cohort. He turns 5 next month. In fact she's been in early childhood for 20+ years and is completely blown away by his ability.

    Now I've always known he was clever but even though I'm a primary teacher myself I've never done any standardised testing on him. His work samples are being used as 'A' standard during moderation with staff and he grasps things very quickly. I've known he's a fast learner and I'm often amazed by his thought processes. But it's now been mentioned to me just how high he is in ability. I feel a bit careless in that he has this great natural ability but I've never really honed in on it. I didn't want to be a 'teacher' to him at home so I only ever guided him at his own interest. Like at two he was asking about speed signs on the side of the road and quickly grasped his 'ty' numbers. He has handled money a bit so understands how many cents make a dollar and what coins are needed and just loves time so since he was two has been telling the time. This has all been incidental learning. I've never made it a mission to give him a lesson as such.

    My concern now is that both being gifted and talented and having ASD tendencies has now also been mentioned. I feel a bit lost as I'm a person who often plays a role in starting the process with having children ascertained. I just can't see it in my son. He definitely has social immaturity issues but so many of the indicators just aren't even remotely there. He can deal with change of routine, gives eye contact, has never lined things up to any obvious degree,etc. He had an issue with throwing sand but he has since stopped (it was suggested this was a sensory thing). He definitely has always had a thing with throwing sand (he calls them sand fireworks) and jumping in puddles or any dirty playful thing really he just loves.

    I'm not even sure what the point to this thread is. Just I'm worried that either I'm not seeing what's going on with some kind of mummy goggles on and he really is showing more signs - or because of his intelligence and social/behavioral (he can be very oppositional) issues they are looking for further things.

    I should note that ASD has only been mentioned in passing and not as a huge concern but I'm an overanaliser so of course it has me over thinking it all.

    It's times like this I wish I wasn't a single mother. Just to have a good in depth conversation with someone else who held the same concern for my child.

    Please feel free to - I dunno ... Add or something :/
    Last edited by Theboys&me; 12-03-2013 at 21:48.

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    I'm not sure about ASD but he isn't even five yet and just because he is very smart doesn't mean he should be at an equal level socially. I wouldn't worry too much about that...

    I don't think you need to 'hone' his abilities at this age...unless school isn't challenging enough for him. He will have plenty of time to 'hone' it when he is older and may naturally continue to hone areas that interest him.

    It must be hard not having anyone to talk to...hopefully there are plenty of people here you can talk to!

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    I think it's very hard as a teacher because part of our job is to assess parents and what they do/don't do for/with/etc their children and fill the gaps.

    I know I try to be extra detached when assessing if DD seems to be ahead/behind etc to really make sure I'm not putting my mummy rose coloured glasses on. It really is hard though and I also worry that I swing too far the other way and miss her talents or be overly-critical, looking for problems that aren't there.

    I'm with you on the not-teaching thing, but kids learn so well when learning is incidental. i have never 'taught' DD to draw anything, always given her lots of resources as she's loved to draw from dot and her new teacher is just blown away by her drawing. I got to see her work against the rest of her classmates and it actually is pretty amazing. However I don't think there is anything more I could have done. I would say your son is the same with his talents, it sounds like you've been nurturing them and now he's in with age-peers they are more apparent.

    As for the ASD thing, does his current teacher have any concerns? I would not worry about passing comments in the past as they can just come in leaps and bounds socially once they're at school full time. If his teacher now is concerned then you can always start the process of getting him assessed.

    PS. Don't worry about the single mum thing making a difference - my DH is as useful as tits on a bull when it comes to discussing these sorts of things!

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    Just a thought on the ASD issue.. Super bright people are often 'like that' without necessarily being on the spectrum.. He's possibly processing so many things at once, and at a level above his emotional development that social interaction (especially with peers) is viewed as being not as necessary for him. After all, they can't (usually) teach him anything new!
    I think that maybe your son is being compared to the typical social abilities of his age and as he's 'lacking' the usual suggested diagnosis is ASD. Not just 'he has no real use for them'..
    I don't think you need to provide any extra schedules stimulation or learning. Not at this young age anyway. I think that if you follow his leads, teach him what he is interested in and support him, offer him extra things to do if he says he's 'bored' then that's enough for now. The one thing you could work on is his social skills, but again that can just be through play/everyday activities

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    The fantastic thing is that his teacher has noticed he is different. That is SO important with bright/gifted kids that they are identified early and continue to be stimulated. If you already knew he was gifted that is probably all that you would have pushed for - early identification by the teacher. He's clearly got a great teacher. You're a primary teacher so I'm sure you've been doing heaps of 'teaching' at home already - sounds like you have if you've been talking numbers & money & stuff like that. It has just been life for you & him. You've done exactly what you should have.

    My ds is similar, but I realised he was different before he was 2 and actually I've found that super stressful as the first year of school has loomed large and I've been worried about how my intelligent little one would manage. Then, in his first year of Kinder the teacher said he wasn't remotely ready for school due to social reasons. I didn't see it coming, heck he could read and do basic addition at 4, how could he not be ready for school when he was due to turn 5 just before the start of the year?? But, she was right and a year made the world of difference. He doesn't have ASD, but he is a slow eater, dresser, etc and he wasn't picking up on cues from other children (like to put on his jacket to go outside). He wouldn't have managed Prep where the expectations (at this school anyway) are quite high (fully independent with dressing/undressing - eg. for swimming/sport, fully independent with lunch, etc, etc, etc). He also needed more time on his fine motor skills.

    Fast forward a bit and this year he started Prep. The school has testing and thankfully he enjoyed the testing and showed his real self (another anxiety of mine - testing is well & good, but only if the child participates). The teacher has realised he is different and is challenging him in literacy and numeracy and he's really enjoying himself. There are other gifted kids in his class and that really helps. He's still got some social issues (likes to tell stories/talk about favourite topics and won't stop easily, slow eater/dresser/etc, refuses to go to the toilet til he is busting) and only time will tell if they settle or not, but I hope they will.

    Follow the teachers lead. She hopefully has a learning plan for him (is there an extention teacher/co-ordinator?) and that will be good. A formal IQ assessment from a child psychologist may be helpful, but there's no rush ... wait 6 months or more and see what the teacher recommends then.

    All the best!!

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    Thanks for replying ladies. I appreciate it so much. Yeah I was on the same wave length in regards to his age and social behaviour. He has a fantastic teacher and I'm positive she'll be challenging him when necessary. I think I just felt a bit disappointed myself that he's been at kindy last year and I still didn't know just how smart he was. I ran into the HOC (head of curriculum) today who made a point of showing me his work which has been displayed as an exampla. My collegues at work are just blown away. It's beautiful - but has made me feel ashamed a bit that I didn't know. I'm a year one teacher for the first time this year (have always taught middle) and I actually thought my class was low in comparison. Turns out they are - but he is not someone I should compare them to obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    I think it's very hard as a teacher because part of our job is to assess parents and what they do/don't do for/with/etc their children and fill the gaps.

    I know I try to be extra detached when assessing if DD seems to be ahead/behind etc to really make sure I'm not putting my mummy rose coloured glasses on. It really is hard though and I also worry that I swing too far the other way and miss her talents or be overly-critical, looking for problems that aren't there.

    I'm with you on the not-teaching thing, but kids learn so well when learning is incidental. i have never 'taught' DD to draw anything, always given her lots of resources as she's loved to draw from dot and her new teacher is just blown away by her drawing. I got to see her work against the rest of her classmates and it actually is pretty amazing. However I don't think there is anything more I could have done. I would say your son is the same with his talents, it sounds like you've been nurturing them and now he's in with age-peers they are more apparent.

    As for the ASD thing, does his current teacher have any concerns? I would not worry about passing comments in the past as they can just come in leaps and bounds socially once they're at school full time. If his teacher now is concerned then you can always start the process of getting him assessed.

    PS. Don't worry about the single mum thing making a difference - my DH is as useful as tits on a bull when it comes to discussing these sorts of things!
    Love your analogy of you hubby haha!! Made me giggle

    I think it is hard as a teacher sometimes with your own... I could never teach him in class. The poor kid would probably miss out cos I'd be harder in him :/

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    I don't think you need to feel bad that you didn't recognize his abilities. What would you have done different? Push him harder at home? Rush him into psych testing so you can tell everyone what centile he is functioning on? Put him in a school for gifted children? Get him into MENSA?
    My daughter is similar, she is way ahead of her class. But I'm happy that the school is extending her and she isn't bored. I've never felt the need to get her tested and labelled as 'gifted' although I'm sure that she is. My dad is a child psych and he is very against this whole testing and labeling trend that is happening more and more these days. I'm talking about the 'gifted' label, not ASD etc.

    As far as ASD goes, I guess you could get the teacher to keep an eye in it. But it sounds like fairly normal behavior for a younger child at school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theboys&me View Post
    I think it is hard as a teacher sometimes with your own... I could never teach him in class. The poor kid would probably miss out cos I'd be harder in him :/
    I know, I hope I don't have to teach my kids either (I love being at the same school as her though!).

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    I havent read any of the other comments so Im just going off the cuff here....

    Firstly I think you did well to treat him as your child rather than your student. Quite frankly he has plenty of time for his gifts to be encouraged etc...the rest of his life even. So I wouldnt worry too much about what you have or haven't done. It sounds like you allowed him to learn as he went along and lived life which, in my opinion is the best thing for him. Life experience is everything.

    As for the ASD - as far as I'm aware ASD works on a spectrum. I've been told that we all fall on the spectrum somewhere...some more than others. It could be the teachers are seeing his intelligence amongst the social immaturity and drawing their own conclusions from that. She shouldnt really be doing that. You say that he's one of the youngest in the class...and that can account for the social immaturity and some kids take a bit longer than others anyway to develop in this way. His development might be overtaken with the intelligent aspect rather than the social aspect at this time.

    If it were me, I'd keep an eye for the 'signs' (trying to not read too much into things) and just continue to nuture his strengths and perhaps work on his weaknesses (social) just for while longer and see what the teachers say later on in the year (its only the beginning of the year....a lot can change within a year). If there are still issues...then maybe get in and see a pead, who will have a bit more of an idea on what criterion he could fall into. But for now....relax...be the mum youve always been...take note of what the teachers have said by all means...but file it away for now and continue on as you are

    (I had similiar things going on with my eldest son (teachers suggesting things in passing that turned out to simply not be true)..he's 13 now and has no issues at all)


 

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