Monday, October 19, 2015

Does Testing Validate a Parent's Gifted Assessment?

Through my own observations, I have determined that my son is an asynchronous learner. What's more, I have been blogging about our gifted homeschool for more than a handful of years. Sometimes, I questioned myself and the assessments I, subjectively or objectively, made of my own son. Sometimes, I have felt like a poser.

GEEK material: my son battled against teens and adults and won third place at the Barnes and Nobles Doctor Who Trivia Night this year. 

Every parent believes their child is amazing and incredible, right? Right.

This year, I decided that it was time for a professional cognitive assessment. I wanted more information. I wanted to learn more about my son's weaknesses and strengths. I wanted to avail of more appropriate resources as my elementary aged kid progresses more rapidly into middle school academics. Our tester seemed to think he did really well on the test, but my son confessed to me that he had a really difficult time. His response made me all the more anxious about his results. What I learned after two weeks of anticipation was surprising: not only was my son gifted, but I clearly underestimated his level of giftedness.

Every parent believes their child is more amazing and incredible than they are, right? Wrong. I totally misjudged my son's level of giftedness.

Naturally, my son wanted to know his results. He has heard a little about his scores from a few professionals and we made him part of the application process to a few gifted programs, but he does not know exactly what that means and what his exact scores are. At home, we downplay the results of the test. Instead, we tell him how happy we are with his scores. We also tell him that the test informs us of his weakness areas and gives us the opportunity to better them. We tell him that there is more to him than his IQ score: we also need to be kind, honest, responsible, loyal, generous, disciplined, hard-working, humane, creative, to have a sense of humor, to learn how to work and get along with others, and more.

My son recording for his vlog at an aquarium.
Would I have my son tested if I had to do it over again? Yes. I learned a lot more about him than I thought I would.

Is testing so important? No, I don't think so, but if you want more detailed information about your child, then I would recommend it. As his home educator, I believe learning about his weaknesses gives me information about what we need to work on. Likewise, his strengths gives me insight about how his mind works.

Do I now feel validated as a GHF blogger? Yes. But the more I seem to know about my son and his giftedness, the less I seem comfortable about blogging about it.

Does my son understand his giftedness? It's a work in progress, but I want to say that he didn't need a test to understand himself better. With our help, he works on it everyday.

I am participating in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October 2015 Blog Hop: Discovering the Depth and Breadth of Giftedness. Check out the other amazing GHF bloggers!


  1. One of my guys wanted to know his IQ score. We talked about if vaguely until he finally asked, "Did I get 100?" Boom, that was all he wanted to know. So I said, "You got more 100!" He felt validated and I didn't have to give anything more specific.

  2. It's funny how you think you know the range and then you get the results back and you're wrong :)

  3. Your observation, "But the more I seem to know about my son and his giftedness, the less I seem comfortable about blogging about it," rings true to me. The higher a child's level of giftedness, the less we want to talk about it. It's almost like deep down we all want our kids to blend in. I've been there and felt that. Best wishes to you. Thanks for blogging this tiny bit more---I'm sure your words will help others.

  4. I understand exactly how you feel about the testing and the validation it brings! Sometimes I wish I didn't know/hadn't tested, and sometimes, I see how it would have all been better if I had known sooner for all 3 of my kids! And the underestimating his giftedness--I am so there with you on that! Giftedness seems to definitely be a double-edged sword.

  5. Thank you for sharing your and your son's journey. Posts such as this can be a source of strength and validation for other parents. It is my hope that you will continue to explore your son's giftedness with him. Through recent research, we now know that the impact of knowing versus not knowing one is gifted can have lifelong consequences. I would refer you to GRO - Gifted Research and Outreach - at for further information. Good luck and enjoy these wonder-filled years!