Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of These Kids Is Not Like the Others ...

When I went to a discussion last week with parents of gifted kids and a psychologist who specializes in same, I started to get all shaken up. Most of the other parents reported that their brilliant children had big problems in school; many of them had resorted to paying $15k a year and commuting miles and miles daily to a private gifted academy.

Then I reminded myself that we haven't even ever gotten Nutmeg tested. Maybe she's just a bright child in the normal IQ range. Maybe I just assume she's gifted because her dad and I were in such programs, and maybe we all feel our little darlings are above average.

I even administered an "instant test" suggested by the psychologist. He said that if you ask a gifted kid what they would wish for if granted three wishes, they will usually make at least one of their wishes an altruistic one; i.e. "end war" or "stop people from getting sick."

When I first asked Nutmeg what she would wish for, she got angry and agitated, like she often does when put on the spot and asked to choose. She said she didn't know. Later, she admitted that she would wish for a magic wand. But she couldn't think of any more wishes.

So, does this mean my kid is not gifted? Welll, the kid hardly understands that there are any PROBLEMS in the world that need altruism. She is, after all, 4 years old. Still, a small part of me wondered if my expectations about her IQ might be overblown.

Then I read the weekly newsletter that came home from Nutmeg's preschool class. An excerpt, with all names changed:

"DISCUSSION ABOUT WHY LEAVES CHANGE COLOR AND FALL OFF THE TREES.
MARCUS - THEY FALL OFF THE TREE BECAUSE IT IS OCTOBER
JIM - THEY FALL OFF BECAUSE THE BRANCHES BREAK
MARCIE - THE BRANCHES BREAK FIRST
JACKSON - IT IS SO WINDY THAT THEY LOSE THEIR GRIP
SOPHIE - THEY ARE NOT GLUEABLE ANYMORE
ISABELLA - THE LEAVES KNOW THEY HAVE TO FALL OFF BECAUSE THEY ARE LOOSE
JAMIE - THEY NEED TO FALL AND WHEN THEY TURN COLORS THEY KNOW.
...

NUTMEG - THEY NO LONGER MAKE FOOD. CHLOROPHYLL DOES NOT HIDE THE OTHER COLORS ANYMORE.

So, anyway. I'm laughing my ass off. I'm just picturing Nutmeg wearing big glasses and toting a slide rule in the pocket of her coveralls. We happen to have a kid's book on this topic (thanks, Grandma!) so that's where she learend all the science and stuff.

I'm still hoping that we don't have big problems when this kid is ready for school. But I'm not doubting my judgement about her IQ so much today.

1 comment:

Kim Moldofsky said...

LOL! Yes, she is still young. As the host of that event I knew most of the parents fairly well and that the parents from the gifted school (my boys used to attend) do have kids that are incredibly brilliant. I'm guessing that the average IQ in my older son's math class last year hovered around 150 (average IQ about 100, "gifted" is 120-130). It's hard for kids like that to make it academically and socially in many public schools.

Just relax and if you think it's indicated, get her tested before kindergarten if you have concerns about her placement. And you can always pick up the phone and call me if you're looking for advice. You can learn from my many mistakes!