The Struggle to Test 2e Kids

The Struggle to Test 2e Kids, yellowreadis.com Image: Blue minecraft sheep toy

We’ve had a lot of experience with testing over the years. We have gone through the gauntlet of testing many times. Each time, we were sure this was the ‘definitive’ test. After all that experience, and the benefit of hindsight, I know think there is no such thing as a definitive test. There is only the best you can get at the time.

Specialists and doctors are neither omnipotent, nor mistake free. But there are a number of things you can do to make testing for giftedness and disabilities a more useful experience.

So here are my best tips.

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Stages Towards Homeschooling for Gifted/2e Families

Text: Stages Towards Homeschooling for Gifted/2e Families, yellowreadis.com Image: Textas in a cup

Today, I am going to talk about the stages of disengagement from the education system* that I have witnessed over the years.

Now, I am not an expert, nor am I a teacher. In fact, I am one of those rare things – a parent of twice-exceptional children who has never had to sit through an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or  ILP (Individual Learning Plan) meeting.

But I do volunteer as a contact for families who are in trouble. After more than 100 emails, phone calls and chatting in person, I have a pretty up front and personal view of exactly how these go wrong.

Actually it’s probably far more than 100, but I lost count once it hit triple digits.

I would love to say that each situation is different and unique. That it does not follow any kind of pattern and is always just the intersection of a set of unusual circumstances. But I can’t.

So, what are the stages?

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Review: Making Child Prodigies

This is  a (rather rambling) review of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s new show, “Making Child Prodigies ” which aired this week.

Text: Review - Making Child Prodigies Image: Used paint brushes in a clay pot

“Making Child Prodigies” follows a number of families and charts their struggles, triumphs and life. It is (thankfully) very different from the “Child Genius” series.  It also seems, at least from episode 1, to be more interested in understanding the lives of the families, rather than playing to stereotypes, which is nice.

NB. I am aware that this show may be hard to access for non-Australian viewers, but Gizmodo describes one option here. You can also see clips here, here, here and here.

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Living in Extracurricular Purgatory

Picture via Pixabay. Desc. Image "Sad women on bench in tiled room." Text "Living in Extracurricular Purgatory"

When, all those years ago, we decided that homeschooling was the right choice for our deeply asynchronous children, I kind of hoped that this would mean an escape from age-based norms and expectations. We would be free to craft the curriculum and activities that ‘fit’ our kids without the limitations that came with the age-grade lockstep that is the traditional way schools organise learning.

Gosh was I naive.

Because, whether I like it or not, almost anything to do with children is organised based on these traditional age-grade levels. Finding places that ‘fit’ my kids and their very different needs has been like ground-hog day. Reliving the same situations over and over again, with only the surface details changing.  And each time feels like another walk through extracurricular purgatory. . .
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Preparing for College; Preparing for Crazy

Sometimes, it feels like I’m trapped inside a B-Grade Hollywood movie. The director is at the side is yelling, “More drama! We need a rewrite here! There’s not enough punch to this story.

The punches keep rolling in, and I feel a little bit like a punch-drunk ninja. My children went from crazy accelerated to crazy-crazy accelerated. (How my eldest managed to skip me noticing that he had learned about 2-3 years worth of maths during our ‘down’ time was the one punch. The two punch was adding yet another acronym to the growing list of family illnesses / chronic conditions / neurological differences / genetic variations / eh, I’m giving up, why don’t we call ’em Steves?)
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Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road

It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way. Continue reading “Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road”

Playing to the Positives

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of only thinking about the negatives. I do it. In fact, it runs in my family – anxiety is a fact of life for more than one generation. But today, I want to talk about the positives. It’s easy to talk about the positives and negatives of my family’s special needs, and it is also easy to talk about the negatives of giftedness. It’s even marginally socially acceptable. But today I’m breaking the mould. I am going to talk about the positives of being a gifted family. Because without talking about those ‘oh wow!‘ moments, it’s hard to understand why being gifted is so different from the norm. Today I’m being brave. So here we go. Continue reading “Playing to the Positives”

Gifted . . .You Know What That Means, Right?

Every now and again, more often than I am comfortable with, various memes pop up in my news feed. They’re usually positive, with a cute picture – a happy child, a beautiful baby, a rainbow over a lovely green field. Rinse and repeat.

And you know what? I love the pictures. They’re cute, they make me go ‘awww’. But it’s not the picture that’s the problem. It’s the words.
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