A few months ago, I had my seven-year-old son tested for being gifted. Even though the teachers and everyone else told me he was not gifted, his ridiculously-high math score on a standardized test gave me reason to believe otherwise, and pursued the gifted testing.
As it turns out, he is gifted in math, and a few points shy of being gifted in cognitive (IQ). One of the things the gifted test pointed out for us was that in reading comprehension, he was performing slightly lower than average... certainly not what we would expect, given his high IQ.
So, I did a lot of research and a lot of talking with people who delt with children who were gifted, and I came to the conclusion that it was possible that my son is "twice exceptional". This means that in addition to being gifted, he also may have a learning disability.
Being twice exceptional is incredibly rare, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Initially when I went to the schools and teachers to ask him if he indeed had a learning disability, I was told he did not. But, then again, the teachers and school also didn't suspect he was gifted. They also didn't suspect he had to speech problems. And they were wrong for both of those. Not blaming, but just pointing out that what they say isn't always true. To know, I needed to go to professionals in those specific areas.
So, I proceeded to request that my son be tested for a learning disability. But, because he was doing well in school, my request was initially denied. I was then forced to proceed with requesting a due process hearing with the school to have the decision to evaluate my son for a learning disability reconsidered. Well, I'm happy to say that without actually proceeding to an official hearing with the lawyers and all that sort of thing, everything was able to be resolved, so that my son was able to get a complete multi-factored evaluation to see if he has a learning disability.
I am so ridiculously excited for this. You see, my son tends to be a lot like my husband. And I think my husband also may have been twice exceptional, but just never diagnosed. At school, instead of being seen as a bright individual with a learning disability, he was simply labeled as stupid. (Yes, I know it sounds harsh, but based on what he tell me, this is 100% true.) Hearing my husband talk about school breaks my heart, and it has given me the drive to advocate for my son and do whatever it takes to give him the best education possible.
I feel fortunate to be raising a family in 2016, where so many resources are available to parents. I'm very excited to know my son is gifted. I'm hoping that being able to identify and work with a possible disability will give my son the advantage in life that his father didn't have.
PS - We have chose to not tell out son he's gifted... we have simply explained that everyone works at their own level, and it's our job as parents to make sure he's learning at his level. So, please don't high-five him next time you see him for being smart. He didn't choose to be gifted. He didn't work his ass off to be good at math. He just is. ;)
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