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Every day, Laurel brings home a "daily folder" from school. One side has a calendar for the current month stapled into it that keeps track of her behavior and upcoming school events. The folder pocket on the other side holds non-homework items that are sent home with her -- forms to fill out and return, volunteer paperwork, and the occasional announcement. Recently, it's carried the paperwork from Special Education Services, required for the speech therapy she's receiving and anything the educational assessment I gave consent for identifies as areas she needs extra help in.

This week? I'm dumbfounded. Yesterday brought a thank-you note from her teacher for the classroom wish list books we bought at the book fair. Today had an invitation to a party for one of her classmates and a large envelope I thought was more sped paperwork but surprised me by being a request for her to be tested for the district's gifted and talented program.

I'm still not quite sure what to make of that -- her recent report card was average across the board aside from me bristling slightly at where it ranked her reading skills (it said she was in an early stage of writing random letters; I think she's sounding out words and labeling pictures, but it's hard to read her work because she's getting the hang of correct grip and not writing some letters/numbers backward) -- but it should be fun to fill out the parent inventory while I'm out of it with this frelling cold.

edit 10/27: I found out at Laurel's parent-teacher conference this afternoon that her teacher recommended her for gifted screening because of her pattern-making skills -- apparently her ability to assemble puzzles and complete complex patterns (she still has trouble with simple linear a-b patterns, but a 5x5 grid is no problem) is well ahead of the curve for her age.

I also found out that she really likes the crayons at school (and the pieces her teacher kept surprised me with the vividness and detail, though I had to explain the "angry eyebrows" she often draws), so we broke out the 72-crayon hard case the nerdsprout left with the caveat that Laurel only take out one crayon at a time and that I will take it away if I see any crayons on the floor (a problem with past boxes).


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2005 02:51 am (UTC)
That's awesome!
Oct. 26th, 2005 04:13 am (UTC)
It's mostly just weird to me. I'd guess that her art teacher recommended her since she's definitely got some talent there, but after all the sped paperwork it's surreal.
Oct. 26th, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
she may have shown gifts in certain areas?
Oct. 26th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
I'm just not sure what they would have picked up in testing at school.

I'd like to thank my school-honed talent at pulling papers out of my butt on short notice for getting me through the two-page parent inventory while trying not to cough up a lung. I think I get bonus points for using "advocate" as both a noun and a verb and talking about her collection of smashed pennies. Forgot to mention her bug house full of plastic spiders, though.

(If I sound like I've got a few screws loose here, keep in mind that I have a cold kicking my butt right now and I've been becoming less and less lucid as the day's gone on. I was asleep when Vogon came in at lunch and apparently told him I was in my grandmother's house. I sat down at the computer after lunch and crapped out this bizarre disjointed story about going on a roadtrip to New England with my older sister, ending up at that house and telling the people who bought it family stories and showing them newspaper clippings that I don't actually think exist in real life. I don't think I could write shit that colorful on minor caffeine deprivation and a stuffed-up head, so it's got to be my mind taking a vacation while I'm sick.)
Oct. 26th, 2005 06:40 am (UTC)
Hooray for giftedness! Also books!
Oct. 28th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
Indeed! Now we have to work on transitioning between tasks (she gets very cranky when asked to switch to another task before she's done with whatever she's focused on) and counting aloud with her teacher. Their goal is to learn the numbers to 100 and I'm pretty sure she's got it down, but when she sits down to count with the teacher, she stops at random points short of that.

Laurel's nearly rebuilt her book collection we left in storage. I figure we might as well spread the love.
Oct. 26th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
I was in ACE and LEAP while in the C-FB district. I can answer any questions you might have.
Nov. 1st, 2005 04:57 am (UTC)
Thanks. Her full individual evaluation for special ed was completed last week and her ARD meeting is next week, so I *think* the gifted evaluation won't start until after that's done.

I thought I could just keep important paperwork from the school in a tabbed pocket folder until they started sending the sped paperwork home. The guide to the ARD process alone is 1/4" thick. I don't remember getting as much stuff sent home as Laurel has.
Oct. 26th, 2005 11:12 am (UTC)
Gifted! That's great!
Nov. 1st, 2005 05:02 am (UTC)

I'm a little nervous about her IEP/ARD meeting next week, but I'll take copious notes and maybe write up a few questions beforehand since my sister's been trying to give me advice and it leaves me even more confused.
Nov. 2nd, 2005 11:38 am (UTC)
Please keep me posted. I've sat in on many IEP meetings, CSEs, etc., both as a parent and as an advocate, so if you have any questions or anything, let me know. I'll e-mail my phone number. xo
Oct. 26th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
that laurel didn't have straight A's is absolutely no indication of her intelligence actually. many many gifted children display poor "academic success" for a wide variety of reasons. i was in GATE when i was a child and have over the years procured a couple books about the subject. you might want to track down _Growing up gifted_ by Barbara Clark and/or _Educating the Gifted_ by Joseph L. French or I could just send you my copies -- i haven't gotten a chance to do more that flip through the two books, and they're old, but they might make for informative readings nonetheless if u can't find anything more recent/available.

Oct. 27th, 2005 10:27 pm (UTC)
I know that, it's just a surprise to me since I don't have a mental baseline of normal skills and abilities for a kindergartener so I figured she was average in most areas with above-average visual/artistic skills.

I've read both of those books but don't own them; I'd be happy to reimburse you for shipping and however much you'd like for them. I've read a selection of major and recent work on gifted education from my sister's grad school coursework but I'm always up for something new to read.

Speaking of new things to read, I need to update my userinfo because I finally finished Things That Make Us Smart. It turned out to be a much slower read than I had expected.
Oct. 29th, 2005 05:21 am (UTC)
actually i was kinda planning to read them eventually. if you've already read them . . .
Nov. 1st, 2005 04:52 am (UTC)
Ah. Keep them on your to-read queue, then! Between my sister's books and the stuff my advisor loaned me I have a good foundation.

(Brief backstory: I had pre-registered for ED 120, Understanding Exceptional Individuals, at MBC but got bumped after the class filled during the Hilarious In Retrospect Eight Hours of Inter-Office Scurrying that was registration for second semester classes. My consolation prize was acquiring a copy of the syllabus and doing all the reading on my own.)
Oct. 26th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
honey, killi was tested for special ed a while before she was tested for gifted. she was bored out of her gourd, not unable to perform.

i'm not saying that's an easy thing to have happen. having a gifted child, and doing it right, was a WHOLE lot of work. every few weeks i would ask what she was interested in, and we did a totally out of school research project on it. from slugs to weather, to castle archetecture to veterinary sciences, to jewish culture to cooking, from physics to propultion....sure, i know a lot more now, after all that, but it was exhausting, doing that at the same time as i had a learning disabled child. the rewards of raising a child well, though...priceless. for everything else, there's american express. :P
Nov. 1st, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)
The speech pathologist called today to let me know she'd finished testing Laurel and was ready to schedule an ARD (Admission, Review and Dismissal) meeting, so I'll learn more about what special ed services are available/recommended for Laurel next week.

Her teacher told me at the parent-teacher conference last week that she recommended Laurel to be evaluated for the gifted program because of her skill with making patterns and artistic abilities.

Right now Laurel's fascinated by every place she sees numbers, so we bought addition and subtraction flash cards, brought out the Turbo Twist Math handheld that Vogon bought over the summer (a great sale find, I'm thinking about getting her the multiple-subject Turbo Extreme handheld for Christmas) and she's doing pages from the kindergarten skills workbook at home.

My parents did a pretty good job raising four kids spread along the gifted spectrum, so I hope I do well by Laurel with my experience and the extra time and resources I can give her as an only child.
Nov. 1st, 2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
i have enough paperwork from ARD's to make an igloo for the 4 of us to live forever in....

good luck, on them having what laurel needs! i've got my fingers crossed for you. no matter what, though, enrichment that only you can give will give her a leg up. and i'm not surprised about her patterns. it's not like her mother isn't that bright. :D you're doing great! i remember killi debating the validity of negitive numbers when she was preschool.....
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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