On a spur of the moment, we signed Keane up for IQ Cognitive testing during the last week of Phase 1. My husband and I had been contemplating on sending him for a gifted test for at least a year. The books that he reads, the way he speaks and how he thinks is way above his age. We get this response all the time from his teachers and also from strangers. Yet on the other hand, there are times when he just can’t understand how it is to arrange numbers from the greatest to the smallest, or that he cannot control his emotions when he get very upset -he’ll wail, hyperventilate or become inconsolable.
Keane is a quiet child, and he only spoke at 2 years old. Keane started speaking single words to stringing sentences in a few months soon after. At about 3-years-old, he would finger point his books and read aloud. Quickly at 4-years-old, he started reading passages. We always thought this is the norm because his pre-school teachers never said he was gifted, just that he picked things up quickly. As clueless parents, we didn’t think much either.
He was extremely sensitive from a young age. My mother would always tell me how two-years-old Keane cried at the part where the grandma was eaten by the big bad wolf in The Little Red Riding Hood. He was fearful of any cartoons that had big monsters or robots. He also cried when the spider he caught died. Only stopped after we explained that spiders have a short life span and that’s exactly why they have so many eggs to ensure continuity of their kind. He needed that kind of assurance – peppered with facts that he can accept.
Overtime, the difference between him and other children became more apparent. We started to get a tiny bit concerned about his development. He would spurt out random facts about his animal obsession, and literally go on brain overdrive when he gets super excited. Also, he wasn’t as sociable as other children.
Dealing with his obsession got more difficult as he got older. There were many accidents where he would insist that he was right about the identity of a certain insect. When others tried to correct or challenge him, he would argue and bring out his books for cross reference. Finally if he could not get his point across, he would go into a major meltdown. And as my psychology grad husband would say “his brain is stuck in a loop where nothing can get in”.
In six months, he would be entering Primary School. As a former primary school teacher (for only a year), I knew he won’t be able to fit in and the teacher may have issues dealing with him, and it’s evident in his kindy class. He would complete his work no doubt, but he wouldn’t be a team player.
Getting him to do a gifted test is like purchasing an insurance. Making sure that we have an excuse for any misbehaviour in school. And at least we know there’s a reason behind his actions. People always told me that he’s just being a kid. Maybe it’s a mommy instinct. I just felt that there’s something we’re not doing enough.
I did a random google search for a clinic that offered gifted testing. I had no specific clinic in mind but I knew the type I want. It should not advocate preparing the child for GEP classes, and simply testing the child’s capabilities. And I particularly liked what the psychologist said during the consultation which is such a testing could also function as a parenting tool – knowing the learning gaps to plug.
Two weeks after the testing, he was found to be gifted. We finally have an answer to everything about Keane.