I’ve heard this from so many homeschooling parents – “why test if we’re homeschooling?” I can’t answer for them, but I can tell you why we’re choosing to test our oldest.
If the Engineer was in public school, we would be right at the point of requesting testing for giftedness from the school. Around 2nd and 3rd grade is when our school system really starts to offer more gifted options. He would have to qualify, of course, and meet their requirements. Testing is part of that.
Of course, we’re homeschooling. He won’t be attending any gifted pull-out classes or asking for accelerated coursework. We accommodate all of his additional needs in our homeschooling, so testing seems pointless. Right? Not exactly.
Setting the gears in motion
We’re finally getting him geared up for a neuropsychological evaluation. It’s not an easy or cheap decision, because health insurance companies don’t particularly like paying for testing like this without documented issues. We’re crossing our fingers and hoping they will.
It’s also a long wait time just to get him into the system and start the process of an evaluation. We’re on the wait list, but his current appointment is a full 5 months away. That’s an eternity, but not as long as the 9 month wait list for the other specialists I called.
Given that our decision isn’t easy or cheap, why are we doing this? Put simply, we need answers.
We’re in the dark, and the test is a flashlight
I’ve felt for a long time that we’re stumbling around in the dark trying to figure this kid out. As soon as we figure out one answer, more questions pop up. What’s going on? Why isn’t he doing XYZ like other kids? Why is he acting like this, or doing that? We just don’t know!
As his homeschooling teacher, it’s especially important for me to know what makes this kid tick. I need to know the battlegrounds, the strengths, and the weaknesses so that I can target his educational needs. I’m trying, but I feel like I’m always one step behind and constantly trying to keep up.
This won’t give us all the answers
It’s frustrating. I know that he will struggle with the testing process. I know that we should have looked around to find someone who is familiar with gifted and twice exceptional kids so that the test is accurate. The truth is – it’s so hard to find ANYONE who can do this evaluation that I don’t have that luxury. We had to take the next available appointment and hope for the best.
Still, some testing is better than no testing. Which is what we have now. We need to know for sure if the Engineer is truly on the spectrum, if he actually has the diagnoses of ADHD that he’s been saddled with (his symptoms don’t really fit) and we absolutely have to figure out what hidden diagnoses are lurking in the shadows. We need to know.
If you wanted to distill this post down into a soundbite, that’s the answer. We need to know.
This post is part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hop “Tips, Advice, and Help when Having Your Gifted Child Tested.” Click the link or image to go read more posts from people who have actually gone through the testing process.