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MaryGrace Stewart

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The Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education (MAGE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of parents, educators, and other members. Your donations are tax deductible. MAGE is the Massachusetts affiliate of the National Association for Gifted Children.  

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Testing, Testing, 1,2,3

The most frequently asked question I get from parents is about testing a child. They want to know either where they can get their child tested or if they should get their child tested.

In some states it is common to have children tested for gifted/talented programs. However, since most schools in MA don't have gifted programs, and if they do they have their own systems of identification, it is not as common here in Massachusetts.

Also, usually in MA, when a child has a high IQ score it doesn't change things regarding the way the child is educated in the public and most private schools. It may even anger the administration or the teacher if you pull out a test and show them that your child has a high IQ, especially if you follow that by telling them that they therefore should be doing something different for your child than they do for most of the other children in the class. This is not because they are trying to be mean. It's just that they are general practitioners and are not trained in knowledge about or strategies for, their most highly able students. Gifted education is a specialized profession, like art education, physical education, music education, or counseling.

Initially, it is probably better to find out about how to advocate for your child in the school. To do that, you will need to learn about gifted education in general, about your school and its personnel in particular, and then just present the problem that you are having with regard to your child's learning as a conundrum and ask for the school's help.If they don't come up with ideas that you know are suitable, because you now know more about gifted education then they do, you can ask, "What about this..." and make a suggestion that does work. You will need to diplomatically work this through but you are the child's guardian, not the school. They don't have the right to neglect your child. For more about how to work with a school to get your child the education that they need, go to the Information tab on this website's homepage. On that drop-down menu click on For Parents. Scroll down that page to Presentations. Click on the one called, "A Venn Diagram for School Success."

Some other helpful things on that page include the Open Letter to Parents at the top of the page, and another presentation called, "A Quilt for their Talents."

As always, if you have specific questions about your child, feel free to hit the contact us button on this or any other page of the website. It will come to me and I will respond.

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