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BG during school tests

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by claire'smom, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. claire'smom

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    My daughter is in 2nd grade and took a standard test a couple months ago in school. She is a very bright child, performs above her peers in all areas, and it was assumed by her teacher and myself that this test would reflect that at least to some extent--this is the test that determines automatic placement in the school's gifted program. Instead she scored "average". We were shocked. My other daughter, who does well in school but is obviously not nearly as fast of a learner and does not demonstrate the obvious gifted characteristics that her sister demonstrates, scored on the highest level.

    The school followed proper diabetes protocol with testing. She needed to be between 100-200mg/dl and she was in the upper 100's during the test. She did need to take the 3rd part of the test at a different time with her peers due to a higher BG at the time.

    I suspect it was just a really bad day and my daughter doesn't perform well under pressure. However, her BG was not in a "normal" range (was testing around 190mg/dl) and I'm wondering if that could have been a factor. It's not unusual for her to have BGs in the 200s and 300s (breakfast spike) and not have any signs. It's also not unusual for her to have a BG <40mg/dl and not have signs. But perhaps it does affect her concentration and it's just not obvious to anyone else.

    I'm wondering what other people use as the acceptable range for BG during tests at school. Has anyone noticed that their child is not able to concentrate/perform as well with a BG in the upper 100's to low 200's?

    Thanks,
    Rebecca
    (Claire age 7, diagnosed T1D 10/2007 at age 2)
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Our allowed to test range is 80-240
     
  3. TheLegoRef

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    My son is not allowed to test outside of 80-199. If he's outside that range, he takes the quiz/test another time.

    The longer he goes in the lower 100's, the more difficult it is for him to take assessments when in the upper 100's. If he goes a week without going over 150 except for short timed spikes (It has happened), when he does go higher, he does have trouble taking tests in the 170's and up.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    My son is in 3rd grade, and honestly, as long as he's not low, he takes the test. I suppose if the school called and he was super high (above 300) I'd ask that he not test that day, but at this age, I don't worry about it.
     
  5. Nancy in VA

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    I wouldn't think a 190 would have that much of an effect. My oldest is really smart but never "qualified" for gifted program based on their testing criteria. Some people just don't take certain tests well. But, she's in all honors classes, has started taking AP classes and will probably have 8 AP credits at least by the time she graduates (she's a sophomore now) - but she's not "gifted" on their definition.

    Is there a specific benefit to the gifted program? I'm just asking because for us, they have "gifted" programs where they go and do more "advanced" activities, I guess, but honestly, its quite easy for me to give my kids that exposure at home that I wasn't worried bout whether or not they were in the gifted program. But, I know my sister's kids have to be in the "gifted program" in order to take honors classes. So, if there is a long term academic benefit to the gifted program, I would ask for a retest just to make sure that the BG didn't affect it, but otherwise, I just wouldn't worry about it. My middle son is smarter than my oldest and I didn't even have him tested when he went back to school after homeschooling - he gets all As. And he's not missing anything by not being in the "gifted program"
     
  6. manda81

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    I agree with the other posters, but also wanted to throw in that gifted does not necessarily mean smart/good grades. I wouldn't take it as a negative that they were not tested into the program. :)
     
  7. swellman

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    We have no protocol for testing. I've never seen what I thought was a problem and we're all over with Bgs. His standardized tests have been way up there and had a few items that were lower and I never gave them any thought. I figured you can't be in the upper 5% on everything.

    I'm pretty sure he would throw a fit if I placed a BG limit on testing.
     
  8. kirsteng

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    Our eldest son is non-d, and we always thought that he would likely test as gifted when he got to school. He was exceedingly bright from toddler age, knew things WAY ahead of the milestones, colours, shapes, numbers.. it was astounding. He could add and subtract in his head easily numbers up to 100 when he was still 4 years of age, and constantly surprised us with the things he remembered/wondered about etc.

    But when tested last year, he came out only as gifted in one facet, the verbal umbrella (having a few subcategories of language, reading, comprehension, memory etc). The other facet was nonverbal learning, and in that he only tested as 'high-average'. We were also really surprised.. he didn't qualify for the gifted program, although in a private school he attended for 2 years he was put in gifted language arts based on performance only. He is now in the regular program and finds everything easy, with the exception of interpersonal relations - which he finds exceedingly difficult.

    Our daughter on the other hand we always thought was intelligent, just nothing like our eldest son. We tested her at the same time and while she didn't qualify for gifted programming either (here it's the top 2% only), she scored in the 95th to 97th percentiles in everything. Surprising as well! :)

    I have no idea how much 'error' exists in this type of testing, or how much bg's affect results when not really high or low (but not in range either), but if it's a concern of yours then maybe you should request a retest. If your daughter is not performing well in her grade for whatever reason (bored, socially isolated etc), and you think her results may not be valid, then there is certainly reason to request a repeat.

    GL and let us know what you decide to do!
     
  9. kirsteng

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    I just saw that you mentioned that her sister tested 'at the highest level'.. does that mean she qualified for the gifted program?

    If so, then I'd for sure request a retest. Both you and her teacher felt that she'd probably test as gifted (and teachers are usually very accurate in their assessments), and more importantly, siblings usually score within a percentage point or two of each other in intelligence testing. It would be very unusual to have one score 'average' and one 'gifted' - especially in the child that everyone felt would excel.
     
  10. Lisa - Aidan's mom

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    We don't have exact numbers in his 504, just if he is low he can retake the test. He handles highs (240+) ok and can still concentrate. My DS with D is in the math gifted program, he took a test in 1st grade, believe it was called a CoGAT?
    I don't know what the requirements are in your area, but my non-D son (10) got perfect scores on the state exams for both math & science, but did not qualify for either of the math or science gifted programs, but is in an art gifted program, go figure.

    A lot of pressure is put on our little ones, good luck to you and your child.
     
  11. SandiT

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    I understand that you want your child in the program if she needs to be from her skills and the like. But it does sound like this test isn't the only way in, just an "automatic" in?

    If that's the case, and the teachers and you both know she belongs there, are the chances good that she'll get in there, anyway?

    To be altogether honest, I would not put too much into these tests. They aren't as accurate as you might think. In fact, I was determined autistic when I was a child (low functioning), but I tested high genius level 4x in a row on an IQ test. The kicker is that I could give the answers, but I couldn't tell you why I was giving the answers...

    Your daughter may have very well spent the entire time bored out of her mind. She's in second grade; if she's bored, she's not thinking, 'I want to get into gifted classes', she's thinking "this is boring. When can I get outside to play? When are we going to do something interesting?"

    That's the drawback to extremely bright children... easily bored by things that they've already mastered. If the questions on there were things she's already mastered, the test may not reflect either her ability or her BG readings at all... but rather her sheer boredom with the subject matter.

    These tests are called "standardized" for a reason. They're averaged out... so a lot of people fall through the cracks because most people aren't standard at all.
     
  12. cdninct

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    That's not a flaw in IQ testing. Placement on the spectrum does not reflect IQ deficits. In any case, the sort of IQ test that was in use when we adults were children is not typically used to determine gifted placement anymore.

    I agree, though, about what you say about pursuing other ways into the program, SandiT.

    OP, if you and the teacher feel that is where she belongs, keep pursuing the identification. Every so often, I have had students who should have "tested into" the gifted program fail to make the cut-off. Did the test not measure their intelligence properly? Maybe. Did they have stomach aches, headaches, or lingering emotional upset following a fight with a best friend the day before? Maybe. Did they suffer a bout of test anxiety? Maybe. Ultimately, there is never a way to be sure, as is the case with your daughter. I would suggest you ask the teacher how to move forward from where you are.

    As for BG cut-offs, K is too young for me to have had to deal with the issue. I do not think a high 100 would affect his performance on any task appreciably, though. I'd say about 230-240 would be his tipping point!
     
  13. dzirbel

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    I have to agree with the others...BG probably not a factor unless there happened to be a big swing up or down going on.

    These tests are basically academic tests, not necessarily "ability" tests. Hard to say without knowing which one they used.

    I have 3 kids that have tested gifted using the CoGat test. My oldest (6th grade) is in the top 1%, profoundly gifted, does fabulous on all testing and school work, struggles socially and shows signs of Asperbergers. My 2nd and type 1 child tested in the top 2% does very well on standardized tests and also all A's in school. My 3rd, tested gifted in GA which was the top 5%, but when we moved to Ohio they only look at their state standarized test (which is only a snapshot of their current knowledge, not their ability) and she didn't qualify here. She is however an amazing artist, fabulous reader etc but is doing great in her regular classroom.

    I would say however to push for the gifted education. I have had to fight for my kids to be educated the way they need to be and let me tell you having as many tests in your back pocket makes advocating for your child much easier. For my oldest I had him take the 8th grade EXPLORE test and used that just last week to fight to get him into Algebra I next year. Without that test score they were reluctant.

    Every child is different and needs a different learning style and sooooo much of it is dependent on the teacher they get.
     
  14. hawkeyegirl

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    I'd be very surprised to learn that it is true that siblings usually test within a point or two on intelligence testing, and don't particularly find it surprising that one child within a family would test average and another would test gifted.

    My take on the whole thing is that I wouldn't worry about it. If she is truly gifted, that will be evident soon enough. And if this one test is the only avenue into the gifted program in your school, I really question the validity/utility of that program.
     
  15. 3kidlets

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    I would call my oldest son, 13, gifted. He's non-D. He doesn't have to work very hard to get good grades. Picks up material very easily, does great in math and science, gets As. He got in to a top prep school. However, ever since 3rd grade, he has only scored average on any standardized test. State testing, private school testing, SAAT (private school admissions testing),etc. his math score on his private school standardized testing just barely qualified him for the Johns Hopkins gifted program. Yet, he's a A student who does not struggle in school. I honestly don't know why. I guess he just doesn't do well on standardized testing.
    I don't worry about it. It is what it is.
     
  16. quiltinmom

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    My guess is that many kids are just not good test takers. Either they rush through and end up making mistakes or are bored or they freeze up under the pressure, etc. those tests are so horribly long it's a wonder any kid can make it through. I remember how awful it was and how "fried" my brain felt.

    And on he flip side, some kids are excellent test takers but don't necessarily know more or do better in school work. Test taking ability and IQ aren't related, as far as I know.


    To the op: I would doubt a high 100 number would have such a dramatic effect. Do try to work with the school to get her into the program if you feel she needs it but don't try to get her special treatment because of d (aside from usual d management of course). I don't think it would be doing her a favor to teach her that rules don't apply to her because she has d.


    Good luck! Keep us posted.
     
  17. claire'smom

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone! I'm also pretty sure her BG had absolutely nothing to do with it, but it's good to have the reassurance. I was curious and found a few sample questions on the internet. I had her do them, and she surprised me by putting no thought into the questions before selecting an answer. Then I told her to think about it, and she redid my "mini-test", answering them all correctly. This may be the problem.

    The way I found out about how she did on the test was from an email sent by her teacher (who hates these standardized tests, btw). He said he was starting the nomination process for the gifted program for her. I knew he wouldn't need to go through this process if she had scored well enough. He says he has evidence in all areas to demonstrate that she should be in the program, but I still found it discouraging that she didn't test well. This was her first test like this, and I know there will be many more to come.

    She functions amazingly well with out of range blood sugars--has been as low as 27 acting normal (and said she felt "awesome"). She also can be in the upper 300's acting normally. I do suspect she wouldn't be able to concentrate on a test as well with a BG so far out of range.
     
  18. Ali

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    FWIW
    I do not know your school district but I can only say my gifted kid who was also interested in academics (and this is the key part)...just taught himself anything he wanted to learn. He was gifted and academic. All we needed to do was provide books and support him in any interests he had. He taught himself advanced math, science, language, economics, etc on his own. No one could ignore his intelligence, it just stuck out. We did not go into gifted programs for a variety of reasons, but if you are paying any attention to your kids then they will do fine no matter what. :cwds:Ali
     
  19. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    It's kind of a bitter pill but I've come to accept that my dd will probably never be quite the student she would be if she didn't have diabetes. She attends a highly rated, competitive public school, gets very good grades but is somewhat more inconsistent in her performance than I would expect.

    School, of course, is somewhat unique. There really isn't another time in life when you are consistently evaluated in a restrictive, time sensitive and often spontaneous fashion.There are days when she just doesn't feel her best, days when her blood glucose is "on the move" and it takes it's toll. I've put in place the best, most reasonable accommodations I can but I know that I can't catch everything.

    I also think that it's part of her learning to live with a chronic disease, that she needs to do that little bit extra: extra planning, extra anticipating, extra alertness to her physical well being. It's not fair, and it's a drag but it is what it is and since it's not going away anytime soon she needs to figure out how to make it work. "Life" isn't going to offer her "do overs" and at some point she has to own her D enough to know that eating a bagel before the SAT is probably a dumb thing to do.
     
  20. kirsteng

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    Studies show that gifted and highly gifted kids tend to have gifted siblings (but not within a couple of percentage points.. within 5-10 is more accurate). I think 'normal' intelligence - siblings have more spread in their scores.

    Search 'gifted children & sibling scores'.
     

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