Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Highly Distracted Gifted Child

gtchat 09202018 Distracted

Understanding the nature of giftedness when complicated by distractibility is a complex issue and the discussions between participants at this week’s #gtchat were no exception. We were fortunate to have several psychologists well-versed in working with gifted individuals as well as education professionals to sort it out.

How do you know if distractibility is  just a characteristic of giftedness or ADD/ADHD? You may not know! ADD/ADHD must be diagnosed by a professional. If you are concerned about a child’s behavior, seek professional help. Both giftedness and ADD/ADHD share characteristics, but it’s important to avoid misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. Gifted students may have ADD/ADHD but be able to compensate for it.

According to Dr. Gail Post, “ADHD causes more global problem with distraction and concentration, not just related to boredom, intensities, overexcitabilities. ADHD kids have little control over their distraction/poor concentration – not situation specific. They really suffer from it.” Dr. Scott Roseman explained, “Formal assessment of giftedness and ADHD differ in significant ways.  While assessment of giftedness focuses mainly on determination of higher level reasoning abilities, assessment of ADHD examines issues related to distractibility, impulsivity, and processing skills. While the gifted child may exhibit some of these qualities, as a function of their giftedness, it’s often when those qualities get in the way of learning & growth that further assessment should be considered to assess a dual diagnosis of Giftedness and ADHD.”

In response to a child’s distractibility, the response of  ‘over’ organizing by a concerned adult may prove to make matters worse. Over organization … such as separate folders for each subject … may overwhelm the distracted child causing even more issues or anxiety. Parents (and teachers) should try to find the ‘middle ground’ when attempting to organize a distracted child. Folders can be used but for more generalized subjects; such as, a completed homework folder, to do folder, and parent/teacher communications.

“The main disadvantage of “over” organization I see is when it is put in place by the parent and not the child. The child or adolescent has no “ownership” in the process and may grow too reliant on parental intervention and not develop effective organizational tools on their own.” ~ Scott Roseman, Ph.D.

Executive Functioning can play as intricate role in the life of a distracted yet gifted child. The lack of recognition by responsible adults that a GT child can have executive function deficits often exacerbates the situation. These are smart kids who struggle with behavior regulation and exercising cognitive flexibility. Although identified as GT, they may have trouble beginning tasks, maintaining attention, completing assignments, and unable to assess the feedback on their own behavior. Frustration levels can go through the roof. As the child progresses through school, academic requirements increase at the same time as social interactions take on greater significance. EF difficulties may not resolve themselves until the child reaches their mid-twenties.

What strategies can a teacher use to get a gifted student back on track? Teachers should consider authentic assessments to chart progress/regression through an ongoing process which takes into account the student’s abilities as well as challenges. Developing positive relationships is a good 1st step. They must ensure that the student is being sufficiently stimulated intellectually either within the classroom with differentiated instruction or through accelerative measures outlined in resources such as A Nation Empowered.

“I think you have to do lots of trial and error with strategies…visual prompts to get back on task or having a reward after a significant start to an assignment or discussing what the feedback means.” ~ Heather Vaughn, EdS, 

Once it is determined that the student is off track, any plan to bring them back on course must involve student input. Dr. Roseman suggested, “I suggest that the teacher start by asking the gifted student, in grade 3 and above to come up with their own plan to stay on task and then work together with them, examining the parts of the plan that work and the parts that don’t seem to work for them and revise. I believe that it helps the child to gain a better understanding of their  own dynamics and figure out strategies that work for them and those that don’t. The teacher can certainly suggest some strategies, but it is critical for the student to have input.”

“With my kids, what has worked is a combination of doing it for them if was really necessary until they could do it; letting them fail a little when stakes are low, and coaching them about the things not being organized has negative impact on.” ~ Kate Arms

Parents can help their highly distracted child get organized at home, too. They can make sure that the home environment limits distractions when their child is doing school work. This includes having a quiet workspace free from access to video games or television. If possible, provide study/work space solely for each child; not in a highly active part of the home such as the dining room table or shared spaces with siblings.  Parents need to model behavior which provides examples of how to stay organized in daily life.

“Pick your battles… But get them involved in devising a plan and incentives, prioritize, small goals to start with, make it fun!” ~ Gail Post, Ph.D.

Organization is a must-need skill and one that parents focus on much to the dismay of their distracted child. Involve the child in the organizing process. Be flexible; not all organizing tools or tips work for every child. Parents and teachers working together to implement strategies that take place at home and at school can be highly beneficial to the student in an effort to reduce distractions and get the student back on track. For more tips about organizing the highly distracted gifted child, check out the transcript of this week’s chat at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Highly Distracted Gifted Child: You Can Help

Gifted Students & Disorganization (Reg. required)

This Child is a Classic ‘Absent-Minded Professor’

How to Raise a Gifted Child without Losing Your Ever-Loving Mind

Organization Skills

Executive Functioning in Gifted Students (pdf)

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (bn ebook)

4 Smartphone Solutions to Keep Your Teen Organized

7 Ways to Teach Your Grade-Schooler Organization Skills

Exercise Is Surprisingly Effective At Boosting Executive Function

On Rainbows and Mantis Shrimp: A Layperson’s Perspective on ADHD & the Misdiagnosis of Gifted Brains

How to Help the Impulsive Disorganized Child

The Impulsive, Disorganized Child: Solutions for Parenting Kids with Executive Functioning Difficulties

Organizing the Gifted Learner

Organizing Einstein: Enhancing the Abilities of the Gifted Learner Part 1

Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: An Overview (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Study Skills/Organization Page

Cybraryman’s ADHD/ADD Page

Sprite’s Site: Delta Dog

Sprite’s Site: Sprite on the Subject of Homework

Interruptions at Work Are Killing Your Productivity

ADDitude Magazine

Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School

Are you ADD — or just gifted?

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

gtchat 09132018 Self Care

Parents of GT/2E (twice exceptional: gifted with learning differences) kids constantly face a barrage of misinformation about their children from friends, family and those responsible for making decisions about their child’s education. Parenting GT/2E can be physically and emotionally draining; often accompanied by feelings of loneliness. Our guests on Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT this week were Kate Arms and Jen Merrill who guided us through this difficult topic.

“Social expectations are problematic because our kids don’t fit. We have to grieve unmet expectations we didn’t realize we had absorbed from the culture.” ~ Kate Arms

Whereas self-care, in general, seems to focus solely on the individual/adult; GT/2E parents must weigh the needs of their children with their own needs. Mainstream self-care devotes strategies targeting the ‘self’ with little recognition that care for others may actually impact care of oneself.

“Our kids often have sensory issues that can be quite extreme and may not make sense to others. Unfortunately, a lot of teacher prep programs do little or nothing to prepare teachers for having our 2ekids in their classrooms. That, then, becomes a challenge for US. Schools frequently only want to talk about servicing our 2ekids in terms of mitigating their DISability. Rarely will they deign to even recognize their ABILITIES.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, #gtchat Advisor

Parents of GT/2E kids should listen to the ‘little voice inside their heads’ when they notice a change in their own mood or behavior; seek help sooner rather than later. Proactive self-care may involve being cognizant of one’s diet, engaging relaxation techniques, and increasing physical activity. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re just too exhausted to have a healthy lifestyle.

“Gifted/2e parents need lots of self-compassion. Their kids are more challenging than most, so the parents are likely to “fail” to meet many of their own parenting expectations.” ~ Jen Merrill

Parenting any kid is not an easy job and most of the manuals are out-of-date by the time your child is born. GT/2E kids take extra effort and know-how. Education is the best solution … learn about self-care. Self-regulation must be anticipated in times of crisis and prepared for through learning to recognize a crisis situation;then, practice what to do ahead of time. Furthermore, model cooperation and attentive behavior for your child.

In the aftermath of a crisis, a quick emotional recovery can happen if a parent has a plan in place and learns to anticipate when to activate it. One should consider learning emergency calming techniques in the event of a parenting crisis.

There are many great books, blogs and websites that are devoted to self-care and further resources dedicated to GT/2E parenting. Our guests, Kate and Jen offer parenting classes specifically concerning these issues. Follow them on Twitter for more information! If you are the parent or teacher of a twice-exceptional child, we urge you to view the transcript of this chat found at Wakelet and then check out the resources below.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

Support for Parents of Twice-Exceptional Kids

Laughing@Chaos (Jen’s Blog)

About Kate Arms at Signal Fire Coaching

About Jen Merrill at Laughing@Chaos

Voices of 2e Profile: Jen Merrill, Blogger and Author

2e Tuesday: Six Steps to Parental Self Care

Self-Care and YOU

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids 

Successful Parenting Strategies for Gifted Kids

Joys and Challenges of Twice-Exceptional Kids

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children

What is Twice Exceptional?

Blog Hop November 2014: Gifted Self-Care

Stress Management Toolbox: Nine Tips for Parents of Gifted Children

GHF Blog Hop: Sleep and Other Forms of Parental Self-Care

Thrive with Intensity

Breathe2Relax App (iTunes)

Mindfulness Meditation for Kids (audio)

Hoagies Gifted: What Does It Mean to Be Twice Exceptional (2e)?

2e News

All About Twice-Exceptional Students

SENG: Articles on Twice-Exceptional

GHF Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Uniquely Gifted: Resources for Gifted Children with Special Needs

Third Factor: A Magazine for Catalysts and Creatives

Photos courtesy of Kate Arms and Jen Merrill.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Resources for GT Kids

gtchat 08302018 Kids Resources

Many websites, blog posts and conference presentations offer resources for parents or educators, but this week at #gtchat we focused on resources for the gifted child. When discussing books, it was noted that often books for parents are accompanied by books for children as well. This presents parents with the opportunity of talking with and interacting with their child on a particular subject.

Many gifted organizations (national and state) include information specifically for kids. It’s a good place to start. Other resources include Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, Mensa for Kids (last week’s guest), Byrdseed, and Hoagies Gifted.

Classroom resources which are uniquely suited for GT kids can be used in a standalone class or used in conjunction with a differentiated curriculum. It’s important to have a certified GT teacher who can help select appropriate classroom resources.

There are so many excellent available competitions. Most involve teamwork, but there are also those who have an individual opportunity for kids. It is important to match a kid’s interests to the competition. This isn’t always possible, but should be considered.

Online classes may be used to complete specific required coursework and should be taught by certified teachers. However, many GT kids like to take classes for fun where a certified teacher is not needed. MOOC’s are also a good way to provide acceleration opportunities for GT kids. Many now include credit granting options.

When planning for college, GT students may have unique challenges regarding situations involving acceleration, early (early) entrance, college credits earned in high school, and financing their education. College may not be the first option for all GT students; many may opt for a gap year or may not need college to utilize their talents. Career planning is important at this point. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

100 Resources for Gifted Kids

Byrdseed’s Puzzlements (weekly email)

Mensa for Kids

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth – A CTY Reading List: Good Books for Bright Kids

Guide to Scholarships & Competitions for Gifted Youth

Gifted Study: Resources for Students

Academic Programs and Competitions

Enrichment Program Listing

NSGT: Educational Resources for Gifted and Talented Children

Exquisite Minds: Best Sites for Kids

Youth Code Jam (SATX): Online Resources – Learn to Code

GHF Online

QuestBridge

Gifted and Talented Students in Australia – Resources and Services

Davidson Institute

Nothing You Can’t Do (Prufrock Press)

The Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build Confidence (bn)

VA Association for the Gifted: Resources

Tom Clynes: Resources for the Gifted

Wonderopolis

Hoagies Gifted: Reading Lists for Your Gifted Child

Peter Reynolds: Creatrilogy (bn)

Royal Fireworks Press: Novels about Gifted and Talented Children

The Little Prince

Desmos (math site)

GeoGebra Math Apps

Wolfram Alpha Computational Intelligence

Kenken Puzzles

Code.org

The Kid Should See This

National Archives

Scratch

3Doodler

LEGO Education

TED Talks

Cybraryman’s Educators Page

Stories with Holes

Mathcounts

Destination Imagination

Science Olympiad

Future Problem Solving Program International

The Stock Market Game

First LEGO League

Odyssey of the Mind

Speak Up! Speak Out!

AUS: Aussie Educator Student Competitions

Solar Car Challenge

MaPP Challenge

Explore UT (TX)

Photo and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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