Monthly Archives: February 2019

Best Tips for Parents of a GT Child

 

Parenting and specifically parenting gifted children has changed dramatically over the past several decades due to the resources and camaraderie afforded by social media. Online groups provide a sense of community for parents of gifted kids who were once separated both geographically as well as socially. Today parents don’t have to make the journey alone. In recent years, parents have also benefited by learning about ways to get together in real life at conferences and regional meetups that were once unknown. Parents can also access much needed information and advice on their own schedule. The convenience of online resources available 24/7 cannot be overlooked.

Parenting is often based on one’s own life experiences, but the challenges of life in today’s world can be very different than they were a generation ago. Parents should seek out current advice whenever possible. The role of asynchronous development can’t be minimized when dealing with life’s big transitions. It differentiates the experiences most gifted children face when transitioning to new educational experiences and meeting life’s milestones. Parents should build a strong emotional bond with their gifted children early in life and consider themselves as partners in the transition process. Each child is an individual with unique attributes and challenges which play a role in that process.

What steps can parents take if they suspect their child is twice-exceptional? A twice-exceptional child will exhibit both abilities and disabilities; strengths and weaknesses at the same time. It is easy for even professionals to misdiagnose these kids. Parents should seek help from those familiar with giftedness. Understanding the needs of twice-exceptional children is a necessary step toward being successful in life. Parents are the first and best advocates. Knowledge about twice-exceptionalism is a powerful tool. Twice-exceptionality is a challenge, but not a roadblock. Once accommodated, 2e kids can lead productive and successful lives. Being proactive in diagnosis and seeking help is the first step.

When should parents seek professional help regarding their gifted child? When that behavior impacts their lives in any significant way, parents should at the least consider a professional diagnosis. When children enter the school system, parents are often guided to seek professional help regarding concerns they might not see in a home setting.  If parents see sudden changes in behavior, a decline in school work, or issues with interpersonal relationships between their child and others; they should seek professional intervention.

What should a parent who is experiencing difficulty getting educational services for their gifted child do? Although it shouldn’t be the case, parents often find themselves on the opposite side of educational priorities from their child’s school personnel. It’s important to document everything in writing. Know that the school will be doing the same. It may not seem fair, but parents need to keep their cool when advocating on behalf of their child. Patience can be beneficial in getting the best educational placement as well as serving as a role model for their child. There are many factors – positive and negative – weighed by a school district in providing services to an identified gifted child. Parents need to be aware of the school’s philosophy on GT education and the availability of resources.

Being the parent of a gifted child has its ups and downs, but things really do eventually work out. The ‘little lawyer’ in elementary school turned defiant teen in high school will one day be your best friend. Networking with other parents of gifted children is a great way to save your sanity, know that you aren’t alone, and provide for ‘strength in numbers’ when working with schools to provide the highest quality of education for your child.

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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

My Son Is A ‘Gifted Child’ Here’s Why Raising Him Has Been Anything But Easy

For Gifted Kids, Better to be Hands-on or -off?

Understanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out: A Guide to the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids (Delisle)

The Social-Emotional Well-Being of the Gifted Child and Perceptions of Parent and Teacher Social Support (pdf)

Twice-Exceptional College Students Identified as Gifted and Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Case Study (pdf)

A Middle School Survival Guide for The Parents of Gifted Children

Gifted Resource Center

Wonderschooling: Living in a World of Input Overload

Grayson School Blog: The Intrinsic Intensity of the Gifted Child

Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page: Parents of Gifted Children

Tips for Handling Gifted Children: For Parents and Teachers

Why Being Gifted Isn’t Always a Gift

When Gifted Kids Move: Tips for Parents and Districts

What Most Parents of Gifted Children Wish They had Known about College Planning

Choices Exclude: The Existential Burden of Multipotentiality

TAGT Resources for Parents

NAGC Resources for Parents

SENG

When Your Gifted Child Disappoints

Twice Exceptional: Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities Considerations Packet

Parent–Teacher Conflict Related to Student Abilities: The Impact on Students and the Family–School Partnership (pdf)

Gifted Development Center

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Page

Cybraryman’s Twice Exceptional Children Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Parents of Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Kids Facebook Group

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

Crushing Tall Poppies (blog)

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Reassessing the Need for Soft Skills for Gifted Students

 

Soft skills – aka non-cognitive skills or social-emotional learning skills – can be categorized in many ways. In school, we consider communication skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking and concise writing. They also involve resilience, resourcefulness, integrity, ambition … habits that improve learning. Soft skills revolve around the realization that mastery is an ongoing process and not based on hard and fast rules. Soft skills can be applied in any circumstance one chooses to use them.

Considering that soft skills need to be taught even though hard to measure; skills such as self-regulation, flexibility when faced with new situations and motivation to get things done can all help students succeed. Career success must embody the adoption of soft skills such as dependability, adaptability, working on a team while maintaining positive relationships with others. Other invaluable skills include stress management, facilitation and leadership.  Advanced soft skills are necessary for career advancement; skills often needed earlier in life for GT students and include networking skills, negotiating skills, savvy self-promotion, and the skill of persuasion.

Academic expectations for GT students are extremely high throughout the school day … expected to be leaders, independent learners, team leaders, great communicators … all of which can lead to burnout. GT students and their teachers are mainly focused on academics and achievement; easily measurable expectations. Soft skills may be overlooked, but necessary for these students just as they are for all students. Many GT students struggle with interpersonal relationships, dealing with failure and perfectionism, working in class with age-peers. They need to be taught perseverance, flexibility, regulating emotions.

How do soft skills help our 2e kids to be successful? The very nature of twice-exceptional students – having needs to be met, but often misdiagnosed or mis-judged … calls for nurturing of soft skills in their everyday life. When 2e kids are given the tools to succeed; they can live a more fulfilled life without the stresses associated with social and emotional setbacks.

Soft skills need to be taught and well-prepared teachers are essential for this task. The most simple soft skills – reading social cues, socializing with age-peers, respecting others – are the foundation of a successful life. They can aid in self-confidence and emotional regulation.

Best practice for teaching soft skills begins in the realization that these skills aid in learning. Teachers who model excellent soft skills such as self-regulation, patience, and empathy will be the most successful. In teaching social skills, best practices values students’ voice and attitude towards education, school attendance, and behaviors. Student outcomes are dependent on more than test scores and achievements. Soft skills can be integrated into the curriculum through project and problem based learning, 20% time, and genius hour which encourage time-management, self-control and self-reflection on the educational process.

Parents of gifted students can reinforce soft skills outside the classroom by modeling these skills in their everyday life. Character building based programs can have wide ranging positive influence on their children. They can seek to build a positive relationship with their child’s teacher and school personnel. They can model the use of patience and perseverance in difficult relationships; seeking additional support when necessary. Parents who place value on soft skills are uniquely positioned to teach them at home as well and to focus on the benefits of future outcomes for success in their child’s life.

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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

Study: Teaching Noncognitive Skills can Spur Better Long-term Student Outcomes

Understanding a Teacher’s Long-Term Impact

What Do Test Scores Miss? The Importance of Teacher Effects on Non-Test Score Outcomes (pdf)

Teaching for High Potential: A Focus on the Soft Skills (pdf)

No Mind Left Behind: Understanding and Fostering Executive Control–The Eight Essential Brain Skills Every Child Needs to Thrive (book bn)

Empathy at Work for High-Potential Young Leaders

Why You Need to Focus on Soft Skills

Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (book)

Four-Dimensional Education – The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (YouTube 1:18)

Helping Gifted Culturally Diverse Students Cope with Socio-Emotional Concerns

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (book bn)

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Beyond the Test: How Teaching Soft Skills Helps Students Succeed

The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (book)

Hannah’s Collections (book bn)

The Most Magnificent Thing (book bn)

Should Schools Teach ‘Soft Skills?’ Many Say ‘Yes’

The Soft Skills College Students Need to Succeed Now and in the Future

Soft Skills List – 28 Skills to Working Smart

What It’s Really Like to Transition into Self-Management

Why Being Smart is Not Enough — The Social Skills and Structures of Tackling Complexity

Six Ways to Teach Social and Emotional Skills All Day

Mind Matters Podcast: True Grit – Fostering Tenacity and Resilience (Audio)

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Effects of Stereotypes on Gifted Kids

What are the most prevalent stereotypes you hear about gifted children and teens? Unflattering terms such as ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’ promote the stereotypes of GT kids as being interested in only academic pursuits and lacking in social skills. Gifted children are often perceived as over-achievers in school, non-athletic, and reticent to associate with age-peers.

How gifted students see themselves in response to stereotypes can affect their willingness to be associated with gifted programs and even the gifted label. Academic performance can be diminished when GT students assume stereotypes which focus on intellectual ability; many longing to simply ‘fit in’ with age-peers.

Stereotypes can affect teacher perception of gifted students. The stereotype of the always high achieving student can put at risk those students identified as GT but for a wide array of circumstances do not achieve at expected levels. Achievement shouldn’t be the sole consideration. Not all GT students are ‘teacher pleasers’ and may exhibit unexpected behaviors. Support professionals should be consulted rather than removing services for these students. Negative stereotypes about gifted students can be mitigated by increasing exposure to gifted education for teachers at the undergraduate level and through high-quality professional development in the field.

What role does ‘stereotype threat’ play in gifted students’ development? Stereotype threat occurs when a student assumes a negative stereotype is true and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Steele & Aronson 1995) Test performance can be significantly influenced by stereotype threat; specifically cultural stereotypes relating to intelligence – the belief that certain racial groups or low-ses students do not do well in particular subjects. At the same time, stereotype threat can be diminished simply by acknowledging that it exists (Johns, Schmader & Martens, 2005) and seeking affirmation of positive personal characteristics (Marx & Roman, 2002).

Movies and television too often portray gifted kids as the butt of jokes, the kid no one wants on their team, or a failure in interpersonal relationships. Gifted kids can develop low self-esteem and find it hard to overcome in real life. Negative stereotypes of gifted children in the media are also consumed be age-peers who may lack understanding and maturity in how to respond positively towards their GT friends.

Parents and advocates can do some things to counter negative stereotypes about GT children. Parents need to discuss stereotypes honestly with their children and make it personal. These kids look up to their parents and can appreciate smart strategies to combat negative stereotypes. Advocates must stand up for gifted children by countering negative stereotypes whenever they are proposed either in a school setting or society at large. Presenting strong positive alternatives is important.

A transcript of this chat can 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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

Understanding the Stereotypes against Gifted Students: A look at the Social and Emotional Struggles of Stereotyped Students (pdf)

Nerds and Geeks: Society’s Evolving Stereotypes of Our Students with Gifts and Talents (pdf)

The Mad Genius Stereotype: Still Alive and Well

Age of the Geek: Depictions of Nerds and Geeks in Popular Media (book bn)

5 Ways Bullying Affects Gifted Students

What It Means To Be Gifted

How Stereotypes Affect Gifted Children

Gifted Children—About THAT Stereotype

Debunking Myths and Stereotypes around Gifted Students

7 Facts You Might Not Know About Your Gifted Child

Stereotypes and Beliefs Regarding Intellectually Gifted Students: Perceptions of Pre-Service School Counselors (pdf)

One of the Greatest Barriers to Gifted Education

Bullying and the Gifted: Welcome Back to School?

The Impact of Popular Culture on Gifted Children

How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact the Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

The Hubris and Humility Effect and the Domain Masculine Intelligence Type: Exploration of Determinants of Gender Differences in Self-Estimation of Ability (pdf pp. 79 – 84)

The Social, Cultural, and Political Aspects of Intelligence

Pink or Paris? Giftedness in Popular Culture

Giftedness in the Media

Sprite’s Site: Googlebox

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture

Sprite’s Site: Labels: Good, Bad, or Simply Wrong

Disrupting Deficit Narratives on Gifted Children of Diverse Backgrounds

Sprite’s Site: Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is Not a Homogenous Group

Myths and Stereotypes

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Educating the Profoundly Gifted

 

Why should society care about the education of profoundly gifted children? The Big Picture: PG children are a relatively small population with an enormous potential to benefit society at large. Yet they are often marginalized by educational leaders committed to sustaining averages. It’s a common refrain that ‘all children are gifted’; all deserve to have their needs met. In reality, PG children, as a group, rarely have their needs addressed let alone met. These kids have no reason to contribute to a society who ignores them. Society loves to tell children to ‘be your best’; fulfill your potential. Yet, at the same time, is comfortable with limiting resources to help them do just that.

Profound giftedness is evidenced early in life; as infants, they are unusually alert with sustained attention spans. Profoundly gifted children show early language and motor skills development with almost half displaying ambidextrous ability. Parents have reported engaging in extraordinary conversations with very young children. In particular, profoundly gifted children are early readers who easily comprehend what they read. Most are reading before the age of 4 and many are self-taught. (Hollingworth/Gross/Morelock/Silverman,et.al.)

Biological needs for a profoundly gifted child are usually out of synch with their intellectual abilities which can cause specific developmental needs. The term ‘asynchronous development’, or ‘many ages at once’, was coined to describe this situation. It can be extremely disturbing to an unidentified child or child who isn’t informed of their giftedness; to realize you are different from your age-mates, but not know why. Profoundly gifted children are still kids. They may have different interests from their friends and perceive the world in different ways, but not possess the maturity to cope with their abilities.

What about testing a PG child – when and how? The determination of when and how to test a child is more subjective than many understand; individual circumstances and the reason for testing should be taken into consideration. Generally, between the ages of 5 and 8 is a good starting place.  Testing very young children (<4) is not recommended. Basic childhood needs will affect the test results … fatigue, hunger, lack of familiarity with the tester, etc. Necessity is often the best indicator … kindergarten or gifted program placement, selecting a school, or need for acceleration.

Educating PG children can be challenging. PG children have significantly greater needs than HG and gifted children. Many schools may only see these students in rare instances; if at all. A teacher may encounter one once in a lifetime. Where differentiation of the curriculum & weekly enrichment may benefit gifted students; it will not suffice the PG. A 4 year old who is reading, writing and comprehending high-level math may need highly-trained teachers or radical acceleration. PG students may require early entrance (K/college), mentoring, acceleration, self-paced and individualized programs, out-of-school enrichment, or self-contained gifted classrooms. Flexibility is key as needs change quickly as a child matures.

What challenges do parents face when seeking an appropriate education for their PG child? Parents of PG kids must be immersed in advocacy procedures and be prepared to document their child’s abilities. They need to be aware that they may need to be forceful advocates even when their child is quite young. Parenting PG children can be very expensive and beyond many parents’ means. Parents may need to be creative and resourceful when providing enrichment and educational opportunities for their children. Financial assistance can be complicated. Parents of PG kids may be overwhelmed at first, but latter appreciate their child’s abilities as they grow and mature. It’s important to remember they are so much more than simply their intellect. A transcript of this chat can 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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

Highly Gifted, Vastly Ignored the Compelling Case for Recognizing and Serving Our Most Able Children (pdf)

The 10 Most Commonly Asked Questions about Highly Gifted Children

Children above 180 IQ Stanford-Binet (1942 Hollingsworth free ebook)

Parenting Highly Gifted Children: The Challenges, the Joys, the Unexpected Surprises

Frequently Asked Questions about Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children

“Mellow Out,” They Say. If I Only Could (book excerpt – pdf)

The “I” of the Beholder A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child (GPP book)

Small poppies: Highly Gifted Children in the Early Years (pdf)

NZ: The Education of Gifted Children in the Early Years: A First Survey of Views, Teaching Practices, Resourcing and Administration Issues (pdf)

“Put your Seatbelt On, Here We Go!” The Transition to School for Children Identified as Gifted (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions: Profoundly Gifted Students & Gifted Education

Davidson Institute – IQ and Educational Needs

Twelve Cost Effective Educational Options for Serving Gifted Students

Off the Scale! or Sherwyn’s Progress: Raising a Profoundly Gifted Child (book)

What Can be Done to Help Profoundly Gifted Students Thrive? (Audio 36:00)

In Defense of Appropriate Education for the Highly Gifted

The Unique Vulnerability of Profoundly Gifted Children

High, Exceptional & Profound Giftedness

Meeting the Needs of the Profoundly Gifted

Genius Denied How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds (book)

Mission: US Department of Education

What is Highly Gifted?  Exceptionally Gifted?  Profoundly Gifted?  And What Does It Mean?

 Acceleration Institute

Sprite’s Site: Brown Brogues

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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