Monthly Archives: June 2021

Parent Advocacy for GT Kids

How will advocacy look after COVID19; more options, fewer options? Options in gifted education may be different in the short term as opposed to long term depending on a school district’s financial health and whether virtual learning options continue. In schools which embraced virtual learning, many GT kids may opt to continue learning from home because of greater opportunities for enrichment, ability to learn at their own pace, and reduced anxiety from potential bullying. In schools which lack technical infrastructure or student access to the Internet, all students may be required to return to school full time. Further budget restraints could be used as an excuse to eliminate gifted programs.

Many parents recognize the signs for potential giftedness very early in their child’s life. Parents should begin educating themselves as soon as possible; learn about all available opportunities for their child’s education. Many schools begin testing/screening for GT students at about second grade (year two). However, parents may want to seek an independent assessment earlier; especially if their child’s school offers services before that time. It’s important to advocate for educational interventions early as the benefits of an individualized education can have many benefits for a GT kid both intellectually and for their mental health.

What assessments are necessary to be considered for entrance to a school gifted program? Virtually every school’s requirements are different due to a lack of a national policy. Some states mandate gifted education and do have basic guidelines, but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Universal testing in many places occurs in 2nd or 3rd grade. With appropriate advocacy, schools may accept outside testing provided by the parent; others will not.  

There are numerous benefits to starting or belonging to a parent support group – strength in numbers, connecting with other parents of gifted kids, a way to provide enrichment opportunities to GT kids beyond the school doors. Parents can learn about local and state gifted education mandates, available gifted programs, and extracurricular academic opportunities within the local school district. Many local gifted parent support groups are part of state-wide groups supported by state gifted organizations. This allows them to bring in speakers, access quality webinars, and receive conference opportunities.

What strategies can parents use to nurture self-advocacy in their GT kids? Self-advocacy begins with self-understanding. Parents are the best resource for GT kids to learn about being gifted … ‘better at, not better than’. Parents are the ultimate role-model for their GT child. By being knowledgeable advocates who can work with all stakeholders in a professional manner goes a long way in nurturing a child’s ability to advocate for themselves. It’s important for parents to model respect for teachers, school administrators, and other educational professionals. This will greatly improve their children’s advocacy skills and chances for success.

How can teachers help parents advocate for their GT child? The best way for teachers to help parents advocate for their GT child is to learn about gifted education through PD opportunities. This helps dispel myths and offer strategies to best advocate for their students. Teachers can also be respectful toward parents; even when situations may be stressful. Emotional intensities may run high even in the best of times. Calm, patient interactions can benefit all stakeholders.

A transcript of this chat can be found on our Wakelet Page.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Stop The Shaming: Why We Must Advocate For Gifted Children Now (Medium) | Dr. Gail Post

Fearless Advocacy: A day in the Life of a Gifted Child’s Parent | Dr. Gail Post

Gifted Education IS Special Education (Medium)

Gifted Advocacy is an Education | Dr. Gail Post

Your Child is Gifted! Now What? | Dr. Gail Post

CAN: Advocacy Work Why Advocacy

How to Get Your Child Tested for Giftedness | Davidson Gifted

Tips for Parents: Individual Assessment of Gifted Children | Davidson Gifted

Advocating for your Gifted Child: Advice from NAGC President Jonathan Plucker | CTY Johns Hopkins

Advocating for Your Gifted Child | IEA Gifted

Let’s Talk Advocacy

The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners

Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People A Guidebook (pdf – updated 2018)

PA: Gifted Education (Document Template)

Individual Instruction Plan Menu for the Gifted Child (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary

Advocate for Your Child | NAGC

State of the States in Gifted Education (2020) | NAGC

A Parent’s Path to Recognizing Giftedness in their Child

Student Advocating Tools | Elevated Giftedness

Social-emotional Needs of Gifted, Why their Needs are Different | Elevated Giftedness

Why We Advocate for the Profoundly Gifted Child

TIP Sheet: Advocating for Gifted Services (pdf) | NAGC

Advocacy Resources | TAGT

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Personality Difference in Gifted Children

Research suggests that personality traits are complex and shaped both by inheritance and environmental factors. One model regarding personality lists 5 traits (each representing a continuum): Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Openness. Another view of personality lists self-perception, self-regulation, motivation, attribution, and intrapersonal intelligence.

It’s important to have a systematic understanding of a gifted student’s personality because a these factors affect their well-being and potential to personally thrive. Understanding a gifted student’s personality can help them to maximize their cognitive potential. Previous studies (Winner, 1996 and Goleman, 1995 as citied in Porair, 2013) suggest that personality and associated motivation may be more important than ability in achieving excellence.

Understanding your own personality allows one to be able to make educated adjustments which can lead to a better chance of happiness. (Mayoriva et al, 2018) Individuals who take the time to consider their own personality have the opportunity to improve relationships, career choices, and life goals; all of which can affect happiness. Employers look for certain personality traits combined with intelligence when considering hiring affecting career success. (Kalashi, 2018)

Personality types – such as introversion, extroversion, feeling, judging, perceiving, etc. – help people understand motivations and needs as compared to others. (Ruf, 2008, 2011, 2020) When potentially gifted children are teacher/parent pleasers, even when it contributes to underachievement, the consideration to screen these kids may be missed because they are doing ‘just fine’ in school. Knowing about a gifted child’s personality can alert adults to consider gifted identification and help the child make changes to enhance ability via effort, experience (enrichment) and current conditions (environment). (Ruf)

The dynamic nature of personality implies that the gifted student’s needs will change over time and require adjustments to their educational plan. It’s important for teachers to get to know their students better and allow this knowledge to guide classroom instruction and potential accommodations for GT students. GT students can thrive in classroom environments which take into consideration personality types rather than stereotypes. Some students may need enrichment while others ‘alone time’ to pursue interests.

A parent’s personality can affect their parenting style which, in turn, affects their child; regardless of the child’s personality. When parent and child are laid back, a child may be less likely to feel like a failure. When a parent is a rule follower, school performance may become a measure of self-worth and negatively affect the child.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Intellectually Gifted Adolescents hold Higher Standards for Themselves but are not Necessarily “Perfectionists” | Journal of Personality

Are Personality Traits Caused by Genes or Environment?

Subtle Nuances in Personality Differences between Gifted Children as Perceived by Parents and Teachers (Abstract Only) | Gifted Education International

Common Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

Differences in Personality Characteristics between Gifted and Normal Children (Abstract Only) | Journal of Gifted/Talented Education

Personality and Interests of Gifted Adolescents: Differences by Gender and Domain (pdf) | Iowa State University

Investigating The Personality Traits of Gifted Adolescents

The Gifted Personality: What Are We Searching For and Why? | Talent Development and Excellence

Personality Characteristics of Gifted Students of Creative Specialty (pdf)

High Giftedness and Personality l

Smart Kids, Personality Types and How They Adapt — or Not — to School (Medium) | Deborah Ruf

The Big-Five-Personality and Academic Self-Concept in Gifted and Non-Gifted Students: A Systematic Review of Literature | International Journal of Research in Education and Science

Personality Predictors of Academic Achievement in Gifted Students: Mediation By Socio-Cognitive and Motivational Variables (pdf) | William and Mary W&M Scholar Works

The Elusive Search for the Personality of the Intellectually Gifted Student: Some Cross-Cultural Findings and Conclusions from the Israeli Educational Context (Abstract Only) | Journal of Talent Development and Excellence

Adding Personality to Gifted Identification: Relationships Among Traditional and Personality-Based Constructs | Journal of Advanced Academics

Ordinary Extraordinary: Elusive Group Differences in Personality and Psychological Difficulties between STEM‐gifted Adolescents and their Peers | British Journal of Educational Psychology

Personality Assessment of Intellectually Gifted adults: A Dimensional Trait Approach

Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Privilege: A Trait-Complex Approach to Talent Development

The Five Factor Model of Personality and Intelligence: A Twin Study on the Relationship between the Two Constructs (pdf) | Personality and Individual Differences

Teachers’ Implicit Personality Theories about the Gifted: An Experimental Approach | School Psychology Quarterly

Personality and Intelligence Interact in the Prediction of Academic Achievement | Journal of Intelligence

Personality and Academic Performance | Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

5 Strategies to Demystify the Learning Process for Struggling Students

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Role of Environment in Parenting Gifted Kids

The Role of Environment in Parenting Gifted Kids

There are many aspects of an environment created within the family which can affect a gifted child’s development beginning with the emotional bond between parent and child. This family environment encompasses parental and sibling relationships as well as a family’s finances. Important factors also include the family’s living space and the learning environment within the family.

Family dynamics involve a wide-range range issues such as the presence of parents or even multiple generations, divorce or loss of a parent, and financial considerations. A child’s development can be affected by a parent’s employment status which may involve relocation or available time spent with children, and accessibility to academic resources. Family dynamics are highly influenced by the parents’ mental health and educational attainment, Also, the family’s cultural background and belief system may strongly influence a child development.

Gifted children, like all children, need a nurturing and supportive home environment to support their mental health. An environment conducive to good mental health requires parents to be present in their child’s life, aware of issues which may affect their child’s mental health, and an understanding of healthy child development in general. How families respond to stress and trauma, encourage independence in their children, or balance family tensions can all affect a gifted child’s mental health.

Families with multiple gifted members may encompass a wide range of characteristics  including those who are extremely inquisitive, highly sensitive or possibly out-of-sync with peers. Although genetics has proven to have a strong influence on intellectual potential, the gifted child development if highly influenced by family values, goals and lifestyle. Parenting styles should encourage independence by finding a  balance between permissiveness and authority, providing unstructured time, utilizing positive discipline, and access to enrichment opportunities.

Parents can strive to provide a supportive environment at home only to find that their child’s school environment may override their best intentions. Parents need to be aware of a school’s climate, take time to get involved in child’s school through volunteering and advocacy, and develop positive relationships with teachers and school personnel. They can encourage their child to participate in opportunities available at school, help their child find peer networks, and when necessary consider alternatives to traditional education strategies (i.e., homeschooling, Microschools).

Home-school relationships are an intricate part of encouraging student well-being and academic excellence. Strategies need to address SEL learning, cognitive development, and positive peer relationships at school. GT kids need opportunities beyond those normally experienced in the regular classroom. Teachers can collaborate with and look to expertise from parents to help in providing these educational opportunities.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Biological and Environmental Influences on Intelligence (YouTube 3:40) | UT Austin

Environmental Influences on Intelligence

A Neurocomputational Model of Developmental Trajectories of Gifted Children under a Polygenic Model: When are Gifted Children held Back by Poor Environments? | National Institutes of Health

Family Environment and Social Development in Gifted Students (Abstract Only) | Gifted Child Quarterly

Considerations and Strategies for Parenting the Gifted Child | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Parenting the Gifted and Talented Child: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Perceptions of Mothers Regarding their Unique Experiences in Raising Gifted and Talented Children (pdf Doctoral Dissertation LSU)

Bright but Bored: Optimising the Environment for Gifted Children (pdf) | Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Creating the Ideal Learning Environment for Gifted and Talented Students

The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children Readings and Resources (pdf)

Ten Suggestions for Parents of Gifted Children (pdf Webb)

Creativity, Motivation to Learn, Family Environment, and Giftedness: A Comparative Study

15 Ways to Help Gifted Students Thrive in School (pdf)

The Home Environment of Gifted Puerto Rican Children: Family Factors Which Support High Achievement (pdf)

Stimulating Gifted Toddlers and Preschoolers at Home

Optimal Environment for the Gifted Child

How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence

Childhood Environment affects Brain Growth and Function, a Series of New Studies Finds (2012)

Intelligence and How Environment Affects It

Activities for Gifted Toddlers: Finding Enrichment Opportunities for a Young Gifted Child

Early-Life Environment Influences Brain Growth and Behavior

Effect of Environmental Factors on Intelligence Quotient of Children | Industrial Psychiatry Journal

How Parents Can Support Gifted Children (Silverman) | Child Development Institute

Beyond Bloom: Revisiting Environmental Factors That Enhance or Impede Talent Development (pdf) | American Psychological Association

Synaptic Pruning Mechanisms in Learning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Child Development Page

Cybraryman’s Early Literacy Page

Word Gap | Wikipedia

Lead Crime Hypothesis | Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Fostering Relationships for GT Youth

GT kids face unique challenges when trying to find intellectual peers who share their interests and abilities. Such peers help these kids to develop self-esteem and a positive attitude toward life in general. When GT kids fail to find and build relationships with intellectual peers, they often withdraw from social interactions, may try to hide their giftedness, forgo academic opportunities, or perform poorly in school on purpose. As children withdraw from social situations or try to ‘fit in’ with age-peers, they risk further deterioration of social skills and less chances of finding true peers. This can lead to serious mental health risks.

Most gifted students express positive views about their ability to have meaningful relationships and do not perceive their designation as ‘gifted’ in negative terms. However, those with strong verbal skills faced the most difficulties with age-peers. Bullying at school is an impediment to healthy peer interactions. GT students viewed as ‘nerdy’ or ‘studious” can feel the stigma of being labeled ‘gifted’. GT students can find it difficult to make friends with others who share their passions or interests with similar academic ability.

What guidelines should be in place regarding older friends? It’s important to understand that it’s okay for GT kids to have friends that are older. This is most certainly the case for mentors; but also those with shared interests. As with any friendship, respect for each other is important. For younger children and even teens, parents bare responsibility for setting the guidelines and boundaries for older friends of their child. Guidelines should involve input from the child, set clear limits concerning appropriate activities (video games, movies), and establish curfews when necessary.

When possible, it is important for teachers to make sure that GT students have at least one other GT peer in the classroom. Even better, cluster grouping is an effective way for these students to work together and form friendships. It is important that a GT student not be the sole one in a classroom; the one who is always the top student without much effort being put forth. It can lead to egotism or the opposite; changing themselves to fit in. Teachers can facilitate many activities to promote friendships for GT students through the formation of clubs, providing volunteer opportunities, or connecting with pen pal organizations.

GT youth can do a lot to foster relationships with age-peers, too. Friendships can develop around non-academic interests. For GT youth who are isolated geographically, online friendships have become increasingly common and increase the likelihood of finding age-peers who are also intellectual peers. Participation in academic competitions/endeavors and summer camps can aid GT students in finding friends at other school campuses in the local area.

Where can parents look for peer support networks for their GT child? Parents can look for enrichment opportunities (summer programs, academic-based camps) where their GT child can connect with like-minded friends. For younger children, this includes setting up playdates. They can tap into existing adult networks (gifted conferences, online organizations, social media connections) which include youth programs or create networks by starting parent groups.

A transcript of the 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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Building Peer Support Networks for Gifted Kids

Friend, Foe, or Frenemy? : The Complexity of Gifted Friendships (2021 Kane)

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Webb)

Social – Emotional Adjustment and Peer Relations | Coppell Gifted Association

“Play Partner” or “Sure Shelter”: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship | SENG

Gifted Children and Social Relationships

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings (Fonseca)

Gifted Children: Navigating Peer Relationships

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? (book)

Guiding the Gifted: Peer Relationships (pdf) | Advanced Academics Austin ISD

Peers’ Relations of Gifted Students | Congresso International de Sobredotacao (Research Gate)  

Gifted Children and Friendships

Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners (pdf) | Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Soothing the Souls of Our Gifted Learners during the COVID-19 Crisis (pdf)

Reducing Levels of Maladaptive Perfectionism in Gifted Youth through a Mindfulness Intervention (pdf) | University of Northern Colorado Dissertation

Why Are Support Groups For Parents Of Gifted Children Necessary?

If I Had a Gifted Child What I Would and Wouldn’t Do | Psychology Today

Academically Gifted Students’ Perceived Interpersonal Competence and Peer Relationships (Abstract Only) | Gifted Child Quarterly

High-Ability Influencers? The Heterogeneous Effects of Gifted Classmates (pdf)

The School Counselor and Gifted and Talented Student Programs (2019) | American School Counselor Association

Social Self-Concept, Social Attributions, and Peer Relationships in Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Graders Who Are Gifted Compared to High Achievers (Document Preview) | Gifted Child Quarterly

A Case Study on Social-Emotional Problems in Gifted Children (2020)

Emotional Intelligence Profiles and Self-Esteem/Self-Concept: An Analysis of Relationships in Gifted Students (2021) | International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Navigating in a Social World: Strategies for Motivating Gifted Children (pdf)

Counseling GT Students through Relationships

Mimicry and Mirroring Can Be Good or Bad https://bit.ly/3ckaNBa

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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