Category Archives: anxiety

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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Creating a Culture of Kindness for Gifted Kids

gtchat 01182018 Kindness

Kindness is treating others as you would like to be treated; making someone else want to associate with you because they feel better about themselves when they are around you. It is taking into consideration everything you say and do as to bring out the best in others; always asking yourself how will your actions affect other people’s feelings.

It is important to promote kindness in the lives of gifted kids. Gifted children do not always experience kindness in their lives; it can be a forgotten soft-skill deemed unimportant in their striving for academic success. They too often experience bullying or thoughtless comments about the expectations of the gifted label. They may ignore this at first, but eventually respond in negative or unkind ways.

What strategies can teachers use to encourage students to demonstrate kindness? Being kind – modeling kindness in the classroom – considering it before speaking or taking action in any situation is a good way to encourage students to be kind to fellow classmates. Creating opportunities for students to be kind to others is an important strategy all teachers can use in their classrooms.

We can prevent negative behaviors such as peer cruelty in schools and classrooms.  Classroom teachers can create a culture within their classrooms which is responsive to student voice; having students be responsible for setting personal goals and plans to follow through to meet those goals. Teaching empathy and using character-based discipline will go a long way to creating an atmosphere in which peer cruelty is not acceptable.

There are some characteristics of gifted kids which affect their ability to display kindness in all situations. They are no different than other kids in that they each have unique personalities; some may embrace expressing kindness in their interactions with age mates/peers and others may not. Gifted children who are twice-exceptional can sometimes struggle with understanding what kindness is or how to express it. It is important to recognize this and take steps to teach/model kindness in their daily lives.

What role can parents play in creating a culture of kindness? Parents are a child’s first and foremost role model. Gifted children can be difficult to parent. Patience and kindness should be exhibited from the very beginning. Just like teachers, parents can create opportunities for gifted kids to express kindness to others at home starting with family members and even family pets. By extension, encourage them to show kindness to their friends as well. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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

Links:

Cybraryman’s Character Education Random Acts of Kindness Page

Cybraryman’s Gratitude Page

Cybraryman’s Empathy Page

4 Ways to Nurture Kindness

Preventing Peer Cruelty and Promoting Kindness (pdf)

An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students (Amazon)

Coping Skills for Anxious Times

UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World (Amazon)

100 Fun Ways to Help Kids Practice Kindness

Helping Strangers Tied to Higher Self-Esteem in Teens

Empathy: How Families Lead with Gratitude and Kindness

Teaching Guides for Good Character

Empathy’s Importance in the Curriculum (pdf – pg. 13)

How a Bad Mood Affects Empathy in Your Brain

Cybraryman’s Kindness Page

How to Raise a Sweet Son in an Era of Angry Men

How this Mom Turned her Late Husband’s Birthday into her Favorite Day of the Year

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Strategies for Coping with Impostor Syndrome

gtchat 11162017 Impostor

What is Impostor Syndrome? It’s feeling like you’re going to be found out that you are a fraud. You can never accept or enjoy success or accomplishment. Impostor Syndrome is at the crux of social anxiety; always feeling inadequate. “At university, impostors realize that there are many exceptional people; their own talents and abilities are not atypical. Often dismiss own talents; conclude they’re stupid when not the very best.” (Clance, 1985)

“Impostor Syndrome is when you are (mistakenly) sure that soon it will be obvious to all that you do not really belong in the gifted group.” ~ Jo Freitag, Coordinator – Gifted Resources, Victoria, Australia

Impostor Syndrome can manifest in many different ways such as perfectionism, the person who doesn’t ask for help (go it alone), or setting oneself up as an expert. Impostors can be workaholics (if they just work hard enough, they’ll succeed) or the profoundly gifted (setting the bar even higher).

Those dealing with Impostor Syndrome experience a negative impact on their psychological well-being. Burnout, emotional exhaustion, loss of intrinsic motivation, poor achievement, including guilt and shame about success are reinforced by the Impostor Cycle (Chrisman et al., 1995).

“I see a lot of the self-deprecating imposters. People that talk down about themselves to beat you to it.” ~ Kate Faulkner, Intervention and Enrichment Coordinator for Elementary Science in Sugar Land, TX.

How can family dynamics affect Impostor Syndrome? Family messages about the importance of being naturally intelligent are assumed to influence ambitions and expectations of Impostors from early childhood. (Clance ’85) Impostors have a strong need to please (Bussotti,‘90); may cause children to alter their behavior to prevent loss of affection from parents (Clance,‘85).

“Giftedness manifests in many ways. Some siblings’ gifts fit the academic paradigm, while others’ gifts may go unrecognized.” Jeffrey Farley,M.Ed.,  Principal of Odom Academy, Beaumont ISD, TX.

Perfectionism is a trait that is believed to have a marked impact on the development and maintenance of impostor fears. Impostors set “excessively high, unrealistic goals & then experience self-defeating thoughts and behaviors when they can’t reach those goals” (Kets de Vries, ’05).

There are coping strategies that can be used to overcome Impostor Syndrome. Realize you’re not alone. Many experience Impostor Syndrome; few talk about it. Consider a mentor. If you or someone you know feel overcome by Impostor Syndrome, seek professional help. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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

Links:

The Five Types of Impostor Syndrome and How to Beat Them

Feeling like an Impostor? You Can Escape this Confidence-Sapping Syndrome

Is Imposter Syndrome a Sign of Greatness?

The Impostor Phenomenon (pdf)

The Dangers of Feeling Like a Fake

You’re Not Fooling Anyone

The Impostor Phenomenon: Differential Effects of Parenting and the Big-Five Personality Traits (pdf)

7 Coping Strategies to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (Amazon)

Beating the Impostor Syndrome (Amazon)

The Curious Case of Impostor Syndrome

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Island – Testing, testing …

Sprite’s Site: Pleading the Pink Slipper

7 Ways Teachers Can Push Past Imposter Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome.com

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

From Tweens to Teens – Making the Transition

gtchat 11022017 Tweens

Asynchronous development plays a role in age-peer relations for gifted tweens and teens. Middle school is often a time for making new friends and testing boundaries. Maturity levels greatly affect age-peer relations. Gifted high school students may approach relationships in an adult manner before they’re ready.

Family dynamics also plays a major role in the transition from tween to teen. Parents need to recognize peer influence and provide opportunities for gifted kids to socialize outside of school. Understand that gifted tweens and teens are under more stress to achieve and to compete during the middle school and high school years.

Should gifted services be ‘subject to change’ once students leave elementary school? Giftedness does not begin in 2nd grade & end in 6th; it continues across the lifespan. Gifted services are even more important as gifted students enter middle and high school. They need MORE support; not less.

What should gifted education look like in middle school and high school? Cooperative learning stressed in general education can have inherent limitations for gifted students and exacerbate anxiety for them. Flexible grouping based on ability should be considered as students enter secondary education; pair students with intellectual peers.

Schools have a responsibility to provide guidance to gifted students facing social-emotional issues during the middle to high school transition. The general school population may have very different social-emotional needs at these ages; all should be served. Failure to meet social-emotional needs of middle and high school gifted students in transition can lead to major societal issues later on.

Adults can inspire gifted tweens and teens to develop their gifts and talents. Parents and professionals can serve as role models for gifted tweens and teens. Adults can participate as mentors and career counselors for gifted students as they explore passions and ways to utilize talents. A transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & 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

Links:

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School, 2nd Ed: A Practical Guide (Amazon)

Keepin’ It Real as a 2e Parent

Back Off, Mom & Dad! Fostering Independence in Middle Schoolers

Disorganized Student: Organizing Tips for Middle Schoolers

Parenting Middle Schoolers: 6 Things that Worked for Me

Status of High School Gifted Programs 2013 (pdf)

Gifted (the Movie) Discussion Guide (pdf)

The Handbook of Secondary Gifted Education 2005 (Amazon)

The Efficacy of AP Programs for Gifted Students

How to Raise a Smarter Child, According to Parents of Gifted Kids

Mentoring Gifted Children: It Takes a Village

7 Tips for Parenting Tweens and Teens

Show and Tell – Preparing Gifted Tweens and Teens for the Future

Sprite’s Site: Do you grow out of giftedness?

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Sprite’s Site: Talkfest

Teen Learning Lab

Cybraryman’s Social and Emotional Learning Page

Empathy: Healing the Awkward Heart

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

What to Say When Other People Interfere with Your Parenting

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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