Category Archives: gifted

How to Recognize a Gifted Child

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Recognizing giftedness in a child often depends on how one defines ‘gifted’ and whether you are considering it educationally or psychologically. Terms such as ‘precocious’ – having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual – or unusual qualities such as being hyper-attentive to adult conversations may signal giftedness.

Although an almost universal measure of entrance to gifted programs by schools, IQ scores are not the sole indicator of giftedness; and parents and teachers may rely on them too much. IQ scores serve as part of the identification process, but don’t tell the whole story. Too many schools approach IQ scores like their zero-tolerance policies; score one point below the 130 cutoff and services are denied.

It is well accepted within the gifted community that a student can be gifted and exhibit learning differences at the same time. However, this may come as a surprise to school personnel who are not familiar with the concept of twice-exceptional children.

In recent years, it has become glaringly apparent that we must do a better job at identifying low-ses, minority, and ELL students for gifted programs. The NAGC’s new campaign reminds us, ‘Giftedness Knows no Boundaries’. Universal screenings are absolutely necessary; no exceptions. Gifted identification needs to be de-mythologized and the ‘whole child’ must be supported.

Gifted students can be geniuses at going undercover … aloof, disinterested, unengaged, or oppositional. Though they may excel in elementary school, they will go into hiding in later years to avoid bullying or to ‘fit in’.

It is important that all stakeholders in gifted education be able to recognize a gifted child; regardless of achievement, age, socio-economic status, native language, or minority status. A transcript of this and all #gtchats 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 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 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 author: Lisa 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:

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Defining Giftedness

Perceptions Mired in Mythology

Remarks at the Washington State Legislature Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee (pdf)

Giftedness Knows No Boundaries (website)

See Me! (YouTube :15)

Why Gifted May Not be What You Think: Michelle Barmazel at TEDxHGSE (TED Talk 6:50)

Is Your Child Gifted? What to Look for and Why You Should Know

Is My Child Gifted?

UK: Just What is Gifted & Talented?

Giftedness Defined

Intellectual Giftedness https://goo.gl/ZKX1ZC

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

In Pictures: How To Tell If Your Child’s Gifted Gifted Development Center: Is Your Child Gifted? (Quiz)

Characteristics of Giftedness Scale (pdf  checklist)

How to Identify Gifted Students in Your Classroom

11 Early Signs Your Kid Will Be Smart

How to Determine if Your Child is Gifted

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

Sprite’s Site: Beginning the Journey – Gifted 101

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Coloring Outside the Lines – Growing Up Gifted

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Growing up gifted has often been viewed through the elementary school prism that everyone should ‘stay within the lines’ when coloring, but a gifted child may want to do anything but … they yearn to color outside those lines! They march to their own drummer.

So … this begs the question … do societal attitudes affect the decision made by parents or an individual to forego confirming potential giftedness? Parents often make decisions based on prior personal experience; wanting to shield their children from negative experiences. Older gifted children want to ‘fit in’ and may attempt to avoid identification as gifted. There are also many gifted students who will not care about societal attitudes and go on to create their own path.

Being identified as gifted as a very young child can affect age-peer relations. Unfortunately, some kids can be cruel. Gifted kids may be singled out for being different. When young gifted kids are bullied for their ability, they may seek out older intellectual peers.

Negative aspects of identification include adults having unrealistic expectations concerning a child’s abilities and putting pressure on them to achieve. Gifted children are the subjects of many myths; adults and teachers may not understand apparent inconsistencies in ability and behaviors.

There are positive effects of being identified as gifted. Identification can be the basis for accommodations and interventions in gifted individual education plans. It allows for exploration of possibilities in areas where a gifted child can achieve their passions.

Is giftedness something that continues across the lifespan? Gifted children grow up to be gifted adults and this shouldn’t be based solely on achievement. The role of environment cannot be minimized; it’s effect must be understood. Many people do not realize they are gifted until adulthood.

Being identified as gifted as a child can affect how someone parents their own children. Many parents base their parenting style on how they responded to being considered gifted or not. Those who were identified as gifted may have a better understanding of what it means for their child.

It is important for adults who work with gifted children to fully understand the nature of giftedness and to not have expectations based on myths or incorrect information. A transcript of this chat 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 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 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 author: Lisa 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:

Creating Contexts for Individualized Learning in Early Childhood Education (pdf)

Gifted Children Have Special Needs, Too

Development of “out of the box” Thinking in Young Children

Raising Children Who Are as Good as They Are Smart

AUS: Recognition of Giftedness in Early Years of School Perspectives of Teachers, Parents & Children (pdf)

Giftedness Across the Lifespan: Do Gifted Children = Gifted Adults?

Giftedness Across a Lifespan

Bright Adults (Great Potential Press)

Off the Charts! Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (pdf, preview)

Many Faces of Gifted (pdf, PP)

The Two-Edged Sword of Compensation: How the Gifted Cope with Learning Disabilities (pdf)

Embracing Our Exceptionalities, Eccentricities & Sensitivities

Can I Just be Not Gifted for a Little 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Your Rainforest Mind with Guest, Paula Prober

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Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway during rush hour? Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time? Like the rain forest, are you sometimes intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, and/or idealistic? And, like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws? ~ Paula Prober, MS, MEd

For a change of pace, this week #gtchat discussed gifted adults – you know … the kids who grew up! Not surprisingly, many of the issues facing gifted youth are present long into adulthood. Author Paula Prober joined us to discuss her new book, Your Rainforest Mind, from GHF Press.

Your Rainforest Mind – also the name of Paula’s Blog – is a metaphor used to describe the gifted mind: complex, creative, sensitive, intense, lively, colorful and misunderstood. Paula finds that it helps people get what giftedness is without the stigma. She explained, “The rainforest is the most complex ecosystem. It has the ability to contribute in a big way. It is not better than others; just more complex.”

What strategies can be used to address heightened sensitivities; sometimes referred to as overexcitabilities? Paula suggested, “Self-acceptance, understanding, self-soothing, relaxation strategies, mindfulness and artistic expression” can all be used. Additional strategies mentioned by Paula included, “time in nature, spiritual practices, talking to a friend, or visualization of a container to hold emotions.” She also indicated that it is important to identify anxiety triggers such as noise, visuals, textures, criticism, empathy or family members. If necessary, you should attempt to reduce exposure to these things.

Positive outcomes are possible when Rainforest Mind adults learn to redirect their passion.  Paula pointed out first one must realize having lots of passions is not dysfunctional or shallow. Rather, it is more about multipotentiality. What this means for careers is that it’s okay to change paths over one’s lifetime; look for a job with variety depth  and challenge. Be creative in crafting a career that works for you. With regard to parenting, recognize that having a Rainforest Mind is a complex challenge on many levels. Paula also recommends keeping a journal of ideas so they don’t get lost, growing self-acceptance and prioritizing time for intellectual stimulation.

Perfectionism – a topic we’ve covered several times on chat – is a concern for Rainforest Minds. First and foremost, know the difference between healthy (intrinsic) and unhealthy (extrinsic) perfectionism. It is best to aim for harmony, balance, justice and precision; all associated with intrinsic perfectionism. A person needs to prioritize what’s worthy of striving for ‘perfect’ and what can just be excellent or even mediocre because it is not important. Extrinsic perfectionism comes from early pressure to achieve, please others, to not disappoint or from dysfunctional family behaviors.

Should adults consider being tested for giftedness if they were not identified as a child? In most cases, Paula told us that it is not necessary. Whether or not you possess a Rainforest Mind can generally be determined from traits. Also, tests are not always accurate. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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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 Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 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 author: Lisa 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:

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults & Youth (Amazon)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Blog)

Your Rainforest Mind (Paula’s Website)

Understanding Your Rainforest Mind Counseling & Gifted Adults (pdf)

GHF Press

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

The “I” of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child Roeper (Amazon)

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging across the Lifespan by Ellen Fiedler (Amazon)

Overexcitabilities — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

Quiet Revolution (Susan Cain – website)

It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change (Amazon)

Gifted Shmifted

Perfectionism’s Twin Sister

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Amazon)

Living with Intensity (Amazon)

“Perfectionism” with Guest, Lisa Van Gemert

Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams (Amazon)

Puttylike: A Home for Multipotentialites!

Rebels at Work

Beautiful Imperfections

The Motivation for Perfectionism

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius (Amazon)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Stigma of Giftedness

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A social stigma is a discrediting stereotype placed on individuals with attributes that deviates from norm; exactly what often happens to children identified as gifted. They figure out quite quickly that they will be treated differently by adults; sometimes with unfair expectations.

 

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Gifted children may manipulate information about themselves to ensure they still have normal social relationships (Cross/Coleman 1993).  The stigma can extend to parents of gifted children cutting them off from support offered other parents because their children are ‘different’.

 

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Gifted students are known to employ strategies to avoid the stigma associated with giftedness. Invisible strategies include ‘not’ saying a test is easy; ‘not’ volunteering answers; asking questions when answer is known; or not telling their age when they’ve been accelerated. More visible strategies include being the class clown, obnoxious behavior, or dressing outside current styles. Disidentifying strategies include feigned interest in small talk; acting silly; asking absurd questions (Coffey). Past studies have shown gifted students becoming highly involved in extracurricular activities to ‘fit in’. (Coleman 1985)

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There are potentially negative outcomes of avoidance behavior related to the stigma of giftedness. When kids feel different and don’t know why, it can lead to feelings of abnormality. A gifted child may hide their giftedness to ‘fit in’ socially with age-peers and this can lead to underachievement. Parents are affected, too. They tend to shy away from sharing about their child’s accomplishments.

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What can parents do to help their child cope with the stigma associated with giftedness? Parents can explain what giftedness is and its characteristics so their child isn’t confused about feeling different. They should provide opportunities for children to associate with intellectual peers in an appropriate environment. Parents may also need to seek counseling or therapy if they believe their child’s well-being is adversely affected. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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gtchat-logo-new bannner

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 Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 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 author: Lisa 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 Stigma of a Gifted Child

Support for Parents of Gifted &Talented Children in Western Melbourne (Thesis p. 77 – pdf)

Coping with the Stigma of Giftedness (pdf)

The Social & Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids (pdf)

Possible Stigma of the Gifted Label

Is Being Gifted a Social Handicap?

25 Years of Research on the Lived Experience of Being Gifted in School

Giftedness & Genetics: The Emergenic Epigenetic Model & Its Implications (pdf)

Talent Development in Economically Disadvantaged Populations (pdf)

The Unique Inner Lives of Gifted Children (pdf)

The Social Cognition of Gifted Adolescents in School: Managing the Stigma of Giftedness

The Bipolar Spectrum and The Artistic Temperament: The Effects of Treatment on Exceptional Artistic Talent (pdf)

Laughing at Chaos: I DON’T Brag about My Gifted Kid

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

Academically Gifted Students’ Perceived Interpersonal Competence and Peer Relationships (pdf)

Gifted Kids Shape their Personalities as per Social Stigma 

The Talent of Being Inconvenient: On the Societal Functions of Giftedness (pdf)

A Gifted Child is Not a Perfect Child – So Why is There Still a Stigma?

Possible Stigma of the Gifted Label

Pathologizing and Stigmatizing: The Misdiagnosis of Gifted People

Special thanks to Leslie Graves, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, for her extensive list of additional links for this week’s #gtchat.

Photo courtesy of morgueFile. Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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