Category Archives: Twice-exceptional

GT Education Post COVID19

 

Teachers are reporting both in the US and Australia that shy, hyperactive, and highly creative kids are thriving out of the classroom. These were kids they were concerned about while school was still in session. GT students are expressing relief at being at home in an environment where they can self-pace, be able to independently structure their day, have fewer distractions, and have time to work on passion projects. Older GT students feel less pressure due to less standardized testing, fewer extracurricular activities required to bolster college admissions, and freedom from social peer pressures.

What unique challenges have existed for our twice-exceptional students during quarantine? Our 2E kids often have additional needs for one-on-one support which may not be possible in the home setting. Without a more formal schedule for task completion, some struggle with getting school work done. Many twice-exceptional students have multiple services in school such as OT, PT, Speech and SEL counseling. Most parents cannot provide all these supports at home.

Inequities in education that existed before the pandemic are being highlighted now such as the digital divide: access to technology and Internet access. GT students in low income areas are experiencing food insecurity, have parents & family members who must work outside the home & aren’t available to monitor school work, or lack access to mentoring/enrichment activities. Education is highly influenced by negative factors – test anxiety, bullying, income disparity, inflexible rules, passive learning vs. engaged learning, and failure to take into account student voice.

What positive effects of e-learning can we use to inform the future of education? One of the most profound effects e-learning has revealed is the antiquated approach to educating students. Time in seat does not equal learning. Much of a student’s time in school is wasted time. The future of education must realize that test scores on standardized tests does not indicate what a student has ‘learned’. It indicates how well a student tests. Unstructured time can be used for creative expression, contemplating possibilities, pursuit of passions, collaborative projects, and the potential for much needed rest.

As budgets tighten for school districts, how can they avoid eliminating gifted education? Gifted education never needed to be expensive; it needed to overcome false narratives created as excuses for not providing an appropriate education for GT students. Gifted education advocates need to do more than raise their voices; they need to offer solutions to providing equitable education to all students rather than as an alternative program, but also one which meets GT students’ needs. School districts and administrators must acknowledge the existence of GT and Twice-exceptional students who have educational and social-emotional needs. FAPE applies to ALL students.

Quarantine/Time-at-Home during this global crisis has been revelatory and should be seen as an opportunity to transform educational practices; especially regarding gifted education. Advocates for gifted education have been advocating competency-based learning, acceleration, and personalized learning. We must reimagine  education based on a student’s needs and creative abilities rather than a return to the status quo based on a system organized for the benefit of adults.

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.

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:

AUS: The Students Who are in the Zone Studying at Home

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

Gifted Development Center: My Future…What Now? Teens talk about moving forward in our challenging times with Dr. Jim Delisle (YouTube 1:04)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Learners at a Distance – A Focus on Grades 4-8

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Parenting for High Potential: Management of Anxiety Begins at Home (pdf)

Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13)

Resources for Providing Young Children Academic Support During the Quarantine

COVID-19 and Anxiety in Gifted Children

IAGC: 3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety during Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09)

What if We… Don’t Return to School as Usual (Medium)

The Invisible Blizzard and the Importance of E-learning

Unpacking Adult Mindsets (pdf 2002)

Mind Matters Podcast: Preparing for Post Pandemic Recovery (Audio 36:16)

Transitioning Gifted Education Online: A World of Possibilities

NAGC: Supporting Advanced Learners: New Roles for Parent Advocates during Times of Remote Learning

Fort Bend ISD: Covid-19 Gifted and Talented Resources

Special Solocast: Thoughts on Parenting Differently Wired Kids through a Pandemic (Audio 14:15)

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

6 Ways to Transition IEP Goals to Remote Learning

Parent Involvement Has Always Mattered. Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Finally Make This The New Normal In K-12 Education?

Distance Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity And Access Questions For School Leaders

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Trauma Informed Approaches to Educating GT Students

This week, #gtchat welcomed Alessa Giampaolo Keener as our guest to chat about Trauma Informed Approaches to educating GT Students in the era of COVID19 and the effects of physical distancing when quarantined. Alessa holds a Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University; a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Lehigh University, and a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from the William & Mary Law School. She homeschooled her two children from Kindergarten into college. Throughout her years of homeschooling, she embraced a child-led learning approach, with an emphasis on social-emotional development and community-based learning.

Responses to the pandemic by GT students are as unique as the students themselves. They may share the experiences of other students, but many will do so on a deeper level. Parents and teachers of GT students have reported challenging behaviors based on students’ depth and breadth of knowledge about #COVID19. Many parents are now seeing behaviors first hand – boredom with busy work; and prior because of mastery of material being assigned by schools, refusal to complete assignments.

What is a Trauma Informed Approach for crisis ‘at-home’ schooling? The idea of a Trauma Informed Approach to crisis has been used in the past, but for many different reasons. In general, a Trauma Informed Approach takes into consideration safety; trustworthiness & transparency; peer support; collaboration & mutuality; empowerment & choice; and cultural, historical and gender issues. (CDC)

A GT child’s intensity can be overwhelming under normal circumstances; both at home and in the classroom. When you combine these two environments, it is imperative to set healthy boundaries. Parents and GT teachers want to provide the best education they can for these kids. It’s important for kids to feel safe; first & foremost.

What strategies can be used to help twice-exceptional kids succeed with online classes? Twice-exceptional students need to be recognized and understood that accommodations must go well beyond the traditional classroom walls. If IEPs or 504 plans are in place, they should be followed even now. Parents should seek advice from available school staff if they are having difficulty at home. It is a stressful time for everyone and not a time to shy away from asking for help when needed.

It is important to watch for signs of trauma now and in the days ahead. It should be expected that we are in for a long disruption of our children’s education. Parents need to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s mental health. The signs of trauma may manifest in different ways as we all adjust to life in these extraordinary times. Children may display aggressive behavior or be verbally abusive toward adults and authority figures. Parents should watch for physical ailments, sleeping difficulty, or even nightmares.

The message can be straight forward for younger students, but more nuanced for older ones. Different ages will respond in different ways and this is especially true when taking asynchronous development into account. It’s important to reinforce the message that a person can grow from struggle and it need not result in lower expectations. There are assets to be gained when overcoming adversity. In the era of COVID19, we should embrace a mindset of promoting resiliency and the value of beating the odds. Lessons learned today will be invaluable throughout the remainder of our children’s lives. A transcript of this chat is available 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.

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:

DIY Ways to Meet a Child’s Sensory Needs at Home

SENGinar: Gifted School-At-Home During COVID19 – Using a Trauma Informed Approach to Support the Social-Emotional Needs of Your Children

NAGC TIP Sheet: Supporting Your Gifted Child During COVID-19 (pdf)

Center for Healthy Minds: COVID-19 Well-Being Toolkit and Resources

NAGC: COVID-19 & Anxiety in Gifted Children

Healing the Heart: Helping Children Manage Toxic Stress and Trauma (Vimeo)

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Childhood Trauma, Psychotherapy, Courage, and Your Gifted Self

The Trauma of the Gifted Child (Dissertation)

Understanding Children’s Reactions to Trauma (2002)

Resilience and Gifted Children (Kerr)

Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events? (2004)

Trauma: A Call for Collaboration (Bachtel)

Helping Your Child Manage Stress through Mindfulness (pdf Kane)

Infographic: 6 Guiding Principles to a Trauma-Informed Approach

Hand in Hand Homeschool: #COVID19 Resources

Texas Gifted Education Family Network: GT in the Time of #COVID19

Mind Matters Podcast: The Stresses of Sheltering in Place (Audio 34:20)

Fringy Bit: Trauma Interventions

The 10 Best Apps to Help You Focus and Block Distractions

Sprite’s Site: Traditions Old and New

Cybraryman’s SEL Pages

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo courtesy of Alessa Giampaolo Keener.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Myths about Gifted Kids

 

This week at #gtchat, we welcomed Kathleen Humble, GHF Press author of Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. Kathleen is a writer and homeschooling mum with ADHD in Australia to two wonderful twice-exceptional children. Previously, she was also a mathematician, computer programmer, and a children’s entertainer.

The first myth we discussed was – “All children are gifted” – How should we respond? The idea that ‘all children are gifted’ is tantamount to saying ‘everyone is the same’ and that is simply absurd. We wouldn’t say all children are athletic any more than all children are stupid. It’s wrong and consequential. As argued by Michael Clay Thompson, just substitute the word ‘gifted’ with any other descriptor; it becomes nonsensical. ‘All children are [fill in the blank] … No; no they are not. To say ‘all children are gifted’ is an effort to conflate educational and social meanings of the term ‘gifted’. Have a gift – such as being kind – is not the same as being gifted.

“High achievement = being gifted” – Does it? Motivation is a key aspect of achievement. Gifted children may be motivated, but others are not. Non-gifted students may respond to extrinsic motivation; whereas, gifted students may only be intrinsically motivated. High achievers can be identified as gifted and gifted students may not be high achievers. The terms are not synonymous. This poses a significant issue when providing services to those who need them. Underachievement – a discrepancy between ability and academic performance – is, in fact, a significant issue among gifted students which frustrates parents and is perplexing to educators.

“All children should have gifted education” – Should they? When critics of gifted education use this argument, how are they defining ‘gifted’ education? Most times, it is seen as providing ‘extras’ like field trips or extension opportunities not available to all students. This myth concludes that all children can ‘become’ gifted if they work hard enough or are exposed to higher level opportunities. Requiring students to attempt mastery of content they are unable to handle can have the opposite effect; increasing a feeling of failure and highlighting inabilities.

“Gifted education is elitist” – Why should schools be required to provide it? The charge of elitism in gifted education is usually an excuse used to deny services to GT students. It has no basis in reality. Stating that ‘gifted education is elitist’ is more often a response to a situation meant to evoke emotion; to elicit sympathy for all ‘other’ children. It sets up a false equivalence; an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mindset. Advocates for gifted education seek educational accommodations based on need; not some sense of superiority. Gifted education should be provided to children with demonstrable need just as special education is provided to children based on their individual needs. Without it, these children become disadvantaged.

“Ability grouping hurts some students feelings” – Why is it necessary? “Grouping gifted children is one of the foundations of exemplary gifted education practice.” In educational terms, it is the ‘least restrictive environment’ for GT students (NAGC Position Statement). Ability grouping is essential to meeting the needs of gifted students. It is the basis for successful differentiation of the curriculum. To imply that other children will be academically or emotionally disadvantaged because of ability grouping is simply not supported by research.

“2E students don’t exist” – Who are they and why do they need accommodated? This is a myth that needs to be eliminated now – that a student recognized as gifted cannot also experience learning difficulties. They can and they do. For generations, education systems have failed to understand or identify twice-exceptional students because ability and disabilities often mask each other. Best practice dictates that ability should be accommodated before disability, but usually the opposite occurs. This severely limits these kids from even considering the fact that they have greater potential than is recognized.

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 NZDT/Noon AEDT/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:

Yellow Readis (Kathleen’s website)

Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (book)

GHF Press (website)

Twice-Exceptional Kids are Education’s Canary in the Coal Mine (pdf)

Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Mathematical Giftedness: A Literature Review (2016)

Optimized Gamma Synchronization Enhances Functional Binding of Fronto-parietal Cortices in Mathematically Gifted Adolescents during Deductive Reasoning

The Effects of Disability Labels on Special Education and General Education Teachers’ Referrals for Gifted Programs (pdf)

Worth the Effort Finding and Supporting Twice Exceptional Learners in Schools (YouTube 1:06)

Giftedness Is Not an Unwrapped Present

Differences Between Academic High Achievers and Gifted Students

The Truth about ‘Gifted’ Versus High-Achieving Students

Being Gifted is Often NOT the Same as Being High-Achieving

A Response to “Everyone is Gifted in Some Way”

How the Gifted Brain Learns: Chapter 1 – What is a Gifted Brain? (pdf)

NAGC Position Paper: Grouping (pdf)

Michael Clay Thompson: Is Everyone Gifted?

The Concept of Grouping in Gifted Education (Fiedler, Lange, & Winebrenner, 2002) (pdf)

Grouping and Acceleration Practices in Gifted Education (Essential Readings in Gifted Education Series) (book)

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 2

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 3

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 8

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 9

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Sprite’s Site: 2E is

Sprite’s Site: What makes them 2E?

Grouping the Gifted and Talented: Questions and Answers

Meet the Female Entrepreneur who became an Artist Overnight after a Brain Injury

Graphic images courtesy of Kathleen Humble and GHF Learners.

Graphic created by Lisa Conrad.

Tech Addiction – Regulating Screen Time

Tech addiction or digital addiction actually covers three broad areas involving social media addiction, video game addiction, and Internet addiction. According to Shaw & Black at the University of Iowa, tech or digital addiction is distinguished by impairment or distress resulting from “urges or behaviors regarding computer use and Internet access.” Children addicted to tech often express feeling profound loneliness, lack social skills, display executive functioning disorder, and have trouble regulating their emotions.

Should GT students excelling in tech have their screen time limited at all? Students who excel at tech may actually be even more at risk of addiction than other students. It becomes a matter of balance; balancing necessary time using tech and avoiding addiction. GT students may be tech savvy at younger ages than their age-peers. Screen time can intrude on much need social interactions and ultimately affect social growth.

How does unlimited screen time affect twice-exceptional and are there potential benefits to screen time? It depends on the nature of their twice-exceptionality. Some twice-exceptional kids are highly susceptible to types of tech that are repetitive in nature. They may not understand why adults are limiting access. Tech affords opportunities for GT and #2ekids to express their creativity and to explore their passions. It gives them access to more challenging content and coursework.

Moderating access to tech almost has to have different approaches at school and at home. So much of differentiation for gifted students involves technology; both in the classroom and for homework assignments. At home use of tech may deal with different forms of tech use; such as, social media and video gaming. As such, it may require criteria that differ significantly from using tech for school work and interaction with peers.

The upside to tech addiction involves consideration of quality time online versus quantity of time. Availability of tech can be motivating. Limiting access to tech can also motivate students to use their time more wisely. Teachers can structure tech time to involve time offline supporting activities initiated online. Students can interact online to discuss assignments, but do the majority of work offline.

In recent years, gifted education in many school districts has come to rely heavily on tech as both a way to differentiate instruction as well as give students time to interact with intellectual peers at off campus locations. Parents need to be diligent in monitoring and regulating screen time. They should give forethought to their discussions about boundaries regarding the use of tech. GT kids will be well prepared with counter arguments. 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 NZDT/Noon AEDT/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.

Resources:

Giftedness and Technology

Gifted and Addicted: Perils of the Cyber World

Technology and the Unseen World of Gifted Students

MRIs Show Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Preschoolers

Associations between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children

Media and Young Minds

Create Your Family Media Plan (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Change in the Brain’s White Matter: The role of the brain’s white matter in active learning and memory may be underestimated

What to Do If Your Kid becomes Addicted to Tech

Screen Time and the Gifted Student: Balance and Quality Are Key

What Educators Need to Know about Technology Addiction

Dealing with Digital Distraction in the Classroom

Technology Addiction

Are Gifted Children More Prone to Digital Addictions?

Screen Time = Scream Time

Autism and Screen Time: Special Brains, Special Risks

Balancing Technology and School: Is Technology Addiction a Problem?

Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Is Too Much Screen Time Bad?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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