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Asynchronous Development in GT Kids

Asynchronous development is when a person’s brain development is out of sync with their age-peers; the greater the growth, the greater the disparity. Current measures of intelligence simply do not account for these differences. Recent developments in neuroscience are helping professionals to gain a better understanding of how intelligence affects individuals. Asynchronous development in our twice-exceptional population can be an even greater issue. When weaknesses interfere with being able to demonstrate intellectual abilities, frustration can be overwhelming.

Asynchronous development is very noticeable in younger children. They may have a profound understanding of outcomes and consequences to actions without the ability to act on that understanding. Changes brought by the outbreak of coronavirus have highlighted the stark differences in how asynchronous development affects children’s outlook about its effects both personally and globally. Asynchronous development can present as a child achieving at levels far beyond what’s expected for their age while exhibiting a maturity level closer to their chronological age.

Why is it important to understand asynchronous development in gifted students? It can manifest in many different ways in which others may misinterpret. This can lead adults to view a gifted child’s behavior as inappropriate and to assign negative terms such as ‘little lawyer’ or ‘absent minded professor’. When asynchronous development leads to misidentification or a lack of understanding about a gifted child’s development, it results in ensuing issues not be correctly addressed. This can lead to increased stress for the student. As brain development continues into a person’s 30’s, gifted individuals can find it a challenge to be productive and successful when there is a disconnect between ability, functioning and talents. (Tetreault 2019)

What strategies can teachers use to assist students who display asynchronous development? Any strategy should begin with acknowledgment of asynchronous development followed by professional development to learn about characteristics and identification. Initially, strategies should identify strengths and differences, accommodations, and provide opportunities that appropriately challenge the student. One of the best strategies is the use of various forms of acceleration which allows the student to engage with academic peers.

Parents should have an honest discussion about asynchronous development with their child taking into consideration their level of maturity. Together, they can explore strategies to the challenges such as mindfulness and self-advocacy. It’s important that parents seek out peer groups who share their child’s interests and abilities. Also, make an effort to connect with other parents who are in a similar position for support. Parents can also provide information to schools and teachers about asynchronous development and advocate for appropriate educational opportunities.

Many organizations provide online information including NAGC (US), PPUK (UK), NZ Centre for Gifted Education (NZ), SENG, and IEA Gifted (US). Books such as Off the Charts (Tolan et al) and the upcoming Insight Into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking (Tetreault) provide valuable information for both parents and teachers. Be sure to check out the resources below.

A transcript of this page 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/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 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:

Asynchronous Development | NAGC

Asynchronous Development TIP Sheet | NAGC

Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (book) | Tolan

Asynchronous Development in Children

Asynchronous Development | SENG

Asynchronous or Uneven Development | The Amend Group

Leaving Behind Normalcy: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child | IEA

Guiding the Gifted Advanced Academics (pdf) | Austin ISD

Seeing the Whole Gifted Child

Asynchronous Development | Potential Plus UK

How Can We Better Understand, Identify, and Support Highly Gifted and Profoundly Gifted Students? | Annals of Cognitive Science

School Counsellors’ Perceptions of Working with Gifted Students (pdf) | South African Journal of Education

Advanced Developmental Milestones of Gifted Students across Domains (Preview)

How to Support a Gifted Child | International School Parent

How to Help Gifted Children Who Need Foundational Skills

Gifted isn’t Better; It’s Different | Maine School Administrative District #6

Meeting Gifted Learners’ Needs

Consequences of Risk Factors in the Development of Gifted Children | Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences

Balancing Academic Success with Social Challenges

Taxonomy of Affective Curriculum for Gifted Learners: A Framework for Providing Social–Emotional Learning to Gifted Children | Research Outreach

3 Keys to Educating Gifted Students | Chicago Parent

It’s Time to Get Real about Gifted Kids (Medium) | Dr. Gail Post

Giftedness – Asynchronous Development and Existential Questions (Podcast 34:59) | The International Gifted Consortium (IGC) Research Center for the Highly-Profoundly Gifted  

Giftedness in Young Children: What Do Parents and Teachers Know? (pdf) | University of Mary Washington Eagle Scholar

Optimizing Asynchronous Development

Neuroscience of Asynchronous Development in Bright Minds (Tetreault)

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Optimizing Asynchronous Development

gtchat 05102018 Asynchronous

The term asynchronous development was originally conceptualized by a group known as the Columbus Group. It is widely accepted today relating to gifted children. The Columbus Group defined asynchronous development as children whose inner experiences and awareness due to intellect and intensities were qualitatively different from the norm. They believed parenting, teaching and counseling required modifications in order for gifted children to develop optimally.

It is important to understand giftedness through the lens of asynchronous development. Initially, gifted children may not comprehend the role of asynchronous development in their lives on a very personal level. They need guidance. Society’s expectations of how a child should act and how a smart child should act put undue pressure on these kids that can have severe consequences for them and society.

There are paradoxes presented by asynchronous development. It can, but not in all cases, mean a child can achieve at levels well beyond what is expected for their chronological age. Asynchronous development may result in a child being placed in an academically appropriate place that fails to accommodate their social-emotional needs.

How does asynchronous development affect the behavioral and emotional aspects of giftedness? Once a child is identified as gifted, society tends to judge them solely on their achievements and how they perform without regard to social-emotional aspects. It can create a wildly different life experience for the gifted child; one that lacks the understanding and empathy of adults.

Adults can support a gifted child’s asynchronous development so that they aren’t overwhelmed by their ability to perceive the complexity of the world around them. Ideally, a gifted child’s social-emotional needs will be respected in conjunction with their gifts and talents. Recognizing the need is a good first step. Adults need to be hyper-aware of each gifted child’s unique challenges and develop individualized education plans that address the whole child.

Where can parents seek information about asynchronous development? One of the best books for parents is “Off the Charts.” It’s a compilation of works; many by members of the Columbus Group. The NAGC, SENG and IEA Gifted have extensive resources for parents seeking information on asynchronous development. State organizations may have additional local info as well. 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.

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:

Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (Amazon)

Definition of Asynchronous Development in Children

Asynchronous Development: An Alternate View of Giftedness

Asynchronous Development in Gifted Kids

Many Ages at Once

The Neural Plasticity of Giftedness

Giftedness: The View from Within

Asynchronous Development

Asynchronous Development (NAGC)

UK: The Misidentification & Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children

Gifted Children Do Exist Here’s What Happen when We Deny It 

What I Want You to Know about My Gifted Son

Supporting Gifted Children

Parent Hot Sheet: Asynchronous Development (pdf) (NAGC)

Life in the Asynchronous Family

Asynchronous Development

The Columbus Group

Sprite’s Site: Beginning the Journey – Gifted 101

Giftedness As Asynchronous Development

4 Fabulous Ways for Kids to Pamper Mom on Mother’s Day

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Sibling Rivalry in Gifted Families

gtchat 05032018 Siblings

 

ALL children need to feel valued regardless of ability. It is a delicate balancing act. Parents must often be there for siblings when one is identified for a particular gifted program and another one is not. Gifted rivalry is not accidental. It’s important to realize intentions and counseling siblings is an important parental responsibility. It can extend to the selection of colleges, participation in academic competitions and affect acceleration decisions.

What role does ‘asynchronous development’ play in gifted sibling rivalry? It can dramatically change a child’s place in the family; such as when a younger child surpasses an older sibling academically (think Young Sheldon). This can affect decisions about acceleration. Asynchronous development can ultimately cause excessive stress on parents who themselves may not be able to ‘keep up’ with their child’s intellectual progress. Younger children who are profoundly gifted may be confused or feel constrained by what they can do socially because of their chronological age.

To minimize sibling rivalries, parents can avoid comparisons, emphasize strengths, reminding child of their uniqueness, and not give more privileges to one child over the other. Furthermore, they can be minimized by not assuming that problems will arise, teaching ‘fair’ doesn’t mean equal, and remembering that not all strengths and talents are either academics or sports. Parents can try their best to spend quality time with each child; providing companionship and time alone with each one.

What can parents do to build positive and cooperative relationships in the gifted family? They can value their child’s point of view as a way to encourage cooperation and value the strengths and weaknesses of each child while acknowledging their differences.

Schools can offer resources to parents of gifted children with mixed abilities. They can suggest parents utilize school guidance counselors and enlist a favorite teacher when necessary to encourage a student to model good behavior at home. Finally, schools should maintain a positive parent-school relationship by offering resources to parents such as providing opportunities for gifted children to explore interests and passions. A transcript 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.

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:

When One Child Is Gifted: Avoiding Sibling Rivalry

How Gifted Children Impact the Family

A Gifted Child Increases Sibling Rivalry, Study Finds

The Effects of Sibling Competition

Comparing Gifted and Non-Gifted Sibling Perceptions of Family Relations (pdf 1982)

Gifted and Non-Gifted Siblings: How Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

The Social World of Gifted Children and Youth (pdf)

When One Sibling is More “Gifted” Than the Other

Tempo: Guidance & Counseling of Gifted Students

Life in the Asynchronous Family

Siblings of Twice-Exceptional Children

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Congrats, Your Kid is Gifted…But What About Her Sibling?

Keeping the Family Balance

Setting Boundaries for Gifted Siblings

Sibling Relationships in Families with Gifted Children (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Best Ways to Support the Gifted Teen

gtchat 06192015 Gifted Teen

 

“OK . . . let’s be honest: you cannot force a reluctant teenager to do anything, at least not for long. Whether it’s to do more homework (or to not obsess about its completion); to begin to become more social (or to cut back on the dating circuit); or to start planning for one’s college future (or to forget thinking of Harvard in 8th grade), teens have their own personal agendas, many of which tie into their newly found senses of power and independence.” ~ Dr. James Delisle

 

The teen years can be some of the most daunting years for gifted children as well as their parents and teachers. Gifted, profoundly gifted (PG) and twice-exceptional (2E) teens face many challenges not experienced by their age-peers. They often face unreasonable expectations and mixed messages about their abilities from adults. Gifted teens can have a different view of life and the world than do their classmates. They may prefer to be with intellectual peers rather than age-peers.

There was no shortage of acknowledging challenges for gifted kids:

  • There is nothing without challenge. Except learning, but he will never learn the way they want him to anyway. ~ Mona Chicks
  • For us, I think the social and emotional issues are the biggest hurdles. ~Celi Trépanier
  • My daughter is GT and basketball player. Was told she can’t be smart and a jock.Cliques can cause issues. She changed minds. ~Jodi Foreman
  • Where to start? All of them. Peers, asynchrony, divergent interests, feeling more, BEING more. ~ Jen Merrill

We next turned our attention to asynchronous development as it had been mentioned several times at this point. Asynchronous development – many ages at once – can have a profound impact on their social lives. Jonathan Bolding, middle school teacher of gifted and talented students in Nashville, told us that an “inability to connect with same-age peers may lead to social isolation.” Although intellectually ready to handle more challenging academics, they may not be able to navigate the social scene as easily.

Our third question considered sleep deprivation … how do you get a gifted teen to turn off the lights? For the homeschoolers present, this did not seem as much of a problem as it did for those with kids in public schools where early starts to the day proved difficult for most teens. It was an issue that followed many teens into adulthood. Many suggestions were offered on ways to get a teen to sleep. According to Dr. Jim Delisle, “A gifted teen’s greatest enemy is lack of sleep. Sleep is often not considered a priority for gifted adolescents. Resultant crankiness, listlessness, general “unattractiveness” are a direct result of this lack of sleep. The teen mind is often in overdrive – try to find methods of relaxation.”

How best can adults support sensible risk-taking regarding education? Risk-taking is a huge component in creativity! Teens should not shy away from actions for fear of appearing ‘different’.  They need to understand that being less than perfect is okay and not everyone is successful on the first attempt. (S. White) Learning to deal with failure and overcoming it are skills that can be learned during the teen years. Parents and teachers should both model how to cope with failure; be honest with their kids/students.

Many good strategies were discussed for developing self-advocacy in teens. Self-advocacy can be nurtured by allowing teens to experience natural consequences for their actions early on. Parents need to be less involved in ‘rescuing’ teens from academic issues and lend support to their teen. Jen Merrill suggested, “Start small. Encourage them to do things for themselves in public. Gradually work up to educational advocacy.”

The teen years can be a balancing act between ‘fitting in’ and intellectual authenticity with age-peers. It’s natural for teens to want to fit in with peer groups. Adults need to be understanding and give them some space to find their own way. Jeremy Bond, a parent, expressed it this way, “As with all teens, they should know you’ll always be there for support, but not to navigate things for them.” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

This week, our sponsor GiftedandTalented.com gave away a scholarship for a 3-month subscription to their K-7 Math and Language Arts Combination Course. The winner was Virginia  Pratt, a teacher of gifted and talented students in South Carolina. GiftedandTalented.com was born out of Stanford’s EPGY. EPGY was led by Professor Patrick Suppes and they are honored to continue his legacy.  Virginia was able to answer the question – “During Patrick Suppes’ 64 years at Stanford, how many books did he publish?” (Answer: 34) Congratulations, Virginia and many thanks to GiftedandTalented.com!

gtchat-logo-with-sponsor

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by GiftedandTalented.com is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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 new 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:

Tips for Parents: The Real World of Gifted Teens

Tips for Parents: Gifted . . . and Teenagers, too

10 Ways to Help Your Gifted Teen Get the Best Out of Secondary School

Parenting Gifted Teens

Parenting Gifted Children in Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom (pdf)

Deep Thinkers & Perfectionists: Getting to Know Your Gifted Teen

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense & Creative Adolescents Paperback (Amazon)

Parents of Gifted 3: Promote Sensible Risk-taking

Life Balance & Gifted Teens – an Oxymoron?

Sleep Deprivation and Teens

Exploring the Duality of the Gifted Teen

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp & Ready for (Almost) Anything (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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