Blog Archives

The Strong-Willed Gifted Child

gtchat 05242016 Strong Willed Child

 

Strong-willed gifted children can appear oppositional and fail to respond to traditional behavior interventions. They are characterized as uncooperative, stubborn, defiant, rebellious and arrogant. They can also be thought of as passionate, idealistic, and emotionally intense. Due to asynchronous development, gifted children may have a deep understanding of a problem but lack ability to deal with it.

A gifted child’s behavior is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed by professionals. Many characteristics of giftedness may appear similar to mental health and few professionals have training in gifted issues. Misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate and ineffectual treatments which make matters worse.

Traditional behavior strategies don’t work because the underlying causes for the behavior are atypical for their age. A gifted child’s refusal to comply is often the result of deeply held yet inconsistent beliefs and feelings of injustice.

What info could be shared with teachers to help them understand this behavior as it relates to giftedness? Few teachers have a background in gifted education; basic information is a good place to start. Teachers need to know that gifted students don’t always know what they are good at; guidance may be needed to direct students to a place of understanding.

Scaffolding, a technique used in teaching, can be applied to helping gifted children deal with their emotions. It is a way to provide positive, but temporary support to a child during an emotional impasse; and can foster emotional growth as it leads to a positive, non-argumentative resolution of behavior issues. Scaffolding with gifted children promotes self-esteem and self-efficacy with long-term impact on reducing negative behavior. (Malonai 2016)

What positive steps can parents & teachers take to help strong-willed gifted children thrive? Parents can help their child discover who they are, their strengths by providing opportunities for recognizing personal strengths. Teachers can encourage students to follow their passions through school activities that challenge and validate them. Both parents & teachers need to provide positive supports before issues arise; celebrate good behavior when demonstrated. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

 

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:

7 Ways to Help Your Strong-Willed Gifted Child Thrive

5 Discipline Tips for When Time-Outs Don’t Work

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children

Gifted Children: Mood Issues with Gifted Child

Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers (Amazon)

Living With Intensity: Understanding Sensitivity, Excitability, Emotional Development of Gifted Children (Amazon)

The Strong Willed Child, Limit Testing & Why Giftedness Matters

Are Strong-Willed Children Gifted?

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

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy & Successful Gifted Children (Amazon)

Emotional Regulation and the Gifted Child 

Laughing at Chaos: Real Life Scaffolding 

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster

 

Photo courtesy morgueFile  CC BY 2.0   Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Stigma of Giftedness

gtchat 05172016 Stigma

 

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.

 

gtchat 05172016 Stigma Image 1

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’.

 

gtchat 05172016 Stigma Image 2

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)

gtchat 05172016 Stigma Image 3

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.

gtchat 05172016 Stigma Image 4

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.

gtchat 05172016 Stigma Image 5

 

 

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.

Discussing Giftedness with Healthcare Providers with Guest, Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis

gtchat 02162016 Healthcare Providers

 

This week, #gtchat provided an insider’s look at Discussing Giftedness with Healthcare Providers with Marianne Kuzujanakis, M.D. M.P.H . Dr. Kuzujanakis, a pediatrician with a masters degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health and a homeschooler, is a former director of SENG and currently the Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee for SENG.

Dr. Kuzujanakis explained why it is important for healthcare providers to be knowledgeable about ‘gifted’ issues, “Most kids see MDs more than 12 times before age 6. MDs are the first regular professionals to follow a child’s development. This need not be a missed opportunity. Some MDs are GT and are well versed in complexities of being gifted and talented. Others, however, are unaware of gifted issues and  miss chances to help; many harm kids in the process. The overall prevalence of GT (5-10%) rivals learning disabilities, asthma, and ADHD – topics discussed frequently in medical school; yet giftedness is rarely mentioned. Why? Many MDs and society believe in giftedness myths. She went on to say, “GT affects the whole child and lack of knowledge leads to misdiagnosis (under-diagnosis/over-diagnosis) or other medical diagnosis.”

What type of general information should a patient or parent be prepared to provide to MD/MH providers? Marianne explained, “It’s awkward for many parents to discuss GT with their doctor. They often feel like they’re boasting. Other parents feel MDs should care only for body; not mind. But science shows the importance of a mind-body connection in disease. GT involves all aspects of mind-body and it is important in diagnosis.  Unfortunately since medical doctors primarily address deficits and delays, parents need to be assertive about GT. This can be difficult for introverts.” She emphasized the importance to be specific. She told us, “Don’t say, “My child is gifted.” Say HOW he or she is gifted; matter-of-factly. Take care to first learn about GT yourself. Be collaborative. Take the team-player route. Confrontation rarely gets best response. Your goal should be to get the best support for your child.”

“Trust helps the parent/MD relationship to go a long way to identify real needs in your gifted child and prevent over-medicalization of childhood.”~ Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis

Dr. Kuzujanakis suggested that parents “bring printed brochures and documents to appointments. Be a grassroots educator for GT. If your doctor isn’t open to discussion; find another doctor.  Many doctors are open to information provided by patients/parents in this media-driven world. Take advantage, but be cognizant of your MD’s time constraints.” She pointed out, “Doctors are trained to make a diagnosis to be reimbursed. Don’t rush to accept a diagnosis if you disagree. Parent often knows best. If necessary, seek a second opinion. Trust helps the parent/MD relationship to go a long way to identify real needs in your gifted child and prevent over-medicalization of childhood.”

Our discussion then turned to SENG’s Misdiagnosis Initiative. Dr. Kuzujanakis explained, “[The initiative] began after the AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians) approved ADHD medications for 4-yr-olds. Stimulates are now used even in toddlers. There is no medical school education on overexcitabilities or asynchrony. GT misdiagnosis is a global issue.” SENG has produced a brochure (see below) which is now available in 3 languages. In 2016, the SENG team will be presenting at the AAP’s National Conference and Dr. Dan Peters will be our team’s speaker. They will also be finishing up an article based on their Parent Survey research which involved over 3,500 parents. Marianne also announced that Great Potential Press plans to  publish the 2nd edition of Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnosis (book) late this year. Look for it by Christmas.

For more from this chat, check out the transcript found at Storify.

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  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (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:

Health Care Providers Know Little About Gifted Children

Where Does a Pediatric Doctor Fit in the Care of Gifted Children? By Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis

Gifted Children and Adults: Neglected Areas of Practice (pdf)

The Role of Physicians in the Lives of Gifted Children

Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children (Free Download)

Psychological Misdiagnosis of Gifted and Talented Children

Seeking Professional Help for Your Gifted Child

Professionals Specializing in Gifted

Developmental and Cognitive Characteristics of “High-Level Potentialities” (Highly Gifted) Children

Accurate Assessment? ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder & Other Misdiagnosis/Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children (pdf)

The Psychological Well-Being of Early Identified Gifted Children

Giftedness Myths

SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator

Starting a Gifted Parents’ Group

Homeschooling: Not the Last Resort

Reducing Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis

SENG Decreasing Medical Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children (pdf) Free Brochure

Why Should I Have My Child Tested?

Tests, Tests, Tests

Psychologists Familiar with Testing the Gifted and Exceptionally Gifted

SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative Webpage

Four GT-related Articles from Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis

SENG Liaisons

SENG Professionals Listing

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY 2.0

 

When the Gifted Child Hides Their Giftedness

gtchat 07102015 When Gifted Child Hides Giftedness

 

Most people are not aware that many gifted children at times hide their giftedness for various reasons. Although it can just be a phase as these kids enter the teen years and yearn to ‘fit in’ with age-peers, it often goes much deeper than that. It can become a life-long struggle. Sometimes gifted kids face ridicule about their abilities by classmates and it’s just easier to go into stealth mode. Lack of confidence and self-esteem can cause some gifted children to not believe they are gifted.

Early research focused on gifted girls as the ones who primarily hide their giftedness beginning in the pre-teen years. (Silverman, 2009). Further studies revealed that boys, too, will hide the fact that they are gifted in response to pressure from peers to excel in sports rather than academically. This happens most often in high school. (Betts/Neihart, 2010)

There are specific behaviors to look for if you suspect a gifted child may be hiding their gifts and talents. Adults should look for children who deny or discount obvious talent; often early dropping out of gifted programs or later from AP programs. They do not want to confront challenge. A child who is trying to hide their giftedness may suddenly change peer groups or appear to lack direction. (Betts/Neihart) They may disconnect from adults in their lives – teachers and parents.

Helping a gifted child to understand what being gifted is all about can help to counter their desire to fly under the radar and hide their giftedness. Adults need to talk to children that being gifted is not about being better than others, but simply different. They can be given opportunities to research what giftedness is on their own. Gifted children often respond to meeting and being mentored by gifted adults in their areas of interest.

Educators need to learn why a child might be hiding their giftedness and try to be understanding. They need to recognize ability and consider appropriate placement in advanced-level classes. School personnel need to provide counseling, diagnostic testing and propose alternative learning opportunities. Teachers can provide direct instruction on social skills for gifted students struggling in this area. School counselors can arrange support groups to discuss giftedness with students.

How can parents help their child when they hide their giftedness? Parents need to normalize the gifted experience; moderate praise; allow freedom to make life choices. They can encourage self-understanding and self-acceptance (Betts/Neihart) and provide opportunities for enrichment without offering extrinsic rewards or punishments. (Rivera) Parents need to learn about asynchronous development as social skills often lag behind academic achievement. They can teach social skills, but need to realize that the timing may not coincide with age-peers. A full transcript may be found at Storify.

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 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:

Stealth Giftedness

What We Have Learned About Gifted Children (8)

Nurturing Giftedness in Young Children

The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness

Profiles of the Gifted & Talented (1988)

Revised Profiles of the Gifted & Talented (pdf) (2010)

The Six Types of Gifted Child: The Underground

Ten Days of Stealth Giftedness: A Crash Course on Incognito Intelligence

The Tres Columnae Project

Gifted, Talented and Still Hiding Out

Felicity the Underground Gifted

Cybraryman’s Introverted Children Page

I Forgot to Socialize My Kids

Defining Underachievement

Is It a Cheetah?

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Parenting Strategies to Motivate Underachieving Gifted Students

Five Relationships Any Gifted Kid Needs

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: