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Transitioning to Adulthood ~ A Bumpy Ride for Gifted Kids

Every child is an individual and every child has needs. It’s no different for children identified as gifted or twice-exceptional.  But … how do we identify social-emotional needs of gifted children without pathologizing them?  Many GT kids are well-adjusted with minimal need for intervention, but others do have specific needs. Although clearly a point of contention among professionals, identifying the social-emotional needs of gifted children does not need to rise to the level of believing they are psychologically abnormal or unhealthy.

Those characteristics of giftedness that influence a child’s life do not suddenly disappear as they become adults; they grow right along with them. Childhood anxiety, asynchronous development, perfectionism, and more can manifest in adulthood. Gifted adults may have difficulty maintaining peer relationships due to a high level of internal drive (Webb), continued maturation differences well into their 20s, and existential depression.

Educators can guide gifted students as they endeavor to confront their ‘multipotentiality’ (Kerr) and bring focus into their lives regarding the direction they take in their academic careers. They can be extremely influential in the life of a gifted student by simply recognizing the nature of their needs and seeking professional development in how to meet those needs.

From the earliest years, gifted students recognize that they do not share the same concerns or abilities of their age-peers and the internal conflicts created because of this can affect their eventual transitioning into adulthood. Asynchronous development can be both positive and negative. Social-emotional needs and peer relations are most affected. Its effects are more pronounced in younger children and tend to lessen as they enter adulthood.

What challenges do twice-exceptional students face in transitioning to adulthood? Societal appreciation of what the ‘spectrum’ looks like is evolving. It is recognized as a ‘range’ of individual traits and abilities. There is growing acceptance that ability is not ‘all or nothing’; challenges exist and are variable.  The biggest challenge for twice-exceptional students is recognition that they exist and the second is the willingness of adults in their lives to learn about what it means and how to best help these kids to experience fulfillment in life.

Parents can help ease their gifted child’s transition into adulthood. The best strategies start with the premise that parents are trying to do their best and most sources of advice don’t generally apply to their child. Parents today benefit from the existence of organizations such as SENG, IEA, NAGC and the Texas Association for the  Gifted and Talented who provide parents with strategies for meeting the needs of their gifted children. 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:

Mexico’s Youngest Psychologist, Aspiring to Ease Gifted Students’ Transition to Adulthood

Young, Gifted and Likely to Suffer for It

Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up (book)

How Being a Gifted Kid Affects You as an Adult

Gifted Children: What Happens When They Grow Up?

Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up? (Part Two)

Asynchronous Transitioning to Adulthood

To Be a Gifted Adolescent (pdf)

Assertive or Arrogant? Why Gifted Teens Sometimes Get a Bad Rap

Transitioning from College to Work and Young Adulthood for the Twice-Exceptional Individual

Multipotentiality: Issues and Considerations for Career Planning

Mind Matters Podcast: Transitioning to Adulthood

The Gifted Kids Workbook (book)

Gifted Grownups: Young MC

Discovering the Gifted Ex-Child (Tolan)

Understanding the Gifted Self: If Only I Had Known

Gifted Children and Adults — Why Are They So Misunderstood?

Looking for an Adventure? Try Parenting a Gifted Kid

If Gifted = Asynchronous Development, then Gifted/Special Needs = Asynchrony Squared

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Board Games, Video Games and Gamification For GT Students

Gamification is the “process of adding game elements or mechanics to an experience” and may include competing groups of students, rewards/points, timed activities or badges. Game-based learning adapts traditional learning experiences with a virtual game framework and provides an authentic real-world context, clear goals, feedback and a high degree of student interaction. (Mindsearch.org) True game-based learning, aside from online quiz games generally thought to be gamed-based learning, is based on a framework which defines a problem and requires a solution.

Game-based learning engages GT students giving them the opportunity to make decisions about their own learning.  It empowers them to take charge and allows them to take risks in a safe environment where failure doesn’t matter.

Any downside to game-based learning rests on the misunderstanding of what it is and/or poor implementation. GT students know when they’re being ‘played’. It’s important they play a role in deciding what constitutes this type of learning. Game-based learning must be intended as a resource that challenges gifted kids; more than as a source for extrinsic rewards. Professional development is essential which clearly delineates what game-based learning is and what gamification of the current curriculum looks like.

Strategies for introducing game-based learning should consider utilizing GT students to choose the games or even design the games to be used. Gamification of the curriculum should be predicated on the belief that it will enhance learning rather than solely seek to increase classroom engagement. Gifted elementary learners can add their voice in deciding how to do this. Game-based learning should be flexible, promote higher level thinking skills, include enrichment activities that are complex, and cover a wide-ranging interdisciplinary curriculum.

Formative assessments conducted during the learning process can modify teaching and learning activities and they are appealing to GT students who often see themselves as partners in the learning process. The games themselves are the assessment and can be used to teach as well as measure 21st century skills. As a complex problem space, the game actually collects the data and shows if the student is progressing.

Although somewhat passé with younger kids since the advent of Fortnite, Minecraft is still a good option. Familiarity with the game and its popularity outside school appeals to kids; it doesn’t seem like traditional learning. Another upcoming game, RoboCo from Filament, is another good example of a game which will appeal to gifted students. It’s a virtual robotics kit aimed at middle school and high school students that simulates building robots in virtual reality. It’s being partially funded by the NSF grants. 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:

How to Create an Interactive Gifted Program

Effects of Technology on Gifted Children

Game-Based Learning: Resource Roundup

Small, Safe Steps for Introducing Games to the Classroom

Cybraryman’s Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

The Power and Promise of Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning Is Changing How We Teach. Here’s Why.

How to use game-based learning in the classroom

Digital game-based learning enhances literacy

AUS: Why Gamification is So Important

Gamification vs Game-based Learning: what’s the difference?

The Effect of Game-Based Learning on Students’ Learning Performance in Science Learning – A Case of “Conveyance Go”

From Users to Designers: Building a Self-Organizing Game-Based Learning Environment (pdf)

NZ: Gamification

E-learning for Kids – Is the Future of Education Already Here?

Implicit modeling of learners’ personalities in a game-based learning environment using their gaming behaviors

What’s In a Game? A game-based approach to exploring 21st-century European identity and values

Educational Practices behind Gamification

Why US Classrooms are Starting to Resemble Arcades

Gamification in the Classroom: Small Changes and Big Results [Infographic]

Exciting new approach to classroom learning! (YouTube 8:35)

Filament Games Turns Robotics into Virtual Reality

The Benefits of Game-Based Learning

The Difference between Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-Based Learning + Formative Assessment = A Perfect Pair

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Cybraryman’s Games and Puzzles Page

Global Education Conference: Game-Based Learning

Why Games?

Lure of the Labyrinth

Dragon Box

The Oregon Trail

Gertrude’s Secrets (Wikipedia)

Image courtesy of Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard

The G Word Film

 

This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT welcomed Director/Producer Marc Smolowitz, Producer Ron Turiello and Danielle Holke to discuss their new film The G Word which seeks to answer the question, “Who gets to be ‘Gifted’ in America and why?”

The factors used to decide who is ‘gifted’ in America today are much the same as they have been for decades; factors shrouded in myths and prejudices that need to be exposed and corrected. In recent years, new research on neurodiversity and intelligence are expanding our perceptions on what giftedness entails. This information needs to inform policy decisions.

Where are some of the unlikely places ‘gifted’ people can be found? As our friends at the National Association for Gifted Children have said – there are no boundaries to giftedness. It crosses all economic, cultural, & gender identity sectors of our society. Gifted people are found at Ivy League schools as well as in prisons. They can be the superintendent or janitor at your child’s school.

“Failure for gifted people to thrive can come from a life of feeling out of sync, feeling like a misfit, and knowing one is an outlier. When one’s giftedness, quirks and all, are embraced and nurtured, giftedness thrives.” ~ Celi Trepanier, M.Ed.

Some ‘gifted’ people thrive while others don’t. Lack of early identification and misdiagnosis can place a child on the wrong path at the very beginning of their school careers. Perhaps surprising to some, where they live can affect availability of services. Rural schools with few identified GT students do not see gifted education as a priority when resources are limited.

“GT students often are singled out, ostracized, endure bullying because they learn, speak, focus, etc. differently than the norm in the general ed classroom. That may originate from peers, but it also may originate from teachers. It’s a painful experience kids can’t escape.” ~ Margaret Thomas

Many special education programs are unequipped to teach twice-exceptional students. In the past, too many decision/policy makers saw the disability before ability and the child as someone who needed to be fixed rather than support abilities. Lack of professional development in the area of twice-exceptionality has allowed myths to flourish that hinder the exceptional.

“I truly believe that twice-exceptional is the savior of gifted in the 2020s. Our nation is so focused on deficits this has allowed gifted to have a seat of the table again in ways it hasn’t in many years” ~ Marc Smolowitz

What are the risks of maintaining the status quo in gifted education for our society? If society continues to settle for the status quo, we fail our brightest children … their ability to succeed in life. Status quo is just that … stagnation … and society as a whole also loses the opportunity to progress. GT kids aren’t obligated to help society at large, but their contributions can make a difference.

There are many challenges which face gifted education in the next decade. Only 6 states in the U.S. actively support gifted education. Advocacy must be at the forefront. Including coursework in gifted education at the undergraduate level is imperative to cultivating new leadership, high quality research, and maintaining funding. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

We at #gtchat offer our congratulations to The G Word film, Marc Smolowitz, Ron Turiello and their entire crew for the completion of a successful Kickstarter in support of production of the film!

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:

Mind Matters Podcast: The G Word Film with guest, Marc Smolowitz (39:04)

Meet the Experts | Who Gets to be Gifted in America and Why? (Vimeo 12:13)

EXCEPTIONAL MINDS | A Story from the Forthcoming Documentary THE G WORD (Vimeo 8:31)

THE G WORD | 1st Promo (Vimeo 6:01)

Colin Seale On Being An Exception To The Rule (Vimeo 1:14)

Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Discusses The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Vimeo 1:00)

Producer Ron Turiello Explains What’s So Important About THE G WORD (Vimeo 2:04)

Thoughtleaders and Experts Featured in THE G WORD (Vimeo :59)

ZIP CODE 85349 (San Luis, Arizona) (Vimeo 8:00)

My Family Still Calls Me Gabby (Vimeo 6:49)

Gifted Support Group: Hidden Challenges for Gifted and 2E Students (YouTube 26:22)

What is the Excellence Gap?

Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities: A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students

Black Intelligence (Vimeo 8:36)

Filmmaker Explores Giftedness at FDL Ojibwe School

NAGC: Giftedness Knows No Boundaries

An Independent Filmmaker Highlights Gifted Students of San Luis

Bill to End Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners Gains Traction

Rural Communities Test Ways to Hook Gifted Students

Why Egalitarian Societies Need Gifted Education (YouTube 59:17)

The G Word Highlights NSD HiCap Program

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

Image courtesy of The G Word film

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Role of Executive Function in Gifted Children

 

Executive function is in charge of making sure things get done from the planning stages of the job to the final deadline. (A. Morin) “EF involves self-regulating attention, mood, and behavior, in order to get complex tasks done well. We can think of EF as being like the little CEO in the frontal lobe.” (Davidson Gifted)

A child struggling with EF deficits may have difficulty starting or completing tasks, switching tasks, or following directions. Children struggling with EF deficits may be unorganized (including workspaces and backpacks), display an inability to manage their time or keep track of assignments, or become easily frustrated by routine changes.

It’s not “uncommon for high-ability learners to struggle with executive functions.” Asynchronous development, twice-exceptionality, or even lack of early challenge can be related to EF deficits. “Some gifted kids may have very fast processing speed, leading their brains to rapidly move from one topic to another, and leaving basic skills in their dust.” Gifted children whose processing speed shows a great lag behind their other cognitive processes may struggle to show task initiation skills that look like lack of motivation. (Kaleel and Kircher-Morris)

What are some of the consequences when EF deficits exist in a gifted child? 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 GT 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 they reach their mid-twenties.

Strategies for developing EF skills can be employed in the classroom. Teachers can choose specific skills such as organization and work with the student to understand the nature of the executive function deficit. Students who display EF deficits need a patient teacher willing to work with them over time and provide positive encouragement to build skills incrementally. Oftentimes, small, simple steps have the most success.

Parents can make a difference when it comes to EF skills deficits in their children. Parents can engage in sincere and purposeful praise, encourage effort, and being sensitive to needs expressed by their child. Parents need to provide rules that are applied consistently, opportunities for enrichment, and encourage independence when helping their children develop EF skills over time. (Willingham)

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:

Procrastination and Gifted Students

The Highly Distracted Gifted Child

Executive Functioning in Gifted Students (pdf) https://bit.ly/2YUzfRh

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Amazon)

The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success: How to Use Your Brain’s Executive Skills to Keep Up, Stay Calm, and Get Organized at Work and at Home (Amazon)

Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School

Gifted Learners and Executive Functioning

How to Engage Strong Executive Skills in Gifted Learners

Executive Function Skills and Gifted Students

Improving Executive Function Skills in Gifted Kids (YouTube 1:05:28)

The Best Books for Teaching About Executive Functions Skills

Closing the Door and Other Executive Difficulties

Executive Skills and How They Translate to Professional Strengths

Executive Function Disorder: What It Is & How to Overcome It

Why is the Milk in the Back of the Supermarket? thinkLaw’s New Asset-Based Critical Thinking Class for Parents

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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