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How do you determine if one is gifted?


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Years ago, the last time my kids were in public school, the school sent home a list with two columns on it.

One listed the traits of a bright child, the other listed the traits of a gifted child. I meant to get my son tested but never did. However, while reading through it, I discovered I had a lot of the traits lifted under the 'gifted' section. Wish I knew where that list was!

 

Anyway, all that to ask, how do you determine if someone is gifted?

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This chart? http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/specialty/tag/r5brightchild.pdf

 

When I was in the gifted program, we weren't given our scores back for the double round of screening tests. Some ex-classmates took the Mensa test when they were in college to qualify for Mensa membership. So for an adult, the Mensa test might be the cheapest way to test.

 

We had our kids tested with WISC because we suspected LDs. So we ended up filing an out of pocket claim to use our HSA funds to pay for testing. If we could not use HSA funds, we would have gotten the school district to test for LDs for free.

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Although I've always suspected that both of our boys are gifted, I never felt comfortable actually using that label until I had the testing results to know for sure (which I now do for youngest DS).

 

ETA: He was 17 when tested, so the WAIS was used.

Edited by Pawz4me
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I never paid attention to whether my children were gifted, at all.  We just kept pushing harder when they seemed to want it or need it. 

 

My 28-year-old ds was finally tested last spring.  We encouraged him to see a gifted specialist in our state who spent an afternoon talking with him, evaluating him, and testing him.  Too late for school of course, but it explains a lot of things.

 

Now I wish we had thought more about this years ago and had him tested when he was younger.  I don't know if it would have changed anything, but it would have helped him/us understand a lot of things so much better!  :)  

 

 

 

 

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That's the one! Thank you!

 

Although, previously I thought ds fell under "Bright Child", now that I look at it,

he definitely presents gifted traits. And now I'm curious about Mensa for me! B-) Hmm.

 

As with everything else, that chart is relative. DS has so many traits that fall in the bright column. Testing (WISC4 at 8 years old) shows he falls very squarely into a category called profoundly gifted. A different test might have shown something else, who knows? DS's friend who is a math prodigy (working on math at the upper division level at 12yo) and obviously not just bright, is the same way and has many of those bright characteristics too. I follow the advice of a good friend who (so grateful that this happened when DS was still young-ish) told me to take everything, including test results, with a pinch of salt and to just work with the child in front of me.

 

Personality also plays a part!

 

Testing was very helpful in DS's case though. It helped me make sense of some of the quirkiness I was seeing at home. It gave me lots of courage to work with him out of the box I myself had grown up in and had struggled with every day.

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As with everything else, that chart is relative. DS has so many traits that fall in the bright column. Testing (WISC4 at 8 years old) shows he falls very squarely into a category called profoundly gifted. A different test might have shown something else, who knows? DS's friend who is a math prodigy (working on math at the upper division level at 12yo) and obviously not just bright, is the same way and has many of those bright characteristics too. I follow the advice of a good friend who (so grateful that this happened when DS was still young-ish) told me to take everything, including test results, with a pinch of salt and to just work with the child in front of me.

 

Personality also plays a part!

 

Testing was very helpful in DS's case though. It helped me make sense of some of the quirkiness I was seeing at home. It gave me lots of courage to work with him out of the box I myself had grown up in and had struggled with every day.

 

Similar experience here! We found the comments and observations of the specialist who administered the test more valuable than knowing the number itself. There were a couple of a-ha! moments during the discussion.

 

I would also caution against taking the chart at face value. Our profoundly gifted daughter does need to work hard sometimes, and it used to be a huge frustration for her and puzzle for us: if she's so talented, shouldn't she breeze through the stuff? Turned out not necessarily. Or she's an excellent memorizer but hates guessing: uncertainty annoys and bothers her.

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The major benefit of testing for us was that family (mainly Dh and my father) had to lay off. They were very sure that I was just pushing WAY too hard. When results were in, they promptly stopped.

 

For me, it helped me to be able to find resources about mental health issues and talk to Ds about them. There are some common mental health issues for gifted kids. Ds definitely has a few (OCD, perfectionism, extreme empathy) though they have minimized significantly as we have been working on them. This also helped me see some of my own. Working on them as an adult has been slower (they are so ingrained), but it has been a bonding experience between us. He helps me, I help him.

 

The negative was me gettiing over my gifted denial. Not fun. Necessary, but difficult.

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Testing was very helpful in DS's case though. It helped me make sense of some of the quirkiness I was seeing at home. It gave me lots of courage to work with him out of the box I myself had grown up in and had struggled with every day.

This!

 

We did WISC testing b/c we were considering school for second grade (ds had been homeschooled all along) and I was investigating school choices, including one school for gifted kids that required test results for admission. The psychologist offered two-for-one pricing, so we went ahead and had dd (4 at the time) tested, too. Turns out they have very similar FSIQ/GAI scores, but vastly different subtest scores. The subtest scores and the psychologist's analysis of those scores gave us the most useful information. We did learn things we did not know/realize.

 

The test results gave me the confidence to work "outside of the box" with ds.  (I had been afraid to look like I was pushing and I was too concerned about comments I was getting from others.)  The test results also gave us the determination, a couple of years later, to pursue further testing that discovered dd's ("stealth") dyslexia.

 

Haven't had my younger two tested, but they share some blatantly obvious characteristics with their older siblings... my educated guess is that their test results, if they had them, would be similar to the older kids'.  No desire for testing right now, though.

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Although I've always suspected that both of our boys are gifted, I never felt comfortable actually using that label until I had the testing results to know for sure (which I now do for youngest DS).

 

ETA: He was 17 when tested, so the WAIS was used.

Yes!  I never would have *presumed* (pre-testing) to label my kids gifted.  I feared appearing over-confident and was loathe to over-estimate my children. I didn't have enough self-confidence... it would have always been niggling in the back of my mind that I was an elitist to dare think of my kids as gifted.  The testing, though, is objective (well, not really, but a lot more so than a mother's opinion so I thought at the time) and gave me the confidence to "throw caution to the wind."  I had those scores to back up my "hubris," after all.

 

(*I* didn't think that calling a child gifted was prideful, but I was sure others would see me that way.)

 

Well, I never went around boasting and labeling, but it sure was nice to know that I had this piece of paper to "prove" it if anyone suggested I was prideful.  Sigh... probably my shortcoming there...

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Just to be clear, we never received interpretation of test scores. We used an almost free opportunity to test as part of a psych study at a local university. The pros was it was free-ish and DS was so "psyched" to do it. The cons, no interpretation. But the numbers were enough to help me validate all the other clues that had been building over the years. And then watching him soar with all those decisions made as a result of testing -- now that further underlined the suspicions. There had to be something going on, otherwise, I don't think such radical acceleration would have worked as well as it has. I would have never presumed to call him gifted too. Sad in a way that we parents who know our kids so well have to rely on (sometimes questionable) testing methods but I felt just like zaichiki and would not have known how to put a name to what I was seeing without the test score. And would not have felt confident enough (unless push came to shove) to make the decisions I did after that.

Edited by quark
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So nice to read this thread. I am considering having my kids tested, especially my second, but I feel like a snob for even thinking about dragging them in for a test. On the other hand, I feel equally.. Snobby, naive, prideful? For saying " there are some things different about my kids that need to be accommodated and supported. We just CAN'T do this the standard way.

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Mensa testing is $40, so quite cheap. The chapters my friends are in are active for the 40+ year old pub and fine food people. Whether it is worth joining Mensa as an adult member does depend on your local chapter.

 

I am considering having my kids tested, especially my second, but I feel like a snob for even thinking about dragging them in for a test.

The price tag for testing was the negative. My kids public school admin needing some form of justification for accommodations and acceleration did push us over to testing. My younger was also screened for autism and ADHD. We went with private because my husband's employer has a generous HSA program when he joined so we didn't pay a cent out of pocket. Else it would have been more than $1k out of pocket for my younger for basic screening and testing, more for comprehensive testing.

 

I find that having had PT and VT all my school life, being labeled an underperformer, and sitting out PE most of my school years has made me emotionally tuned off to whatever people may think. It is like you get the sensory signals from people but treat the signals in a matter of fact way.

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Yes!  I never would have *presumed* (pre-testing) to label my kids gifted.  I feared appearing over-confident and was loathe to over-estimate my children. I didn't have enough self-confidence... it would have always been niggling in the back of my mind that I was an elitist to dare think of my kids as gifted.  The testing, though, is objective (well, not really, but a lot more so than a mother's opinion so I thought at the time) and gave me the confidence to "throw caution to the wind."  I had those scores to back up my "hubris," after all.

 

(*I* didn't think that calling a child gifted was prideful, but I was sure others would see me that way.)

 

Well, I never went around boasting and labeling, but it sure was nice to know that I had this piece of paper to "prove" it if anyone suggested I was prideful.  Sigh... probably my shortcoming there...

 

Okay, this is kind of embarrassing to admit but in our case it wasn't pride. It was more that to us our boys' achievements mostly seemed fairly normal and certainly not out of the realm of the expected.

 

Talking in complete, adult like sentences before a year and holding logical, interesting conversations at 18 months? Well . . . we talk to them a lot.

 

Reading chapter books at four? Well, I was an early reader, as was my brother. And we read to them a lot and played with letters.

 

Oldest was identified as gifted when he was in elementary school, but there was no formal testing involved. He was identified as being in the top so-and-so percentage in his grade. DH and I had BTDT so it seemed more normal than unusual. He was invited to join Duke's TIP after fourth grade which was kind of cool but didn't seem like that big of a deal. A teacher informally tested youngest's reading when he was in kindy and it was around middle school level (may have been higher--she couldn't test beyond that level). He got lots of attention for that, but the school didn't label kids at that age so . .  life just kind of went on. And then we started homeschooling (because they weren't being challenged in public school) and I didn't have much to compare them to, other than knowing the homeschool co-ops around here were a total waste of our time academically.

 

Until I started reading this forum it never occurred to me that anyone could view raising a gifted child as being a problem. It was actually reading here that made me wonder if mine needed a label and then to doubt it. Before coming here I just kind of thought, "Oh, they're pretty smart" and we provided as much challenge as we could and life went on. And then I started reading this forum and so many parents seemed to think having a gifted child was a constant problem to be dealt with, or presented one challenge after another and we'd certainly never experienced that. It was the lack of feeling like there was any special problem to deal with that made me doubt that they were gifted and hesitant to say so w/o proof.

Edited by Pawz4me
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Two of mine are undiagnosed 2e. My oldest was seen as a freak in preK because he could read chapter books, but did "weird" things like lick walls, flop around during storytime and melt down if he didn't finish his nap (their "nap" want long enough for him). Sad, because I naively thought since he was smart he would not have trouble in school. We were sent to a rehab for troubled kids and told not to come back to the school until he did. We went, and it was obviously NOT what he needed. I spent a lot of time researching and crying. We did see another psychologist in Kindy because the school wanted him tested for ADHD. That psychologist said he was borderline autistic but he didn't want to "label" him. He didn't care about or test his intelligence. Now that we're homeschooling, we haven't bothered testing. I don't use the word "gifted" or even discuss his strengths unless is relevant. I still get comments from his scout leaders or Sunday school teachers on how insightful he is, but most people are only worried about his weaknesses, so it doesn't usually come up.

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Reading this list with interest, not because I think my daugher is gifted (I'm pretty sure she's not) but because most, if not all of these traits fit her. (She is bright+ADHD, and thinks differently from anyone I've ever met.) It's fascinating how neuro-differences (especially ADHD, giftedness and ASD traits) intermingle.

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I really dislike charts like that, that present as though a gifted child IS this and a bright child IS that, as though they all share the same personality and all of the same traits. 

 

Some of them only make sense within a non-differentiated school context, like only needing one or two repetitions or playing around, yet testing well. These things can often help you spot a gifted child who is only being offered grade-level work, but it hardly holds true for all work at all levels. And certainly not all gifted children have wild, silly ideas or are good guessers (many gifted children are perfectionists who have a horror of guessing). 

 

They give just enough information to be dangerous! 

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Reading this list with interest, not because I think my daugher is gifted (I'm pretty sure she's not) but because most, if not all of these traits fit her. (She is bright+ADHD, and thinks differently from anyone I've ever met.) It's fascinating how neuro-differences (especially ADHD, giftedness and ASD traits) intermingle.

 

I just yesterday began reading a book on this very subject (the interplay and similarities between ADHD, giftedness, and ASD).  It's called Bright Not Broken.  I'm not very far in, but so far it's interesting.

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Purely on the testing/labeling issue... My kid is gifted. I don't care that I don't have testing. She is six and can read and comprehend high school level text. She asks huge questions and gets her answers from MOOCs and Great Courses. I refuse to apologize for attributing the label without the testing.

 

What level of gifted? Is she 2e? I have questions on these. She absolutely has anxiety; that's her one official diagnosis. Will testing help? Almost certainly. We're planning on getting it. But... I casually say that my child is gifted. I don't know the level, but she's so far separated from her peers that it becomes painful at times, and there's no point forsaking the label.

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Jackie, I get it. My son is not quite that gifted, but he was reading chapter books a month before he turned 6yo,

and he gets bored in youth group and Sunday School because he's really more interested in deeper discussions than 

he finds there. One Sunday, the youth pastor was not there so the youth came into my husband's class. He is currently

teaching Discovering the Greek in the New Testament. They pick a verse and discuss the actual context based on the 

original Greek. My 12yo son loved that and much preferred that to his own Sunday school.

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I'm with Jackie. Testing would be nice to have, but I know my kid is gifted. I doubt that he is PG or 2E, so his giftedness hasn't been much of an issue, apart from the need to homeschool him.

 

I am gifted; Sacha is gifted. Seems pretty normal. What perplexes me more is that I don't see even close to the same level of intelligence in my youngest. He's the one that worries me.

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I am gifted; Sacha is gifted. Seems pretty normal. What perplexes me more is that I don't see even close to the same level of intelligence in my youngest. He's the one that worries me.

 

Ronen is still very young, and according to your siggie he's in speech therapy. Eloquent kids come across as so much brighter, so who knows...

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I'm with Jackie. Testing would be nice to have, but I know my kid is gifted. I doubt that he is PG or 2E, so his giftedness hasn't been much of an issue, apart from the need to homeschool him.

 

I am gifted; Sacha is gifted. Seems pretty normal. What perplexes me more is that I don't see even close to the same level of intelligence in my youngest. He's the one that worries me.

There was a very large disparity between my older brother and I. Brother is autistic and I am

PG, but that didn't mean anything years ago (and I definitely do not mean to imply anything about your son). It was very difficult around ages 10-15. By high school I would tutor Brother and he has said it was the only way he made it through. By 16 I was out of the general system. Now that we are older, no one even discusses that stuff. My parents definitely needed to put more energy in allow Brother to discover himself. They were so busy trying to keep me back so Brother would not feel badly, they never even considered fostering him and letting me go.

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Ronen is still very young, and according to your siggie he's in speech therapy. Eloquent kids come across as so much brighter, so who knows...

I know. It just seems weird to have one who was adding and subtracting at this age, and another who makes mistakes counting to ten on the regular.

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I know. It just seems weird to have one who was adding and subtracting at this age, and another who makes mistakes counting to ten on the regular.

 

I get the weird feeling. My oldest is 2E, so at least he didn't have an older sibling to compare to. If my kids had been reversed, I probably would've really freaked out about him (I did freak out about him some, but if Broccoli had been my oldest I might have freaked out even more). My point is just that it took to almost 9yo for oldest to be at a level that didn't seem to have fallen too far from the apple tree. Not that Ronen is necessarily 2E. He could be more average, or just be developing at a different pace - it's my understanding that especially before 8yo kids' brains can have growth spurts and temporary plateaus that make predicting their intelligence less reliable. IIRC Ronen is still at an age where mistakes counting to 10 is not worrisome.

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I know. It just seems weird to have one who was adding and subtracting at this age, and another who makes mistakes counting to ten on the regular.

 

This was me (not obviously gifted) and my older brother (very much the gifted poster child). I was never obviously into academics or arithmetic other than being a voracious reader but I was artistic and creative to a point where none of my much more academically gifted sibs could compare. Problem was, traditional-minded parents don't think of that as important. You and your DH don't sound traditional in the least!

 

Keep nurturing the little one. He might surprise you yet. :001_smile:

 

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I just yesterday began reading a book on this very subject (the interplay and similarities between ADHD, giftedness, and ASD).  It's called Bright Not Broken.  I'm not very far in, but so far it's interesting.

 

I've heard of this book, specifically for 2E kids. I wonder what the proportion is between 2E-gifted and garden-variety gifted? (I'm guessing that's been discussed here before.) I know it's sometimes very hard to separate the difference between ADHD and HFA (some think they're actually different variations of the same disorder), add giftedness to any neurological difference and it's even harder to distinguish and label.

 

Personality-wise, my ADHD daughter is...oh it's indefinable, but she's certainly different, amazing sense of humor, a deep thinker, very interesting to talk to. It seems so many ADHD kids are extraordinarily creative, out of the box thinkers...Even if they're not gifted in the traditional sense, creativity is a different form of giftedness, I guess. On the other hand, there are also many people who are gifted but not creative...

 

(Sidenote, I remember reading about differences in the brain structure of gifted people, and I wonder whether we might eventually find a difference in the brain structure of highly creative minds as well.)

 

I mentioned that I could check off pretty much everything on the list for my daughter, but I doubt she'd score above 110 on an IQ test. I'd say she's creatively gifted, or philosophically gifted, she has profound insights about the world. And she has a sense of metaphor...At barely 2 she told me, "The sunset looks like an erupting volcano!" and later that year while we were walking through a wheat field on an extremely windy day she said, "The wheat is dancing and bowing and it sounds like the wind is clapping for it..." She learns extremely easily, taught herself to read by 2.5 and by 18 months, although she couldn't say the words, she knew shapes/colors (including secondary colors, hexagons, spirals and trapezoids) and the difference between 1, 2 and 3, so she showed early signs, but has never had a real interest in academics, and has little motivation to learn about anything outside her "passions." (Although she could spend hours studying those passions...a trait common to both ADHD and ASD, as well as giftedness.)

 

Could I say she's gifted? Going back to the OP--other than the PG/EG kids whose giftedness and drive is unmistakable--in the end what does the term "gifted" really mean? A number on an IQ test? Does it mean one has to both have potential and be driven to fulfill it, or does it still count if you could push a child to learn at that level? Is it primarily fluid intelligence, which can't be taught? (I think my daughter's fluid intelligence is probably average, crystallized intelligence is probably in the 95th percentile or above because she learns easily and retains.)

 

And if we're not talking about the obviously profoundly gifted, does the label really matter as long as they're fulfilled? To fulfill my daughter, all I need to do is give her a cardboard box, construction paper, scissors and markers...maybe a bug or two. She's not really learning anything new this year, our first and maybe last year of public school, but she doesn't care, and so neither do I...I don't feel like I'm disservicing her by not pushing her to reach her "potential," as long as she's happy and has the time at home to read and nurture her creativity.

 

(I realize this post is all over the place, and apologize. I'm free-writing while my daughter is waging very loud negotiations between horses and dragons, and I haven't re-read.)

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I had not found labels useful for me and my kids other than in the context of services in public school. My friends' 2E kids won't get services and accommodations without labels and lots of paperwork.

 

I know. It just seems weird to have one who was adding and subtracting at this age, and another who makes mistakes counting to ten on the regular.

My DS11 still skip numbers and has no internal sense of time which is why he needs a timepiece. He is just asynchronous, like many of my relatives.

 

Some gifts are less obvious too. Both your kids are very young. Kids can surprise parents way into adulthood.

 

My kids former music teacher has a brother who became interested in music only in high school and then went on to be an orchestra conductor as his main job. He basically leapfrog his siblings in music ability in his teens from a late start of his choosing.

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Could I say she's gifted? Going back to the OP--other than the PG/EG kids whose giftedness and drive is unmistakable--in the end what does the term "gifted" really mean? A number on an IQ test? Does it mean one has to both have potential and be driven to fulfill it, or does it still count if you could push a child to learn at that level? Is it primarily fluid intelligence, which can't be taught? (I think my daughter's fluid intelligence is probably average, crystallized intelligence is probably in the 95th percentile or above because she learns easily and retains.)

 

I think this is where there is a grave misunderstanding about PG/EG kids. Not every PG/EG kid demonstrates that bolded bit at 2-6yo or even at 9, 10 or 11yo.

 

I cannot say whether or not a label matters because it is such an individual choice/ matter. We don't talk about PG or gifted on a daily basis. Once in a rare while it comes up when DS is in some strange situation he is trying to make sense of. We normally don't talk about it at all and work at the level that my child wants to work at. The label was helpful to *me* to a certain extent. It drove me to seek out opportunities I might not have done otherwise. But like everything else, it came with ups and downs. 

 

In the end though, the number/ label is not what is important. It is what you describe...that happiness, free time, feeling safe and nurtured, that's what really counts. There are two things I've found to be very important and ideally, a parent would do this for any child:

 

(1) Offer scaffolding and opportunity so that they grow closer and closer to that zone (proximal development?) where they feel fulfilled about what they are learning and how they learn it. The boundaries of this zone will fluctuate, regress, progress in all sorts of ways. You want to be there to feed it but not to choking point and that's always a fine line to balance for any child. Yes, sometimes I push. If I push too hard in one area I apologize to him and watch myself when I think I am going to do it again. How on earth do we find balance if we don't tip over once in a while? For the gifted child, this zone/ boundary/ balance thing will very likely be less predictable and "normal". Not necessarily loud/ obvious/ driven/ blisteringly quick. It will just be different in ways you might have never thought of before and there will be lots of mindset adjusting involved. With an only kid, you might even be even more far removed from understanding what normal is so it might be a steeper learning curve for you.

 

(2) Offer safety. A close bond of trust, honesty and shared values that make your family what it is. Because when they hit their teen years, they need that anchor so very much. It matters that their brains are wired differently but not necessarily because their IQ is higher. This is where the full personality starts to show and you want to build a closeness that can weather whatever that personality is going to turn out to be. It's so fascinating to watch their personality develop but also so scary and worrying at the same time. When it gets scary and edgy, I use humor because it's the one thing that never fails to keep us close.

 

Some gifted kids are easy. Some are not. Some are a mix of everything. The easy ones may seem compliant but they might also be the hardest to decode because they don't want to cause strife and will bottle everything inside of them. These are the kids that parents don't normally think of as gifted. We live in an area where people seem to think that the more strong willed, the more obviously ahead and driven, the more verbally precocious, the higher the child's IQ. I now know that this is not always true.

 

My reply is all over the place too. I hope it is clear.

 

ETA: Didn't mean to sound as if I was picking on you nature girl. Just communicating a common misconception about PG/EG kids.

Edited by quark
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I, too, use the gifted label without having a formal diagnosis, but only on forums. It doesn't come up in real life. More so than the list of early accomplishments, but the mental leaps and intuiting connections and easily understanding abstracts makes me pretty certain DS is gifted. I intend to pursue testing when he's seven or eight, mostly to give me more insight into his particular strengths and weakness, but also in case he needs proof for anything.

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I know. It just seems weird to have one who was adding and subtracting at this age, and another who makes mistakes counting to ten on the regular.

My child is not outwardly brilliant or even bright. He is a goofball who loves to come up with silly jokes, plays all day long, has no focus on academics and does sloppy work. He pays attention when he likes a subject, but, does not bother if he knows the content (which are most things, according to him!) and does not care if he makes mistakes while writing, does not pick up a book or writing implement without being requested to do so etc etc. He is an uncontrolled ball of energy. He frequently says "I was not thinking" when he has come up with wrong answers in topics that he has mastered already. He is constantly active that he hardly has time to come up with those deep thoughts that are typically associated with gifted kids!

 

But, he can produce output that far exceeds anyone's expectation with extraneous motivation. He has overachievers who are also PG on both sides of his family. We were worried that he might have neurological issues or vision issues etc. We tested him twice over a span of 3 years - just to make sure that the results from the first test were right. Yes, he is very gifted. No, he is not motivated by books, paperwork etc etc. and he is not 2E either. All that we were seeing is his personality.

 

My DH jokes that both the testers might have had bad days when they tested my son! His giftedness is so not obvious to outsiders.  Without testing, I would have had a "follow the lead of the child" approach which would mean that I would have been playing with legos and blocks with him 24x7.

Edited by mathnerd
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My child is not outwardly brilliant or even bright. He is a goofball who loves to come up with silly jokes, plays all day long, has no focus on academics and does sloppy work. He pays attention when he likes a subject, but, does not bother if he knows the content (which are most things, according to him!) and does not care if he makes mistakes while writing, does not pick up a book or writing implement without being requested to do so etc etc. He is an uncontrolled ball of energy. He frequently says "I was not thinking" when he has come up with wrong answers in topics that he has mastered already. He is constantly active that he hardly has time to come up with those deep thoughts that are typically associated with gifted kids!

 

But, he can produce output that far exceeds anyone's expectation with extraneous motivation. He has overachievers who are also PG on both sides of his family. We were worried that he might have neurological issues or vision issues etc. We tested him twice over a span of 3 years - just to make sure that the results from the first test were right. Yes, he is very gifted. No, he is not motivated by books, paperwork etc etc. and he is not 2E either. All that we were seeing is his personality.

 

My DH jokes that both the testers might have had bad days when they tested my son! His giftedness is so not obvious to outsiders. Without testing, I would have had a "follow the lead of the child" approach which would mean that I would have been playing with legos and blocks with him 24x7.

This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing. I guess that my only experience with giftedness comes in the form of the precocious child -- whether in art, music, math, etc. I don't want to derail the thread, and perhaps it is topical to discuss these varying types of giftedness.

 

Sacha was very much what I typically think of when I think of a gifted kid. He could speak in full sentences in two languages at 18 months, could read CVC words shortly thereafter, and had figured out multiplication, on his own, by 4.

 

Ronen hasn't done any of this, but he could ride a regular Razor scooter around 15 months and a regular pedal bike with no training wheels at 2.5. He would speak in long sentences, but they were not intelligible until fairly recently (thanks to speech therapy since age 2). But, even in their intelligibility, he still seems to talk a lot of nonsense. But, unlike older brother, Ronen wants to know how everything works. He builds elaborate boobytraps around the house, connecting the dog's retractible leash to various electrical cords and objects. He is an athlete (like his father), is very stubborn, emotional, daring, and tenacious, and a kinesthetic learner. But, Ronen is also the child I never had with Sacha, who is very logical, cautious, obedient, and always seemed like a small adult.

 

If I had to speculate, I would say that Ronen will likely turn out very much like his father, who has a brilliant mind for building and fixing things, but who was never very academically inclined, and struggled in school (due to ADHD).

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Interesting list--much more positive than one of the comparisons I found which was essentially gifted = a dysfunctionally perfectionist kid who needs help to achieve things that bright kids achieve by not overthinking :)

 

 

I guess the question is whether gifted is supposed to mean a kid who is more academically advanced and capable than other  kids or is it an identifier on how kids think?   

 

I consider one of my son's gifted because he tested 9A on the cogats and 99%ile on standardized tests, and my suspicion is that he would test well on a WISC test if he took it.  But it's not because he thinks outside the box or creates new systems or is somehow super brilliant, but because he is comfortable listening and conversing at an adult level with adults so he understands what people are looking for on tests.  But he doesn't have the intense drive, doesn't come up with random brilliant concepts, isn't self-deprecating.    Yet my kid who might fit the "gifted" thinking style doesn't test well, and is off in his own world a lot of the time (which I think is normal for gifted kids--they're *not* fully present mentally and physically at school because they're always bored and go off into their own world thinking up those "new systems").  

 

So I guess the question is do you want to know if your kid needs to be in an advanced curriculum or if your kid needs help to direct the "gifted" traits to be a more functional person?  

Edited by tiuzzol2
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OP, testing is a good way to determine giftedness.  A gifted IQ = a gifted person, though I'm not convinced that a not-gifted IQ = not gifted.  I'm in the camp that gifted brains are wired differently and gifted people think differently than most people.  There are obviously different levels of giftedness, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between bright and gifted, especially in those who are not E/PG.  Plus there are all of those gifted people who are not academically talented or inclined.

 

I get your curiosity though.  I wonder about myself sometimes too.  If I ever have a bunch of extra money, I'd love to get a thorough evaluation, not just for the determination of giftedness, but for LDs etc as well.  

 

There was a very large disparity between my older brother and I. Brother is autistic and I am
PG, but that didn't mean anything years ago (and I definitely do not mean to imply anything about your son). It was very difficult around ages 10-15. By high school I would tutor Brother and he has said it was the only way he made it through. By 16 I was out of the general system. Now that we are older, no one even discusses that stuff. My parents definitely needed to put more energy in allow Brother to discover himself. They were so busy trying to keep me back so Brother would not feel badly, they never even considered fostering him and letting me go.

 

 It's interesting how different families handle it when a kid is not as gifted as everyone else.  

 

I come from a PG family (father's side) and truly average family (mother's side).  That was not a good match, btw; my parents split when I was 1yo.  I'd guess I'm regular ol' gifted, though maybe I'm smarter than I seem since I have definite LDs, lol.  I did get picked up by a talent search in middle school, but I can tell you that I am most definitely not EG or PG.    I feel... slow? Yes, very slow, when in the company of my father and his family.  They make connections that I do not.  They they think faster.  I always felt my dad was disappointed in me, that I was not like him.    My (much) younger (half) brother tests PG, and my dad is way, way, way more interested and involved in him than he ever was with me.

 

I think you're spot on about fostering the one who is behind while letting the one who's ahead go.  That seems very much like the ideal way to handle such a situation.

 

I'm with Jackie. Testing would be nice to have, but I know my kid is gifted. I doubt that he is PG or 2E, so his giftedness hasn't been much of an issue, apart from the need to homeschool him.

I am gifted; Sacha is gifted. Seems pretty normal. What perplexes me more is that I don't see even close to the same level of intelligence in my youngest. He's the one that worries me.

 

Maybe he's average or just not as gifted, but from what you've shared about him it seems more likely he's 2e and/or gifted in a different way.  Worrying seems counterproductive.  Especially if he's gifted, he's likely to pick up on your feelings.  You're making sure he's getting all the therapy he needs.  It seems certain that you'll keep on top of his development and get him any other help required to help him flourish.  What is there to worry about?

 

I also have a younger child who seems to not be at the same level as every one else, though he may actually have a developmental disability.  We don't know yet.  Maybe he's just very 2e and will, in time and with therapy, come out of his shell.  For now he's globally developmentally delayed.  He's closer to 3.5 than to 3 now, and still has trouble pointing to common objects (forget naming them), can name his own brothers correctly only 60-80% of the time, can't jump or walk stairs one foot at a time, has very limited imaginative play, can't safely drink from an open cup and needs his food chopped up like a young toddler, etc etc etc.  At around this same age, my DS#3 was sounding out environmental print and teaching himself to read, DS#2 was already a fluid negotiator with a contentious streak (he even argued with his imaginary friends), and DS#1 had reasoned out multiplication on his own.  DS#4 has historically hit his milestones at at least twice the age his brothers did.  I used to worry about him very much.  But really, we're doing everything we can for him.  He's going to be the best him he can be, and me worrying isn't gong to do any more good.

 

BTW, though I've been identified as gifted, I was a late bloomer.  I am a very mathy person, but I started 1st grade at 6.5yo proud that I could count to 20.  I didn't even have number sense for 20.  It was just rote counting with no conceptual understanding of the quantity.  I didn't start reading until half way through 4th grade.  A person can be very bright without being precocious.

 

I've heard of this book, specifically for 2E kids. I wonder what the proportion is between 2E-gifted and garden-variety gifted? (I'm guessing that's been discussed here before.) I know it's sometimes very hard to separate the difference between ADHD and HFA (some think they're actually different variations of the same disorder), add giftedness to any neurological difference and it's even harder to distinguish and label.

 

SNIP!

 

Wow!  You just totally described my ADHD DS#2.  Does your DD happen to be extraordinarily messy too?  Just curious!

 

I wanted to share that my DS#2 was recently tested and is squarely moderately gifted by GAI, and the test administrator said that his impulsive response style depressed his score.  She didn't compute a full scale IQ because his working memory and processing speed were 3+ standard deviations below his other scores... so I guess if a FSIQ were calculated it'd be right in the average range, even though he really is gifted, lol.  Academic testing has his skills mostly in the 25th-75th% except for math (minus math facts fluency) and reading comprehension which are much higher.  His PS grades are total crap.  He's just not interested in school.  He has other priorities.  

 

Compared to the disproportionately represented E/PG crowd on this board and my paternal family, he really doesn't seem gifted.  But compared to actual average kids (which we have to leave our circle of close friends to find), he does, just not usually in academic ways.  I guess I'm trying to say that I wouldn't be too quick to discount your DD's intelligence.  I also think its fine to let her be herself.  I don't believe that a non-academically inclined gifted child needs to be pushed in that direction.

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Wow, the Pandora's box I've opened here! :coolgleamA:

 

The responses have given me lots to think about.

To add on to the fun, I have some relatives who are "mechanically gifted" and some who are crazy good in sales. Both areas can't really be tested with an IQ test but both are very useful "gifts".

 

One of my nephew is "mechanically gifted" but it was his "exam smarts" that help landed him his Air Force scholarship many years ago. Link is interesting on the visual spatial gift aspect http://geri.education.purdue.edu/pdf%20files/visspapresentationha.pdf

 

A family friend is just very talented at car repairs. He is a self taught mechanic and when he wa unemployed as an engineering lab technician, many car repair chain stores happily hired him part time while he job hunt. We always joke that he would be underemployed as a car mechanic but he won't be unemployed.

 

ETA:

My sales cousins are helpful when I need to negotiate a good deal with slick sales people like when buying a phone/laptop/house. I have overprotective cousins :)

Edited by Arcadia
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I wanted to share that my DS#2 was recently tested and is squarely moderately gifted by GAI, and the test administrator said that his impulsive response style depressed his score.  She didn't compute a full scale IQ because his working memory and processing speed were 3+ standard deviations below his other scores... so I guess if a FSIQ were calculated it'd be right in the average range, even though he really is gifted, lol.  Academic testing has his skills mostly in the 25th-75th% except for math (minus math facts fluency) and reading comprehension which are much higher.  His PS grades are total crap.  He's just not interested in school.  He has other priorities. 

 

It's my understanding that FSIQ and GAI aren't used to determine giftedness any longer, but rather the subtest scores. That's especially true for 2e kids. My DS's profile is very spikey and to the extent that his FSIQ and GAI could be determined (guessed at) they only put him in the slightly above average range. But some of his subtests scores are solidly in the EG/PG range (and some are low average/borderline). The psychologist said in his case the FSIQ and GAI are irrelevant. 

 

I do agree with other posters that test scores aren't the "be all, end all" of determining giftedness. But for me personally -- I needed that information before I felt right about using the label. Before I had the data I typically would refer to my kids as "probably" gifted. I still refer to oldest DS that way, as he's never been tested. That's just my quirk (or perhaps my insecurity).

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I really dislike charts like that, that present as though a gifted child IS this and a bright child IS that, as though they all share the same personality and all of the same traits. 

 

Some of them only make sense within a non-differentiated school context, like only needing one or two repetitions or playing around, yet testing well. These things can often help you spot a gifted child who is only being offered grade-level work, but it hardly holds true for all work at all levels. And certainly not all gifted children have wild, silly ideas or are good guessers (many gifted children are perfectionists who have a horror of guessing). 

 

They give just enough information to be dangerous! 

 

Totally agree!    I think the chart bothers me because the kid who I think is gifted is *normal*....for an adult.  Just like what SeaConquest said "Sacha, who is very logical, cautious, obedient, and always seemed like a small adult."    So is that gifted or not?   Either way, it's still someone who needs a more advanced curriculum to match his abilities.

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My own country's gifted program leans utilitarian. I wish it wasn't because it didn't serve those children who don't aspire to be leaders well. My classmates used to joke that national gifted program was our govt way of keeping the enemy close.

 

I don't think any school use that chart as a screening tool. It is a FYI, kind of like the milestones info that my kids' pediatricians hand out at well baby checkups. Before the GATE program was scraped in my district, it was two rounds of screening tests + teachers recommendations + interview with student + interview with parents.

 

From a talk by Dr Linda Silverman

"Does a “gift†imply an obligation? Many of the arguments in favor of educational provisions for the gifted are based on the value of this group to society. Researchers from The Netherlands rightly call this a utilitarian view of giftedness. Gifted education is marketed as an investment in future leaders. “In current thinking in giftedness and education, the utility value reigns and the intrinsic value of the gift is virtually nonexistent†(Besjes-de Bock & de Ruyter, 2011, p. 205). Prized as a utility, the gifted are expected to yield a return on society’s investment that is advantageous to the social order. Little attention is paid to their inner lives; “emotions are of minor importance†(p. 199). While some gifted children covet the goal of achieving high grades and crave the accolades of success in school and adult life, others march to their own drummers" https://talentstimuleren.nl/?file=6496&m=1475338813&action=file.download

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(1) Offer scaffolding and opportunity so that they grow closer and closer to that zone (proximal development?) where they feel fulfilled about what they are learning and how they learn it. The boundaries of this zone will fluctuate, regress, progress in all sorts of ways. You want to be there to feed it but not to choking point and that's always a fine line to balance for any child. Yes, sometimes I push. If I push too hard in one area I apologize to him and watch myself when I think I am going to do it again. How on earth do we find balance if we don't tip over once in a while? For the gifted child, this zone/ boundary/ balance thing will very likely be less predictable and "normal". Not necessarily loud/ obvious/ driven/ blisteringly quick. It will just be different in ways you might have never thought of before and there will be lots of mindset adjusting involved. With an only kid, you might even be even more far removed from understanding what normal is so it might be a steeper learning curve for you.

 

My reply is all over the place too. I hope it is clear.

 

ETA: Didn't mean to sound as if I was picking on you nature girl. Just communicating a common misconception about PG/EG kids.

 

Oh, not at all, it was a wonderful reply. I especially appreciate the paragraph above about pushing without pushing too hard. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way over the past few years. I'll admit I started by...I wouldn't say "pushing" but perhaps encouraging a bit too strongly. I was excited about what DD seemed to understand, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't holding her back. She was drawn to reading, she progressed without any formal phonics training and we just had fun with it. But math...I started RS A with her at 3.5, she ate it up, learned quickly...Then started RS B at 4.5, she got through half of it and then, even though we were only doing 15-20 minutes of formal schooling a day, she just rebelled...Math wasn't fun for her anymore.

 

I don't know how much of it was my fault, and how much was that the math that had been so easy started being more of a challenge, but we ended up not doing any math for a full year. And when we started up again, with Singapore, even though it was easy for her she had already decided she hated it. Now math in school is incredibly easy, the work they're doing she did 3 to 4 years ago, but she's still stuck in her decision that she hates it. And I don't know whether she'll recover from that.

 

All this to say, I've learned how important it is to let kids (or at least my kid) decide on their own path, my job is just to give her access to tools and let her discover her own gifts.  And hope that public school doesn't drain that from her. (If I see that happening, I'll pull her back from it in a heartbeat.)

 

 

Wow!  You just totally described my ADHD DS#2.  Does your DD happen to be extraordinarily messy too?  Just curious!

 

I wanted to share that my DS#2 was recently tested and is squarely moderately gifted by GAI, and the test administrator said that his impulsive response style depressed his score.  She didn't compute a full scale IQ because his working memory and processing speed were 3+ standard deviations below his other scores... so I guess if a FSIQ were calculated it'd be right in the average range, even though he really is gifted, lol.  Academic testing has his skills mostly in the 25th-75th% except for math (minus math facts fluency) and reading comprehension which are much higher.  His PS grades are total crap.  He's just not interested in school.  He has other priorities.  

 

Compared to the disproportionately represented E/PG crowd on this board and my paternal family, he really doesn't seem gifted.  But compared to actual average kids (which we have to leave our circle of close friends to find), he does, just not usually in academic ways.  I guess I'm trying to say that I wouldn't be too quick to discount your DD's intelligence.  I also think its fine to let her be herself.  I don't believe that a non-academically inclined gifted child needs to be pushed in that direction.

 

Haha, yes, messy is an understatement. She's very much into creating various structures, and she likes writing plays for us all to act out, she creates paper/cardboard scenery and costumes...I have a trashbag RIGHT THERE by the table where she does crafts, but does she ever use it? The table and floor are always strewn with markers, scraps, snips of wire, pipe cleaners, pieces of tape stuck to the carpet...I've pretty much given up by this point. :svengo:

 

And I guess it could be that she's somewhere on the border between just bright and gifted...at least in a non-traditional sense. (School wants her to do CoGAT to join their gifted program, and I'd be interested to see how she did, but not interested enough to put her through testing. We did a neuropsych evaluation a year and a half ago to diagnose her ADHD, and she despised the testing. I also doubt she'd like the g/t program, she's too much of a perfectionist, and I want to keep things on the easy side for her.) Anyway, I think as long as she can follow her passions (whatever those turn out to be), in or out of college, and for a career, she'll be happy and do well in the world. That's true for all kids, but especially for ADHD kids who only find motivation and focus when they love what they're doing.

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Since I started this thread (and WOW!) I've come to realize I don't expect nearly enough of my children.

Or maybe it's I don't make my expectations known. Probably a bit of both. Thus I've decided I need to 

hash out what my expectations of each kiddo are and present said expectations. I'm thinking while it may 

be a struggle at first that they will come to appreciate the challenges I set forth! I know I did when I had classes

that really challenged me - not just expected the minimum of me.

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Since I started this thread (and WOW!) I've come to realize I don't expect nearly enough of my children.

Or maybe it's I don't make my expectations known. Probably a bit of both. Thus I've decided I need to

hash out what my expectations of each kiddo are and present said expectations. I'm thinking while it may

be a struggle at first that they will come to appreciate the challenges I set forth! I know I did when I had classes

that really challenged me - not just expected the minimum of me.

I used the term gifted denial above becasue the root of not asking more from my son was my denial, which might not be your case. I did not want him to be gifted since my childhood was so painful due to the PG label. Anyway, testing made me have to realize that I needed to teach the kid in front of me and ask a whole lot more. Well, I needed to ask what he wanted to learn and get out of the way! The concrete analysis of scores made it very apparent that it was time to pull out curriculum and get a bit serious with allowing my son to really grow into his brain to the fullest.

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My expectations were that DS works hard and that we share a reasonably respectful attitude (definitely goes both ways). What he works hard in is up to him. Earlier on, I took his requests to learn some things too seriously and really got in his way. Only when each initial request backfired (loss of interest when I overwhelmed him with books and resources) did I learn my lessons. Now he tells me he likes something and I give him some options and then leave it all up to him. If he doesn't push further then I know he probably was not as interested or needs more time for that interest to develop.

Edited by quark
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Since I started this thread (and WOW!) I've come to realize I don't expect nearly enough of my children.

Or maybe it's I don't make my expectations known. Probably a bit of both. Thus I've decided I need to hash out what my expectations of each kiddo are and present said expectations.

My parents only expectation was that I get into college. I was obstinate since birth according to the NICU staff. At the moment my DS12 is as obstinate as the day he was born and my DS11 is a "do not want to take charge".

 

My side of the family are mainly dabblers while hubby's side are mainly doers. This article is a fun read.

Dabblers and Doers http://www.grcne.com/dabbledo.html

 

This one is an interesting read.

The Procrastinator's Guide to the Galaxy, and Other Important Spots in the Universe http://www.grcne.com/procrast.html

"Procrastinators have difficulty sustaining attention for any period of time on material that is not fascinating. Doing an ordinary, mundane task, like taking out the trash, is not fascinating so it isn't done until the deadline: bedtime, or as the trash people are already coming down the block.

...

Anxious Procrastinators may also be perfectionists. They want to do short, easily accomplished tasks perfectly to reassure themselves that they are in control and are really smart. "

 

ETA:

There are more articles on this link http://www.grcne.com/articles.html

E.g.

Misperceptions About Giftedness Diagnosis of ADHD and and Other Disorders http://www.grcne.com/misperceptions-about-giftedness.html

When the Door Opens http://www.grcne.com/when-the-door-opens.html

The Art of Making a Good Decision http://www.grcne.com/good-decision.html

The Conundrum Glass http://www.grcne.com/the-conundrum-glass.html

The Divergent Thinker http://www.grcne.com/divergent-thinker.html

Gifted Children with AD/HD http://www.grcne.com/giftedADHD.html

Gifted Children with Asperger Syndrome http://www.grcne.com/giftedAsperger.html

Edited by Arcadia
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Okay, this is kind of embarrassing to admit but in our case it wasn't pride. It was more that to us our boys' achievements mostly seemed fairly normal and certainly not out of the realm of the expected.

**Same for us.  I viewed my kids as totally normal (family of "gifted" cousins, you see -- many engineers, uncles/aunts and grandparents with patents, degrees from MIT, vice presidents in big law firms, working in government labs, teaching at universities... you get the picture). Still, I tried to convince myself that anything I *did* see that was different was due to... talking to them a lot, interacting with them a lot, spending hours a day reading to them... you know... My husband was adamant that all of the comments people were making about the kids being advanced and "so smart" was just small talk... complimentary nonsense people say just to have something to say... but I wasn't so sure.  (He is from another culture where people regularly do just that.)

 

Talking in complete, adult like sentences before a year and holding logical, interesting conversations at 18 months? Well . . . we talk to them a lot.

 

Reading chapter books at four? Well, I was an early reader, as was my brother. And we read to them a lot and played with letters.

 

Oldest was identified as gifted when he was in elementary school, but there was no formal testing involved. He was identified as being in the top so-and-so percentage in his grade. DH and I had BTDT so it seemed more normal than unusual. He was invited to join Duke's TIP after fourth grade which was kind of cool but didn't seem like that big of a deal. A teacher informally tested youngest's reading when he was in kindy and it was around middle school level (may have been higher--she couldn't test beyond that level). He got lots of attention for that, but the school didn't label kids at that age so . .  life just kind of went on. And then we started homeschooling (because they weren't being challenged in public school) and I didn't have much to compare them to, other than knowing the homeschool co-ops around here were a total waste of our time academically.

**Oldest was in school the year he was 10. I grade-skipped him (small, Catholic school) by filling out the paperwork simply saying he was a 6th grader... figured I could just claim "typo" if anyone objected. No one did. Near the end of the year all of the 6th graders took the CoGat. At the parent-teacher meeting following the test, dh and I were "double-teamed" by two of the teachers who took out ds's scores and started gushing like I've never seen a teacher do. (I had been a classroom teacher and I never saw a reaction like this.)  It was definitely overkill and quite overwhelming at the time...

 

Until I started reading this forum it never occurred to me that anyone could view raising a gifted child as being a problem. It was actually reading here that made me wonder if mine needed a label and then to doubt it. Before coming here I just kind of thought, "Oh, they're pretty smart" and we provided as much challenge as we could and life went on. And then I started reading this forum and so many parents seemed to think having a gifted child was a constant problem to be dealt with, or presented one challenge after another and we'd certainly never experienced that. It was the lack of feeling like there was any special problem to deal with that made me doubt that they were gifted and hesitant to say so w/o proof.

**There are many "flavors"of giftedness. Many gifted kids just blend right in... but many stick out like sore thumbs... and it's not necessarily easily explained due to FSIQ differences.

 

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My parents only expectation was that I get into college. I was obstinate since birth according to the NICU staff. At the moment my DS12 is as obstinate as the day he was born and my DS11 is a "do not want to take charge".

 

My side of the family are mainly dabblers while hubby's side are mainly doers. This article is a fun read.

Dabblers and Doers http://www.grcne.com/dabbledo.html

 

This one is an interesting read.

The Procrastinator's Guide to the Galaxy, and Other Important Spots in the Universe http://www.grcne.com/procrast.html

"Procrastinators have difficulty sustaining attention for any period of time on material that is not fascinating. Doing an ordinary, mundane task, like taking out the trash, is not fascinating so it isn't done until the deadline: bedtime, or as the trash people are already coming down the block.

...

Anxious Procrastinators may also be perfectionists. They want to do short, easily accomplished tasks perfectly to reassure themselves that they are in control and are really smart. "

 

ETA:

There are more articles on this link http://www.grcne.com/articles.html

E.g.

Misperceptions About Giftedness Diagnosis of ADHD and and Other Disorders http://www.grcne.com/misperceptions-about-giftedness.html

When the Door Opens http://www.grcne.com/when-the-door-opens.html

The Art of Making a Good Decision http://www.grcne.com/good-decision.html

The Conundrum Glass http://www.grcne.com/the-conundrum-glass.html

The Divergent Thinker http://www.grcne.com/divergent-thinker.html

Gifted Children with AD/HD http://www.grcne.com/giftedADHD.html

Gifted Children with Asperger Syndrome http://www.grcne.com/giftedAsperger.html

 

Oooh, nice articles. Especially the last two.. :blush:

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