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Support for Parents of Gifted Children, #2 - Page 2

post #21 of 426
Totally T , sorry!

I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone can answer this question. I have been : on the last special needs/gifted child thread and came across something a while back that I cannot find now (so many pages).

My dd has really been expressing an interest in more than just listening and repeating from memory the stories we read. She is now picking out all the letters and comes up with words for them in my "adult" books (as she calls them--no pictures). She got upset today because she couldn't find the letter "z".

Anyway, I remember a few people talking about some early reader books they refered to as "the Bob books". Is anyone here familiar with these? Can you give me more info? Any other recommendations would be appreciated.

I'm not sure if my dd qualifies as advanced or gifted, however both my dh and I were tested and given those labels (and the special classes that go along with them) in school.

She certainly posesses many of the qualities discussed in this and related threads but as the theme of the beginning of this thread discusses I, too, have a problem talking about her successes and attributes because I feel like I am bragging. I'll have to work on that and am very thankful for this thread.

More later--someone wants "nursies".
post #22 of 426
We used BoB books. The are boring as all heck but our dd found them at the library and beame obsessed with them. she was on the verge of teaching herself to read, and this really seemed to give her the last final help she wanted to become a true reader. (at age 4)
post #23 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Maya, this is a support thread. It is not here for people to log on and tell us that our children probably aren't gifted. If we didn't think we belonged here, we wouldn't post.

It wasn't to say that your child is not gifted. The OP was about "bragging" My story was just a reminder that the downside of telling people about how your child is gifted is that it sometimes turns out to not be the case, in the long run. Children at our school who are sometimes labeled as "potentially gifted" early on (there were about 12 out of 100 in Dd's kindergarten), sometimes later lose that label as time goes on and they level off in abilities (only 4 remained with the label gifted going into middle school.)

That being said, I think that there is nothing wrong with posting about your child being gifted in a gifted thread.

And I think that there is nothing wrong most of the time, with talking about your kids abilities or telling stories that show how clearly bright they are. The exception is with someone who is talking about how many challenges their own kid has, I would not say "Oh, well my kid can do _____, "
post #24 of 426
Quote:
Anyway, I remember a few people talking about some early reader books they refered to as "the Bob books". Is anyone here familiar with these? Can you give me more info? Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
DD thought they were really boring too. She struggled for months to teach herself to read (she was doing good, could read our neighbor's kindergarden homework books, but was just sooooo slow). So, I got Hooked on Phonics at the library, let her do what she wanted (as fast as she wanted, skipped stuff, etc...) for three weeks & we were "done." (MIL is a "Talented & Gifted teacher & tested her around early 2nd grade level at that point). There is nothing "wrong" with the Bob books, just compared to the stuff we usually read it was boring, repetitive and so "small" (simple line illustrations, etc...).
post #25 of 426
DS thinks the Bob Books are very funny. He's at that silly silly age when it's just hilarious when Mat sits on Sam or whatever. His latest thing when he wants to do something on his own is to say "go away mom, don't come in here!" Tonight he said that so of course I had to peek and he was just looking at his Bob books laughing. So that's our recommendation, fun and silly and great for beginning readers.

I love all the late-night conversations--fun stories to read. And the God questions, ack. Where to begin?

Our latest funny is that DS was playing with his fridge letters and decided that English actually reads right to left and that all the letters made different sounds than they "really" do. Like moon was spelled noom but then the M actually said W so it was woon. He is like this for everything. What if I drink my milk out of the far side of the cup? What if I pour it on the placemat and drink it? What if I lap it like a cat? And so on. (Just DRINK THE MILK!) It's very awesome that he is so creative, and I know he's just playing like 3 year olds ought to, but I can just see myself explaining to future teachers that DS actually knows how to do XYZ already, but he's decided to do it his own different way. But maybe I'm just projecting...this trait is what got me labeled "attitude problem" at 6.

btw, I feel a bit presumptuous posting on a gifted support thread; I mean, he's 3, y'know? (not to say you all are, just my own feelings!) but it is nice to talk about the littleuns and their reading adventures without being embarassed or outed as a flashcard mom--not.

thanks.
post #26 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by supervee
btw, I feel a bit presumptuous posting on a gifted support thread; I mean, he's 3, y'know? (not to say you all are, just my own feelings!) but it is nice to talk about the littleuns and their reading adventures without being embarassed or outed as a flashcard mom--not.

thanks.
Me too! (Except it's even worse here - as he will tell you, "I'm not 2. I'm 1.") I wonder all the time - is he just exceptionally verbal? Maybe he's just precocious and it'll level out eventually, like Maya said? I'm not too concerned right now but I do wonder what will happen when he is school age. I think now he's too young to really pose any special problems for me, except maybe how to keep his brain engaged. I guess I just have to wait and see how it turns out. This is why I usually just lurk on this thread.

Plus, I find the criteria of "gifted" to be extremely vague and subjective and generally unhelpful. I'm not all that hip on IQ tests, either. I think the whole act of quantifying someone's intelligence is inherently limiting. This is why I'm so worried about (particularly) public schooling.
post #27 of 426
BTW - I didn't mean "it's worse" meaning he's more advanced due to his young age, I meant my presumptuousness is worse due to his young age. Does that make sense? I hope so!
post #28 of 426
I love what you have to say on the subject Britishmum

We are dealing with MAJOR issues here. It is so challenging for ds1 because he understands certain concepts intellectually, but does not have the maturity to figure out how it fits into his life. For example, at 2 he discovered gravity. He was so enthralled with the idea that he would lecture everyone he met on the wonders of it. What goes up must come down after all. See this ball, if you throw it up it doesn't stay there, it falls down. See that leaf.... And on and on it went. Then he realized, that light is "up", the fan is "up", the airplane is "up", hmmmmm, if it is up it MUST come down. This lead to major anxiety. He developed some serious fears surrounding anything that was on ceilings, or above him when outdoors. Thankfully that passed for the most part.

Next was a fear of food. He had a painful episode of constipation. Understanding the basics of digestion he decided the sure way not to have that problem was just to not eat. He would go days without eating more than a few bites of this or that. To his dismay he could only hold back so long and he would scream and cry for days about how he didn't want to poop. Then he swore off liquids too figuring maybe that was the secret. This went on for over a month. Now he has decided that digestion is unavoidable so he might as well deal with it. He still won't eat though. Fruit is too sticky, cereal is too cruchy, vegetables just aren't yummy. Food is not good.

He has major sensory problems. I am hesitant to get him diagnosed at this point because I don't know that he would deal with that situation very well. I fear what an assesment might reveal if I had any confidence they would do an accurate job of it. He just knows when people are listening a little too close, or watching a little more than normal and he refuses to "perform" for them. At an LLL meeting one of the leaders heard him talking in his made up language and was concerned about a speech delay (she is a preschool teacher and only meant well, but.....argh). Anyway, she was just trying to listen to him talk and was just trying to listen to him in a very non-challant way. Of course he caught on right away and started messing with her. He would interject sentances with a series of "ga ga ga's" or start singing songs at triple their normal speed. She was very concerned about his language development and vocabulary. This about a boy that regularly proclaims that that was amazing, I did an exceptional job, or this toast is really very excellant today :LOL He still refuses to talk properly there many, many months later. I just think that he would probably play tricks during any kind of assessment as he does it all the time because he just doesn't like people to know what he can do unless he is sure he can do it perfect. OTOH he does have some issues that I am growing more concerned with and his anxiety is often out of control. I am so torn.

There are so many more things going on with my poor boy, but this post is too long and I am tired! If anyone has any insight to my poor boy please share it
post #29 of 426
famousmb, that made sense to me!

FRM, I think this is one of the biggest challenges, y'all correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been reading about the idea asynchronous development, and that's what it sounds like. The challenge being if your child is developing so far ahead in one area (like physics concepts) but on target in other areas like maturity. I think it's especially hard, for example, if your child is talking like a 10-year-old not to assume they have the maturity/experience of a 10-year old!

We had DS "assessed" during a university study of language (it was mostly a fun experience for him!) and because he was so far advanced in language, they started giving him the "older kid" tests but they were boring for his age. Does that make sense? Like the 2-year old part of the test was playing with bubbles and talking or whatever, but as they progressed to higher age levels it was mostly sitting and pointing at pictures while the instructor talked. He started being very silly about stuff he knew, like just pointing at the left side every time or saying "I don't know." I'm not sure if the instructor realized his games, but I was chuckling inside really. Anyway, point being that I don't think testing is very accurate or useful at this age.
post #30 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum
Maya, I think most parents here couldnt care less if their children test now or later as 'gifted' or any other label. What matters is the here and now, and that it can be tough dealing with children who are so advanced at such a young age. Maybe for some of our children it will even out, but that doesnt alter things right now. It's not a question of bragging, it's just hard sometimes that every other parent can talk openly about their child, except you.

As a parent, when my child starts kindergarten, you can be sure I will mention her abilities to the teacher. If she can read now, in two years time, yes, I will want to know what that teacher will do to stretch her! And if she can do maths at a kindergarten level now, heck, yes, I will want to know what that teacher will do with her in maths when she starts in K in two years time.

I have a friend who didnt mention her dd's abilities when teh child started school (she was a fluent reader at three) and for weeks the child was sent home with earliest reading books, with minimal words, until the teacher called my friend in, highly embarrassed, becasue she'd realised that the child could already read.

Of course, my friend heard all the stuff about things evening out in the end, blah blah. And guess what? At the end of 5th grade, her daugther was one of handful of children in the whole of the UK to achieve the highest level in English in her tests. And she did it with ease. So for her, it didnt even out. And her mother should have asked that kindergarten teacher before her child started school what she was going to do to stretch her daughter.

If things were going to even out, they woudl do so in time, but to have a fluent reader wasting time being taught their abcs is wrong, whatever lies in the future. It's not a questioin of bragging. If it's right for a parent to tell a teacher that she's concerned how her child's needs will be met if he has a speech delay, iti is equally right to ask this question if the child is advanced in any sphere. As a teacher, I would want to know. I think in some cases teachers feel threatened by this sort of question, and their response is therefore defensive, to the detriment of the child. I say this having worked in education for years. It is an attitude you come across every so often, the 'want to prove the parent wrong' attitude. It's sad, as parents tend to know better than anyone what their children can do.

I would Definitely tell their teacher PRIVATELY about their abilities and ask what can be done to strech them. But I just think you look kind of silly raising your hand at a big orientation session and asking about what they will do for your gifted child, or stating "well my child alreadyr reads at the ___ grade level, so how will you keep them from being bored." These are all good to ask one on one. BUt I know that if you ask at some general parent meeting, the other parents will be rolling their eyes and thinking that you are bragging.
post #31 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya43
A friend of mine who is a school principal tells me that she counts the number of minutes at the new parent night for pre-k kids until someone asks the question "How will you challenge my gifted child' She says that she has never made it more than 10 minutes.

She also said over the past 10 years the person who asked that question had a child who was later classified as gifted twice and twice the person's child was later classified as learning disabled.
Allow me to state the absolutely obvious, Maya, but I'm sure you know that a child can be *both* gifted AND learning-disabled at the same time. The PC term, if you're curious, is "twice gifted," and if you Google that term, you'll find a number of informative websites on the topic.

As I'm sure you already know, research indicates that parents are far more accurate predictors of giftedness than teachers or, surprisingly, administrators -- they tend to be right 87% of the time, which may mean that while 13% of those parents at Parent Night may have been deluding themselves, the others were not -- whether those kids were identified as gifted or not.

Quite often, the only kids referred for gifted services in the first place are the ones who display classroom-appropriate behaviors like sitting down and shutting up and doing the work. As you know, though, the extremely or prodigiously gifted child may be the one who does NO work, who "acts out" out of boredom, and who doesn't look gifted by conventionally casual methods.

In short, I would take their Parents Night figures with a bit of a grain of salt. I would also be very surprised that they identified only two gifted students in ten years. Sounds like their assessment system may need an overhaul. Just my uneducated opinion, though.

Baudelaire
B.A. English
M.A. English, University of Chicago
English teacher since 1995
Gifted endorsement in process
post #32 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonlightinvt
Totally T , sorry!
Anyway, I remember a few people talking about some early reader books they refered to as "the Bob books". Is anyone here familiar with these? Can you give me more info? Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
Oh, they're GREAT!!! They're called "Bob Books" and the author is Bobby Lynn Maslen or Maslow. Go to the public library and ask the children's librarian; she'll know what you're talking about.

Conversely, you could also go to the bookstore kids' section. They come in little boxes -- the books are very small, like 3"x5" -- and are very simple in appearance with no bells or whistles to distract from the text, which is the important thing. They come in progressive levels of difficulty from A level to C. A-level books are simplicity itself, with just a few three-letter CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words: Mat sat. Mat sat on Sam. Sam sat on Mat. They start with short vowels and move to long vowels, blends, and so on.

My dd LOVED them because they're cute, easy to hold and carry, and she could have the satisfaction of saying,
"I read a WHOLE BOOK all by myself!!" when she was done. The stories are sweet w/o being too cloying. I really think they're wonderful.
post #33 of 426
Maya's attitude is my biggest fear right now. DS just started kindergarten and he is already saying he is disappointed and bored. The first few weeks are not very academic in order to let the kids get acclimated and learn the rules. I am afraid the DS is just going to "check out" if things don't get more interesting for him, and I am afraid that if I go speak to the teacher this early she'll think I am delusional and pushy. Testing for giftedness (and an enriched program) can happen this winter if DS qualifies based on his first report card; I am afraid he'll refuse to even try what they are asking (since he mastered letter naming years ago), not qualify, then never have a chance to go to a program he might want to participate in. I have to just hold my breath for a few more weeks and see how things shape up, but it is hard I am just praying he doesn't lose all interest before things "heat up".

DS is into insects right now. We have an ant farm and we have been studying all about ants. He can identify the body parts of an ant, what the various roles in the ant community are (worker, male, queen, etc), what they eat, how they communicate, etc. We did an experiment on outdoor ants in which we put out different foods to see which they would prefer. We discussed the controls and the variables, and what our hypotheses would be. We gathered results (counted the ants at each station) and determined if our hypotheses were correct. Then DS went to kindergarten and circled groups of three on his worksheet, and colored a big number three. Certainly a different level of activity there. Sigh.
post #34 of 426
[QUOTE=Charles Baudelaire]Oh, they're GREAT!!! They're called "Bob Books" and the author is Bobby Lynn Maslen or Maslow. Go to the public library and ask the children's librarian; she'll know what you're talking about.
************
((((that doesn't look right up there--I guess I don't know how to add a quote--help))))

Thank you for everyone's input on the Bob books!!! I guess I'll have to go the bookstore route. I asked the librarian at our public library but she was not familiar with them (very small library). Having the author's name will help.

Quietplease--what a great insect project. I am surprised the school bases gifted-testing only on report cards (only my opinion, not based on experience). Is it a large school, don't the teachers and parents have a say?

I am starting to expand the learning that revolves around new interests of my dd's. We just picked up a reference book on wild mushrooms from the library and plan to gather some tomorrow (things like that). I have to admit that my fears with regards to public schools have intensified as my dd has developed and as I read many of the MDC threads and other literature. My gut instinct says to just continue teaching at home (probably an unschooling type of approach). My dd, at only 2 1/2, knows all her upper case(has for a long time) and most lower case letters (some confusion on b's, d's, p's), numbers, some words by sight, not to mention her verbal and reasoning skills which blow most people away...I don't know that she is gifted but I do know she is advanced compared to her peers at this time. Our elementary school currently has a 22:1 student/teacher ratio and that just scares me.

What kind of ratio's do you all see in your schools? I can tell that you all, obviously, do a great deal of homeschooling on top of what your kids do at school. Do you think that without it your children might loose that love of learning (I know I certainly did--hence these questions).
post #35 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
As you know, though, the extremely or prodigiously gifted child may be the one who does NO work, who "acts out" out of boredom, and who doesn't look gifted by conventionally casual methods.
Not to mention the phenomenon of hiding skills and underachieving to fit in with peer groups. My son paints graphic things in our Gymboree art class every week. He is the only one that paints recognizable things and adds details. He also writes a little. Last week, the teacher tried a new format. Instead of giving them separate space to create stuff on the walls, she sat them next to each other in front of a strip of paper. My son looked around and then drew a scribble. Then he stopped. It's what the other kids were doing and it was like he wanted to fit in. When the teacher asked him if he drew a tree, he blankly nodded, even though it was a scribble. His trees usually have branches and things. It was clear to me that he wanted to fit in. He also will happily accept readings of baby books and accept peg puzzle play from adults, because, well, they asked him.

I think lots of kids learn early that they don't want attention called to them. They want peer acceptance and so they underachieve to fit in.
post #36 of 426
I believe the report card criteria was put into place to reduce the number of kids being tested. Only a licensed school psychologist can administer the tests (I believe), so it became very difficult to do the testing when dozens of parents requested testing.

Now, it seems to me that the criteria would discriminate against, and thus underidentify, doubly gifted kids and kids from minority backgrounds, but I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone about it (and those isssues wouldn't apply to us personally anyway).

QP
post #37 of 426
I should add this. I do understand, Maya, that there are parents who believe their child is gifted, based solely on the collection of facts their child has recited after being worked with (i.e. hothousing). Sometimes, it seems like there is a race to stuff a kid full of ABCs and then compare. That's obviously not giftedness, rather it is a way of thinking. I can see how a teacher could get jaded or even subscribe to that fallacy (i.e. gifted=ambitious student stuffed full of ABCs and other prized kindy facts). In that case, gifted children suffer, because they are misunderstood.

I know that, in my school district, the "gifted" pull-out is based on yearly achievement, not actual giftedness.
post #38 of 426
Do you know what's ridiculous? I reread my first post several times, because I was anxious it would sound like I'm bragging. I'm anxious that someone who knows me elsewhere online will stumble across this and get offended. I get anxious thinking that someone will misconstrue my statements as a judgement against their kid. Heck, I even post at gifted support boards under a different name to keep anonymity, to avoid what I just described.

I can't talk about ds1 IRL, even though other parents talk about their kids. I've severely limited what info I give on ds1 online, on boards where people know me. I even downplay things about him, in an effort to not be misconstrued as "bragging" or comparing. I've been accused on exaggerating, of hothousing (I'm a huge believer in child-led learning/quasi-unschooling), of buying the wrong toys for my son (i.e. "That's too hard for him"). I've been misunderstood. When I have concerns related to giftedness, they are brushed away because it's not OK to have concerns related to learning and development, if your child is "advanced".

I feel very self-conscious posting here and I think it's a bit unfair. My child has not been tested, but I'm his mother and I know him. It's not common for a 2 year to point out trapezoids in architecture or for a 3yo to do 60-100 piece puzzles. And yet, this is not bragging. It's identifying part of who he is. Sure, I'm proud of what he can do, just as I would be proud of whatever he did, gifted or not. But really, I feel things related to his being "different". I've felt these things since he was very young and it's made me feel really out of place. Learning about giftedness and being bold enough to claim the label for ds1 has done so much to make me feel like we're not way out in left field. There are other kids like him. They face many of the same issues he has. I can look at him, when I'm frustrated over him freaking out over something odd, and I can say, "I understand why he does that." It's gone a long way in helping me understand why my son is the way he is and to accept and support him, idiosynchrasies and all. Yet, I feel uncomfortable, because of the discomfort and lack of understanding from others.
post #39 of 426
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietplease
I believe the report card criteria was put into place to reduce the number of kids being tested. Only a licensed school psychologist can administer the tests (I believe), so it became very difficult to do the testing when dozens of parents requested testing.

Now, it seems to me that the criteria would discriminate against, and thus underidentify, doubly gifted kids and kids from minority backgrounds, but I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone about it (and those isssues wouldn't apply to us personally anyway).

QP
This is very scary to me. People of color, esp. ones new to this country, are very unwilling to challenge authority figures like school principals and psychologists to get their children the help that they not only need, but DESERVE.

Gifted children DO hide their abilities -- my dd is one such, and that's why we're keeping her out of school -- and bored gifted kids (raising hand here) act out from sheer boredom and *don't* get good grades. The two brightest kids in my world lit class last year -- the ones who were the ONLY ones to understand a discussion about the relationship between Watson & Crick's discovery of DNA and the visual motifs in Hitchcocks' Vertigo -- were both getting such crummy grades that if you'd put both their grades together, they STILL didn't have a passing grade between them. I could go on with example after example.

If I were starting a gifted program, you know the first place I'd look besides Varsity Quiz and the chess club? THE DEAN'S OFFICE. Seriously.

The "dozens" of parents clamoring to have their children tested MIGHT BE RIGHT. The odds are far in their favor that they are right, in fact, and even if they're not, boo-hoo that the psych has work to do! Awwww....poor baby! Really, when a test like this can make the difference for some kids between workin' Mickey D's and going to Harvard over the long haul, I say *hire another psych* and do it, or at the very least, see if they can test the kids of the low-income parents and encourage others to pay for it themselves. The ones who can afford it *and* genuinely believe their kid is gifted will get the test done, most likely. The ones who are in it for vanity's sake? Well, those might drop off, and rightly so.
post #40 of 426
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