Poll and discussion: Has the word gifted been introduced to your child, and how? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Has the word gifted been directly applied to your child in their presence? How and are they aware o
We introduced the word gifted to our child but child does not self identify as gifted. 2 6.06%
We introduced the word gifted to our child and child does self identify as gifted. 3 9.09%
Someone else introduced the word gifted to our child but child does not self identify as gifted. 1 3.03%
Someone else introduced the word gifted to our child and child does self identify as gifted. 4 12.12%
Word has not been introduced to our DC, we do have discussions on differences in learning. 16 48.48%
Word has not been introduced to our DC, no need to discuss peoples differences in learning now. 7 21.21%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious how many here who identify their child as being gifted either through testing or not have actually used the word in conversations with their child. This would include either 'You are gifted', 'You are gifted at X,Y, or Z', etc. to the point where the child may self-identify as gifted either globally or specialized.

ETA:
Poll character limitations made the wording difficult. My apologies. I probably whipped it out too fast and lost lots in the editing.
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#2 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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We have had numerous discussions about the fact that different people are good at different things. He does know he is very smart. I however, don't think we have told him in so many words that he's gifted.

But he starts at the local gifted elementary school this year. I don't think it will take him to long to figure out that gifted is the label applied to the smart kids who get to go to his school.

So in that regard if he doesn't know now my son will soon know that he is gifted. He's six and in second grade.

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#3 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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I'm not sure I understand all the choices...What do you mean by "self identify as gifted" - as in the child says to people "I'm gifted" or that the child understands the difference and that the word is the one that is used to describe this in our culture.
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#4 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I voted: "Word has not been introduced to our DC, we do have discussions on differences in learning."

In private conversations to us people have used the word gifted to describe our DD's. To our DD's, adults and children comment on some of their differences. It has lead us to seek support and counsel and required to an extent that we have conversations about how everyone learns differently and at different times.

It's possible in the future that because of programming labeled as gifted we will need to define the word for our DC's.
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#5 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure I understand all the choices...What do you mean by "self identify as gifted" - as in the child says to people "I'm gifted" or that the child understands the difference and that the word is the one that is used to describe this in our culture.
Simply that they know they are gifted using the word. I wasn't concerned about how they use the word. Make sense?
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#6 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 01:54 PM
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When Anna began the testing process to get into the gifted program, we first just said that many kids were selected to see if they would be right for the program. But kids at school "enlightened" her saying that they were trying to find the smart kids for the program. So, then, I made her understand that simply being chosen to be tested said that she was very smart, otherwise they would have tested everyone. But, the final leg of the test was an IQ test. The tester came out and said that she scored x and that it qualified her for the gifted program. So, anyways, now she knows that she is "gifted". And she loves to use that word to describe herself. Thankfully, she has more tact now that she is 9 vs when she was 7.

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#7 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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DD is 3, so we have not introduced the word yet (though we do sometimes use it around her, so it is possible that she's figured it out on her own). We will do so in the next year or two. Probably as soon as we are certain that she can understand the problems associated with blurting it out in public. I think it is important to use the accepted terminology, and I see a big difference between "gifted" and "smart." And I think it is important that kids aren't first introduced to the word "gifted" in a negative or inaccurate way.

I do think it is important for even very young kids to know that everyone is different and learns differently--and so we have discussed that extensively. She knows, for instance, that her friends cannot read yet and that's fine. She's proud of her ability, but I've never seen any instance of her feeling or acting superior because of it.
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#8 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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I guess you can't have a sub-poll or something , but I would be interested in knowing what age the child first heard the word gifted applied to her. My dd is going into fourth grade and I picked the "heard the word from others and self-identifies option", but before she started school she was never labeled as "gifted". IME the word is used more for school age children.

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#9 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Our son skipped K, starting 1st @ age 4, so that kind of set the tone for being a little different. (Even with the big skip, he was still ahead of the other kids by leaps.) But nothing much was said of it.

Despite these initial differences, he just heard, "Smart... smart...smart..." regularly from other students, parents, strangers, etc. (irritating as all get out, to say the least). And then "Human Book" and "Brainy Boy" and other such terms. But not gifted. That term didn't start to show up until 3rd grade when the teacher sent home notices that the kids were to be tested for GATE.

So by that time, we had to address it squarely. I saw no need to hide the fact... he's not an idiot. And, I wanted to make sure we were the ones to discuss it with him, and to reinforce the importance of NOT swinging the word around in public.

To my knowledge, there's only been one incident of him bragging about how smart he is, which was quickly diffused -- in front of the girl he was bragging to -- how just recently he'd gotten a lima bean stuck up his nose. Never had a repeat of the bragging (nor a repeat of the bean!) since.
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#10 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EXOLAX View Post
Simply that they know they are gifted using the word. I wasn't concerned about how they use the word. Make sense?
I think I'm not getting the self identify part. If it is just that they know the word, whether they'd say it or not, doesn't that make the first couple of answers the same thing? Sorry, this may be obvious to every one else - maybe I need more coffee!
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#11 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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Polls are funny things. I didn't respond as I have two kids with different experiences. I think it's also different where kids have been tested, and the older they are or the more extensive the testing is (or where they're pulled out individually for testing).

DS may have/probably overheard it from professionals who view giftedness as a diagnostic category, possibly as early as 3. I don't discuss it with him, although we talk about learning differences. He's going to school part-time this year and it may come up there in a way that he's aware (or may not).

I discussed it once with dd at 7 when she was having a social issue (her interests were significantly different from her peers and she was struggling with navigating it - pretty major crisis, in fact, and another bump in a road we'd been on for a while). It's also been discussed at school, particularly related to testing, being seen by district specialists, individual curriculum planning. It's been kind of unavoidable. For DD, it's given her an explanation for her perceived differences.

Both kids tend to make greater note of the places where they're different and perceive a personal deficit than where they're different and precocious.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#12 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I think I'm not getting the self identify part. If it is just that they know the word, whether they'd say it or not, doesn't that make the first couple of answers the same thing? Sorry, this may be obvious to every one else - maybe I need more coffee!
I think I get the self identifying thing. There could be a kid who knows she's in a class for "gifted" kids, or who has heard people use the word "gifted" about her, but who doesn't feel especially gifted and basically just thinks of herself as an ordinary person. I was sort of like that as a kid.
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#13 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I think I'm not getting the self identify part. If it is just that they know the word, whether they'd say it or not, doesn't that make the first couple of answers the same thing? Sorry, this may be obvious to every one else - maybe I need more coffee!
I can't speak for the OP, but I took it to mean if you asked the child, "Are you gifted?" the child would answer "yes".

I can see situations where a gifted child would know the word gifted and not necessary apply it to themselves. For example, if the child has siblings who are more profoundly gifted the child may not consider herself gifted at all even though by the standards of her community she is. Another example is if the child attends a school with a program that is labeled "Gifted" and the child has not yet reached the age where she tests into the program, then she may answer the question "I don't know" or even "No".

My dd had some difficulties in first grade and at that age they only pulled kids out for the Extended Learning Program (our Gifted program) based on teacher recommendation. Her teacher did not recommend her, so she was aware of other kids going and knew the word "gifted", but I certainly wasn't pushing the label on her, so I think she would have assumed there are kids who are gifted and she was not. I don't know if she thought those kids were "smarter" than her or not. Then in second grade during a parent-teacher conference with her present the teacher said flat-out, "She is highly gifted" and did recommend her for the ELP program. I think she started to self-identify as gifted at that point, but she still may not have answered the question a definite "yes" until she officially tested into the program at the end of last year. For us the word "gifted" is a label schools use and define, so my dd may not have self-identified as gifted until she knew she met the school's definition based on the school's tests.

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#14 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I think I get the self identifying thing. There could be a kid who knows she's in a class for "gifted" kids, or who has heard people use the word "gifted" about her, but who doesn't feel especially gifted and basically just thinks of herself as an ordinary person. I was sort of like that as a kid.
That's a good way of putting it. I, too, knew that I was in GATE classes and that they were more accelerated academically, but I didn't realize what it was that made me different in other areas than just being good at school. When we realized what it was with dd#1, it just clicked for me what had been wrong with me my entire life.

Dd#1 had the gifted label applied to her at school based upon "general intellectual ability" in 2nd grade. Some of the kids who were attending a minimal pull-out that was happening that year went around telling the other students that the class was for "gifted and talented kids like me" which dd found rather obnoxious. I would say that she self-identifies as gifted b/c she is obviously aware that the acceleration decisions that have been made for/with her were based upon her being different. I do believe that the school discussed with her that skipping a grade is only done for kids with a gifted label, that they write ALPs (accelerated learning plans) for kids with that same label, etc. However, I've never heard her say to anyone "I'm gifted."

Dd#2, although identified as gifted apparently now (although they haven't shared with me what they ided her as gifted in or how gifted -- tier 1, 2, or 3 are their "levels"), probably does not self identify that way. This will be her first year in a GT reading class, so we'll see where things fall at the end of the year.
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#15 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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I voted for the last option, though it's not exactly accurate. We haven't had any discussions about varying learning styles per se, but we have discussed the fact that everyone is different, occasionally with examples like, "You have an easy time with math, Soandso has an easy time tying her shoes."

Bean may have heard the word "gifted" before, but I've never heard him apply it to himself.

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#16 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 08:01 PM
 
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The word Gifted, and Danish equivalent, is really, really in the closet and not to be discussed. This is a cultural difference; there are a lot of things people do not say in public. Heck, I can't even bring the topic up with DH except in a round-about way. I have had friends, and the occasional acquaintance, say "she is really advanced" kind of statements, sometimes to me, sometimes with DD within earshot, but never the G word.

I never use the word with my kids. I am actually not opposed to it, it just has not been necessary yet, since mine are only 2 and 4. I tend to give more concrete qualifiers, like "that is a really beautiful painting of the house DS. I really like the detailed hearts you drew over the windows..."

I have not asked them how they would identify themselves. I am guessing DS would consider himself middle of the road, where DD would consider herself clever. At least she says "I am clever" a lot, though that is also a typical danish expression. DS goes to daycare with 3 common rooms, one of which is Special Needs kids, so he has a lot of exposure and experience with different kids having different skills, abilities and talents. So he is aware of terms like handicapped, special needs, and that Daniel has a special chair.... but not gifted, because it is really not relevant at this point. I voted for the last option.
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#17 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I just turned to my son and asked him if he knew what the word gifted means. He says he does not. And since he's busy playing wii he doesn't really care either at this moment.

That kinda surprised me. But it means I know actually know how to answer the poll. I answered the second to the last answer. I actually kinda figured he was in the first four. But I have know idea how he would self identify. It doesn't really matter to me. I figure eventually he will know what the word gifted means.

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#18 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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I did not vote.

My DD knows she tested very high, and I have said the word "gifted" in front of her. My DS knows he is very bright.

Honestly, I see no reason to keep it from them - they have the right to know info about themselves...if they were dyslexic they would have the right to know they were dyslexic.

I do not see gifted as good or bad - simply "is" (although if pressed I would say being gifted has more advantages than disadvantages for many people- but you are gifted through luck of the draw (hence it is nothing to be proud of or ashamed about)).

I try to be matter of fact about it.

I also try to keep the whole picture in mind - yeah, you are gifted - but that is one part of you - it does not define you.

Edited to add: Ds is 13.5. DD is 10.5 and DD is almost 7. i think age plays a role in the variety of answers.
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#19 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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I just wanted to add this: Bean is six, and has been tested. He does know that he thinks and learns differently from most children, and accepts it as a difference. He's the only one of my children who has been tested, but I think it's pretty safe at this point to say that all four of them are gifted to one extent or another. The word "gifted" might come up in later discussion, but to date it hasn't been necessary to use any other terminology. People will tell him that he's "a very smart kid," and he tends to reply with factual information; "I'm really fascinated by ____ so I've read a lot about that." (Each time he does this, I smile because this is a response he's heard from me. )

He actually found the copies I'd made of his test results (I had scanned them to send to his teacher) and... made paper planes from them. He thought they were in the "recycle me!" pile. I thought it was an interesting statement of the numbers' relevance to his life.

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#20 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Polls are funny things. I didn't respond as I have two kids with different experiences.
If you're interested I did leave it open for multiple responses in case of this scenario.
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#21 of 33 Old 08-19-2009, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I think I'm not getting the self identify part. If it is just that they know the word, whether they'd say it or not, doesn't that make the first couple of answers the same thing? Sorry, this may be obvious to every one else - maybe I need more coffee!
I am certain it was my wording as I struggled with it to keep within the given constraints. I was convinced even before I submitted it that it would be confusing. I guess I needed more coffee!

This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I think I get the self identifying thing. There could be a kid who knows she's in a class for "gifted" kids, or who has heard people use the word "gifted" about her, but who doesn't feel especially gifted and basically just thinks of herself as an ordinary person. I was sort of like that as a kid.
And This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post
I can't speak for the OP, but I took it to mean if you asked the child, "Are you gifted?" the child would answer "yes".

I can see situations where a gifted child would know the word gifted and not necessary apply it to themselves. For example, if the child has siblings who are more profoundly gifted the child may not consider herself gifted at all even though by the standards of her community she is. Another example is if the child attends a school with a program that is labeled "Gifted" and the child has not yet reached the age where she tests into the program, then she may answer the question "I don't know" or even "No".
In whatever capacity; answering 'yes' to are you gifted questions, states that they are gifted, understands and knows they are gifted but won't discuss it, etc. would be identifying as gifted. Not thinking they are gifted, answering 'No' to the above when they truly believe they are not, etc. would be not self-identifying. HTH
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#22 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It was another thread that prompted my thinking on this.

I sometimes feel that people are of the opinion that this forum is a direct reflection on how some of us are IRL. Just by being here I am making an assumption that our children are gifted. When I post I sometimes feel the outside interpretation is that just by posting here I am constantly proclaiming "Our DD's are gifted". While that may be the default because of the forum setup it may not be the reality. On the forums we say to a global audience, "My DC is gifted and I need help with XYZ because I think it may be related". IRL we have the option of being more tactful and the gifted label itself may not be as big a part of our lives as it appears to be here (that isn't to say giftedness isn't an issue, I'm just referring to the label itself).

The way people interpret the use of the word gifted online may not directly correlate to its' real life usage. I do not believe a 1x1 correlation exists.
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#23 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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Word has not been introduced to our DC, we do have discussions on differences in learning.

We talk a lot about everyone learning things at different times and rates, just like some people are taller or shorter at the same age.
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#24 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
He actually found the copies I'd made of his test results (I had scanned them to send to his teacher) and... made paper planes from them. He thought they were in the "recycle me!" pile. I thought it was an interesting statement of the numbers' relevance to his life.
:
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#25 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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I chose the first option but I'm not actually sure about any of the options. Sorry, I know, it's the obligatory and oft dreaded "other." I really can't remember when ds first learned the word gifted. I suspect it was when the school officially tested him for the program although prior to that we certainly knew he was gifted (from outside assessment), and he certainly knew he was very intelligent and that he is different from many of his peers. I don't know if he specifically knew the word "gifted" at that time though, and when it came time for the school to consider it, we left the decision to complete the assessment (or not) to him.

I am also not entirely sure whether he identifies himself as gifted. When we discuss his learning style and speed, we discuss it in terms of brain function and how his brain functions differently than many other brains function. So while he intellectually knows that he is "gifted" in the sense of being in a gifted/talented program, I'm not sure he would self-identify. But he might do it and I've simply never witnessed it myself. It's hard to know without asking somebody else and that just seems awkward. LOL

eta; I think he would actually call himself "very smart" or to be inclined to say something like, "I'm small but I have a big fat brain."


eta; Sorry--nope, he definitely knows what gifted is and he knew it long before the school tested him and had probably already applied it to himself because for years he has "helped" me when we assess the kids in my district through our group testing. He usually accompanies me and hands out papers, pencils, etc. before testing begins. So he was fairly versed in the acronym and the whys of the assessment, having heard one or the other of the psychs in my group discuss it with the students over the years. But I still think he'd probably just say he has a big fat brain....he's 10 and entered the gifted program a year ago although we had assessment results on him when he was six.
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#26 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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Not yet, though we have discussed how different people are good at different things. I expect this to come up pretty soon, though, since she's about to start K and I think they have a little bit of pull-out or at least something (or so they say).

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#27 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
My DD knows she tested very high, and I have said the word "gifted" in front of her. My DS knows he is very bright.

Honestly, I see no reason to keep it from them - they have the right to know info about themselves...if they were dyslexic they would have the right to know they were dyslexic.

I do not see gifted as good or bad - simply "is" (although if pressed I would say being gifted has more advantages than disadvantages for many people- but you are gifted through luck of the draw (hence it is nothing to be proud of or ashamed about)).

I try to be matter of fact about it.

I also try to keep the whole picture in mind - yeah, you are gifted - but that is one part of you - it does not define you.
: ... mine was tested as part of his IEP evaluations for special needs issues to ensure that the existing ones were not symptomatic of bigger issues. The evaluators regularly tell him how much more he knows than most 5yos. So he "knows" this because it's what he's told--not because he can cognitively identify that there is a difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by expecting-joy View Post
Word has not been introduced to our DC, we do have discussions on differences in learning.

We talk a lot about everyone learning things at different times and rates, just like some people are taller or shorter at the same age.
And because of the above--with the evaluators telling him he's so smart and so far ahead, we've had to have these discussions, too. He should be proud of his abilities, but not to the extent where he is unable to recognize that all children are different and all of them have something wonderful about them, too. It may be a kind spirit. It may be the ability to play an instrument. It may be sports. Whatever. So I don't disregard that he has these talents. I just try to make him see that other people have talents, too. We just don't all look the same.

It's an exercise in diversity.

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#28 of 33 Old 08-20-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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I voted "self id as gifted and parents use word gifted."

However its more like DD has always viewed herself as good different from other people and very good at math and reading. She talks about wanting to change the rules all the time, repetition is boring, and older kids and adults are often more interesting than her peers. I have never heard her actually use the word gifted.

DD has always been exposed to people who are differently abled. A friend's purple hearing aide is an item of high interest. We also have a sign language interpreter at church which helps our awareness of differences in abilities. Its like a dance to watch and DD is captivated by it. She has even memorized the signs to a couple of our church's more often sung songs. I love how this sort of flips things arround.

DH's work services LD clients. Words like stupid and dumb are pretty much banned from our house. This colors how we talk about gifted too. I'm sure DD has seen all the gifted books arround the house and me reading this board. When speaking as a family, DH and I try to use words that are more descriptive than "gifted."

Now that DD is doing violin, she is exposed to kids who can do something better than she can.

I wish there was a more neutral word than gifted. I worry about how quick DD's school tried to id her as 2E, while her class was in the midst of studying disabilities last year. I think the point of the class' study was supposed to be about celebrating difference, but DD found it very unsettling and anounced she was handicaped. GRRR. Bad timing of the school's part to say the least.

I could go into a major degression into how DD linked her giftedness, her lack of being allowed to learn in school, and her understanding of democracy and Christianity. I'll save it for another post.
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#29 of 33 Old 08-21-2009, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by chrysgee View Post
I could go into a major degression into how DD linked her giftedness, her lack of being allowed to learn in school, and her understanding of democracy and Christianity. I'll save it for another post.
Ohhhh! This does sound interesting!
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#30 of 33 Old 08-22-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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I don't think she's ever heard the word referred to her. We tell her she's advanced and her love of learning, makes it so that she understands and remembers things easier than some other kids.

We did have a problem with another parent telling her she was the smartest kid in Kindergarten, but her Kindergarten teacher and us quickly told her that was never to be repeated after she told her Kindergarten teacher about the conversation.
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