guilt from "overlooking" giftedness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-01-2013, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope it's ok to start two new threads. This one is different than, but somewhat related to my prior post. We recently learned that my daughter's intellectual abilities far surpass what we thought. Even when I made the appointment for testing, for some reason I was worried that maybe she wouldn't be assessed as gifted at all. To my surprise, she scored really high, high enough to qualify for the Davidson Scholars Program and other programs for the highly/exceptionally/profoundly gifted.


When I saw the scores, I cried with relief actually because it does explain a lot. My daughter in lots of ways is a typical kid. She's not building rocket ships in the basement or writing novels or working quadratic equations in her spare time. But I often feel that her mind is just different; she thinks about stuff and makes connections in unique and unusual ways. She's our only child and I think we are just used to her, if that makes sense, and didn't fully appreciate how she's different than many other kids and what her needs might be. I also was relieved that there's a REASON that she's unhappy at school despite what looks like reasonable differentiation in reading and math.


I just wondered how others dealt with having their child "identified" and if there's anyone else who was surprised by test results. And as you know, where does a person go to talk about this in real life? It's not like you can just call up your other parent friends and say, "Hey, our daughter was just identified as highly gifted last week and we're wondering what to do now."

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#2 of 6 Old 02-01-2013, 06:33 PM
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Diane, hugs to you. Take a deep breath--this is your child and you knew all along her mind worked in amazing and wondrous ways! I am certain with this new information you and your daughter will make good choices about her schooling and will help her discover her path.


My husband and I were shocked by a similar discovery when our son, then 10, stunned several established musicians/music educators with his musical abilities. There are no musicians in either side of the family and our child is all music.. We thought he was pretty good, but had no idea what we were dealing with. We thought it was normal to learn a concerto in a week..:) Left to his own devices, DS would listen, play, perform, and compose music all day... (and play chess the rest of the time) 


Focus on this as a very positive development, like you could see somewhat clearly, but now you have new pair of glasses and the world is much more brilliant!

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#3 of 6 Old 02-02-2013, 07:16 PM
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One of my DDs wasn't ID'ed as gifted until 5th grade. She is our youngest, and her older sister is on the autism spectrum. We could tell she was developing fine and were happy and relived with that, and didn't realize that she was a little smartie. We homeschooled in a relaxed way for the early grades, and she was never very interested in book learning. She liked DOING. Climbing, playing, pretending, talking, and just being a kid. She started school in 5th gade, and was a bit behind the other children are first. She very quickly caught up, and then excelled. And then her teacher recommended she be tested for the gifted program.


I felt guilty about it. I wondered if I had failed her in some say by not noticing and doing something different. But overall she had a happy childhood, and she's pretty well rounded, and in the long run, I don't think it held her back a bit. Its not like its going to keep her from being prepared for college or anything. winky.gif

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 10:59 AM
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You shouldn't feel bad. People often treat giftedness like it's a personality trait in itself and it's not. The individual personality can drastically alter how a child's intellectual ability manifests. 


My eldest is that driven, high-achieving, older than her years, intellectually hungry, obviously gifted sort of kid. I was not surprised when she tested so high. I am very guilty of underestimating my DS though. He's is witty and charming but also very "normal." He prefers to be around other boys his age, not adults. He is into very typical things like Minecraft and Star Wars. He has an unusual vocabulary but he rarely reads. Instead of more traditional intellectual pursuits, he has always spent his energy figuring out "real world" issues like how to fix our sprinkler system (which he did alone at 7) and how to do maintenance on my car (now at 12, he does everything on our cars himself from oil changes to replacing brake pads.... still, seen as rather low brow compared to building rockets lol.) Oh, and he makes the best crepes on the planet while my DD can barely scramble an egg. He doesn't care much about school but gets "A's." He speaks 3 languages, is 2 years advanced in math at school and STILL, we were shocked when he scored in the exact same percentile as DD in giftedness. Honestly, people always "get" that he's smart but few would guess he's in the top percentile.


Some gifted kids smash into your radar. Some barely register. Personality really effects how giftedness is displayed. In many ways though, I think DS has it better than DD. She gets a lot of credit for being brilliant but she's also struggles to find meaningful connection in this world. DS gets to be smart AND feel like he belongs. He is a happy kid who can take pride in his achievement and feels no pressure to be anything but what he wants to be. 


Don't waste time feeling bad. I don't doubt you've given her everything she's wanted from you over the years. Now you have more information and you'll continue to help her find her way.

Married mom, DD 18, DS 15, and a Valentine's surprise on the way!
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#5 of 6 Old 02-04-2013, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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These are great comments, thanks. As I've sat with this the last few days, I realize that we've done a pretty good job, and this is just the next turn in the road. I especially appreciated the distinction between personality and gifted ness. I also realized that I had absorbed some of the stereotypes about gifted kids!
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#6 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 01:28 PM
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I could have written your post word for word! We received quite the shock when we got our 7 yo dd's results. 


Unfortunately, she prefers to fly under the radar at school and does the bare minimum to get by. She isn't one of those kids you would be able to pick out in the classroom and just know they are gifted, if ywim. Her Perceptual Reasoning Index was >99.9th percentile and yet she doesn't even really care for math. She prefers reading and writing stories/plays. 

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