Should I assume my kids are/will be gifted? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This may be a bit of a spinoff of the genetics thread.

 

DH and I would were categorized as gifted as children.  I haven't been concerned about my kids, the oldest is 3.5.  After a conversation with a family member, I'm a bit worried that I may be doing them a disservice by not expecting that they are gifted.

 

We've moved recently, and we're still in the process of finding a more permanent home, which includes looking at public schools.

 

I assumed it's too soon for an evaluation because she's too young.  I don't really have a concrete question.  I guess, should I wait for giftedness to become an issue in DD's schooling?  Or should I expect her to be gifted and plan on homeschool or private school, which would affect where we buy our house?  Or as my title says, should I assume my kids are/will be gifted for the sake of life planning?

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#2 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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I've wondered the same thing.

My family acts like it's just a given but I don't want to be one of those parents who seeks someone out to tell them that their child is special when they're not, but at the same time, if he is gifted I'd like to know about it as soon as possible so he can be in a stimulating environment. 

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#3 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 10:31 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't assume they'll be gifted. Besides, even if they ARE gifted, you'll have no idea how it will manifest itself. You don't know what they'll need or want as individuals until they are there... even then, what they need and want may change several times as they grow and develop. Personally, we've had far more success with small districts and flexible, open-minded schools than we have had with gifted programming. My eldest hated the gifted program. My youngest enjoys it. I wouldn't pick a house based on that.

 

Move where you love.. a community that feels like home, a place you feel safe..sure, look at the schools but don't let possible giftedness be the deciding factor.

 

Some gifted kids do great in public school. Others do not. Some non-gifted kids will thrive in public school. Others will not. It's really hard to pick a school that fits your child until your child is there or close to it.


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#4 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Move where you love.. a community that feels like home, a place you feel safe..sure, look at the schools but don't let possible giftedness be the deciding factor.

 

Thanks! It would be the other way around, though. I would feel more comfortable investing in a public school district if I was more sure that the kids would be closer to center of the bell curve, and therefore more likely to succeed.  But I guess I can foresee how any number of things could be in place in which public schooling wouldn't work.  We live in an area with access to very good public schools.

 

Perhaps my questions are more about schooling than giftedness. I'm just grasping for something concrete that can shape my vision of our future.

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#5 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 03:00 AM
 
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 I would feel more comfortable investing in a public school district if I was more sure that the kids would be closer to center of the bell curve, and therefore more likely to succeed.  

 

I don't understand what you mean by this.  If they're more average, your children are more likely to succeed?  

 

I think its highly possible your children could be gifted.  But I agree with the previous poster to choose a neighborhood you like with a good quality school (check great schools.com) and then just be a good parent who provides appropriate stimulation and experiences for your children. It's more than likely your kids will be fine in public school.

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#6 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 03:25 AM
 
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Every child benefits from a stimulating environment, so feel free to provide lots of opportunities for learning and exploring. Choose where you are going to live based on everyone's needs, and as many wants as can be accommodated. It's too soon to be able to predict accurately what kind of learning environment each child will thrive in. Flexibility is key.
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#7 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 04:17 AM
 
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That is an age when a lot of people make intentional or de facto schooling decisions and it is hard because any schooling decision for a 3.5 year old is somewhat of a leap of faith, gifted or not, public or private. When mine was that age, I was already pretty committed to homeschooling (we had opted out of good public districts) and that was a leap of faith too. I didn't know who my kids would be or what they would need. No advice really, just sympathy that this is all just muddling through, making the best choice you can with the info you have, and being prepared to be flexible!
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#8 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 05:58 AM
 
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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?

Regardless, I agree with PP think the best thing you can do is choose a community and home you love with good educational options, do the best you can with the information you have. And certainly every child needs a stimulating environment where they are free to play and create and explore.....not something you need to wait to provide.

And, I have seen two things with my girls: 1) they take even simple things and make them into elaborate, stimulating play by using them in ways other kids don't. And 2) they let you know when you need to provide more. So Im not really sure that you need to know your child is gifted so you can set up some sort of special environment for them.

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#9 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 07:40 AM
 
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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?

 

 

Yes. I think it happens. I know a few parents who were surprised by the results of IQ assessments. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "indications". If someone has a child who doesn't speak until age 3, isn't an early reader, doesn't demonstrate interest in puzzles or unusual aptitude in math or any of the other familiar signs, they probably wouldn't consider giftedness. I've read such stories on gifted message boards for years so I know it's not uncommon.   

 

In my case, I knew my DD was bright as a pre-schooler but wasn't sure whether she met the criteria for "giftedness" until later. Her older brother was much more obviously globally gifted as a toddler. 

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#10 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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We've moved recently, and we're still in the process of finding a more permanent home, which includes looking at public schools.

 

I assumed it's too soon for an evaluation because she's too young.  I don't really have a concrete question.  I guess, should I wait for giftedness to become an issue in DD's schooling?  Or should I expect her to be gifted and plan on homeschool or private school, which would affect where we buy our house?  Or as my title says, should I assume my kids are/will be gifted for the sake of life planning?

 

I guess since you don't have a concrete question, I don't have a concrete answer about one form of education over another. Sure, It is a good idea to explore educational options when you are deciding on a community. If you can keep your future options open, that's a good thing.  

 

I will say that I don't think that giftedness automatically requires homeschool or private school. Obviously, it will depend on the individual schools. I don't know what the public schools are like in your area, so perhaps homeschool or private school are better options.  

 

My dc have had good experiences in full-time gifted programs, therefore I see the benefits that can accrue with this kind of education. I know parents who rejected gifted programming because they wanted their children to attend their neighbourhood schools and they seem pretty happy with their decisions. I know parents who chose other options like language immersion or arts-focused programs or Waldorf or Montessori or elite athletes programs and they are just as happy. Giftedness will be one factor, admittedly very important, but not the only one, that you might weigh when you are choosing an educational pathway. 

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#11 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 08:31 AM
 
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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?

 

No, not necessarily. Remember that giftedness covers a very wide range. There will be people who are 2 points from high average as well as people who are 30 points from it. Personality and environment has a lot to do with how kids display their abilities. On top of that, parent perspective is shaped by their own experiences. If they aren't around a lot of other kids or don't allow themselves to be part of the "what is your child doing" clucking, they'd not know what is normal. 

 

I assumed my kids would be intelligent based on family history. I could see my eldest was bright but in all the ways that seem to matter in society, she wasn't all that "advanced" in the preschool years... not even advanced compared to what was average in DH's and my families. At 3.5, she literally lived in a Superman cape and too busy saving the world. She was actually behind her little playgroup friends who were already getting math and reading lessons. The other moms felt sorry for me because when you have one kid on the playground happy with an early reader and the other is on top of the structure being the pirate queen, which one are people going to assume is gifted? Oh, and mine was the pirate queen lol. It wasn't until after turning 5 that DD decided to read and gained 5 grade levels in a matter of weeks. She entered K counting to maybe 20... completed 2 years of math curriculum the first month. As it turns out, she's very highly gifted, and her playgroup friends were not. My DS was the same. He had more quantifiable abilities at 3.5 but also had NO interest in them. He wanted to play, play, play.... and played happily with kids his own age with no disconnect due to abilities. I couldn't even get him to sit for a picture book. I was more experienced with him and so I knew he'd be on the gifted spectrum but I have to tell you, I was still surprised when he tested in the same percentile as DD.

 

People come to these boards early when they see something unusual but that doesn't mean everyone sees something unusual early in real life. Lots of people are surprised when, come 3rd grade, they get a letter that their child qualified for the school gifted program. For many, they recognize their child as smart but many don't leap to gifted.


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#12 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Thanks! It would be the other way around, though. I would feel more comfortable investing in a public school district if I was more sure that the kids would be closer to center of the bell curve, and therefore more likely to succeed.  But I guess I can foresee how any number of things could be in place in which public schooling wouldn't work.  We live in an area with access to very good public schools.

 

Perhaps my questions are more about schooling than giftedness. I'm just grasping for something concrete that can shape my vision of our future.

 

For what it's worth, my kids are both in the 99.9th percentile and have had positive learning experiences in public school. Both of mine want to be in school. My eldest did have a grade skip, subject accelerations and a ton of differentiation but even at 16, she's found a good home in the public school system. She's a junior in an early college program. The public school system is paying for her to take her classes at the community college. It's awesome. My youngest is tri-lingual (English, Spanish and Mandarin) because of our public schools. He also has a 2 year math acceleration and enjoys the school band and theatre program. They even let us home study P.E.... in fact, we could home study any class we wanted too and still be part of the middle school. Our local districts are not world renowned. We even have average standardized test scores and a high ESL population. But, our district offers a lot of flexibility and that is a huge benefit for any child of any ability!


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#13 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?

My oldest was obviously gifted at 3.5. He needed significant accommodations in school almost immediately.

 

At age 3.5 we thought my second child was actually delayed. My doctor kindly and laughingly told us that our expectations were skewed based on our oldest and that our youngest was on track and likely advanced as well. Even now at age 6 we don't feel she needs any accommodation or whatever. She's still learning how to read, she also has some speech delays and is still working on those. I suspect that once reading takes off we'll see more of her amazing problem solving abilities move to the forefront and we might need to talk about gifted accommodations. But we aren't anywhere near that and she's in 1st grade. That doesn't mean she's not gifted.

 

I personally was tested for the school gifted program in 2nd grade and missed the cut-off for services. In 7th grade I decided to take the ACT test (at that time ACT was highly correlated with IQ). I scored high enough on the ACT (higher than most who take it at the normal age) to indicate that I needed significantly more advanced school work than I was getting. I didn't get into the advanced track until high school and that was based on some extra work on my part. I had some minor speech delays as well, but no real obstacles to learning. I simply just blossomed a bit later. 


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#14 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?
No, I would never assume at 3.5 there was indication. At 3.5 both were delayed and getting School Based services. Though they both were also reading and writing but had hyperlexia dx. I was unsure if they developed strong writing/reading skills because of low mobility and/or social skills or if it was concurrent. One DD also had moderate sensory issues that involved intervention in a preschool setting.
School-Based Preschool did not make any accommodations for advanced work until DDs were 4.5 and then it was only in the pre-reading portions the very last portion of the year (since they knew phonics/write name/numbers,etc). All other accommodations were for delays. In PreK, no accommodations were made for non-special needs since it was 100 % play based.
The delays they had is what differentiated them from peers unless you really really paid attention to speech/vocabulary or saw/heard them reading.


Regardless, I agree with PP think the best thing you can do is choose a community and home you love with good educational options, do the best you can with the information you have. And certainly every child needs a stimulating environment where they are free to play and create and explore.....not something you need to wait to provide.

And, I have seen two things with my girls: 1) they take even simple things and make them into elaborate, stimulating play by using them in ways other kids don't. And 2) they let you know when you need to provide more. So Im not really sure that you need to know your child is gifted so you can set up some sort of special environment for them.
I agree with the finding a community you love and building on it!! 
 
Question: How do you know how other kids play? Having taught preschool and been involved in a wide variety of kiddos--you might be surprised at the creativity many kids display. Some of it is personality, some of it is exposure (do they get time to creatively play?), and some of it is interest..... not all kids will play the same and NOT all kids will push for more. Some will seek it out actively but some will quietly gather information and store it--- not in 'your face' about it at all. Again, it is likely a blend  that based on personality, environment, and exposure.
 

 

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Yes. I think it happens. I know a few parents who were surprised by the results of IQ assessments. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "indications". If someone has a child who doesn't speak until age 3, isn't an early reader, doesn't demonstrate interest in puzzles or unusual aptitude in math or any of the other familiar signs, they probably wouldn't consider giftedness. I've read such stories on gifted message boards for years so I know it's not uncommon.   

 

 

Yes--- I agree. Too many people look for 'indicators' and then decide based on more traditional GT symptoms....neglecting to realize that GT kids vary just as widely as everyone else in what interests them, personalities, and how they present what they know.

 

I have worked with a lot of kids and even knowing what I do, get surprised at IQ sometimes ( I really shouldnt at this point!!). Kiddos that you think you would get higher scores-- dont  and kids that you thought would come up within standard ranges have GT scores. Sometimes it is a hidden learning disability, ADD/HD, vision issue, speech issue, or sometimes it is pressure from a lot of 'coaching' or heavy emphasis on academics at home....you just dont know and until you see the patterns in both cognitive and academic evaluation (which are two very different things) you dont know. Also, that eval is a snapshot and may or may not be totally accurate--- sometimes a second eval is needed to confirm stability of the results.

 

Sometimes it is just sheer personality and interest and the way it presents in that kiddo. I would not make an assumption ever-----I have seen too many kids that have vastly different trajectories than what our culture perceives as 'typical' for GT.

 

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I guess since you don't have a concrete question, I don't have a concrete answer about one form of education over another. Sure, It is a good idea to explore educational options when you are deciding on a community. If you can keep your future options open, that's a good thing.  

 

I will say that I don't think that giftedness automatically requires homeschool or private school. Obviously, it will depend on the individual schools. I don't know what the public schools are like in your area, so perhaps homeschool or private school are better options.  

 

My dc have had good experiences in full-time gifted programs, therefore I see the benefits that can accrue with this kind of education. I know parents who rejected gifted programming because they wanted their children to attend their neighbourhood schools and they seem pretty happy with their decisions. I know parents who chose other options like language immersion or arts-focused programs or Waldorf or Montessori or elite athletes programs and they are just as happy. Giftedness will be one factor, admittedly very important, but not the only one, that you might weigh when you are choosing an educational pathway. 

 

Excellent advice.

 

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No, not necessarily. Remember that giftedness covers a very wide range. On top of that, parent perspective is shaped by their own experiences.

 

I think that is important as well.

 

Also, as seen in another thread--- who you surround yourself will also impact how you view your DC, yourself, and your environment.

 

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#15 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't assume they'll be gifted. Besides, even if they ARE gifted, you'll have no idea how it will manifest itself. You don't know what they'll need or want as individuals until they are there... even then, what they need and want may change several times as they grow and develop. Personally, we've had far more success with small districts and flexible, open-minded schools than we have had with gifted programming. My eldest hated the gifted program. My youngest enjoys it. I wouldn't pick a house based on that.

The bolded part is my experience with my DD. She spoke clearly and correctly from an early age (2.5 years?) and had a large and colorful vocabulary. She also loved to play math "games" with my DH and me. She was uber curious about everything she saw/heard, and we would (help her) find the information that she was seeking . But she didn't read until the end of K; by the 2nd grade, she was reading Harry Potter type novels.

She has needed several changes as she has gotten older, starting with moving school districts 1/2 way through 1st grade - we left a school and a large district that was inflexible and not at all willing to make accommodations, even though my DD clearly needed it - all the focus was on those who were behind. As to the second bolding, the new district was much smaller, with a focus on helping ALL kids advance in their learning. The school had a multiage program, which naturally provided the means to allow differentiation and acceleration, especially in the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced teacher (which my DD had - teachers who "got" who she is, and "got" what she needed). But the fact that the district was smaller was a double-edged sword - what made it stand out as exactly what we needed for her in the beginning became its Achilles heel in the downturn of the economy and the massive budget cuts that followed - gone was their gifted program, and they got rid of the multiage program.

Much as I hated to do it, for DD's sake, once again we moved her to a larger, yet still flexible district that has a great gifted program (apparently they recruit gifted kids and many parents drive their kids great distances for some of their specialty/self-contained gifted programs). Currently the district has about 5000 gifted students, and my DD's MS has about 40 percent of the students designated as gifted, and is a STEM school. So, in the end, having a good (and flexible) gifted program was a factor.

And to the point about whether or not to "expect" your DC to be gifted, I'm not assuming too much for my DS, but to make things easier (commuting, school schedules, etc.) I am moving him to start K in my DD's district. And if he does test gifted (and I'll probably privately test him too, when he is older), he'll be in a great school for that, as they started a gifted preschool this year, and will have a self-contained K class starting next year, as well as a full complement of gifted services, should he need it.

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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication? I ask because it seems most people have some inkling when their children are quite young, especially if they are gifted themselves or aware of some of the ways giftedness presents itself in kids. I mean this as a real question, Has anyone here realized later that a child was gifted but not had any indications by preschool age?

Regardless, I agree with PP think the best thing you can do is choose a community and home you love with good educational options, do the best you can with the information you have. And certainly every child needs a stimulating environment where they are free to play and create and explore.....not something you need to wait to provide.

And, I have seen two things with my girls: 1) they take even simple things and make them into elaborate, stimulating play by using them in ways other kids don't. And 2) they let you know when you need to provide more. So Im not really sure that you need to know your child is gifted so you can set up some sort of special environment for them.

1st paragraph bolding: as I described my DD above, I certainly did have some indication that she was at the very least bright, and comes from family that is extremely intelligent. But I didn't assume; we did our best to place her in a school that did its best to make learning fun and engaging, and was willing to work at the level of the student, no matter the grade. And even in doing this, we still have had to make big changes; changes that we maybe couldn't have imagined when she was a preschooler.

Figuring out what will happen with my DS is trickier, partly because it is skewed to compare him to his sister; he is showing signs of intelligence, but seemingly in different ways/areas. But I guess it depends on what signs/indications one uses to determine giftedness.

Last bolding: I wholeheartedly agree! This has been absolutely true with my DD, especially as she has gotten older. I know without a doubt when she needs more mental/intellectual stimulation - while she behaves quite appropriately at school, if her needs aren't being met, she would/will come home and "dump" a lot of inappropriate behavior on me, as well as stay up late reading, etc. These go away when we address the issue.


To the OP - I don't know if my long winded ramblings have helped you. It has been quite a journey to figure all this stuff out! I wish I had started thinking about the issue of giftedness and schooling options when my DD was that age. I feel I was so naïve and unprepared.

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#16 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow.  Thank you for all of the responses.  I love hearing your experiences and advice.  It really helps me. I've read through everyone's responses a couple of times.

 

The school district we are currently in has a high population of gifted kids, and there is special attention paid to them.  There is a GT middle school.  Silly me, it didn't even occur to me that public school could possibly be a good option.  I'm obviously new to thinking about schooling.

 

Our current plan is to apply for a Mandarin dual language program at the local elementary school.  We should here back if she gets in (lottery) around the time our lease is up.  Then, we'll make another decision.

 

Also, I think we will rent for a few years, so we can see how she's doing and get some first hand experience instead of financially committing to guesses.  Baby steps.

 

And in response to "indications" that she's gifted,

I thought that it's too soon to tell, which I'm gathering to be true from responses.  I don't have a lot of experience with kids.  We go to play groups, and all the kids are so different.  I don't know if the kids who taught themselves to read at 2 are technically gifted.  My brother and I were very different as young children, and if memory serves me correctly, I believe we had the exact same IQ when tested.

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And, I have seen two things with my girls: 1) they take even simple things and make them into elaborate, stimulating play by using them in ways other kids don't. And 2) they let you know when you need to provide more. So Im not really sure that you need to know your child is gifted so you can set up some sort of special environment for them.
 
Last bolding: I wholeheartedly agree! This has been absolutely true with my DD, especially as she has gotten older. I know without a doubt when she needs more mental/intellectual stimulation - while she behaves quite appropriately at school, if her needs aren't being met, she would/will come home and "dump" a lot of inappropriate behavior on me, as well as stay up late reading, etc. These go away when we address the issue.

 

 

 

Just a note of caution for some parents who may be reading here. Some children are very good at quietly coping and won't let you know when they are need more or are struggling with boredom or simply in a suboptimal situation. They will silently make the best of things and accept their lot. Maybe they tend to be content by nature or maybe they don't want to make trouble for anyone. Their parents aren't bad or inept at picking up signs because these children are so adept at compensating. There is some speculation that this is one explanation for the higher numbers of boys, compared to girls, who are identified as gifted or who are provided with gifted educational services, since boys may act out more and receive more attention. 

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There's a chapter in Nurtureshock on IQ testing that's an interesting read.  Kids' IQ scores can swing as much as 30 points over time, so "gifted" on a test is not static.  Plenty of people think their preschooler is gifted, and that may or may not end up being the case, given the wide range of preschool development and preschoolers are just amazing generally :).  I also think the amount of tech support kids get in early learning these days has skewed early development milestones, which may or may not flow through to higher order thinking skills in later years.   My experience was that I strongly suspected with DD who was very academic and verbal, but I had no idea DS was gifted in his earliest years because he was busy flushing things down the toilet and raiding the recycle box, and his presentation was just less "classic."

 

I agree with PPs about not knowing what a child will need re school until they're a bit older, and that it can change over time.  Humans engage the world not as binary gifted/not gifted, but based on temperament, experiential knowledge and preferences, thinking styles, learning styles etc etc.  Gifted kids can also have learning differences which add another layer of complication to schooling. 
 

Our kids presented very differently as preschoolers, but are in the same range in testing.  We have homeschooled, attended language immersion, attended arts magnet, and been in multi-age environments.  Each child has needed different things at different developmental points.  I wish we'd had a less circuitous route through schooling, but they've had some good (and bad) experiences along the way.   My prediction had been that language immersion would be good for DD but bad for DS.  Turns out she was bored with it, and he's very excited to enter it next year and is entirely engaged by the notion of acquiring a second language.  

 

Another interesting concept if that of "optimally" gifted.  This is often used thinking about IQ scores, the notion that being not too out of norm IQ-wise leads to greater happiness, inclusion and success.  I think there are other variables too - most significant to me are those of temperament, sensitivity and self-regulation.  A really sensitive kid is going to struggle more, a kid who can't organize their stuff is going to struggle more, and a kid who has temperament-based stuff (like extreme introversion, or intensity,  or...) is going to struggle more.  We have spent a lot of time coaching our kids in these "soft skills" as we think they're just as important as academic fit and achievement. 


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#19 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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Just a note of caution for some parents who may be reading here. Some children are very good at quietly coping and won't let you know when they are need more or are struggling with boredom or simply in a suboptimal situation. They will silently make the best of things and accept their lot. Maybe they tend to be content by nature or maybe they don't want to make trouble for anyone. Their parents aren't bad or inept at picking up signs because these children are so adept at compensating. There is some speculation that this is one explanation for the higher numbers of boys, compared to girls, who are identified as gifted or who are provided with gifted educational services, since boys may act out more and receive more attention. 


This is true.  My DS is an externalizer while DD is an internalizer.  Guess who got more attention from school?  The one who was irritating staff.


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Just a note of caution for some parents who may be reading here. Some children are very good at quietly coping and won't let you know when they are need more or are struggling with boredom or simply in a suboptimal situation. They will silently make the best of things and accept their lot. Maybe they tend to be content by nature or maybe they don't want to make trouble for anyone. Their parents aren't bad or inept at picking up signs because these children are so adept at compensating. There is some speculation that this is one explanation for the higher numbers of boys, compared to girls, who are identified as gifted or who are provided with gifted educational services, since boys may act out more and receive more attention. 

I agree with this too. I wonder if I will encounter this with DS.

I have seen this with DD's gifted/academically advanced friends. Some of these friends have activities outside of school that seem to satisfy their need for challenge and stimulation (such as sports, music, theatre, or dance). Some seem to like having time at home for pleasure reading, or to play video games. (BTW most of my DD's friends are boys) But for my DD, academics/intellectual pursuits are what "tickle" that spot in her brain that challenges and stimulates her.

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Another interesting concept if that of "optimally" gifted.  This is often used thinking about IQ scores, the notion that being not too out of norm IQ-wise leads to greater happiness, inclusion and success.  I think there are other variables too - most significant to me are those of temperament, sensitivity and self-regulation.  A really sensitive kid is going to struggle more, a kid who can't organize their stuff is going to struggle more, and a kid who has temperament-based stuff (like extreme introversion, or intensity,  or...) is going to struggle more.  We have spent a lot of time coaching our kids in these "soft skills" as we think they're just as important as academic fit and achievement. 

I agree with coaching the "soft skills". I have always thought of education as more than just academics. As DD is my "odd duck" that can stand out (not always in a good way), and given that she started school out awkward, shy, and a little bit sensitive emotionally, I have worked with her to develop her social skills. And now this year, in MS, we are working on having her develop her executive functioning skills, as this is the first year she has had to actually plan out her schoolwork and studying. Some sort of mastery of these skills are important to achieving success.

Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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#21 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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but at the same time, if he is gifted I'd like to know about it as soon as possible so he can be in a stimulating environment. 

I actually misread this the first time through and thought you were referring to a stimulating HOME environment, not school environment. So I was trying to say that i didn't think you needed to wait, ha, but you know that smile.gif

My kids Do make it really clear when they are bored/needing more at home, but I actually am afraid Dd1 will just settle/float in boredom at school because she is happy go lucky and quite patient and once she can read I imagine her just satisfying her needs at home or by herself and not complaining that she's bored at school. I would rather her be challenged, obviously.

Anyway, I didn't mean to insinuate that my kids are the norm. Or that i know what im talking about, ha!! My kids are the only ones i know IRL who have raised eyebrows, so far at least. Your stories are so fascinating to me. Love the pirate queen. And I love the doctor chuckling over concerns of the second child being delayed because the first skewed your perceptions, I can relate to that!

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#22 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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I've wondered the same thing.

My family acts like it's just a given but I don't want to be one of those parents who seeks someone out to tell them that their child is special when they're not, but at the same time, if he is gifted I'd like to know about it as soon as possible so he can be in a stimulating environment. 

 

 

I think that ALL children should be in stimulating environments both at home and school shrug.gif

 

I agree with the others that it is impossible to tell at 3.5 what sort of school will work best for a child. Heck, at 12, it may not be at all clear what sort of high school will be ideal.

 

I have 2 kids -- both officially tested as gifted. One has been a breeze to educate as she can thrive in a wide variety of educational environments. One has been a real struggle to educate because little seems to really work for her. She had multiple system delays when she was 3 and we were mostly trying to remediate delays and figure out if she was on the autism spectrum (she is). She's the one with the higher IQ, but she didn't test as gifted until she was 13 because she wasn't able to compile with testing before that.  She just started college (at 16) and is doing well. 

 

We didn't realize our second DD was gifted until she started school and the teacher suggested testing. It just wasn't on our radar. We saw that she was developing just fine and were relieved, but that was that.

 

I've always thought that all children should have stimulating lives and wide experiences, so there really isn't a single thing that I would have done different when they were little if I KNEW what their IQs were.

 

For the record, my DH is gifted, but I'm not. I'm bright and a high achiever, but my IQ misses the cut off. It might be part of the reason that I don't think one should provide a less stimulating environment for a child with a less than gifted IQ. winky.gif

 

We have, at different points, home schooled, private schooled, and public schooled. Our younger DD currently attends a large, excellent public high school. We pulled her out of her private school in Jan because the public school is better (the private was good when shee started in 7th grade, but was taking a nose dive so she had to change in the middle of her freshman year).


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#23 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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I think that ALL children should be in stimulating environments both at home and school shrug.gif

 

It's true, they should, but a gifted child may need a more specialized level of stimulation. I'd guess that traditional public schools would be geared more towards stimulating average children, which might not be the right type or the right amount of stimulation for more advanced children of the same age. When I was in public school, their answer for me was to give me extra work, when I was switched to a gifted school, my days were a lot more interesting... I hope things have improved in public schools since then. 

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Please don't interpret this as any sort of snark as I certainly don't intend it, but by 3.5 yo, wouldn't there be some indication?

Count me as someone who didn't know. I expected my kids to be bright and amazing, but doesn't every parent? I didn't live in a culture that was all "cluck and crow" over milestones, I had few friends with kids, I lived miles out of town in a remote rural area, and my elder two kids were very late talkers and also very shy, so they didn't stick out in public even when they did start talking like little professors at age 3. I knew that some kids started reading early, say at age 4, but I didn't realize that by reading early people didn't mean Little House and Harry Potter. It wasn't until the local public school principal, a family friend, saw my eldest relaxed, at home, being her usual self, and expressed incredulity at what she was doing, that I started to twig. She was 4.5. I wasn't surprised: my siblings and I had all been ID'd as gifted, their dad was an early entry into school and a med school scholarship recipient. But I'd just never really thought about whether my kids were gifted. It didn't seem nearly as important as figuring out how to parent three kids under five, as important as dealing with language delays and isolation and cabin fever and tantrums and selective mutism.

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#25 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 04:55 AM
 
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It's true, they should, but a gifted child may need a more specialized level of stimulation. I'd guess that traditional public schools would be geared more towards stimulating average children, which might not be the right type or the right amount of stimulation for more advanced children of the same age. When I was in public school, their answer for me was to give me extra work, when I was switched to a gifted school, my days were a lot more interesting... I hope things have improved in public schools since then. 


I'd bet if you polled children you'd find very few actually find the average public school education stimulating. 'Gifted' or not, children do best when the environment is interesting and most public schools have enough funding and other issues to make it difficult to keep education interesting. A sad state of affairs, in my opinion, but off topic.
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I'd bet if you polled children you'd find very few actually find the average public school education stimulating. 'Gifted' or not, children do best when the environment is interesting and most public schools have enough funding and other issues to make it difficult to keep education interesting. A sad state of affairs, in my opinion, but off topic.

I think this is a generalization to be honest. The way our school system is set up in the USA is one that has a lot of inconsistencies. Each district, each state, and each school may have a wide wide variety of programs, curriculum , and education patterns. They also vary on GT support and identification and even on qualifying factors. The very irregular treatment of GT students here is part of the concern of schooling...parents just dont know what to expect from area to area. They also use their experiences to color what they expect from local schools- this can create conflict.

 

Some environments will be a poor fit and some will be excellent. This can also vary from child to child-- what is stimulating to one child may or may not be the same for another. Some of it comes down to programming, expectations, and curriculum in the schools and personality, environment, and learning style/patterns/abilities (disabilities? kinethetic/auditory/visual learner?, work in group or alone?, etc)

 

The broad generalization of public education as a horrible fit for GT kids is as bad  as a  broad generalization for identifying GT by social interactions or 'appearances'.   Some kids will do better in a co-op, homeschooled, private, etc...some kids will thrive in public school. Also the schooling needs may change over the years- dont assume anything until you really explore the options for your area. Just as you should never assume GT or not on a kiddo until you have more information! People are always trying to shove ALL kids into neat and tidy little boxes- as complex and unique individuals, kids (and adults) dont fit neatly. wink1.gif

 

I moved a lot as a kid and can say that the different school systems I was involved in varied widely- as did the GT programs (some were just rubber stamped nothing and others were pull outs- the activities we did varied just as much!). But I went to public schools and most of the time found it interesting and learned a lot. 

 

 

One of my DDs did not talk in preschool much at.all.- she was too busy observing and watching everyone else... it was not due to shyness.She also parallel played until she was 4 (which is late). So in a school setting- she was very unusual but not in a 'knock your socks off brainy way'.

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#27 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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Anyway, I didn't mean to insinuate that my kids are the norm. 

 

Oh, I don't think anyone thinks that you've done that, at least I hope not. After all, none of our kids are "the norm". We're all just contributing our different experiences and views. I've enjoyed your posts. smile.gif

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It's true, they should, but a gifted child may need a more specialized level of stimulation. I'd guess that traditional public schools would be geared more towards stimulating average children, which might not be the right type or the right amount of stimulation for more advanced children of the same age. When I was in public school, their answer for me was to give me extra work, when I was switched to a gifted school, my days were a lot more interesting... I hope things have improved in public schools since then. 

 

The way you've worded this makes it sound like all gifted children thrive with the same type of education, which is not what I've observed.

 

Some gifted kids love learning on their own where they can follow their own interests and go at their own quick pace. Others thrive with peers and get a get deal out of working with in a group. Some need a lot of structure, some do best with very little. Some are advanced in multiple areas -- such as athletics, music, art, etc. Some have very specific areas in which they excel, and other areas that are average or even challenged in. Some gifted kids are very social adept and read situations well, others struggle with this. Some find conforming their behavior to various expectations quite easy, and others really just can't.

 

To say "gifted kids more more stimulation" is an oversimplification.

 

Also, public schools are all over the place, and it isn't reasonable to make generalized statements about them, just as it isn't reasonable to make generalized statements about homeschooling or private schools.


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#29 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 12:11 PM
 
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The way you've worded this makes it sound like all gifted children thrive with the same type of education, which is not what I've observed.

 

Some gifted kids love learning on their own where they can follow their own interests and go at their own quick pace. Others thrive with peers and get a get deal out of working with in a group. Some need a lot of structure, some do best with very little. Some are advanced in multiple areas -- such as athletics, music, art, etc. Some have very specific areas in which they excel, and other areas that are average or even challenged in. Some gifted kids are very social adept and read situations well, others struggle with this. Some find conforming their behavior to various expectations quite easy, and others really just can't.

 

To say "gifted kids more more stimulation" is an oversimplification.

 

Also, public schools are all over the place, and it isn't reasonable to make generalized statements about them, just as it isn't reasonable to make generalized statements about homeschooling or private schools.

 

I don't disagree with your post, however I didn't say what you're saying I said in either of my posts. 

 

In my first post I was talking about my own son, said if he's different, I want to be sure he's stimulated (not generalizing any other children).

 

In my second post I said "more specialized level of stimulation", I didn't specify more or less. 

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