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#61 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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Just subbing to this thread, interesting discussion.

I'm the ordinary child of a gifted parent (I think my dad's on the autism spectrum and doesn't know it) and would totally agree that life really can be harder for folks dealing with extreeme intellegence issues and that these folks do have special learning and social needs. I think it's like the rest of us are wearing sunglasses and he's not. If my fater is a typical example, life is much more intense for gifted folks and they realy have a hard time filtering out much of what the rest of us overlook.

Also to the OP, I'm pretty sure that my dd1 is a bright but "ordinary" learner. Frankly, after seeing how my dad has struggled in life I'm quite grateful.
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#62 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Citymomx3
People get annoyed when parents talk about their gifted children, but it's just as much of a challenge as having a learning disabled child.
This is something I've heard a lot over the years. It's obviously not always that way, but I've heard (and seen) some pretty poignant stories.

I think a lot of the problem might be the word used - "gifted." I'm not even remotely suggesting people should try to change the terminology at this point - but it does, unfortunately, tend to imply an extra value on those who have that particular sort of mental organization. Maybe there would be more empathy if some other word had been used all these years - something that implies merely a different mental configuration rather than a superior one. We do, after all, highly value intelligence - it's vital to our very survival - and there's often some kind of natural reaction when people are presented with the image of someone's child having been given a special "gift" of intelligence that others didn't get. Unless it's someone who's seen as somewhat removed from our own lives - like Einstein, for instance. There's not so much reaction when people speak of someone being musically gifted, or artistically gifted, mathematically gifted, or athletically gifted - but those things are smaller categories that aren't important to so many people.

I knew a mom who was reactive about the word in spite of the fact that one of her kids was clearly "gifted" - she balked when people mentioned it, and said, "Aren't all of our kids gifted?!" It was actually the social and athletic gifts of her other kids she was more willing to honor, whereas that more intellectually gifted one was expected to just fit in.

And then there's the added problem of there being too many parents who do indeed think of it that way. When I've tried to defend people who feel the need to speak of their "gifted" children, friends have told me I might feel differently if I could hear the way this one or that brags on and on at park day about her "gifted" child. And some of that might be a matter of perception too. I'll bet that in some of those cases, a mom is truly just expressing the frustrations she's having in meeting her child's needs, and looking for ideas or support, whereas in some cases, there actually is bragging going on. And the level of security of the person hearing the story is going to color her own perception of what's really going on.

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#63 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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It would be nice if we could celebrate who we are and who are children are no matter where they fall on the spectrum without feeling the need to tear down someone else in the process.

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Originally Posted by LeftField
[T]he gifted label has been horribly misused by well-to-do, competitive parents who want their bright non-gifted children to get the best treatment in school. Those are the people that many of us find so annoying and those are also the people that make it difficult to get truly academically gifted children the differentiation they need, because they dilute the gifted programs and turn them into a status symbol instead of the special needs programs that they are supposed to be. It seems like we all hear "gifted" so much and I think that's because the term has been co-opted for something entirely different, which is a real shame.
Absolutely. This is where I find Deborah Ruf's Levels of Giftedness to be particularly handy. Since first reading this page, I've read her book, and while I still have a few beefs about her criteria, the book talks much more about behaviour and other non-academic characteristics and I view it more favorably.

Most "gifted" kids are moderately gifted, and, if in school, these children would do fine in a regular but challenging classroom situation. Thanks to Terman, these are the happy healthies that most people probably think of when they think of when they hear "gifted." They're quite likely to do well in school and I'll wager take up the vast majority of G&T slots in local schools. Maybe "gifted" is a good word for these kids. They are much more likely to be successful in their chosen fields that are children who are more "gifted."

There is a tremendous difference between PG, EG and HG kids (Levels 3, 4 and 5) and moderately gifted children. For those with kids in schools, in many districts trying to get academic accomodations as resource friendly as acceleration can be next to impossible. You should read some of the stories on GT-Families. Can you imagine doing high school level math at home and being forced to complete Gr. 1 or 2 worksheets during school? Being held back because your handwriting? Or because you academics peers would got through puberty earlier, or get their driver's licenses earlier? Or having a child with behavioral problems due to boredom and being told they can't accelerate because they aren't mature enough? In our case, we live two blocks from school housing the gifted-gifted program, but they won't admit kids until they are Gr. 1 age. No exceptions. I'm committed to homeschooling anyway, but come on; DD1 froths at the bit now to do math and science. By the time she'll be school age, she'll be working well above elementary level.
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#64 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by natashaccat
I'm the ordinary child of a gifted parent (I think my dad's on the autism spectrum and doesn't know it) and would totally agree that life really can be harder for folks dealing with extreeme intellegence issues and that these folks do have special learning and social needs. I think it's like the rest of us are wearing sunglasses and he's not. If my fater is a typical example, life is much more intense for gifted folks and they realy have a hard time filtering out much of what the rest of us overlook.
What an interesting way to put it!

Now: imagine being three years old and not having that filter. It's a totally offensive notion to parents of such children that ignoring it or just loving them will make their differences less noticeable or less difficult to deal with.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#65 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
It Most "gifted" kids are moderately gifted, and, if in school, these children would do fine in a regular but challenging classroom situation. Thanks to Terman, these are the happy healthies that most people probably think of when they think of when they hear "gifted." They're quite likely to do well in school and I'll wager take up the vast majority of G&T slots in local schools. Maybe "gifted" is a good word for these kids. They are much more likely to be successful in their chosen fields that are children who are more "gifted."
I think this is the type of "gifted" child I was, and the type of "gifted" child I pretty much expect my children to be. If we did PS, I'd totally expect my kids to be in "gifted" or "advanced" programs. But I don't think it's much more than just being really bright and having a home environment that allows that to shine. I absolutely don't compare this level of giftedness to the types of giftedness I read about on this board. I really do believe there are significant challenges associated with raising an honest-to-goodness high IQ child. And I'm profoundly grateful that I don't have those children or those challenges, because I fear I wouldn't be up to the task. On the other hand, I do sometimes feel like my children are the anomoly in the homeschooling world for just being average bright kids.
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#66 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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I think there are a couple different definitions of "gifted" being conflated here. One, the concept of high intelligence, and two, the general sense of being talented. Almost everyone has talents and "gifts" in that sense, but not everyone is intellectually gifted. No value judgment there, just a statement of fact. Not everyone is a natural athlete, not everyone can draw in perfect perspective, not everyone can invent original recipes that taste good.

I see the difference between talents and giftedness thusly: A person can learn the rules of a sport or art and--even if they don't have a natural ability for it--with a certain amount of work they can learn to imitate or approximate a talent for it, even if it's a really crappy approximation. Exhibit A: The "art" you see on motel walls.

However, intellectual giftedness cannot be approximated. You have it or you don't, and although you can abuse your brain and get "dumber," you can never get any smarter than you already are. I believe THAT is why the subject is so touchy. It goes against our ingrained societal belief that if you just work hard then you can get better at anything and do anything you want. Well, you can work all you want at getting smarter and it will never happen. The most you can possibly do is train your brain to work a little more efficiently within the limits of your natural intelligence. Sadly, this last notion is what seems to drive the majority of the "gifted and talented" programs in our school systems, which does little but mess up people's perception of giftedness and produce a lot of miserable busy-worked stressed-out kids.

I do agree with some others here who have said the label is being overused--you are absolutely correct. See the end of my last paragraph. However, I do think there is value in the label for those kids who really need it. If nothing else it lets parents connect with each other. I know I found it to be a huge help when I discovered there were other kids like mine and some who were even more "out there"! The sense of relief was enormous. If I hadn't had a "label" to type into google I never would have found that support.

I guess it can be hard to understand that just being smarter can be any kind of a burden or special need. I mean, wouldn't we all love to be able to think a little more clearly or remember better or whatever? And it doesn't seem very important, does it, how smart a person is, as long as they are content. But that's the thing with a truly gifted child--they are often NOT content because their brains are racing this way and that and all around in ways most of us literally cannot imagine. They get overloaded with stuff most of us don't even think about. For instance, when my son was around 5 he was reading an astronomy book and broke down in tears for half the night because "the universe is so big we'll NEVER learn everything about it." Another example: A few months ago we were talking and my son said how he was doing something differently (at a different time) than the other kids in his Y class did it. I tried to sympathize and said "I know, we all feel different sometimes." He replied, "I don't feel different sometimes, I feel different ALL THE TIME."

Those are the kinds of comments that send parents looking for support. It's not all about when a kid learns to read or whatever, although very early milestones can be a shock to a parent who hoped (like most parents) for nothing more than a healthy baby. Giftedness does have its own set of symptoms and challenges--it's not an imaginary thing cooked up by overambitious parents. Honestly, I never even thought about "giftedness" or about how smart my kids would be. I guess if anything I assumed they'd be a little above average like most of my family, but it's not something I pondered. It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact of my son's high intelligence and how it wasn't something that would resolve itself without attention. Comments about him being "weird" "freaky" "scary" etc did NOT help.

Sorry to hijack, but I'm just trying to address a few of the comments I've read on this thread and hopefully help some people to understand why support for gifted children and their parents can be necessary, even in a homeschooling environment.
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#67 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
And that's why parents of gifted children need their own places to discuss their children, why there are books specifically aimed at homeschoolers with gifted children, etc, etc, and so forth. You are not at all alone in this view, especially when it comes to highly/profoundly gifted children. Every now and then, it's nice for a parent to be able to discuss their child and the things that their child needs/does without hearing about how "freaky" they are, or how "all children are gifted, yours are just weird," or any of the other decidedly unhelpful things which parents feel it's perfectly acceptable to say about/to gifted children.
As I said in my post about this, it was how the girl was defined by memorizing these lists that I found freaky. There was something manic about it. And maybe it was just a product of it being on tv.

There was a little boy in ds's preschool this year, who at just under 3yo, could not only read and write, but could REALLY read and write. To the point where I watched him writing poetry in chalk on the cement outside. I didn't think he was freaky. He obviously gifted, and like others mentioned, asynchronous in his development. He had a difficult time socially, crying and shaking when kids would sing happy birthday, etc. But he was a great little kid and I didn't find him freaky at all.

And I never said there shouldn't be support forums for parents of gifted children. I think everyone should have a support system in place. I'm glad there are ones for parents of adopted children, parents of multiples, parents of disabled children, parents of gifted children. I would never argue that those forums shouldn't be in place.

I was just saying that I was not comfortable with that Oprah show. Like I said, it was obvious from the interaction between the parent and child that the parent was totally wrapped up in this, coached and tested the little girl, and that the little girl's entire existence was defined by her ability to rattle off these lists.
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#68 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 04:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hsmamato2
You know, I still, after doing lots of reading on the subject,and talking to a lot of folks about it on both sides of the question,believe it's mainly a label that people use to set themselves/their kids apart from the rest of the population. I don't honestly see giftedness as creating certain traits, but I do see certain personality types,and types of learners, exhibit many of the same traits. Do you see what I mean?
I don't mean to put anyone down,and I'm sorry if I have-this is my opinion only,of course,and I have been wrong many times before.
I truly think there are a few,a very few among us who are so 'gifted' that they truly live and learn in a different category than most of us. But I also think the term gifted is now overrused,and misused in too many ways, sort of like I believe the ADD diagnosis is way overused,etc.
This is from someone who comes from a family who "thinks differently" than a lot of people we know... IQ testing was a big part of all of our early school intervention(ed?) lives,and I guess maybe I have a bit of a touchy spot when it comes to labeling. Gifted people,as in academically, don't need labels in a homeschool setting any more than a slower academic learner does, they just need the love and time only a parent can give them to flourish...
Ok, I said before I'm a VERY slow learner when it comes to staying on topic...

First, ditto lckrause... who I think more eloquently stated what I've tried to say in this thread.

I do agree with the above, in that I do think the label is overused. I do think there are parents out there that see it as a 'status' symbol, and I do think there are those parents that sit and front-load their kids or drill them, or whatever, and try to 'push' their kids into gifted classes.

The part I disagree with are some of the traits, which doesn't mean other people don't have those traits. There is a difference, though, which is hard to explain unless experienced. My youngest.... she has a STRONG personality. She is INTENSE, she is persistent, she locks on one idea and refuses to let go of that idea... to the point that when she was little she'd scream indefinitely without being able to be consoled until she got what she wanted.... tantrums by 6 months. This is definitely personality.

With my oldest... it's different. The child was bawling at books when she was barely two... b/c a dog ate someone's flower, or b/c a pumpkin was carved. Highly empathetic... yes, that definitely can be a personality trait. Many people share it... but when coupled with a number of other items... For me one of the most enlightening things I read was about dabrowski's overexcitabilities, which really is more an extreme reaction to certain items. These can affect anyone, but there is an increase of these in folks that are 'gifted'... and 4/5 fit dd to a tee.....especially the sensual, imaginational and emotional... where she is always, always in overdrive on.

http://www.stephanietolan.com/dabrowskis.htm


With my dd, if I homeschool her for other than preschool years, would I get testing done to simply get the label. Nope. No need... but it has helped me to research the area to get a handle on some of the non-academic things I've seen with her. Dd has NO interest in academics, though, at this point. So, it will actually be interesting to see if 4 years down the road, my speculation that she is gifted based on the characteristics I see, actually pans out. Then I'll have at least a complete test case for you on characteristics/gifted.

As ya said, though, everyone has different opinions. I'm not 'offended' by your opinion, b/c that is yours. My opinion is simply based on what I've seen with my children, and members of my family that have been 'gifted'. That is mine.

It's what makes everything go 'round... and things would be quite boring if we all had the same opinion on everything. ;-)

Tammy
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#69 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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As I said in my post about this, it was how the girl was defined by memorizing these lists that I found freaky. There was something manic about it. And maybe it was just a product of it being on tv.

...

I was just saying that I was not comfortable with that Oprah show. Like I said, it was obvious from the interaction between the parent and child that the parent was totally wrapped up in this, coached and tested the little girl, and that the little girl's entire existence was defined by her ability to rattle off these lists.
I'm not sure how obvious it could be; unless I'm much mistaken, Oprah's only an hour long, and I doubt that the entire hour was dedicated to this particular child. Sure, she could have been one of those children who is coerced into performing for a crowd, but what you're describing could easily be a very gifted child who is completely and singularly obsessed with memorizing lists, and who happened to have been given interesting lists by her parents.

I suppose you should know where I'm coming from. My own son can identify all 50 states by shape alone, and can rattle off all sorts of (seemingly) useless information about them. One of my nieces can recite the names of all of the presidents in a sing-songy voice, and tell you their terms of office because she memorized them off of a placemat. She sounds very manic and strange when she does this; it's simply her affect. I memorized the Greek alphabet when I was very young, for no reason other than that it was right there in the front of a dictionary that I found. Honestly, if someone offered me several hundred dollars to let my kid stand on a stage and recite all fifty states, and if he was amenable to such a thing, I'd be hard pressed to say no.

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#70 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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"As I said in my post about this, it was how the girl was defined by memorizing these lists that I found freaky. There was something manic about it."

My son loved to memorize. As a preschooler he memorized all sorts of stuff totally on his own. It probably looked more "freaky" to other people than it really was. Sometimes people think this sort of thing must prove parental pushing or freakitude of some sort because they are imaging the hours or work it may take for their child to do such a thing. The president memorization happened here without my even being aware he'd discovered that section of the encyclopedia. Some kids can memorize information after a couple of readings.

And, I agree with other posters that there are some unkind sentiments being expressed. I'd never in a million years say to someone "how sad for you that you have a typical child, I'm so glad I don't." Why is it appropriate to express similar comments about gifted kids?
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#71 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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I guess it can be hard to understand that just being smarter can be any kind of a burden or special need. I mean, wouldn't we all love to be able to think a little more clearly or remember better or whatever? And it doesn't seem very important, does it, how smart a person is, as long as they are content. But that's the thing with a truly gifted child--they are often NOT content because their brains are racing this way and that and all around in ways most of us literally cannot imagine. They get overloaded with stuff most of us don't even think about. For instance, when my son was around 5 he was reading an astronomy book and broke down in tears for half the night because "the universe is so big we'll NEVER learn everything about it."
This is exactly how I felt as a child, and still do to this day. I especially related to your son's comment about the universe. I distinctly remembering avoiding reading about the universe because my head swirled with the enormity of it. My head would start to hurt. My mind is always racing, always has been, and it is one of my greatest challenges. I have been with my dh for 15 years, and it has taken me almost that long to stop getting annoyed with him because he doesn't think like I do. When presented with a problem/challenge/situation, my mind floods with possibilities. I can't even describe it - it's just like all of a sudden my head expands and I'm thinking about every option simultaneously. And I would get irritated at my dh because he hadn't thought of something. I "see" math, I "see" how to spell words (not that you would always know it by the way I type on these boards, LOL). I have never been able to use a planner because everything sticks in my head. And other people in my life became kind of dependent on me because of this. I become the one everyone calls, I become the one for all the math questions, everyone wants me to help them write their essay/resume/website, whatever. It made me resentful as a child and it still does. School was a challenge because I would try to hide that I already knew what the teacher was talking about, and I would hesitate to ask questions that expanded on the subject matter because I didn't want to "show off." So I am no way arguing against the challenges of being gifted. (By the way, it seems that one "cure" for this has been having kids. I have become much more ditzy in the past 5 years. : )

And how was it obvious on the Oprah show? Well, if I remember correctly, this particular show was all about this one child. And she had made the rounds to other talk shows as well, I remember Jay Leno in particular. It was like she was this show dog that was being paraded around. And while she was reciting her lists the camera would pan to the parents and you could see them mouthing the lists along with her. And the mom even talked about the flashcard system they used. No, I don't know the family, and as I always say, I could be totally wrong. But that was my hit on it.

But I feel like I'm being trapped into bashing this poor family more than I want to. I just wanted to clarify that what I felt was freaky was not her knowledge per se, but the way it seemed to totally define not only her, but her parents as well.
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#72 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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"As I said in my post about this, it was how the girl was defined by memorizing these lists that I found freaky. There was something manic about it."

My son loved to memorize. As a preschooler he memorized all sorts of stuff totally on his own. It probably looked more "freaky" to other people than it really was. Sometimes people think this sort of thing must prove parental pushing or freakitude of some sort because they are imaging the hours or work it may take for their child to do such a thing. The president memorization happened here without my even being aware he'd discovered that section of the encyclopedia. Some kids can memorize information after a couple of readings.

And, I agree with other posters that there are some unkind sentiments being expressed. I'd never in a million years say to someone "how sad for you that you have a typical child, I'm so glad I don't." Why is it appropriate to express similar comments about gifted kids?
Oh geez, I regret I even shared my opinion that is now being taken so out of context. Why is it appropriate for people to say they feel sorry for me because my children are all boys? Why do people say they feel sorry for me because I only have a 2 bedroom house? I don't know, because they do. But it's like you're saying two different things - you want appreciation for the unique struggles you go through, but you don't want anyone to feel glad they don't have to go through the same struggle?

And let me say again, you're all talking to the wrong person here. You're preaching to the choir - save the energy for someone who actually disagrees with you. Yes, I found the little girl on Oprah freaky, for the reasons I have already mentioned 2 or 3 times. You can all keep jumping on me trying to prove that this means that I think gifted children are freaky, but you've got the wrong person. Hell, I think it's freaky when a parent says "Show Aunt so and so how you dance," and the child stops what they're doing and does it. That freaks me out, so you can imagine why I had a strong reaction to the Oprah show.

And btw, Oprah doesn't pay to be on her show, so there was no money to motivate the parents to put their kids on there.

And I have to say that within the homeschooling community, I think there very well may need to be an "average child" support group. I've barely started, but I can already feel the pressure to produce super kids.
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#73 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:16 PM
 
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Oh geez, I regret I even shared my opinion that is now being taken so out of context. Why is it appropriate for people to say they feel sorry for me because my children are all boys? Why do people say they feel sorry for me because I only have a 2 bedroom house? I don't know, because they do. But it's like you're saying two different things - you want appreciation for the unique struggles you go through, but you don't want anyone to feel glad they don't have to go through the same struggle?.
It is inappropriate that people make those comments and it seems like learning from that to avoid making similar comments to others would be good.

It reminds me of something many of us as homeschoolers probably encounter. People say "oh you homeschool, I could NEVER do that". It is said in a tone like "eating feces, I could NEVER do that". People may not mean to be rude when they say this, but still it can very impolite.

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You can all keep jumping on me trying to prove that this means that I think gifted children are freaky, but you've got the wrong person. Hell, I think it's freaky when a parent says "Show Aunt so and so how you dance," and the child stops what they're doing and does it. That freaks me out, so you can imagine why I had a strong reaction to the Oprah show.
I don't care for performance of tricks especially when suggested by parents. I also don't care though to hear children who have unusual abilities called freaks. It isn't kind.
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#74 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:20 PM
 
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It is inappropriate that people make those comments and it seems like learning from that to avoid making similar comments to others would be good.

It reminds me of something many of us as homeschoolers probably encounter. People say "oh you homeschool, I could NEVER do that". It is said in a tone like "eating feces, I could NEVER do that". People may not mean to be rude when they say this, but still it can very impolite.



I don't care for performance of tricks especially when suggested by parents. I also don't care though to hear children who have unusual abilities called freaks. It isn't kind.
Okay, last time. I WASN'T CALLING THE GIRL A FREAK. I WAS SAYING THAT I FOUND IT FREAKY THAT IT SEEMED LIKE SHE WAS BEING DEFINED BY HER ABILITY TO RATTLE OFF LISTS. (Be sure to quote my entire statement, not just the first line when you come back to try to refute this.) I stand by that opinion, and I don't see anything unkind about it.
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#75 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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IIt reminds me of something many of us as homeschoolers probably encounter. People say "oh you homeschool, I could NEVER do that". It is said in a tone like "eating feces, I could NEVER do that". People may not mean to be rude when they say this, but still it can very impolite.
I've never thought of those kind of remarks as rude - I've thought of them as forthright self-deprecation, meaning:
"Oh! You're bright and talented and knowledgable enough to do all that for your children? Wow! I could never!"
or
"Oh! You're patient and open-hearted enough to be able to be with your kids all day and still enjoy them? Wow! I'm sure not like that... I'm just glad to be able to send them off to school every day and let someone else handle all that..."


- Lillian
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#76 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Oceanbaby Some of did get what you were saying. I remember only too well how frustrated I used to get over being shown off in one way or another by my parents. To be put on national TV to perform would have been pretty strange stuff.

Here - have a little of this: Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

- Lillian
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#77 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J


I've never thought of those kind of remarks as rude - I've thought of them as forthright self-deprecation, meaning:
"Oh! You're bright and talented and knowledgable enough to do all that for your children? Wow! I could never!"
or
"Oh! You're patient and open-hearted enough to be able to be with your kids all day and still enjoy them? Wow! I'm sure not like that... I'm just glad to be able to send them off to school every day and let someone else handle all that..."


- Lillian
I agree. When comments like "I could never homeschool" are made to me - I take it as a compliment.
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#78 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:36 PM
 
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Oceanbaby Some of did get what you were saying. I remember only too well how frustrated I used to get over being shown off in one way or another by my parents. To be put on national TV to perform would have been pretty strange stuff.

Here - have a little of this: Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

- Lillian
: Sniff. Thank you.
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#79 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Huh. Here Oceanbaby, I'll attract the fire for you for a little while... All I'm going to say is that I observe these things:

Parents of the gifted tend to spend an inordinate amount of time creating criterial and protocol to distinguish the children from "average" children; and then, among themselves. They frequently complain when the low-gifted children might integrate amongst the high-gifted in my city; because that might mean letting in the nonwhites, nonaffluent, non-supergifted. I've read and been on gifted lists, and there are a lot of putdowns and comparisons to the pitiable yet privileged "average" child (I thought there was something wrong with these children who didn't know their ABCs yet, and oh, then I remembered that my son was gifted! How will my son ever survive among the savages?) and discussions/contests regarding milestones and challenges and how early Max did this. My baby shook the doctor's hand and introduced himself fully upon being born, he was so gifted!

Much of the intellectual giftedness criteria are based upon IQ scoring and supposed innate intelligence. I think much of the IQ phenomenon has been greatly called into question (remember the debates over The Bell Curve? Would I want to associate myself with this? how about Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man and the rather thorough debunking of IQ as a tool for the white upper-middle class to reinforce power and intelligence for the white upper-middle class?)

Attempts to discuss the labelling, testing, and complaints of unfairness of worksheets/grade-level/categorization appropriate schooling is shut down by other gifted parents as either sour grapes or "not really understanding" or not being a team player. You can't challenge the gifted official lines and pity party. You can't argue for change on a the structural level, instead of school/grade/homework assignment. For example, I don't have a problem with her doing 2nd grade worksheets- I have a problem with worksheets; I don't have a problem with her being with "average" children - I have a problem with the whole categorization of slow vs. average vs. gifted vs. super-hyper-duper-cheetah, as it leads to tracking and sorting and name-calling. If you had a good teacher in a supportive school, they could differentiate based on the child and do project-oriented work that wouldn't require sorting. But this isn't an option, partially due to hypervigilant parental desires for segregation and achievement and challenge' and making sure all the kids pass NCLB requirements and the testing...I was disappointed. I thought parents would want to buck the system a little, do some free thinking, question the system. Um. Nope.

I really don't think one can compare "academically gifted" children to developmentally delayed children as needing equal services. I think there's a huge difference, and it's offensive. I've heard the suicide statistics, and that high-IQ children are so different as to be socially challenged. But there's a big difference between not ever learning to get dressed or feed oneself or being able to write one's own name vs. not being "challenged in physics sufficiently" or having a hard time making friends. I'm sorry. I just think it's really different. There are challenges with every child. And some kids are just weird, and test "average," and not academically gifted. But they don't get a label to make it OK, or a support group.And their parents find a way to cope too.

Mm. Ok, well, that's my Treason 'O' the Day. I imagine it wil be received so very well.
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Well, I guess it all comes down to tone and intent. Some people can say "Homeschooling? I could NEVER do that." and mean it in a "you're weird for doing that" way, while others are definitely trying to compliment you. I've found some can even mean a mixture of both, LOL.

Oceanbaby, if it's any consolation I can see where you're coming from with the Oprah thing. I admit I took exception to your initial "freak" comment, but now that you've explained it I understand better what you are saying. Possibly the girl on the show was gifted AND her mom is a stage mom... it happens! It's hard for me to judge, not having seen the show, however. And like eilonwy I can't say I'd turn down a couple thousand for one of my kids to "show off," as long as the kids were cool with it. We're pretty broke.
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#81 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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I want to say to the OP, I still feel exactly like your original post,it's too easy to look at the goofy "spongebob" moments in life and assume we're just ordinary,and everyone else is superkid...
I don't intend anything I say to be insulting,and sorry if I came across that way- I just think that having severe disabilities is way different from having the blessing,and sometimes difficulty of raising a child who readily drinks in knowledge-
When I say the term gifted strikes a nerve with me, it's not because I care if someones kids are smarter than mine, it's because I truly don't understand the need to be concerned for my gifted childs special needs...I'm sorry, I guess it's just my perspective- Yes, my kids are considered,by others, to be gifted.( I still see them watching cartoons a lot and picking their noses ) For that matter, almost everyone in my family is. It was just never considered something that needed labeling,or fixing,or special understanding... it was just life.
it's most definitely not something we've chosen as our label, but others sometimes bring it up- I think that's why I'm being too sensitive on this one, b/c I've known too many,like another poster mentioned,that misuse the term,and it sort of creates a negative connotation for the word... not the people who sincerely apply it, just the way some misuse it.
I myself was the 3 year old who could read newspapers,and Shakespeare,and anything else I picked up. I still don't consider that I had special needs in terms of how much I could do that seemed impressive to others, my older sister taught me to read at 3,she was 12 months older,so she was 4.
I guess it could be helpful to have other parents who can help with a busy,driven kid to talk with... I just don't know- I know my kids both go through their own busy,driven phases,I support them the best I can-
If my kid wants to learn algebra, I'll get the material, and make what he wants available... whether he's 6,or 16,it makes no difference to me how driven he is or at what age, and my 13 year old can read newspapers quite well, yet I'm still concerned with the impact of what he's taking in, it's just something that comes with kids no matter what...
I'm not trying to be unsympathetic to any families,and their kids and ways of learning at all. When I said ways of learning and living, I meant to refer to the thinking that if one is gifted,they automatically will go about life differently than others.
I think while the great term 'average' is nothing to celebrate, I believe each and every person is...
And I guess I'm sort of ordinary here,I don't really consider any of us gifted,my kids,myself,any of my super duper high IQ relatives...IMO, high IQ scores really are of limited value, they're just numbers-
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#82 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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I have a friend whose child can only be described as highly gifted and extremely challenging.

He also has recently been diagnosed with "Pre-Tourette's" by a neurologist.

My friend did not see the connection between the giftedness and the Tourette's until I started directing her to literature about asynchronous development and the nature of gifted kids' brains.

THAT is why it is sometimes helpful to label kids as gifted, so that you are able to give them the help in all sorts of areas that they need.

You can be smart and not be gifted. They're not necessarily the same thing.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#83 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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The Oprah thing also reminds me of when a person brings up the homeschooler who murdered her kids. Would it bother you for that to the be the central thing someone brought up when they found out you homeschool?
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#84 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
I have a friend whose child can only be described as highly gifted and extremely challenging.

My friend did not see the connection between the giftedness and the Tourette's until I started directing her to literature about asynchronous development and the nature of gifted kids' brains.

THAT is why it is sometimes helpful to label kids as gifted, so that you are able to give them the help in all sorts of areas that they need.
.
Yes and many children who are gifted are misdiagnosed as having disorders. An awareness of what is going on intellectually with the child could often prevent misdiagnosis.
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#85 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Parents of the gifted tend to spend an inordinate amount of time creating criterial and protocol to distinguish the children from "average" children; and then, among themselves. They frequently complain when the low-gifted children might integrate amongst the high-gifted in my city; because that might mean letting in the nonwhites, nonaffluent, non-supergifted.
I bet somewhere on the net at this exact moment there is a parent who sends their kids to school who is posting something characterization of homeschoolers that is similar. I don't have the experience of having a child in a public school or a public school gifted program and I will defer to your experience of what some parents are like. What I will say is that my experience in several years of reading several gifted lists is that there are a lot of parents, both homeschoolers and people with kids in school, who want their children to have access to meaningful educational opportunities appropriate to their children's needs and who long for change in the system for all children because they recognize the ones who most get the shaft are atypical learners who have families without resources to supplement. My experience is of positive, supportive communities and I'm sorry that isn't what you've found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I've read and been on gifted lists, and there are a lot of putdowns and comparisons to the pitiable yet privileged "average" child (I thought there was something wrong with these children who didn't know their ABCs yet, and oh, then I remembered that my son was gifted! How will my son ever survive among the savages?)
What lists have you been reading? I've read gifted lists for many years and have never seen anything like this. I wonder why you stuck around to read more!

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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
If you had a good teacher in a supportive school, they could differentiate based on the child and do project-oriented work that wouldn't require sorting.
I certainly agree some teachers could do this for some kids if the system was different. I don't agree though that it will work for all kids in all situations. The average second grade teacher isn't prepared to teach algebra or chemistry. Nor, is the average 10th grade teacher prepared to teach beginning reading. The bottom line is that EVERY kid should be able to able to learn. The system is far from offering that.

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I really don't think one can compare "academically gifted" children to developmentally delayed children as needing equal services. I think there's a huge difference, and it's offensive. I've heard the suicide statistics, and that high-IQ children are so different as to be socially challenged. But there's a big difference between not ever learning to get dressed or feed oneself or being able to write one's own name vs. not being "challenged in physics sufficiently" or having a hard time making friends. I'm sorry. I just think it's really different. There are challenges with every child. And some kids are just weird, and test "average," and not academically gifted. But they don't get a label to make it OK, or a support group.And their parents find a way to cope too.
First, it isn't a contest of who is suffering more and it shouldn't presented as one. The question isn't which one is worse or who deserves the most pity. Instead the idea is that every kid should deserve to learn and that meeting that need to learn is fundamental. When it isn't met it has negative consequences for the individual child and for all of us because as a society we need all depend on each other and benefit when individuals are able to realize their potential.

By the way, I recall making a similar argument years ago. Since then I became a mother to a child who is both gifted and disabled. I can't really rank which one is a bigger challenge, because both are a part of who he is. Our personal experience is that both involve very similar sets of challenges. One thing that has been interesting to me is that the group of people I've met who are most understanding about the experience of parenting a gifted children are the other parents of disabled kids!
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#86 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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One thing that has been interesting to me is that the group of people I've met who are most understanding about the experience of parenting a gifted children are the other parents of disabled kids!
That is interesting. The parents of developmentally delayed children that I know are frustrated by the very, very vocal parents of gifted children in our city for comparing children (as in: "the slowest children get tutoring and special help, and mine should too;" "delayed children don't have to be with average children, and mine shouldn't either") and for being insensitive to the rather large differences in quality-of-life and independence that will ever be achievable for their children. So, perhaps the politics of local schooling makes a difference.
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#87 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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That is interesting. The parents of developmentally delayed children that I know are frustrated by the very, very vocal parents of gifted children in our city for comparing children (as in: "the slowest children get tutoring and special help, and mine should too;" "delayed children don't have to be with average children, and mine shouldn't either") and for being insensitive to the rather large differences in quality-of-life and independence that will ever be achievable for their children. So, perhaps the politics of local schooling makes a difference.
Most of the parents of disabled kids I know I've met through therapy services and they have kids in several different schools and in homeschooling. What we've gotten from folks is that having a kid at the extremes isn't easy and that we all need to support each other. Maybe the difference is that in the school system you get folks pitted against each other fighting over scraps so they are polarized which hurts everyone. But, deep down most folks are nice when they really know another family and what their life is like.

I've found personally it is MUCH easier to talk about my son's disabilities than his gifts. But both have meant significant changes for our family financially and emotionally from the life we expected.
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Okay, last time. I WASN'T CALLING THE GIRL A FREAK. I WAS SAYING THAT I FOUND IT FREAKY THAT IT SEEMED LIKE SHE WAS BEING DEFINED BY HER ABILITY TO RATTLE OFF LISTS. (Be sure to quote my entire statement, not just the first line when you come back to try to refute this.) I stand by that opinion, and I don't see anything unkind about it.
I understand what you meant!
It always makes me uncomfortable when see children "performing" in such a manner. I have a cousin who could memorize large chunks of Bible verses very young. Was often put up to recite this, in front of groups. Or play his violin etc.. I could see even as a kid this wasn't for him it was for his parents. If I had a child who was highly gifted and wanted to learn physics or astronomy whatever,at age 3, yes I would do my best too accomodate them. But to make them perform for people, just seems wrong to me. They will face enough challenges being different from other children. Why add more stress to them?
My opinion only I realize. Maybe they thrive on it? I know if someone would hand my dd a microphone she would be more than happy to sing to a stadium full of people!

wife to my modifiedartist.gif and homeschool.gif mom to my 3 monkees dd 15 photosmile2.gif, ds13 geek.gif ,ds 9 nut.gif

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#89 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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Okay, last time. I WASN'T CALLING THE GIRL A FREAK. I WAS SAYING THAT I FOUND IT FREAKY THAT IT SEEMED LIKE SHE WAS BEING DEFINED BY HER ABILITY TO RATTLE OFF LISTS. (Be sure to quote my entire statement, not just the first line when you come back to try to refute this.) I stand by that opinion, and I don't see anything unkind about it.
I don't consider myself particularly gifted, but I didn't have any trouble understanding your point. I must be smarter than I thought?

I also find it unfortunate that a thread affirming and celebrating the beautiful gifts of all our "average" children has turned into another discussion of the special needs of the PG child.
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#90 of 220 Old 06-30-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Parents of the gifted tend to spend an inordinate amount of time creating criterial and protocol to distinguish the children from "average" children; and then, among themselves. They frequently complain when the low-gifted children might integrate amongst the high-gifted in my city; because that might mean letting in the nonwhites, nonaffluent, non-supergifted.
Are you saying there are not nonaffluent, nonwhite "supergifted" kids? I don't think you are. I'd be arguing for better screening. The fact remains that moderately gifted kids can be served well in a regular yet challenging classroom situation.

Quote:
I've read and been on gifted lists, and there are a lot of putdowns and comparisons to the pitiable yet privileged "average" child (I thought there was something wrong with these children who didn't know their ABCs yet, and oh, then I remembered that my son was gifted! How will my son ever survive among the savages?)
I have seen comparisons like that here one MDC, but usually wrt a homeschooling parent not wanting to subject their child to the social structure of school. Kids who are obviously different are bully-magnets.

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Much of the intellectual giftedness criteria are based upon IQ scoring and supposed innate intelligence. I think much of the IQ phenomenon has been greatly called into question (remember the debates over The Bell Curve? Would I want to associate myself with this? how about Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man and the rather thorough debunking of IQ as a tool for the white upper-middle class to reinforce power and intelligence for the white upper-middle class?)
Are you saying that a child with a measured IQ of 160 is solely the beneficiary of a white patriarchal testing culture?

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Attempts to discuss the labelling, testing, and complaints of unfairness of worksheets/grade-level/categorization appropriate schooling is shut down by other gifted parents as either sour grapes or "not really understanding" or not being a team player. You can't challenge the gifted official lines and pity party. You can't argue for change on a the structural level, instead of school/grade/homework assignment.
These are good points. I have a deep rooted dislike and mistrust of the public school machine. Period. I also am aware of the types of parents you are talking about and the stereotypical G&T program status and culture. However, they do not represent all parents of gifted kids. They represent the power structure you were referring to earlier. Not all programs are like this. FWIW, I suspect gifted homeschooled kids outnumber those in the general population by a significant degree.

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For example, I don't have a problem with her doing 2nd grade worksheets- I have a problem with worksheets; I don't have a problem with her being with "average" children - I have a problem with the whole categorization of slow vs. average vs. gifted vs. super-hyper-duper-cheetah, as it leads to tracking and sorting and name-calling.
I have a very big problem with the idea that a child reading at a high level be forced to "learn" the alphabet and read cvc words. If DD1 were going to school, I'd be fighting tooth and naid for her to receive an education appropriate for her. However, I'm not sure how that translates into my not wanting her to be around "average" children. Is this impossible outside of school time? Or even inside. Children can be accelerated for their academic subjects, but (if they choose) still take lunch and PE with their agemates. You're also assuming that the child will willingly play with her agemates. When we go to the park, DD1 plays with her sister or a couple friends for a bit then gravitates out to the dogpark to talk with the dog owners. She has learned a tremendous amount about dogs. We frequent a family friendly pub down the street. Last week, DD1 learned the ins and outs of Cricket (a dart game) and was keeping score for the group in her head. She goes where she's comfortable, and she's most comfortable talking with adults. That doesn't mean we don't go to the playground, but I can't make her play if her interests lie elsewhere.

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If you had a good teacher in a supportive school, they could differentiate based on the child and do project-oriented work that wouldn't require sorting. But this isn't an option
Acceleration is one option that doesn't take much in the way of resources. Reference "A Nation Deceived."

Quote:
I really don't think one can compare "academically gifted" children to developmentally delayed children as needing equal services. I think there's a huge difference, and it's offensive. I've heard the suicide statistics, and that high-IQ children are so different as to be socially challenged.
And the high drop out and depression rate. Chronic underachievement (especially among minority male populations). Boredom. Acting out in class. Children with LD's that mask giftedness in other areas.

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But there's a big difference between not ever learning to get dressed or feed oneself or being able to write one's own name vs. not being "challenged in physics sufficiently" or having a hard time making friends. I'm sorry. I just think it's really different.
That's bordering on insulting. I've never heard anyone suggest such a thing. I have heard people make the comparison to accent for those who don't understand how different their children are, not the degree of scaffolding they require.

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There are challenges with every child. And some kids are just weird, and test "average," and not academically gifted. But they don't get a label to make it OK, or a support group.And their parents find a way to cope too.
This is where your argument falls down. You are talking specifically about children identified as gifted. You are talking about children whose parents know this, have the time to advocate and are educated enough to understand how and why their children are different and how this can effect them. What about the other kids? The unidentified ones? The kids who are dropping out? The underachievers? Gifted kids with Learning Disabilities (and there are many)? What about parents who aren't in a position to homeschool?
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