How do you know if your child is gifted? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Or just really smart and quite advanced for their age? I know my son is advanced but I don't know if I should call him gifted. He's no Einstein but can do alot of things his peers can't do. Does gifted give room for error? He's really good in Math and can read, but doesn't always get the problems right or say the words right. Is there an online test somewhere to give me an idea of what they should know at his age? He's 4.

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#2 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 01:52 AM
 
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giftedness is a way to give information regarding IQ. A person is considered gifted if s/he has an IQ score of 130 or above, given an IQ test with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15. I think people have all sorts of giftedness, but I think the way you're looking at it is in the IQ terminology. Online IQ tests are not particularly rounded--then again, some would argue that no tests are truly rounded. I guess I'd ask myself why it mattered if I could call my child gifted? What will it grant him? kwim? Lest you think I'm judgmental about the idea of giftedness, I know my ds' IQ on a traditional (actually, nonverbal) IQ test (gave it to him myself : ).
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#3 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 04:48 AM
 
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I recommend visiting Hoagies:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/

Go to "Gifted 101". You'll find links to sites that list characteristics that can help to identify giftedness in young children. In addition to the wealth of information at this site, there are also tonnes of great recommendations for additional reading.

Hoagies recommends professional testing, especially for gifted children going into public schools. I would be very leary of any online testing. For homeschoolers it's less of an academic issue because the curriculum is more or less tailored to the child's abilities anyway. However, there are potential ramifications to giftedness beyond the academic. I belive that identification through testing would allow homeschooling parents of children who are more than moderately gifted to better meet their children's emotional and developmental needs. There are a number of good books that talk about these issues... a sense of aloneness and need for private time is a common theme, as is a heightened sense of social justice.
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#4 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 05:04 AM
 
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Children are gifted in so many ways. Studies show EQ Emotional IQ is far more important than IQ I can understand why you would want to have him tested though since he is only 4 and can already read. Hope you find what you are looking for.
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#5 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 07:09 AM
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Why would it matter if your child could qualify for the gifted label? What would you do differently?

I carried that label all through my school years, and it's heavy sometimes. It has never been necessary for me to label or test my daughter, because it really does't matter to us if she's 5 grade levels above the average 10 yr old in reading... I don't have to worry about the mythical average ten yr old's needs, I only have to wory about meeting her needs.

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#6 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 11:25 AM
 
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I would add, that because my child is "gifted" and "labeled" as such, he is in a different curriculum in school. His classes are totally different. This has made a world of difference! He was actually getting "F's" because he wasnt doing his work. Now he is much happier. (different language every nine weeks, a science class thats totally hands on with experiments, etc).
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#7 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 01:46 PM
 
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If I were still homeschooling Ds (we started, but he really wants to go to school ), I would never have had him tested. We would have continued to work at the pace set by Ds. However, since he is going to go to the local private school, I did. I am glad I did even tho it gives him a label. Without the testing the poor kid would have been stuck in an understimulating environment.....possibly a target for riddalin since he gets antsy when bored.

IMO Matt is at least a very bright child I have been told 4 year old kids are not expected to read on a basic level or do any math barring counting. You can look up your local public schools admission test online, if you cannot find it give them a call. They should be able to tell you what they use. They are available to view, or at least they are here. Here the public school uses STEPS. I forget what the private school used.

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#8 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sweetbaby3
I would add, that because my child is "gifted" and "labeled" as such, he is in a different curriculum in school.
But this is the homeschooling board. It may matter in the world of school - I did get to go to "gifted class" in school and it was the best part of my week - but with homeschooling, you can pick any curriculum (or none at all) without needing any labels.

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#9 of 51 Old 06-17-2003, 04:55 PM
 
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Quote:
I don't have to worry about the mythical average ten yr old's needs, I only have to wory about meeting her needs.
This is very true...and I think that it helps to know that gifted kids are different, not just "smarter" than their peers. I think hoagies is invaluable for this reason...

I have found the info on perfectionism in a gifted child really helpful in my approach to dd. I think a parent could definitely end up pulling their hair out about this, and some solutions can be found if you know what resources to look for...
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#10 of 51 Old 06-18-2003, 10:54 AM
 
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You are right of course, Dar....but like darlindeliasmom said, even HS may have need for different recources. Matt being only 4, perhaps Mattsmom is looking for a spring point for his education. You would not want to buy/invest in material that you would not use...kwim?

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#11 of 51 Old 06-18-2003, 11:24 AM
 
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BTW that Hoagies site is great!

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#12 of 51 Old 06-19-2003, 02:19 AM
 
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Get all the resources you need, but don't forget to listen to your child!

I've learned more about learning styles and giftedness from my child (children) then from any book. Each child will teach you about themselves if you will simply listen and observe.

Remember that often lables are confining and inhibiting.
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#13 of 51 Old 06-20-2003, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice, and yes I'm just basically trying to get an idea of what to do with him. I'm kinda stuck at this point. He really really wants to go to school but I have my reservations about him getting the right placement. I would love to homeschool him all together but I just don't think he would be as happy. I asked him what he wanted to do, homeschool or go to school and he said BOTH! So now what :

Thanks for the info ladies
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#14 of 51 Old 06-20-2003, 02:46 AM
 
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I asked him what he wanted to do, homeschool or go to school and he said BOTH! So now what?

You can do both he can be enrolled as a part time student and only take the courses he wants to take. And do the rest at home.
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#15 of 51 Old 06-20-2003, 02:52 AM
 
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I have found the info on perfectionism in a gifted child really helpful in my approach to dd. I think a parent could definitely end up pulling their hair out about this, and some solutions can be found if you know what resources to look for...

Exactly how I feel. This has helped me deal with my ds's obsessive need for neatness and perfectionism. I would not have understood it otherwise. That Hoagies website gave me alot of insight into the mind of my child thank you to the mama that posted it. I spent hours reading the info on there and learned so much information about why my son behaves the way he does.

Thanks
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#16 of 51 Old 06-21-2003, 12:46 PM
 
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He said Both! What a great answer
In that case I would check out the schools and see if there is one you think will suit his needs. If not, homeschool. I plan to continue to follow Ds' lead on what he wants to learn on his own, even tho he will be going to school. Education does not end when the teachers go home

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#17 of 51 Old 06-21-2003, 01:26 PM
 
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On the idea of doing both...

We have a program in my community where children who homeschool are welcome to join in at the school for music and phys-ed classes...BOTH?
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#18 of 51 Old 06-21-2003, 03:34 PM
 
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Neither EQ nor IQ are always good indicators of giftedness.

How do I tell when I encounter one? Insight mainly.

There are many attributes that can be particularly well developed in children of a young age, and this is often misinterpreted as "giftedness". This is because our current definition tends to be bent towards satisfying the "Industrial Age Education Model" of wat is useful for the Industrial Age Social Machine.

But true giftedness, as in child insightfulness is more about potential at a young age than premature achievement. I've occasionally been in the position of being able to cultivate a truly gifted child from a young age. Most often the parents don't "get it" and the educators lable them as "slow" or "ordinary".

By the time anything blossoms, the kids are ground into the machine.

Very sad.

I've been flamed in other places for these views. Hope I can make someone think affresh, even if it's only one.

a

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#19 of 51 Old 06-21-2003, 09:13 PM
 
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You have to have your child tested to see if they are gifted...

Then you get him/her on a list to get into a program for the gifted. .... I.Q. 140+, last heard when I worked in the public schools.

If you are in a public school, this may be just before your child's 50th birthday, depending on race/ethnicity.....

Which is the problem with I.Q. tests in the first place, they were developed by eugenicists.
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#20 of 51 Old 06-22-2003, 06:16 PM
 
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I think you just know if your child is gifted. You probably are around other children his age, so you can see if he's one of the only ones who's advanced in certain areas. You probably also know by checking the age range on his toys and books. I knew that something was up when I noticed that our son was spending more time playing with toys gauged for children a year or more older than he was.

Our son is gifted. He started reading without assistance when he was 2.5 and now (a year later) will read a 70 page chapter book in an afternoon, just because he loves books. He can do simple computations, addition and subtraction mostly, in his head. He also has good spatial relations skills which manifest themselves in tasks like puzzle-solving (he can whip through a 50 piece puzzle in about 10-15 minutes) and mapreading (he can tell us step by step how to get from point A to point B, a la "turn left on Elm Street, then turn right onto Route 233"). Anyway, it's apparent to us that these are not average skills for 3 year olds. I do get a fair amount of comments from strangers and friends, especially when they notice that he can read competently. So I don't need a test to tell me that he's developmentally advanced in some areas.

Now, there are other areas where he's average, and some where he is delayed (like fine motor skills). The mind is an incredible varied thing. One reason why we're not sending him to school is so that we can accommodate his different abilities. If I ever need to get him tested, I will, but I feel no rush in getting the "magic IQ" number to tell me where he is on the scale.

Tara
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#21 of 51 Old 06-22-2003, 11:20 PM
 
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i looked over the hoagie site and am now a little confused: the impression i took away is that, basically, being gifted means having a comparatively high IQ.

that's it.

it's just not sitting right with my gut feeling, did i miss something?
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#22 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 06:03 AM
 
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Hi dado,I didn't get that from what I read at all. I mostly read through all of the parents personal experiences though.
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#23 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 12:41 PM
 
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I think it's fair to say that Hoagies deals mostly with the type of giftedness identified by IQ tests (i.e. language and math skills). This is not surprising because it's a site dedicated to the education of the gifted. Within the realms of public and (to a great degree) private education, it is a child's IQ that qualifies them for gifted programs; in these realms, "gifted" is itself defined by, rather than being indicated by, having a high IQ. There is also much more quality information and research available about these kinds of gifted kids.

Public schools have never catered to those who are gifted musically or artistically, or (at least in the younger grades) athletically.

There is a little information of other types of giftedness at Hoagies, but many of the issues they talk about: perfectionism, asynchronous development, etc. are applicable to many kinds of giftedness.

Musical
Math
Creative
Technological

There is a book about profoundly gifted children by Ellen Winner entitled Gifted Children that deals only briefly with the globally gifted and discusses different types of giftedness in detail.
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#24 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 01:51 PM
 
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thank you. i will give it a closer reading.
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#25 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 02:14 PM
 
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Wow tara! What a kid

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#26 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 04:29 PM
 
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I was given the gifted label in public school when I was growing up, and loved the gifted special classes I was in - but found it to be a burden as well.

My son was in a private school with many conventionally gifted students - early readers, kids who could wiz through math workbooks.

My son is gifted, and can tell you all kinds of complex things about math, but he loathes math workbooks - so in school, his "problem" with math workbooks was interpreted as a difficulty in learning math. Subsequently, he began to say he was "stupid" in math, and began to hate it. Only after 9 months of homeschooling has he begun to see again that math is fun - and that he's good at it. Workbooks are a minimal part of math for us at home.

My son is also highly gifted in science, and in language comprehension. He was praised in school for his complex and rich oral book reports - however, he was "behind" in language arts, because he has difficulty writing his thoughts down (mechanics of writing are still challenging for him). He also has motor planning issues, and so eye-tracking for reading skills has come slowly to him. Consequently, he was given boring baby books to read in school, and decided that he "hated" reading. At home, I can read complex and rich literature to him, and discuss it with him, and I can write down what he has to say about it.

I have to say - I also bought into the idea that gifted meant early reader, and math workbook whiz, so I didn't consider that some of the personality traits my son exhibited were traits of giftedness. I knew he was bright, but I didn't think he was gited. However, when I read about the personality traits of gifted children on the hoagies websight, I realized this description fit him so much better than the "learning disabled" descriptions I had been advised to learn about.

So, we've thrown out the "learning disabled" idea altogether, and embraced the "gifted" idea - None of which has ever been communicated to our son. These are just ways to help me better serve his needs. And I am serving him better by supporting his gifts, rather than focusing on his challenges.

Laura
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#27 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 05:40 PM
 
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wow. your post really resonated with me. it seems in some ways we've gone backwards while going forwards. as a society it's like we've completely forgotten how much learning and teaching in our history has been transmitted orally, person to person. that kind of activity is now all dumped in the "storytime" bin, as if it were useless and the stuff of childhood.

your son is lucky to have a parent observant enough to catch this!

Quote:
Originally posted by Openskyheart
My son is also highly gifted in science, and in language comprehension. He was praised in school for his complex and rich oral book reports - however, he was "behind" in language arts, because he has difficulty writing his thoughts down (mechanics of writing are still challenging for him).
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#28 of 51 Old 06-23-2003, 10:16 PM
 
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My son also hated reading. I honestly thougth he had dyslexia or some other learning disability and was starting to worry about him. The last 2 days I saw him reading these very large books like encyclopedias. Reading out loud and he was so proud of himself and happy. He said mom I do love to read. He didn't want to read the books that I thought he should be reading. I too read some of the information on Hoagies and it really helped me to see into the mind of my child. Thanks for posting this information.
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#29 of 51 Old 06-24-2003, 03:25 AM
 
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[QUOTE]it seems in some ways we've gone backwards while going forwards. as a society it's like we've completely forgotten how much learning and teaching in our history has been transmitted orally, person to person. that kind of activity is now all dumped in the "storytime" bin, as if it were useless and the stuff of childhood.[QUOTE]

Yes, I agree. Even the Waldorf and Montessori schools I observed were very narrow in their approaches to teaching children and supporting their learning styles. They appeared to be more narrow even than the school my son attended.

And don't even get me started on the public schools....with the near-fanatic emphasis on testing in California, and the drill and kill approach this emphasis fosters, the joy in learning with which children enter school is being squashed on a daily basis.

That being said, my daughter still goes to the private school. We've given her the option to choose, and she has chosen to stay in school so far. She doesn't mind workbooks, and the enrichment classes are many and fun, (not to mention all the friends she has made there...). So, for my daughter's well being, and my own, I do respect her decision and I look for the good in her program. Honestly, there is a lot of good there (including no standardized testing, and no grading system).

Laura

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#30 of 51 Old 06-29-2003, 04:07 AM
 
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I think if your kid is advanced in a certain area then they're "gifted" in that area--I agree that the label can be a very discouraging thing--I was labeled gifted and sort of rebelled against it, as if to say "there's more to me than this label"--we just need to be careful, i think, in defining our kids for them, rather than letting them continue to define themselves throughout their lives.

I'd say that my kids are both advanced for their ages, often surprisingly so, (they're almost 4 and almost 2) and I want to nurture every aspect of their development (emotional, intellectual, artistic, etc, ) We're currently HS'ing, and I'm drawn to an arts-based, unschooling approach, sort of Waldorfian.
HOWEVER, what I find difficult is striking a balance between letting them just live and learn and feeling like I should be doing more to foster their advanced abilities. The waldorf approach had me feeling like I must have subconsciously pressured her because my daughter knows all the preschool stuff and most of the kindergarten readiness, and is doing beginning reading, none of which we've forced AT ALL, but then I hear of many other HS'ing families whose kids are reading, doing math, playing music, etc, at advanced levels and I wonder if I'm actually stifling my kids abilities by insisting that they fall into the Waldorfian style of learning (which they don't really at all) that seems to discourage knowledge of letters/numbers etc. until kids are a bit older, in favor of...verses and watercolor painting? waldorfians with advanced kids help me out here...
My son on the other hand, who isn't yet two, speaks in full sentences and can count (with a few flubs) to 30 or 40, and I know for a fact that I've never counted WITH him past 10 or so (#of stairs or whatever) and he's just picked it up on his own, from listening to his sister. I often feel guilty because I've done nothing to help him learn letters and at his age now his sister could spell her name and knew all the letters, etc, but I've been discouraged by the Waldorf reading I've done to *teach* him anything at all. I feel like a pushy mom any time I do anything towards helping him "learn things". But isn't it good for general brain development to learn new things, especially in the early years?
isn't it good to know when to end a post?

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