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Hi mamas, I'm new here! Because I'm new, please excuse any term blunders I may make, I did read through the forum guidelines real quick to see if there was anything in particular I needed to learn.<br><br>
Quick intro...I have three sons ages 5, 3, and 7 months. We live in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. My 3 year old is special needs with a chromsome defect, so I spend a lot of time focussing on development and therapies.<br><br>
My 5 year old is...something! Gifted? Bright? Quick to learn? I don't know, but he's not your typical kid, that's for sure. As I learn more about how to manage my special needs kiddo, I'm realizing how abnormal my 5 year old is, but on the other end of the spectrum.<br><br>
My main questions I'm going to be looking to answer as I spend more time on this forum are:<br><br>
1. How do I tell the difference between gifted and just bright?<br>
2. What does it matter?<br>
3. It I decide it matters, how do I go about "doing" something about it? Testing etc? How do I work with the school?<br><br>
Some of this I sort of already know. I was in gifted programs throughout school, although not in Ohio. I've also seen what happens (to my older brothers) when a gifted child is in the wrong environment (behavior issues, lower grades, etc) So from a very basic stand point, I know that in some cases it can really matter to get a child properly evaluated, labeled, and the classroom environment altered.<br><br>
Here's some info on Ian, sorry if this gets long.<br><br>
He was always "bigger, faster, better, sooner", from the time he was an infant! He his milestones early, he rushed through developmental stages, he was very active and inquisitive. We were re-arranging furniture when he was 7 months old because he was climbing onto everything!<br><br>
He was very verbal very young. He could sing along to the alphabet around 15 months old. He learned to identify all of the letters in the alphabet well before age 2 (and we didn't "teach" him this, he just had Leap Frog toys). Although interestingly, colors were a bit harder for him, for a little while I worried he was actually color blind, but then sometime just after his 2nd birthday it clicked. He spoke in full paragraphs understandable by most strangers when he was a young 2 year old.<br><br>
He started asking crazy questions before age 2, things like "where does electricity come from?" and for a while I gave him short simple answers ("from power plants") but soon enough those answers weren't good enough, so I started explaining things using all the big words in very technical terms, and HE REMEMBERED IT! I'm not sure that he understood it, but he could recite it to me (I remember him saying once "electricity is generated at the power plant, then travels through the wires to the outlets in our home, then conducts through the plug to the lights. That's why we don't touch outlets." His brother wasn't born yet, so he wasn't quite 2!)<br><br>
He went through a few years of horrible behavior, intense anger, tantrums that were destructive and self-injuring, volatility that made my husband honestly wonder if he was bi-polar. It was really hard, because most of the parenting books and discipline advice assumes a non-verbal child, and that obviously wasn't the root of our problems! In fact, I think it was the opposite, I think his cognitive awareness was much greater than his emotional stability, and he just LOST IT, frequently. Finally, just a few months ago (when he was 4, nearly 5) I decided that it was no longer in the realm of "normal" and I cut gluten from his diet. ALL of his anger/tantrums are gone!!!<br><br>
In place of the anger/tantrums is emotion, lots of emotion. He "wears his feelings on his sleeves" now, the littlest thing will "hurt his feelings" and he will start to tear up, but then he'll be embarassed from his tears and it will snowball. This phase is rather trying, too, although certainly better than him kicking/screaming/throwing/head banging/destroying!!<br><br>
Before we cut the gluten, he was starting to have some fine motor issues at school. He attends a half day integrated preschool program at our public school (8 special needs kids, 8 typical kids). His work was very sloppy, he never liked to sit and color, he couldn't sit and focus on a fine motor task to save his life. Thankfully he has a wonderful teacher who worked with me and with him to modify his environment, rather than just try to label him ADD. After talking with an OT, they did a trial of a pressure vest, and it worked really well! They also got him on the balance ball for some deep pressure sensory input right before fine motor activities, and his work got immensely better. Once we cut the gluten, all of those issues went away. He can now sit and do beautiful work, writing all of his letters upper case and lower case, doing mazes, word searches, coloring in the lines, etc. I'm still flabbergasted at how much of an impact the gluten had on him!!<br><br>
Recently he has learned how to read. Again, I'm not "teaching" him, but I do take advantage of opportunities in the car (street signs, building signs, etc) or in the store (labels on foods, aisle labels, etc) or at a restaurant. He is recognizing parts of words, patterns within words, similar word endings, etc. From that, he can sound out most words now. I can literally SEE his brain working when he's reading, he will see a vowel (a, for example) and I'll hear him mumble "a says ah, or says its name if there's an e at the end".<br><br>
He understands addition and subtraction, but I haven't tried to introduce any other math concepts to him. I want to do time and money, but haven't had the opportunity. I suspect both of those concepts will come easily.<br><br>
He has a deep sense of "fairness" and gets personally insulted if something isn't "fair".<br><br>
He is extremely extroverted, always talking to strangers, always seeking out socialization, drawing energy from those around him. He has trouble staying quiet at school because of this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> (I seem to remember having a similar problem!) This is exactly opposite of my introverted/social anxiety prone husband, who has no clue how to handle an extroverted kid!<br><br>
Even off of gluten, he is still obviously a deep pressure sensory seeker, although now it's in more appropriate ways. He's fearless, loves to climb, scale, jump, as high and as fast as he can. I never stop him, if he makes me nervous, honestly I just turn my back so he can't see my reaction!<br><br>
Pain used to be an issue. He didn't seem to feel pain for a while as an infant/toddler. I would find owies in the bath that I never knew he had, big ones too like missing toe nails. Or I'd find dried streaks of blood running down his leg from when he had fallen and not told me. I think that had a lot to do with his self-injuring in tantrums, I think it also is related to the deep pressure sensory seeking. This has eased a lot, he now seems to feel pain normally, although he isn't overly reactive to it (he might cry for a few seconds, but then he's back at it. You should see some of the pictures we have of various wipe outs!)<br><br>
SO...that's Ian.<br><br>
He starts Kindergarten in the fall. I'm not interested in homeschooling him, I don't think it would be a good fit for his personality type. He also seems to thrive off of rigid structure and routine, and he wouldn't get that at home. Aside from that, I WOH, and hubby is definitely not equipped to homeschool. So it's off to public school Kindergarten in the fall. It's a half day program here, and I've already spent some time talking with his preschool teacher about which kindergarten teacher will be the best match for him, and gotten some good feed back about that.<br><br>
I'm not sure what, if anything, my next step should be. Do I just wait and see how he does in Kindergarten? Do I wait for his new teacher to approach me? Do I actively seek out testing/evaluation, and if so, when?
 

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It sounds like you are doing a lot for him already. I'd wait on any gifted testing until he's 6. The testing gets a lot more reliable then. Or wait to see if any issues come up in school.<br><br>
Have you heard of the term twice exceptional, or 2E - since you mentioned the sensory seeking and gluten stuff...
 

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A great place to start reading is Hoagies: <a href="http://www.hoagiesgifted.org" target="_blank">www.hoagiesgifted.org</a><br><br>
While you are thinking about school, you can start doing some research about whether your school district has any programs in place for supporting gifted students. Districts with programs in place often have systems to do assessments through the schools, which may or may not meet your child's needs. And, if they do have a system, you want to make sure that any private testing you have done would be acceptable to the school if there are problems with the school's system. I am thinking about the fine motor control issue in particular - one of the doctors who has seen DS1 has noted that he may not be able to score high enough on our district's screening test because the speed at which he writes legibly may stop him from completing enough questions.<br><br>
FWIW, he sounds quite a lot like my son on the behavioural side of things. I am going to try having my guy use the balance ball for a bit before doing his homework and see if I get any mileage from it.
 

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a lot of this is sounding familiar in my 2.5 year old...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2boyzmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15391423"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">....<br>
1. How do I tell the difference between gifted and just bright?<br>
2. What does it matter?<br>
3. It I decide it matters, how do I go about "doing" something about it? Testing etc? How do I work with the school?<br>
....<br>
I'm not sure what, if anything, my next step should be. Do I just wait and see how he does in Kindergarten? Do I wait for his new teacher to approach me? Do I actively seek out testing/evaluation, and if so, when?</div>
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I also have an active/extroverted 5 year-old. He is nearing the end of his K year, and it has been a good year for him. My approach was just to send him and see what the teacher thought. He did already know most of what was taught academically, but his reading has come a long way. The teacher sends home books to read independently based on reading level, and it seems that his reading has improved immensely in a short amount of time. He was reading some before starting K, but not on this level. Handwriting is another thing that has improved a lot this year. While he tells me that the work in school is "easy," he likes school and doesn't complain of boredom b/c he is so social and loves special classes such as PE, art, & computer. He has learned a lot of non-academic things and loves all his new friends. I have not pursued testing b/c the gifted program at his school does not start until later grades. I would investigate the school's gifted program and find out when it starts, what it entails, etc.
 
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