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Thank you, Lisa. Those are awesome links!

Can we also talk about what we want in the "about us" portion of the sticky?

Personally, I would like the sticky to acknowledge that all children have gifts and talents but that this forum is about intelligence that is two standard deviations (and more) above the norm. This is determined through testing, but many parents can identify giftedness without testing. Studies show that most of these parents are correct in identifying it. I would also like to see it mention the asynchronous development that is often (usually?) part of giftedness, i.e. having varying levels of development in different areas at the same time. Additionally, I would like it to mention that gifted children often have special needs: sensory issues, anxiety, ?...etc....

Because of my own biased experience, I would love if it said something about early acquisition of ABCs, that sort of thing, not necessarily meaning giftedness and lack of early milestone acquisiton not necessarily meaning lack of giftedness. This is always the trick part. IIRC, studies show that extreme early speech is positively correlated with giftedness, right? And I thought that very early reading was too, but self-taught. But obviously, if a child is taught to read but then jumps up a ton of reading levels in short order, you're looking at it. Of course, many gifted children speak very late and many read late. So, what am I trying to say here? Remember the list of "giftedness is not" under gifted characteristics thread? I guess I like it being said that being able to sing the ABC song at 2 does not necessarily mean the child is gifted and not speaking at 3 does not necessarily mean the child is not gifted. I'm going to start babbling at this point, like I do. Part of the nature of asynchronous development is that there are often going to be some "late" milestone achievements in some areas. For us, those areas were gross motor and speech, which I am discovering is not uncommon at all with gifted children (particularly the gross motor). If I were to look at the 30% advanced list, my oldest would only be advanced on some very specific areas of that; he would be average or late on the gross motor and speech ones. I've read more and more about other kids with a similar pattern.

Ok, end of babbling. What does everyone think? I'm thinking:
1. all children have gifts but this forum is about intelligence 2 std deviations above the norm
2. many parents know without testing
3. giftedness is not necessarily....(singing the ABC song-insert whatever is appropriate...?)
4. giftedness is not necessarily absent in late talkers, late walkers, late readers...
4. giftedness often presents asynchronous development
5. giftedness often presents special needs (sensory, anxiety, depression, 2E, peer issues, etc).

What do you think? What does everyone think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
Ok, end of babbling. What does everyone think? I'm thinking:
1. all children have gifts but this forum is about intelligence 2 std deviations above the norm
2. many parents know without testing
3. giftedness is not necessarily....(singing the ABC song-insert whatever is appropriate...?)
4. giftedness is not necessarily absent in late talkers, late walkers, late readers...
4. giftedness often presents asynchronous development
5. giftedness often presents special needs (sensory, anxiety, depression, 2E, peer issues, etc).
I think that's a great list. I also think that if we're going to talk about what giftedness is not, then we should make a mention of the distinction between self-taught stuff and rote stuff and emphasize the myth of drilling that gifted parents are so often accused of.
 

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I think we should make a point to separate the word "gifted" from the concept of "uniqueness," and reiterate that this has to do with the way our children were born, not with anything that we as parents did or did not do; think of it as a congential condition, rather than the result of environment alone.
 

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*nods head enthusiastically to Lisa and Eilonwy's posts*. There's a checklist somewhere of gifted vs bright behaviors. And one of the things that always jumps out at me is the distinction between knowing the answers and asking the questions. I can really relate to that. You can have a kid who has not memorized the laundry list of school readiness stuff, but who asks really deep questions and comes up with really creative ideas. It's not about knowing, but about learning, about how they learn. We're into self-taught here because of personality and learning style. But I know of other people who did teach their child but then the child jumped light-years ahead of age level.

And wrt being born that way, nod nod nod. It's funny, because if I look back now on baby days, I can pick out a bunch of weird things. I just didn't realize that at the time, but knowing what I know now, I can think back and say, "Yeah, he did do that and that was weird." It is how they are born. I remember the day that my niece was born. When I saw her in the hospital room at a few hours old, she was laying on my sister's lap and she was staring at me. I always talked about that and remember that. I can't describe it very well, but she was staring me down like she was checking me out. My sister and I used to get goosebumps sometimes when my niece was an infant, because she had this very direct stare that made it feel, like we said, that a woman was inside looking out from her eyes. It was a little intimidating. And without going into too much detail about her online, a decade later, seeing what is apparent now, the baby stare stuff completely makes sense. She was born that way.

Of course, this doesn't make anyone's child better. They are just different, like kids are different. But it is how they are born. Environment plays a role, but research shows that genetics plays the biggest role. And since it's how they are born, there are a host of related issues that can result. If you read on any gifted list, you see LOTS of difficulties with sensory issues, for example. It affects lots of things. It's not always pleasant and it's not easy. I've had some really rough patches in parenting, where I have felt pain from related stuff, where all I wished for at the time was for a kid that was "normal". Of course, I wouldn't change anything about my kids, but you see what I'm saying.

That SENG site is wonderful, btw. :)
 

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As a parent, former gifted student, and teacher of gifted students, I think you are all off to a great start. Hoagies is the place I send parents to the most. It is a great starting place, will a lot of information and links.

I think this sticky should also mention that parents cannot do anything to make their children be more gifted. There is no evidence to show that early exposure to classical music, flash cards, books, etc will do anything to boost intellect. However, there is a lot of evidence to show that parental attention boosts brain development, particularly if that attention is positive and focused on the child. In other words, you cannot just park your babe in front of Baby Einstein and expect that will create a genius.

I think is is also helpful to point out that there is no real consensus on what it means to be gifted but that in schools gifted is equated with high intellect and high test scores. One could, of course, have a debate of semantics on what it means to be gifted, all children have gifts, what about other gifts, like music, athleticism, what about the multiple intelligences. But, in reality, when experts in the field are talking about giftedness in children they are referring to intellectual giftedness and are usually equating it with test scores at least two standard deviations above the norm. For some reason, advanced intellectual ability has been called a gift whereas advanced physical, musical, or other abilities are called talents.

But, that being said, it should also be noted that the classic IQ tests are believed to be a bit racist or perhaps classist would be a better descriptor. There are different ways of learning about the world and it is likely that the IQ tests do not catch all children who are gifted. Poor children, children of immigrants, and children who do not speak English as a first language have difficulty gaining access to gifted programs.

It should also be noted that many school districts use a group test to ascertain giftedness. These tests are notoriously unreliable in children under the age of 8 because these kids have such a hard time sitting still and do not have as much test experience to help them. If parents can afford it, a licensed child psych. can give a battery of individual tests which will give a much clearer picture of the child's abilities. Also, special ed children can at times be highly intellectual but unable to take the regular group test. A child psych can also give a battery of tests to this child and this testing should be funded by the school district as part of the child's individualized education plan.

If you have a child who you think is gifted and you would like to find out what is available in the way of services for your child, a good place to start is your state department of education. Local school districts don't often do a lot for gifted kids but your state dept of ed will let you read the state laws on teaching gifted kids. This will help you if you need assistance getting the school district to meet your child's needs. Keep in mind, however, that most school districts do not have a lot of funds for gifted ed and giftedness is not legally a form of special ed and thus not part of special education funding.

Parents are often interested in advancing their gifted children beyond their grade level. There are pros and cons to this and they should all be weighed equally. You should consider the child's physical, mental and social development as strongly as their intellectual development. If you have a very immature, in many ways, child who is academically very bright, it may not be a good idea to skip a grade. He or she will feel the difference in age, even if they can do the work. A mixed grade class might be a better alternative, if it is available.

The most important piece of advice I give to parents of gifted kids is to pay attention to their child and let him or her follow their dreams. This is good advice for all parents but sometimes parents of gifted kids forget this in their effort to help their child excel. They may push the child into chess club or french class or 40 zillion extracurricular activities and forget that the child needs time to be a child and also time to delve deeply into favorite topics and hobbies. Gifted kids get obsessed with their favorite topics and parents can find a place in their child's world if they join in the love of that topic. Maybe the first grader knows everything there is to know about Star Wars so the parents take him the science center Star Wars exhibit. (this is my friend's child) Maybe the 4th grader is enthralled by Elizabethan history so mom and dad and child visit the library together to borrow books and movies. (this was a former student) Or maybe the 3 year old is enthralled by her yard and wants to dig and label everything and collect all the bugs and have books read to hear all day long about gardening so she can memorize the flowers and insects. (this would be my child)

Nurture your child's gifts, no matter what they are, and always remember to let your child be a child and find their way in the world on their terms.
 

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Is this the checklist that you're thinking of?

Levels of Giftedness by Deborah Ruf

This along with a similar version for Preschoolers
How Smart is My Child?

might be good ones to add.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeftField
And one of the things that always jumps out at me is the distinction between knowing the answers and asking the questions. I can really relate to that. You can have a kid who has not memorized the laundry list of school readiness stuff, but who asks really deep questions and comes up with really creative ideas.
Yes, yes and yes!!! That's actually the one thing that's driven me to this forum - the depth of my son's questions. He's not an early reader, but he is very, very curious.

As Kathy (boongirl) said, it is important to note that you can't really make your child more gifted, but you can foster their full potential by paying attention to them, following their lead, and letting them pursue their interests. I also see a lot of kids who are 'pushed' into early reading and math because high academic achievement is so important to their parents. While they score above grade level, they're not really CURIOUS about the world. On the other hand, a gifted child is constantly ASKING to learn.

Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
The most important piece of advice I give to parents of gifted kids is to pay attention to their child and let him or her follow their dreams.
That's the most important gift my parents gave to all of their children, who range from 'above average' to 'highly gifted' - they never batted an eye at major changes from things like Engineering to Germanic Linguistics. The only time they fell down was when my highly gifted (maybe even profoundly gifted) sister wanted to pursue modern dance. Their lack of support there affected their relationship for a while. (But not my sister's tenacity. She tried it and eventually decided of her own accord not to continue.) But I digress...
 

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Einstein never Used Flashcards appears to be a very controversial book in the online gifted community. Some people have had it used as an offensive action implying judgement, like inferring that the parent should leave that poor child alone and stopping pressuring him when nothing of the sort is taking place. Like, Child A the 3 year old is reading upper elementary level books or displaying another overt sign of giftedness...random parent/neighbor/ sees that and suggests Child A's parent read "Einstein Never Used Flashcards". If that were me, that would really put me on the defensive and put me off the book.

I have read the book and I, personally, loved it. I had the opposite conclusion. I felt I was surrounded by lots of competitive mothers IRL who were trying extremely hard to get results with their kids. There was one mother who I still run into (ugh, I can't get away from her!) and her kids are about 6 months older than each of mine. She and I have had some run-ins related to her snark and insecurity. I don't think she's a very nice person and I think she's giving her oldest an insecurity complex, but I digress. Reading the book made me feel relieved in some way, because my kids are the way they are, because that is who they are. It's not something that I'm doing to them to make them that way. The book, curiously, kind of let me off the hook and made me feel more accepting of my kids' development as being part of they way they were born, while simultaneouly making me feel I had an ally against the high-pressure competitive Moms. For me, the book was about the Moms of "normal" kids who relentlessly quiz their kids on colors and compare them to my kids, when I'm not inviting any competition.

But, as I said, if I had the book recommended to me by people who saw one of my kids doing one of their things, I would be offended. So I can understand why the book is controversial.

I do agree that you can't do anything with a kid other than help him/her reach the upper limits of their innate intelligence. That notion offends people too. CB is more eloquent in explaining this next part, but the notion that intelligence is largely inborn goes against the American Dream of achieving anything that one works hard for, the concept of deserving stuff in return for hard work, etc.

I really believe that many people I know IRL believe that an early start confers a long-term advantage. I heard a mother a few backs stressing over her 3 year old being behaviorly unready for "school" when her oldest was clearly ready to be there at that age. She's a SAHM, so it's not a child-care issue. Around here, people are obsessed with preschool, because they must be in school as soon as possible to "get smart" (that's actually a slogan in our local elementary).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
Parents are often interested in advancing their gifted children beyond their grade level. There are pros and cons to this and they should all be weighed equally. You should consider the child's physical, mental and social development as strongly as their intellectual development..
Just as a note though, we don't find it routinely acceptable in our culture to deny children intellectual opportunities because they are physically disabled. We don't say "yes, you are ready for fourth grade math, but you need to take second grade math because you can't walk". Yet, for some reason way too often a child's height or physical maturity is considered when choosing the level of academic work they will receive.

We are lucky now that there is quite good research acceleration showing that for many kids it is the ideal solution.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
But, that being said, it should also be noted that the classic IQ tests are believed to be a bit racist or perhaps classist would be a better descriptor.
What do you mean by "classic" IQ tests?
Are you suggesting the IQ tests children are given now are racist?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar
Just as a note though, we don't find it routinely acceptable in our culture to deny children intellectual opportunities because they are physically disabled. We don't say "yes, you are ready for fourth grade math, but you need to take second grade math because you can't walk". Yet, for some reason way too often a child's height or physical maturity is considered when choosing the level of academic work they will receive.
: One of the main reasons that I wasn't permitted further acceleration in school was that I was small for my age, and already younger than my classmates (I averaged around the 10th percentile; not all that shocking, considering that my mother is 5'3" and my father was about 5'6"). I'm still irritated by this particular line of thinking, it's a button for me.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar
What do you mean by "classic" IQ tests?
Are you suggesting the IQ tests children are given now are racist?
This is something I'd love to see addressed in a thread all it's own, and perhaps in the sticky as well. I know that the question wasn't addressed to me, but yes, IQ tests given to children today are, for the most part, racially biased. There's also a serious class problem with IQ tests. I don't believe that they're entirely "a bunch of hoo hah," but there are some issues about how giftedness is recognized, particularly in minority and economically depressed communities. If we could find a good link to a page which exclusively discusses giftedness outside of IQ and achievement tests, that would probably be a great thing to add to the sticky.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
I know that the question wasn't addressed to me, but yes, IQ tests given to children today are, for the most part, racially biased.
Do you have anything to support this statement? How do you explain the many minority children who score highly in IQ tests?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't want to annoy anyone, but is it possible to move the IQ test racism discussion into its own thread? It would be cool if we could keep to discussion of the sticky post content here.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar
What do you mean by "classic" IQ tests?
Are you suggesting the IQ tests children are given now are racist?
I am not suggesting anything. It is well known that the usual IQ test, the Stanford Binet, the Cogat, WISC, etc. all have a predisposition towards the white, middle and upper middle class upbringing.

Quote:
Measurement. Multicultural factors can affect issues of reliability and validity (Hilliard, 1995). There are several ways that researchers might guard against bias. For example, internal-consistency reliability should be computed separately for each racial and ethnic group and their comparison groups (Padilla & Lindholm, 1995). Similarly, because constructs can have different meanings across racial and ethnic groups, exploratory factor analysis can be used to determine whether the instruments that are to be used in the research truly measure the construct in question.
From a study cited on Hoagies Gifted website

Another article from Hoagie about the Reducing the Disproportionate Representation
of Minority Students in Special Education


Do a google search and you will find, literally, tons of information on this problem. It is a big concern in the gifted education circles, especially in large, multiethnic cities.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Roar
Do you have anything to support this statement? How do you explain the many minority children who score highly in IQ tests?
Do some research and you will find that there are disproportionate numbers of minority children in gifted groups. This is believed to be the results of the IQ tests not being reliable and valid across multiple cultures and ethnicities. Also, there are not many ways to test ESL children for giftedness.

I believe this an appropriate topic for a sticky to be attached to the beginning of this forum. Such a sticky should be a place where parents can find general information related to giftedness in children. If parents are members of a group that is considered a minority in their country, it would be relavent to tell them that the tests can be unreliable; in other words, for example, a black child may really and truly be gifted but not test well on these types of tests. A skilled child psychologist will be able to use a plethora of testing materials to ascertain giftedness with more reliability. If, however, the only resource for testing is the school district, then the parent can push for the child to be accepted into the program based on nomination rather than test score.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
Do some research and you will find that there are disproportionate numbers of minority children in gifted groups.
This is believed to be the results of the IQ tests not being reliable and valid across multiple cultures and ethnicities.
This is only one explanation. It is far from accepted as the only explanation for this disaparity.

Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
If parents are members of a group that is considered a minority in their country, it would be relavent to tell them that the tests can be unreliable; in other words, for example, a black child may really and truly be gifted but not test well on these types of tests.
Is it your contention that something about being black separate from class makes the tests unreliable. How do you explain the African American kids who score as profoundly gifted? Can you put into words exactly how it works that a middle class black kid would find tests unreliable more than a middle class white kid would?

Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl
A skilled child psychologist will be able to use a plethora of testing materials to ascertain giftedness with more reliability. If, however, the only resource for testing is the school district, then the parent can push for the child to be accepted into the program based on nomination rather than test score.
What is the "plethora" of testing materials you refer to? You told us in your other post that all the standard individual IQ tests including the WISC and the Stanford Binet are unreliable.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boongirl

From a study cited on Hoagies Gifted website
What is it that a person is supposed to get from that link that is relevant to this discussion? It doesn't say IQ tests are biased or that minority children can't score well on them.

Quote:
Yes, I agree minority children are disproportionatly represented in special ed. Again it doesn't prove to us anything about the reliability of IQ tests in determining giftedness.
 
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