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<p>My son "Ace" (we don't use the kids' real names online) just turned 5 and we're pretty sure he is gifted (he hasn't been tested yet).  He is in a PK class but already knew most of his letters/sounds when he started this year.  Our older son "Chief" is 7 and is a little delayed (though still in a typical classroom and doing just fine!).  We've known for a while that this dynamic existed but we've been putting off trying to deal with it.  But, we can't anymore.  Ace came to me yesterday and begged to be taught to read.  I started working with him and in about 30 minutes he was reading at the same level as Chief (and Chief has really struggled to get to the point he's at right now).  I expect that Ace will pass his brother very quickly.  </p>
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<p>What do I do about this?  I don't feel that it's right to limit Ace if he is ready to read or to learn - even if it is at a pace that is faster than his brother.  But, I also worry about Chief since he already struggles with being confident about his academic abilities.  Chief does excel at some things that Ace does not (such as drawing) and so we have been trying to point out that some people are good at one thing and some are good at another and that's ok.  But, especially with this reading thing I'm concerned about how Chief will handle it.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance! </p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>shoshanna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> Our older son "Chief" is 7 and is a little delayed (though still in a typical classroom and doing just fine!).  We've known for a while that this dynamic existed but we've been putting off trying to deal with it.  But, we can't anymore.  Ace came to me yesterday and begged to be taught to read.  I started working with him and in about 30 minutes he was reading at the same level as Chief (and Chief has really struggled to get to the point he's at right now).  I expect that Ace will pass his brother very quickly.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>What do I do about this?  I don't feel that it's right to limit Ace if he is ready to read or to learn - even if it is at a pace that is faster than his brother.  But, I also worry about Chief since he already struggles with being confident about his academic abilities.  Chief does excel at some things that Ace does not (such as drawing) and so we have been trying to point out that some people are good at one thing and some are good at another and that's ok.  But, especially with this reading thing I'm concerned about how Chief will handle it.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Any suggestions?  Thanks in advance! </p>
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<p><br>
Early reading *can* ,and often is,a sign of giftedness, but it is not exclusive. Not all gifted students read early and not all early readers are gifted. It is a common milestone for gifted kids to obtain at an early age and one often associated with gifteness. But, please dont discount that fact that kids can display giftedness in different ways (artistically, mathmatically, musically (often goes with math), creatively, language, etc) and often does.</p>
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<p>Some kids are gifted across the board (globally), but some excel in specific areas. Both globally and kids that excel in certain areas may or may not test in the same percentile IQ. </p>
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<p>Some gifted kids with learning disabilities struggle in school, but that does not lessen their 'giftedness' If you are concerned about your older child I would request an evaluation through the schools. They can help determine if there is an underlying issue that may delay his reading skills ( visual, learning disabilities, etc). A child that has delays can look 'average' if they are compensating---so they have a high IQ , but low to average achievement (not due to under achievement or lack of desire to do the work).</p>
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<p>The only reason I suggest this is because siblings often (though not always) have an IQ within 10 points of siblings. So if one child is gifted, chances are high that the other others are as well----though they may have wide and varied skills.</p>
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<p>Learning style also plays into academic success. Visual learners often do well in school- since most if the information is set in a visual format. Auditory learners may have a harder time, since there are so many auditory distractions and verbal directions are often supported with visual clues. Kinesthetic learners need to *do* things physically to learn them---this more hands on approach is getting more popular in the schools, but still is not utilized as much as it could be. If your kids have different learning styles, that may also impact their school success- regardless of giftedness.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Making sure each boy is aware of what they are good at and aware that everyone is good at different things is important and I would keep nurturing their talents!</p>
 

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<p>Thank you for the reply!  There are other things that make us believe Ace is gifted.  His teachers and his counselor have told us that he is as well.  The reading is just what is standing out at the moment since it is a sore spot with his older brother.  We've actually kept Ace from learning to read for about a year now - trying to give Chief a chance to learn first.  Maybe that wasn't the right thing to do though. </p>
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<p>I probably should have mentioned that my boys are not biologically related.  They are adopted from two different countries.  Chief (the older one) was in a very deprived situation and was extremely malnourished when he came to us at age 4.  The last few years he has made so much progress but some cognitive delays still remain.  We expect that he'll be able to continue in a typical classroom but he's going to need some support.  This year's teacher has been wonderful for him and we are thrilled to see him learning to read! :) </p>
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<p>So anyway, as I said above since they are not biologically related there isn't any genetic reason why their IQ's should be similar.  I totally agree with what you said about how there are many different ways to be intelligent and we have already identified several for my older son.  He loves to draw, for example.  But, he does not seem to believe us when we tell him that being good at art is just as special as being good at reading.  So, we're not sure how to keep him from feeling bad about himself while also allowing our younger son to learn and grow at his accelerated pace. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>shoshanna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061383"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thank you for the reply!  There are other things that make us believe Ace is gifted.  His teachers and his counselor have told us that he is as well.  The reading is just what is standing out at the moment since it is a sore spot with his older brother.  We've actually kept Ace from learning to read for about a year now - trying to give Chief a chance to learn first.  Maybe that wasn't the right thing to do though. </p>
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<p>I probably should have mentioned that my boys are not biologically related.  They are adopted from two different countries.  Chief (the older one) was in a very deprived situation and was extremely malnourished when he came to us at age 4.  The last few years he has made so much progress but some cognitive delays still remain.  We expect that he'll be able to continue in a typical classroom but he's going to need some support.  This year's teacher has been wonderful for him and we are thrilled to see him learning to read! :) </p>
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<p>So anyway, as I said above since they are not biologically related there isn't any genetic reason why their IQ's should be similar.  I totally agree with what you said about how there are many different ways to be intelligent and we have already identified several for my older son.  He loves to draw, for example.  But, he does not seem to believe us when we tell him that being good at art is just as special as being good at reading.  So, we're not sure how to keep him from feeling bad about himself while also allowing our younger son to learn and grow at his accelerated pace. </p>
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<br><br><p>Ah...the not-biologically related makes since and then , IQ comparisons are irrelevant. Your older DS first years may have an impact on his academic success. Nutritional deficiets can have cognitive effects. Have they looked into learning disabilities through the schools? If his English  (receptive) is in place solidly- they can do non-verbal IQ testing and/or achievement testing to see *if* he has more going on, the ways he learns best, if he has 'gaps' in his knowledge, and other good information that may help you help him learn to read. Their are many methods of learning to read that he may benefit from (Orten-Gillingham is one that comes to mind for kids that have difficulty learning the standard school way or with phonics) that are not the traditional ways- but no less effective!  Some kids- especially kids that are not 'native' english speaking may struggle with the English difficult phonetic reading format. Does he has speech issues? Speech concerns also often delay reading since if they are not saying the sounds right-- it is *very* difficult to read them right. He may do better with a whole language approach or a more hands on approach. Even if he has been home for a few years, he may still benefit from ELL services or reading resource support.</p>
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<p>I would not hold back your younger DS. He wants to learn---fed into that while the enthusiasm is there! There will be no way 'not' keep him learning if he is interested and once he starts K- you may even see a greater distance in their abilities (or have younger DS excel past the older DS in some areas) and that may be hard to explain. But the potential for that to happen is there.</p>
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<p>I would try to make sure older DS is encouraged in his talents and make room for those to thrive (art class? involved in school art programs??). Display the art around the house and verbally praise to others (he will hear it and realize that it is a big deal!)  It is important for kids to have *a* talent that they feel confident at (reading or art or math, etc). Have younger DS also get involved in something as well. So they will feel 'less' in competition- but no matter what they will notice each others faults and talents. Try to keep them supporting each others successes though!</p>
 

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<p>I have two kids who are at a similar academic level, or else the younger one is more advanced. She's certainly more confident. I suspect they're equally bright, but the older one has some anxiety, confidence and perfectionism issues, as well as dysgraphia, which put him at a performance disadvantage. They're currently 14 and 12 years old, but it's been like this all along.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I've tried to avoid having them working in the same sort of program or following exactly the same sorts of interests. So if one was into reading novels, I encouraged the other one's interest in graphic novels. If one was doing a grade-levelled math workbook, with the other one I'd be exploring probability through hands-on work. If one was doing flash cards and drill, the other would be journaling or working on the computer. That helped them avoid seeing their learning as a sequential thing, with a sibling either ahead or behind them on the same path, but instead seeing it as a great web to explore, with each of them moving in different directions.</p>
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<p>I kept both them, as much as possible, out of comparative and competitive environments. That made it less natural for them to compare themselves to each other.</p>
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<p>Obviously it's a no-brainer than it's important to avoid comparisons between kids. I think that bears consideration when "pointing out that everyone has different strengths," which is standard advice on minimizing inter-sibling difficulties like this. I think there's something inisidious about saying "Everybody's good at different things. Ace is a great reader and you're awesome at soccer and drawing." That's consoling a child who is feeling like he's coming up short by drawing attention to how his brother comes up short too. The answer to an unfavourable comparison isn't to distract the child with a favourable one. It's to stop comparing. I'd be more inclined to say "Yes, reading has come very easily to Ace. His brain is different from yours, so it was easy for him to learn. Your brain finds some things easy to learn, but reading isn't one of the easy ones for you. I am so proud of the work you are doing on that. I know it's not easy, but you just keep at it, and I can see that it is paying off in good learning." Which gets into the next thing ...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have always put the emphasis on hard work and meaningful engagement with learning, and not at all on achievement. This flies very much in the face of our culturally-defined ways of relating to children: we're supposed to get excited over their first words, their honor roll grades, their perfect math quiz scores, the first book they read. But with practice a shift in parental mindset becomes easier. Should I be more proud of the kid who learns to read in 30 minutes or of the kid who spends 30 minutes every day for weeks gradually perfecting a proper pencil grip? Probably the latter, but everything we're programmed to feel as parents and members of our contemporary society is screaming at us to celebrate the reading. I mean, there is so much already rewarding the reading: the sense of ease, the world of books opening up, the fairly immediate gratification, the value placed upon literacy in school and in the media. The kid who really needs to be celebrated is the one who, after three weeks of work, has a pencil grip that stays well balanced all the way through a list of a dozen spelling words. By celebrated I don't mean cake and ice cream, I just mean expressions of parental appreciation and validation.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope this helps!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p>My older child is on the autism spectrum, and little sis is not only gifted, but talented, beautiful, athletic, and makes friends easily. We recently found out that older sis is gifted, too, but her sn were masking how bright she is, and IQ testing with young kids on the spectrum is a little dodgy.  Anyway....<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>KCMichigan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061183"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>shoshanna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Chief does excel at some things that Ace does not (such as drawing) and so we have been trying to point out that some people are good at one thing and some are good at another and that's ok.  But, especially with this reading thing I'm concerned about how Chief will handle it.  </p>
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<p><br>
If you are concerned about your older child I would request an evaluation through the schools. They can help determine if there is an underlying issue that may delay his reading skills ( visual, learning disabilities, etc).</p>
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I totally agree with getting an eval, even though they are both adopted. Most kids will labels stay in mainstream education, it's just that with an IEP or 504, their education can be tailored to something more appropriate For Them.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061577"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> The answer to an unfavourable comparison isn't to distract the child with a favourable one. It's to stop comparing. I'd be more inclined to say "Yes, reading has come very easily to Ace. His brain is different from yours, so it was easy for him to learn. Your brain finds some things easy to learn, but reading isn't one of the easy ones for you. I am so proud of the work you are doing on that. I know it's not easy, but you just keep at it, and I can see that it is paying off in good learning." Which gets into the next thing ...</p>
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<p>I have always put the emphasis on hard work and meaningful engagement with learning, and not at all on achievement.</p>
Miranda</div>
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Nice post! There are several good books on how to talk, both to kids and just to people. I really like stuff on "non-violent communication."  This isn't parenting stuff at all, just how to respond when someone is talking about how they feel about something. There's some stuff on the web if you goggle, and there are also some nice books. I also like the book "punished by rewards", which has a section on offering positive feedback rather than praise. You might see if your library has this book.</p>
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<p>I think that one thing we've done as a family that's worked really well for my kids (who are 12 and 14) is to make life about what we are DOING, not how well accomplished we are. We spend time in nature, we work on projects, we read a chapter of a book out loud every night. We do really cool things together and enjoy them. My younger DD is very accomplished and has done lots of things we could brag about, and while we do celebrate, we don't make it what she is about, what she is loved for, why she is wonderful as a person. Oddly, even though we are this way because of big sis, I think it's helped her develop a sweeter sense of self.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061577"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I have two kids who are at a similar academic level, or else the younger one is more advanced. She's certainly more confident. I suspect they're equally bright, but the older one has some anxiety, confidence and perfectionism issues, as well as dysgraphia, which put him at a performance disadvantage. They're currently 14 and 12 years old, but it's been like this all along.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I've tried to avoid having them working in the same sort of program or following exactly the same sorts of interests. So if one was into reading novels, I encouraged the other one's interest in graphic novels. If one was doing a grade-levelled math workbook, with the other one I'd be exploring probability through hands-on work. If one was doing flash cards and drill, the other would be journaling or working on the computer. That helped them avoid seeing their learning as a sequential thing, with a sibling either ahead or behind them on the same path, but instead seeing it as a great web to explore, with each of them moving in different directions.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I kept both them, as much as possible, out of comparative and competitive environments. That made it less natural for them to compare themselves to each other.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Obviously it's a no-brainer than it's important to avoid comparisons between kids. I think that bears consideration when "pointing out that everyone has different strengths," which is standard advice on minimizing inter-sibling difficulties like this. I think there's something inisidious about saying "Everybody's good at different things. Ace is a great reader and you're awesome at soccer and drawing." That's consoling a child who is feeling like he's coming up short by drawing attention to how his brother comes up short too. The answer to an unfavourable comparison isn't to distract the child with a favourable one. It's to stop comparing. I'd be more inclined to say "Yes, reading has come very easily to Ace. His brain is different from yours, so it was easy for him to learn. Your brain finds some things easy to learn, but reading isn't one of the easy ones for you. I am so proud of the work you are doing on that. I know it's not easy, but you just keep at it, and I can see that it is paying off in good learning." Which gets into the next thing ...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have always put the emphasis on hard work and meaningful engagement with learning, and not at all on achievement. This flies very much in the face of our culturally-defined ways of relating to children: we're supposed to get excited over their first words, their honor roll grades, their perfect math quiz scores, the first book they read. But with practice a shift in parental mindset becomes easier. Should I be more proud of the kid who learns to read in 30 minutes or of the kid who spends 30 minutes every day for weeks gradually perfecting a proper pencil grip? Probably the latter, but everything we're programmed to feel as parents and members of our contemporary society is screaming at us to celebrate the reading. I mean, there is so much already rewarding the reading: the sense of ease, the world of books opening up, the fairly immediate gratification, the value placed upon literacy in school and in the media. The kid who really needs to be celebrated is the one who, after three weeks of work, has a pencil grip that stays well balanced all the way through a list of a dozen spelling words. By celebrated I don't mean cake and ice cream, I just mean expressions of parental appreciation and validation.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope this helps!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
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<br><br><p>This is a lovely post Miranda.  It is really about a shift in thinking.</p>
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<p>DS is gifted and has some SNs while his sister is gifted without SNs.  The language we're using has moved to "learning differences," and we're finding it very helpful to embrace a range of differences within ourselves, our sib and others.  It has encouraged an acceptance and embracing of differences, which is leading to increased richness in our lives.</p>
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<p>This short documentary is delightful:</p>
<p><a href="http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/i-cant-do-this-but-i-can-do-that-a-film-for-families-about-learning-differences/synopsis.html" target="_blank">http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/i-cant-do-this-but-i-can-do-that-a-film-for-families-about-learning-differences/synopsis.html</a></p>
 

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<p>Miranda's post is excellent advice.</p>
<p>In my own experience, I was the gifted younger sibling.  My older sister did well in school, but was of average intelligence.  My parents tried to encourage us in our strengths, but that resulted in making me the smart one and my sister the artistic one.  Since she wasn't the smart one, she thought of herself as not smart at all, and eventually stopped making an effort in school.  Since I was the smart one, it was important to me to maintain that status.  This made me extremely competitive, but I lost interest in actually learning for the sake of learning.  Also, since I wasn't the artistic one and no one really seemed to pay attention to anything artistic that I did, I didn't really explore art until I was in graduate school.  It turns out that painting is something I really enjoy, and I sort of missed out on the enjoyment of it as a kid because it wasn't my designated gift.</p>
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<p>With my own kids, I'm trying to stress effort and passion over achievement.  I'd rather see my kids working really hard at doing something they're mediocre at but love than doing what comes easily to them if they don't really enjoy it.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>shoshanna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280713/younger-child-is-gifted-older-child-is-average#post_16061383"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>He loves to draw, for example.  But, he does not seem to believe us when we tell him that being good at art is just as special as being good at reading.  So, we're not sure how to keep him from feeling bad about himself while also allowing our younger son to learn and grow at his accelerated pace. </p>
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<br><br><p>Reading is highly celebrated achievement in typical school environments.  Especially in the early grades.  Drawing tends to be more something that is viewed as a way to relax, have fun and occasionally to express feelings.  Every now and then it is used to tell stories, but most schools expect the child to also tell that story verbally (either written or auditory.)</p>
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<p>Can you sign him up for classes where his drawing ability will be truly appreciated.  Does your cities recreation dept have art classes?  Maybe some local artists offer lessons.  Look for drawing competitions he can enter, often places like nature centers will have exhibits of nature drawings.</p>
 
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