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Frustrated Mum

I knew my daughter was advanced when people remarked on her being able to count to 20, sing the alphabet and speak in sentences at 18 months old. Her sense of humour was always well advanced and she was also drawing detailed pictures from an early age too. We didn't know any different as she was our first child. Ever since I can remember we have been met with looks of total disbelief from other parents who probably think we are exagerrating or bragging when all we want is some support and guidance for her. Even now she is six and in Grade 2 at school and well beyond the level of her peers and yet her school does not seem to do much by way of even acknowledging her needs.

The other kids at school just stare at her with glassy eyes when she tells a joke or wants to play games they don't understand. I know she feels left out and is starting to feel isolated at school and often plays "the joker" or big character to get some attention from the other kids. She seems to gravitate towards older children who she can interact with more freely and these are the times she is happiest socialising.

I feel saddened that her needs at school are falling by the wayside and she is not being challenged with work or socially at school. All this compounded by the fact that she is also much taller than her schoolmates and to them she must appear as an 8-10 year old and they just can't relate to her fully.

I tried to get her school to consider at least putting her up a grade last year and this was supported by her Grade 1 teacher. Unfortunately they decided that "school is not just for learning but for making friends too" and said that "by Grade 3 all the kids catch up anyway" so they didn't listen to us at all and we felt that they thought we were pushing her or something which is just absurd. They ended up putting her in a 1 hour advanced class once a week where she and a few other children would do some creative writing etc. That has ended and nobody has mentioned her progress or situation this year.

At this stage I'd like to change schools but I worry about the impact a school change will have on her emotionally. I just wish they would make some provisions for her like they do the kids who are behind and need help.

Thanks for listening,

Frustrated Mother.



Date: 6-March-2007 @ 3:49 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 8701
Status: Approved
Author: BeeP

Re: Frustrated Mum

Your daughter is like my daughter and the situation sounds very familiar. You know your own child and the frustration that you feel stems from the knowledge that you are convinced that she is needing more stimulation in the classroom. You want her to be happy in her school life and the only way that this is going to happen is if you find a school that believes in extending gifted children and a school that has programs in place to accomodate her. She deserves to be engaged in the classroom and offshoots of being unchallenged run far and wide. If she is anything like my daughter she will feel frustration, anger, boredom, low self esteem, disappointment and the deep down knowkledge that something is wrong. She is hitting a brick wall every time in her current environment, the teachers and executive are just not on the same page as you.
In my experience you need to take control and start to research alternatives, and don't get hung up on what if's. You will be doing her a favour by finding a school that deserves her in it, she will just sit under the radar where she is. If the general philosophy of the school is one which 'cuts the tall poppies down" you will never change it . They will fight you all the way and you will feel as if you are a pushy parent who has stuck out their neck once too often. But hang on a minute, this is your child, who are they to correct you and tell you what is in the best interests of your child if it is NOT in the best interests of you child. They don't always know the best thing and are often untrained in areas of giftedness. The general message out there in that "you should be grateful and shut up and go away, just another pushy parent". Well DON'T accept something that you are uncomfortable with, you should be allowed to be proud of her giftedness and I'm sick of the taboo that surrounds the subject. Our kids have special needs just like kids with learning disabilities have. The fact is that the behavioral problems that can arise and do arise from a child that is bored in the classroom, are very real to us parents. We have to handle the emotional outbursts and answer their very justified questions. If you feel as if you are failing your child by leaving her there like I did, you need to make the move.
Hope this helps!!

Date: 8-March-2007 @ 11:52 pm
Rating: 3
Views: 3387
Status: Approved
Author: JaneS

Re: Frustrated Mum

I am having the same problem with my son. As a small child, he walked and talked early (had a 75 word vocabulary at 15 months old) He was doing 100 piece jigsaw puzzles in record time at age 2! His giftedness is logical and academic. He started kindy at 3 1/2 because he was diagnosed as gifted. He was born in late July, so he started school in term 3 (the school would not take him earlier for insurance reasons - i would also like to state that we have no schools in our area to cater to gifted/talented children) At the end of the year I had a conference with the principal. We came to an arrangement that he would be in a Rec/1 class, and gradually increase his year 1 work, to graduate to year 2 next year (having a year and a half of kindy then a year and a half of reception seemed ridiculous to me - to have three years of school under your belt before you start year 1)During his second year in reception he said to me that he was bored at school. I asked him why, and he said that he already knew everything. He then asked if he could do harder maths. Since then, i have been negotiating with his teachers for him to do more year one work, and discovered that he was yet to try any. The principals excuse was that he needs to socialise with children his own age. Little do they realise that he associates better with older kids, rather than those that can not keep up with his wave-length. Now his school work is suffering. He gets distracted easily, he has neglected his associates of his year level, and has become introverted and hermit-like. WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN TO ME! I know my son better than anyone, the teachers are going by what tey observe for 5 hours of the day, five days a week, and even then it's just 'skimmed off the top' information.
Date: 3-August-2007 @ 9:03 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3492
Status: Approved
Author: missyboop

Re: Frustrated Mum

My son is gifted and now he is 7 years old. when he was 4 years old the ELS teacher told me he had autistic spectrum disorder. Ftrustrated and disapointed we spoke to family and friends who directed suggested that he may be gifted. The following year I spoke to the teacher and she told me that their is no such child as a gifted child and she even tried to bribe me so that I will not speak about gifted children. Left with no option I gave her copies from the gifted children's website which made a provide some extra work for my son in Mathematics, only to find out at the end of the year that he has been thought everything wrong. The teacher nor the school ever recognised him as a gifted child or as an intellingent child. The folling year they came with a program called the progressive group. The program had a teacher who did not know how to teach and she thought him all wrong. Then they sacked her and brought in another teacher. Even the progressive group work was too easy for my son. During all this there was a boy who used to bully my son and when I requested for help from the school they declined. The school focussed on his behaviour and not on his abilities. Not for once did they offer to assess him or help him which would have put and end to all the problems. He was board and will call out when he should not and disrupt the class. After all the conversations and declined request I have taken the option of homeschooling. I am looking for another school and hopefully some school out there will be willing to help. Upto now I have spent $35 thousand and inherrited stress. My husband had a brain operation and I do not receive much help from him either. I am a migrant and do not have any family or friends in this country. The only way I am able to help my son is bcs of websites like this. Other parents think that having a gifted child is a jackpot. They do not have a clue. Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. If anyone knows a good school please let me know. I am willing to move.

Thanks

Date: 7-February-2008 @ 4:54 pm
Rating: 4
Views: 3582
Status: Approved
Author: Edna27

Re: Frustrated Mum

I also have as gifted 7 yr old daughter in Yr2. The key is the TEACHER!!! I had the same problems as you in Yr1 where we had a silly teacher who didn't give her homework as she didn't want her to "get bored next year" She wanted to hold her back!!! It was the stupidest thing I had heard. By some sheer luck, that teacher left and she got a teacher who is wonderful. She told me straight away she realised that she was gifted and she individually makes her homework up. She always challenges her with harder things and NEVER makes her do things she already easily knows. Schools don't like to put them up in grades as the whole new laws are there about age limits, but What my daughter' s teacher does is something you could suggest. When it comes to reading groups or maths or whatever your daughters extreme talent is, she sends her to the older grades for that class. Everytime they have a reading group my daughter is sent to the Yr 4 or 5 classroom and does it with them. Socially, I'm sure shell find friends. I notice that my daughters close friends are a few and she has ONE best friend. she is also on the upper academic scale. I'm sure there will be at least one other child in your daughter's year who will understand your daughter, even if they're not gifted, there are some smart children out there!
Date: 6-June-2009 @ 7:30 am
Rating: 2
Views: 3359
Status: Approved
Author: rexy

Re: Frustrated Mum

My daughter learned how to read and write on her own at 4. She could do multiplication and division at 5. Her Prep teacher constantly gave her additional reading and Maths tasks. However, now at Year 1, she has a teacher who doesnt believe in giving her work appropriate for her level, and insisted that she has to do what her peers are doing. She constantly complains of boredom and as a result, became distracted in class. I have been looking for a school that would accomodate her needs. I m wondering which school does your daughter attend. Thanks for sharing.
Date: 15-September-2009 @ 11:08 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3315
Status: Approved
Author: dawnpctan

Re: Frustrated Mum

Hi, I hv just seen your thread. I m experiencing a similar prob and is trying to look for a school for my daughter. Hve u fd anything yet? There are many schools which states that they "cater for more able" children but I m sceptical (coz it's the norm to let kids learn according to their age) unless there are personal recommendations. I have just moved here not too long ago and have not many friends either. Feel free to write.
Date: 15-September-2009 @ 11:17 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4821
Status: Approved
Author: dawnpctan

Re: Frustrated Mum

Welcome to my world....and what a rocky, exhausting, heartbreaking and AMAZING world it is! Our son is now 12 and in year 8 at high school. Since he was in Kindergarten he has struggled to make friends because his age peers "just don't get it". More so, I agree that other parents "don't understand" either. The most destructive thing a parent with a gifted child can encounter is a teacher that does not know how to nurture and educate these wonderful treasures. When our son was in year 2, his teacher sat across from me and insisted that he had ADHD and should be medicated (even though he had been identified as highly gifted). Most days I would collect him from school to find him sitting outside the classroom door in tears. He was being a "naughty boy" yet again. This teacher's negativity then flowed through the children and parents that saw him constantly sitting outside the classroom, in trouble, for all to see. Sadly, he was just bored out of his mind and just trying to be accepted. It was not until year 4 that he was accellerated to year 6. Socially, it did not effect him because he had no friends to leave behind but academically he was finally being challenged. Now he is in high school he is finally finding himself. He still struggles socially but can choose to be with kids as old as 18 if he wishes. The staff are dedicated and amazingly supportive. We are now riding the hormone rollercoaster. This amazing young man, with a wonderful sense of humour, amazing sense of compassion and an incredible understanding of the world around him is finally shaking off the shackles of low self esteem and underachieving and starting to forge ahead. You will always be your child's greatest advocate. Stand strong, speak your mind, embrace your child's uniqueness and go with your gut. The best thing that I have learned is to be completely honest with your child and speaking to him/her at their level of understanding, not at the level that others expect because of their "age" Good Luck (Always make the effort to thank the Good Teachers for what they do)
Date: 24-June-2009 @ 10:00 pm
Rating: 3
Views: 3559
Status: Approved
Author: michellemybelle

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