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Gifted/accelerated, socially disengaged...

Hi, Just wondering if anyone can relate to our situation. Our son was identified as gifted in Kindergarten, was accelerated (skipped year 2), and is generally much happier and doing well at school. He is however quite awkard, has had trouble making friends, and prefers to interact with any technical device over any human interation as much as he can get away with. As a toddler he would often be vague or disconnected..lost in thought perhaps? He then would play with friends but was very selective about what he wanted to play. Now athough he has a few nice friends, he believes most people consider him odd and "not normal", and we are seeing him yet again seem a little depressed. In a team sport situation he is often daydreaming or fidgeting..which of cousre will frustrate his team members. When he does engage in conversation he often misjudges the situation - i.e. doesnt notice what else is going on around him ..wanting to discuss indepth robotics while chaos reigns.. Any suggestions? does anyone relate?
Date: 14-August-2011 @ 9:02 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 6715
Status: Approved
Author: hlamont

Re: Gifted/accelerated, socially disengaged...

Sounds much like my son. He has been diagnosed with Aspergers. If you look up the symptoms, they might not all fit your son. At first I refused to get my son tested. Getting diagnosed has answered many questions, and got his grandparents off my back about his social skills. My son is happy with diagnosis because it explains why he is a bit different, and he's proud to be among some very famous people eg. Einstein who are thought to have to have had aspergers.
Date: 26-March-2012 @ 2:03 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3628
Status: Approved
Author: branjie

Re: Gifted/accelerated, socially disengaged...

Also sounds like my 7 year old son. His kinder teacher picked him as gifted but his Prep teacher queried whether it was Aspergers so we got him tested. Result was that he is highly gifted but I still think he has some Aspergers traits (eg he 'flaps'). He does not connect with most of the other boys his age who are interested in footy, shoot 'em up games, etc. We have tried him with team sports but he gets upset because 'the ball doesn't come to him'. He is much more comfortable with swimming and golf, etc. I understand that social skills can be 'taught' to kids with Aspergers, like maths or reading? If so, I think that is the way we are going to have to go. I hate to think of him with no friends as he is actually very outgoing and sociable and at the moment everyone seems to know him and like him but he doesn't play with anyone and as they get older I worry this is going to become more noticable and he will become a bullying target.
Date: 19-April-2012 @ 11:18 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3434
Status: Approved
Author: Naz

Re: Gifted/accelerated, socially disengaged...

I understand completely what you mean!!!

my story is pretty simillar, she was in prep last year, and has been put into year 2 this year... pretty much the same story word for word as yours except she likes to talk about the string theory...

I spoke with my daughter the other day, and she told me it isnt the end of the world if she only has one or two close friends.. that the other children just dont understand the things she likes and she feels sorry for them, because they don't look into the subjects that she does.... or the depth of the subjects she likes.
She also told me that she is "not normal" and this mekes her feel wrong.... that she wishes she was just normal.
My daughter was tested for autism, asperges, adhd, add, odd, and a social and emotional test.This was done on the questioning of her teacher last year, and in conjunction with the grade skip, for the school to grant it for her...... All of the tests came back with one result; GIFTED!
My daughter is always thinking while she is playing, and often doesn't hear me...... so joins in a conversation, jumping ahead of what we were discussing.....
I have found that she can enter her own world and be completely content at home, where she is freely accepted, but at school it is a different story.... We have only in the last few days found a school that has a gifted program, known as the challenge program, that has tested children in it.... there is about 25 kids in this class, they do excursions together ect.... this school move will be the last one hopefully..... I really dont know what to do to help, except school holiday programs where the kids can TRUELY be themselves..... My daughter goes to these and LOVES them..... she also comes back feeling 'normal" again.....
You said your son was in Kindergarten last year, NSW i am guessing???
If you are interested, i can let you know of some school holiday programs.
Hope this ramble helps.
I know i feel better to know there is someone else going through this too!

Date: 21-April-2012 @ 8:13 am
Rating: 0
Views: 4265
Status: Approved
Author: nikkim

Re: Gifted/accelerated, socially disengaged...

This is a very, very familiar situation to me. Personally I believe that the line between highly/precociously gifted and high-functioning Aspie is a very fine one, and exactly where the line is is probably not that important- as long as we understand where our own child is coming from, and try to help him/her fill in the gaps.

It is extremely difficult for very gifted children to integrate with others who are simply not interested in their obsessions. My own son at 4 was obsessed with 'the wheel configuration of locomotives' (sic) while his peers in Kindergarten wanted to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Of course, he ended up on the receiving end of some fairly high level bullying. The most useful thing one of his teachers ever said to me in all those years of stress was "he will be a very successful adult". It didn't solve any problems, but it did reassure me, and it has proved to be the case. He IS a successful adult- he has strong social relationships where he once had none- he is highly successful in his chosen field (despite all those years of simply refusing to complete school work)- he is in a happy, stable marriage.

Try to keep that in mind as you struggle with your own children's difficulties- be there for them when they're frustrated with their peers, and try to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if you yourself were stranded in a room full of five-year-olds when all you wanted to do was to talk about your own adult interests, have a nice glass of wine and shoot some pool. (Or whatever your own interests are.) How would you feel?

There is no easy answer to your children's problems except to talk to them authentically about how they feel and what is happening. Acknowledge the difficulties of their situation to them, and try to ensure that they do some out-of-school activities where they are in the company of older or more capable children SO THAT THEY CAN FEEL NORMAL.

My son was 'saved' by a move to a highly selective school where he did indeed feel normal. It cost a LOT of money. It was worth it. I really feel for parents who don't have that option open to them.
Date: 27-May-2012 @ 11:12 am
Rating: 0
Views: 4254
Status: Approved
Author: auntannie

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