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Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

Hi. This is probably the first time I'm publicly acknowledging my child is probably gifted. I'm steering away from "testing", thinking that my child is well stimulated at home and whats the point. I know she is smart and so do her teachers. Is this wrong of me? Should I leave it if everything is ok at the moment. She is nearly 7 and got 6 A's out of 8 this term. From less than 2 years old she knew the song of the days of the week and months of the year. She first spoke at 10 months and this developed at an incredible pace with advanced vocab. Her memory is outstanding, her depth of understanding outstanding. Telling me at 4 years old when I was cross at my toddler "mum, she is either tired, hungry or sad so be patient". The list goes on!!! Her energy levels are amazing, constant non-stop. The minute she wakes up and comes to my bed she is whispering numbers and facts. For example, counting by 5's or 10's, saying the alphabet in our native language, working out how many months older I am than my husband. She sometimes does this inthe day, whispers when we drive. By 6p.m she is exhausted but still very jumpy, chatty...sometimes in a bad mood too. Her depeleted energy levels at the end of the day pose issues. I think her brain takes in so much she cant settle and cant stop. She was the type of baby that screamed at the same time every evening for around 8 months and I know over stimulation set it off!! She is very popular, very social, looks very "normal" and has no social issues. Previous teachers and "kids workers" have made comments about her abilities since she was 14 months old. Memorising "The Hungry Caterpilar book" at 20 months. Greeting children at the gym creche by name at 18 months. Being at the front of the class and giving answers constantly as a toddler. Her science teacher stopped me in the yard and told me she is amazing and the Princpal joked "does she ever stop". I really need to know, should I just let her be?? Should I test her for my just knowing? Sometimes I snap at her and tell her "dont talk!!!" or "why must you always move around". What benefit will I gain from testing her and labelling her? Did anyone fear going down the road too? I have left it for soooooo long. I knew ages ago she was very bright and special...I am her mother! Its scarey. PLease let me know if it is ok to leave things as they are if its working really well for us? I provide a stimulating environment for her and my other daughter who is 4, my second daughter (4 years) is already sounding out words and reading words like :the, with, book. My 4 year old sent my husband an sms today and wrote these words on her own :poo (I know!!!), frog, dog. Is giftedness hereditary??? She is different than my first daughter and wont show what she knows then shocks us! Please let me know what to do? We are a happy family, no issues, just an excitable household. Thanks :-)
Date: 26-June-2012 @ 12:00 am
Rating: 2
Views: 5416
Status: Approved
Author: MaryElle

Re: Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

I think it is absolutely fine not to get your daughter tested. Like you said, you know she is gifted and from what you have said I agree. Her needs are being met at school (champers anyone?) and she sounds content, if not a little challenging energy wise at home. The ideal age for testing is between 8 and 12 so there's no hurry. We have just had our 4.5 year old tested but in different circumstances. Huge issues with toileting, not being happy at kindy, lots of anger and anxiety. If there were no problems to address we wouldn't have gone down that road. The main reason most people do test is to advocate for their child at school. Sounds like this isn't a prob at all you lucky thing :)
Date: 26-June-2012 @ 10:22 am
Rating: 1
Views: 3476
Status: Approved
Author: threebee

Re: Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

Thanks for your response. It relieves me a lot. In terms of teachers, this yaer is GREAT, and she knows my daughter well. Last year wasnt so great and she didnt acknowledge her ability and I didnt raise it either, not wanting to seem "boasful". Should I wait to see what next year is like? Is this the main reason to test? Thanks so much...feel better :-)
Date: 26-June-2012 @ 8:40 pm
Rating: 5
Views: 3694
Status: Approved
Author: MaryElle

Re: Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

this is very late, but could I ask why you want your child 'tested'? is there a particular reason, I mean.

struck me as an unusual thing to do in the absence of some sort of medical reason or as a school requirement. my 2 x brainiacs were obviously clever (and proved it later on by being selected for academic programs/schools) from a young age but I don't think it ever occurred to us to test them for it. wasn't something that needed proving when they were little. it didn't start to become an 'issue' til year 3 - when it begins to tell academically. earlier school years were spent reading ahead of peers and getting gold stars on dioramas (insert rolly eyes here). upshot, by the time it becomes an actual issue, they're old enough for Opportunity Class. OC solves two possible problems - academic needs are met, and any social isolation resulting from the wonderful difference of bright kids is obviated by being surrounded by fellow "geeks and weirdos" as my eldest used to put it :p

upshot ... don't worry!
Date: 29-October-2012 @ 12:10 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3834
Status: Approved
Author: nincompoop

Re: Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

I have some practical advice having been in the same position years ago and now able to report on the results.

We have three children who fall into the Gifted category with testing into the 99.5% percentile and IQs in the 145+ area. As with all such children they did not fit into the regular education system and we were forced to be creative and search for a better way to prepare them for life.

The eldest spent time at school much to his detriment and eventually we pretty much kept him out of school and did on line schooling at his pace. He eventually decided on a scientific career and by then we had moved to the USA where he was able too get into the highly selective Molecular Biology program at University of Wisconsin at Madison where he is now finishing his Masters degree and will probably stay there for his PhD. We feel that it was very important that he be able to work at his own pace and not let boredom destroy his excitement with science.

Our elder daughter spent some time in Prep School in Canberra and Melbourne but left after 6th grade and did on line schooling for a year, completing the HS curriculum and since we were by that time in the USA she was accepted as a 13 year old in an early entry program, the "Program for Exceptionally Gifted" at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. On graduating in Math she was accepted at the highly selective University of Virginia at Charlottesville where she became a 17 year old math teacher and finished Masters Degrees in Math and Computer Science and then went on to complete her PhD in CS at the University of California, Berkeley at age 25.

Our younger daughter was not as motivated and after some on line schooling was accepted at age 15 into the gifted HS program at Illinois Math and Science.Academy at Aurora,Illinois and on graduation was accepted into the engineering program at the most selective Cooper Union for Advancement of Science in New York City.

Each of the children had the enthusiasm and drive to get admission to the very best schools in their chosen discipline where they associated with the beat and brightest in faculty and students. None of them feel special; they actually feel quite ordinary in comparison with their associates.

By comparison the children of my brother and sister who are no less talented have had very pedestrian and troubled careers in the regular school system except for the one who went to the Military College in Canberra and is having a stellar military career. Life in the SAS was a daunting challenge and permitted no complacency. Now he is back at the Military College doing his PhD to qualify for promotion past Colonel.

I would counsel you to let your very talented child soar at her own pace and search for the opportunities which will challenge her and make her childhood years very satisfying. We found that the fears of a lack of socialization are unfounded provided that you ensure that they get the company of children like themselves.

We were stunned at just how much the children develop when they can no longer coast along as the smartest kid in the room but are among peers and will fail if they are not diligent. Our elder daughter in particular is ambitious and has been traveling to Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Singapore, China and Australia plus to Princeton and MIT in the USA to present her CS papers and has been working on projects at Sandia National Lab, Microsoft Research and Stanford University. She now looks like joining Google in its research inner sanctum. That has been a very rich period in her development, associating with the beat and brightest of her generation and meeting as a peer some of the people who have changed our world and the way we think.

Academic acceleration can open up a very exciting world for a talented young person and lack of it can be a tragedy. My daughter's cousin who tested similarly but languished at school in Sydney has had endless problems with alcohol and behavior and has difficulty holding down a job. Being an out-of-place gifted child did her great harm.

An interesting anecdote was when my daughter was invited to present her work at the ANU in Canberra the people there were quite surprised and even chagrined that their chosen grad student from UCB in fact came from a Canberra family and had been at school there as a young child.

Good luck and may your very special young lady have as rich a life as ours are having.

PS, a hint. Never answer her questions,just be Socratic and pose another question until she figures it out for herself. I believe that Giftedness is strictly hereditary but relies probably more on inherited Memes than Genes.
Date: 11-November-2012 @ 5:52 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 3808
Status: Approved
Author: unattainium

Re: Im afraid of taking my child down the "gifted" road!!!!

I have to say, that's pretty good advice. If your child is showing motivation matched with ability, walk at their pace and see how they go.

It is also important to remember that a child's learning pace can differ from time to time. You need to keep flexible and avoid dropping your kids in any category and leaving them there - gifted or not.
Date: 11-November-2012 @ 6:10 pm
Rating: 0
Views: 4120
Status: Approved
Author: David

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