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After years of evaluating thousands of students with various ability levels, we truly believe all children are "gifted". One test cannot determine potential, ability, or talents. It is just a piece of the puzzle. Before we can determine "giftedness", we need to look at the whole child. Therefore, we should examine intellect, developmental or academic abilities, behavioral skills, and talents. Parents need to identify their children's learning and brain styles as well as their own parenting styles to compose a true picture.

"Gifted" instruction is probably the most misunderstood aspect of our present educational system. Local districts and neighborhood schools view these students in a variety of ways with a multitude of programming options.

Parents are their children's first and most important teacher. As numbers increase in the classroom, parents must be that special tutor, that compassionate counselor, that enthusiastic coach, that informed administrator to provide the needed one-on-one support and stimulation. Parents should understand how learning is most effective for their children and share this awareness with teachers. Home is a perfect place to establish goals, develop early study habits, and improve attending skills.

So You Think Your Child Is "Gifted"......?

Which describes your child?

  • Academic or developmental skills are above grade/age level
  • Excellent memory abilities
  • Learns quickly
  • Advanced vocabulary
  • Curious and asks many questions
  • Long attention span
  • Initiates projects or original ideas
  • Understands meanings and relationships beyond age level
  • Enjoys creativity (drama, music, writing, animation, drawing, etc.)
  • Challenges authority with mature reasoning skills
  • High intellectual abilities
  • Risk taker
  • Sense of humor

Today these are areas indicative of "gifted" students although professionals vary on a true profile. In a primitive society a "gifted" person was one who built strong shelters, told exciting stories, created powerful weapons, designed useful tools, or hunted successfully. Today "giftedness" may be better represented by adult achievements rather than early signs. How many bright and talented students have disappointed parents and educators while quiet and unassuming individuals have demonstrated "greatness?" Albert Einstein could not speak until age four and was unable to read until seven, but he was genius in math and science. Woodrow Wilson was a poor reader, but he was a great orator and president (Princeton and the United States ). Stevie Wonder is blind but is a wonderful composer and performer. Success in the "real world" may be the best indicator of "giftedness". A scientific discovery, an Olympic Gold Medal, a Nobel Peace Prize, a political victory, a Broadway performance, a new invention, reaching the top of the music charts, or winning an Oscar may be the measure scientists are needing. Were these successes identified in early childhood? How were these talents nurtured?

Usually "gifted" students are identified early in their school careers. Identification and programs vary greatly from district to district. Because of funding, only a small percentage can be serviced at each school. A student from one school may not be identified as "gifted" but in another school may fit well within the guidelines due to the make-up of the student population. Schools usually identify by evaluating checklists, samples of work, academic performance, intellectual ability levels, and/or abstract thinking evaluations. Some districts provide specialized schools or classrooms while others pull out students from their daily schedules to work with a specialized teacher. Research has shown great variation in identification and programming throughout the years. There is great controversy over "gifted" programming and parents should be educated advocates for their children.

Today because of "inclusion", most students are together in classrooms learning cooperatively from one another. A bright child stimulates the understanding of a more "limited" child. A teacher is expected to meet all needs but may sometimes lack the tools needed to be fully successful.

If you checked all of these areas or even checked just a few, it may or may not demonstrate "giftedness". What you do as a parent may be the most important quality and as influential as any born traits. By knowing your child completely, you can naturally observe and stimulate all important talents. In the video, "Is Your Child Gifted: A Parent's Guide to Enhancing Your Child's Potential" by Goldhill Video/Telemedia Production, it states:

"Genes feed on environment"

"Opportunities bring out potential"

"The more we learn--the more we can learn".

I remember serving on placement committees where professionals and parents would decide the most appropriate program for a child. The psychologist would administer an IQ test and while hiding all results, quietly make a statement about the abilities of the child. An IQ was a secret number because it would determine lifelong goals. Parents were seldom told of the score because they might misunderstand it. As a diagnostician and as a parent, I feel parents need to know all of the testing results and they need to understand completely. An IQ score is only one piece of the puzzle with great potential to change.

How many pieces of your child's puzzle are missing? Parents should identify and nurture these qualities:

  1) Intellectual abilities
  2) Developmental or academic skills
  3) Learning, brain, and parenting styles
  4) Talents
  5) Behavioral and emotional skills
  6) Symptoms interfering with learning (dyslexia, ADHD, perceptual weaknesses, lack of motivation or interest, physical difficulty)
  7) A love of learning

See what we offer for you and your children.

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