Be yours childs advocate, you're not bragging you're supporting

Shelia - posted on 01/07/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I am a mother of a highly gifted son, he is 17 now. I have 2 nieces that are gifted and 2 grandchildren that are gifted. I can spot a gifted child in minutes. Most people don't know how to interact with them, b/c they don't understand them. They either love them to death or can't stand them. :) They are highly sensitive, they frustrate easily and get angry easy. You need to help others try to understand them and how to deal with them. Be their advocate. When talking about your child to others, use the word gifted not smarter, people can tolerate that word better. I guess you are finding out that you can not manipulate them or use reverse psychology on them, they are always 100 steps ahead of you. I have kept my son very busy. I let him try anything he wants to try. He self taught himself guitar and piano and plays by ear very well. I let him take things apart to see how things work. I do not put boundaries around him, the sky is the limit. It doesn't take a lot of money to open up the sky for them, it just takes courage. If he can not do something perfect, he won't do it. He can't stand not being the best. He is harder on himself than anyone else could be. B/c of his anger, frustration and people's ignorance I chose to take him out of the public school system after 4th grade. It's not for all gifted children, but for mine it was the best thing I could do for him. I was always having to go to the school b/c my son got angry or had a smart mouth, etc. I got tired of them testing him for ADHD and wanting him on medication when they knew that he was gifted and bored, he never tested positive for ADHD (they tested him 4 times), they just didn't know wha t do with him. The gifted program was only 1 time per week, just not enough for my child. 5th grade would have been 1 time per month. I got so angry at the school system, they have all kinds of things for the mentally challenged, but very little for the gifted. They just could not understand his needs and that not all gifted children mainstream well in a slow environment. They would not advance him, they said it would not be good socially. He has lots of friends, some he has to distance himself from at times b/c he just gets frustrated at them but generally gets along with others well. He has always gotten along with children that were older, still does, they relate better. He is very loving and caring towards younger children, the old, animals and the underdogs. He still has issues with anger towards himself, and respect towards some people. Only those who are threatened by him intellectually or treat him with disrespect. He can't stand for someone to repeat themselves over and over, in most public schools they have to do that for a lot of children. Just love them for who they are, never set boundaries (intellectually), be their advocate and teach people who are to come into contact with them how to deal with them and undertand them. Don't be ashamed to brag, that's your child and you have a right to brag. It isn't easy being a parent of a gifted child but it can be very rewarding for the both of you. Good luck to you all and God Bless.

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Lori - posted on 01/30/2010

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They don't even have a program for the gifted here. We're on our own. You are right. It isn't fair. These children might be the ones to find the cure for cancer, or other disease. They could be gifted peacemakers and change the world too. Thank you, and good luck to you too.

Lori - posted on 01/30/2010

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Children can be gifted and be in a special education classification too. There are resources to encourage reading via Sigfried Engelmann and the Funnix programs, and the associations for the gifted in each of your states, if you are in the U.S. My child was reading very early, had what was to be a minor surgery and was given too much anesthesia by our HMO. She had to start over as an infant would. Nine years later, she is better than okay, excelling once again. She is a grounded young lady and doesn't hold herself above others, she gently guides them. We should never apologize for our children's abilities. There were signs early on with verbal skills. Her first word was "Liza" at the age of 5.5 months. Liza was our dog. My daughter would build towers out of video tapes endlessly, stage family dolls and pretend to make a movie at nine months. This was my first child. The first mention of her being gifted was by her pediatrician. She could carry on a resonable conversation at a 1.5 years, answering questions in sentences, striking up conversations, pronouncing difficult words/names better than my husband, and all the while she had the most pleasant disposition. She was involved in mediation with her peers at age two, finding fair outcomes for the children with a disagreement. One other thing; she wasn't selfish. She would give her toys away after sitting everyone in a circle. Hopefully, she will grow up to be a peacemaker.

MaryKay - posted on 01/24/2010

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Wow! I agree! My eldest son definitely has that anger and frustration. He was always by far the smartest in his class and smarter than most of the teachers...we did homeschool in 7th grade, than again his Jr and Sr year, as he couldn't stand the HS scene. Our other 3 sons are all above average, also, but don't have the severe social problems our eldest (now almost 25) has. All 4, and my husband, have some degree of ADHD, but we choose not to medicate after experiencing negative effects with our eldest. He was too smart for his own good, sometimes, and often got in trouble for acting up, mouthing off, stubbornly refusing to do his work because it was stupid, messing around with the computers...He used to say he hated being so smart! Now that he's in college (still hasn't gotten his first degree 'cuz he was interested in so many things and has been plagued with anxiety and depression) he's at least around some smarter people...but still has no social life to speak of. I worry about him so much! He's enrolled full-time this sem after being out for 2 terms, and has finally gotten some med help---I just pray that he'll be consistent and be able to finish up his degree and get a good job...he has a real hard time applying for jobs...like your son, he doesn't like to try anything unless he's sure he can do it. He's so gifted but has no confidence in himself. He blames me, or moving so often, or his dad, etc for his problems...he tends to get real emotional when we try to talk things over with him. Yes, we do have to be our children's advocates! No one else understands or loves them like we do! I had one principal of our 3rd son, who's struggled with seasonal depression since at least 4th grade, say, "Mommy won't always be there to bale you out," when I took him out of public school...but I'm still his # 1 advocate,(he's almost 19 now) and will continue to do my best to help him succeed however I can. I came to realize with our eldest that I can't do everything for him...I pretty much did until he was 21, then told him he had to get his driver's licence and start taking care of his own finances, etc....it's been a struggle, and I've had to help him with some things, still, but am learning that he does actually have a social disabilty and I need to be patient, yet firm and be grateful for every step he takes towards independance. He's the only one of our 4 that hates to drive and has the severe anxiety. We have 2 who are very outgoing and social, and 2 that are more introverted. Well, didn't mean to write a chapter, but we do need to encourage each other! Praying for you! MKG

Melissa - posted on 01/23/2010

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I totally agree that most of the "Special Ed" resources are spent on the mentally/educationally challenged. Because most gifted children get good grades and score well on the standardized tests, they are forgotten. Many times teachers and administrators are stunned when parents of gifted children complain that they aren't challenged enough. They think we should be grateful we don't have children with learning disabilities. There also are few places parents of gifted children can go for assistance. So, advice to parents of gifted children... you must be your child's advocate and be very tenacious in your requests for the teachers and schools to give them the education they need.

Pamela - posted on 01/23/2010

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I think I just scare some people on a different conversation (it was my first reply, I am new to this) but I hope they read your thing, so they understand what I was saying a little more! :) I was trying to explain to a mother of a young gifted child that it is all fun and games until they start school! You seem to know exactly what I mean!

Sheila - posted on 01/20/2010

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I support as much as I can but I know one day I won't be able to so I will need to get someone in to tutor her perhaps.
I think it's important to point out the dangers, ie Zoe keeps jumping off the sofa so I have to try and make sure I pick up the signs of when she's about to do it and continue to point out that she could hurt herself. I do everything I can to prevent injury but it will happen.
I originally thought Zoe was smart when she would roll over at 2 months. She walked properly at 8 months, it looked strange because she still looked like a baby and she was happy climbing stairs at 9 months.
She would sign to me happily, can't remember what age would need to check but she talks in paragraphs and recites full songs and she's just 2. I can only continue to encourage. Sx

Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2010

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im just wondering...when did you fully realize that your child was gifted, because my daughter is only 23 months, and i totally believe she is gifted! since about 14 months she knew what her abc's looked like and could say them all, along with what they sounded like, her animals/ the sounds they make.. she can count to 17 with no problem...along with many other things that a good bit of children her age cant do just yet. shes never been to daycare...so i really dont have too much to go on here. but i just see her going to school in a few years and getting bored with the work, cause she already knows most of it! she learns very quickly, she has so much common sense, (sometimes i believe more than myself) im not sure what else i can do to challenge her, mentally. she gets very frusterated easily. bored very easily. and some of the things she wants to do can be physically harmful for her. any suggestions!

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