Introductions

Deborah - posted on 01/16/2009 ( 322 moms have responded )

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Hello members of the Highly Gifted community. I just wanted to introduce myself and open the doors to communication. Samantha asked if I would moderate the board and I was very flattered and excited to help out. Again, thanks Samantha! \n\nI just want to give you a little background on where I fit into the gifted community. I have a two year old that was not of the normal range. Quite abnormal to say the least! At first we would try hiding her accomplishments or downplaying it so not to hurt others feelings. But eventually while researching something else we stumbled across the idea of gifted. Before that I saw gifted as programs in school and not necessarily something that related to infants and toddlers. So I tell you this so you understand that I am in the being stages of gifted and my child is not yet in school. So when you see me post to conversations that relate to school it is more from a knowledge bank rather than personal experience and I am sure when my toddler starts school I will be relying on you guys for wisdom and advice. And I know there are a few of you that are in my boat with small children and I have talked to a few of you and really appreciate that I am not alone. \n\nThis brings me to my next topic of not being alone and what this community is all about. So please share your joys and frustrations and don\'t hesitate to ask questions because you will find that you are not alone and maybe we will be able to help each other out or at least show support. Also please email me if you need anything or have suggestions. I look forward to getting to know all of you and to watching this community grow.\n\nSincerely,\n\nDeborah Chetwood\n

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Diane - posted on 01/20/2009

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Quoting Amy:



Both my husband and I are "gifted - he tested genius and I tested highly gifted.  If intelligence really is inherited then it only stands to reason that our kids would be a bit ahead of the curve.  But, I got straight B's and C's in college because I could do that without studying or putting forth any real effort.  It's taken Tucker ten years to finish his degree for many of the same reasons.

My point in telling you this is to illustrate the fact that being gifted/smart/special is only a small part of a bigger puzzle.  Intelligence is a measure of someone's capacity to learn.  There are many unmotivated highly intelligent people out there who will never reach their "potential" because of that lack of motivation.





I could have written this and laughed out loud when I read it; I tested highly gifted and my husband is "genius" and he also took ten years to finish his degree. One of my high school English teachers told me I was "going to hell" for not working up to my potential...

Deborah - posted on 01/20/2009

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Diane,

I am so happy you found this board and welcome! I have to laugh about the famous go to statement that I still use today "they all learn at their own pace." But it is true, however, I do use it to hide behind with my little tikes abilities.

"Deborah - do you find that your daughter thrives on routine and/or can get overstimulated easily?"

We do have routine but most people would see it as very lax to say the least b/c I had the baby that always wanted to go. When I tried to stay home with her she would have melt downs (this started around 3 to 4 mths) and she wasn't hungry or dirty and wouldn't sleep. So finally I would put her in the car and go somewhere. She was a totally different baby. Happy and cooing and looking around. I really think she was bored at home. So fast forward to today. It is rare if we don't leave the house at least once a day. Yesterday I was on the phone with my friend and my daughter was very upset because she needed to 'go-go in the car. Come on Mommy I really need to go.' And trust me she doesn't let up. So she gets up in the morning and explores and plays with her dogs and goes outside and sometime in midday we go somewhere and then we come home and she naps around 2 or 3 pm. And gets up and plays some more. Like I said a very loose routine. As for the over stimulation, not really. She is our even tempered kid. Kind of rolls with the punches, except this past week when she had a cold and I was giving her Benadryl. Kids are suppose to be sleepy on the med but she was hyper and unruly. So not my kid. But since she has been off the med she is back to her even temper self.

[deleted account]

Hi Amy - welcome to the group :) There are many of us here who can share stories of lesser achievements due to lack of motivation - and that's why I am so excited about this group. I am sure that as we share ideas and thoughts together we will find better ways to help our kids keep their self-motivation and internal desire to learn.

[deleted account]

Selena.. I have heard that giftedness appears to be mostly genetic, so I'm hedging bets on myself being the gifted parent! (ahahaha) But seriously, although I was never tested, what make my mom realise something was "different" about Aiden, was that he is in her words - exactly like me at the same age. And now while I am reading Ruf's book I recognise more and more of myself, my feelings, my abilities my thoughts from my growing up years.

[deleted account]

Hi Diane - I don't know that my 2 year old is as gifted as others, but he HAS to have routine otherwise we are stuffed. And that includes a winding down routine before nap and bedtime - otherwise he doesn't sleep until absolutely shattered. Included in his routine, I have to tell him things before we do them to ensure he "buys into" it. Otherwise he just won't co operate.

Amy - posted on 01/20/2009

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Hi all.

We have two children - Caroline [2] and Oliver [4 months].

Cara has always been a very "high needs" child.  She started army crawling at three months, sat unassisted at four months and started walking at eight months.  She has always been very advanced physically but her verbal lagged until she was around 18 months.  At that point, she started identifying colors, shapes, and animals.  Cara started making up stories to go with her books and her sense of direction and memory is nothing short of creepy.

Oliver was born a big baby [9lbs1oz and 21.5"] with amazing muscle control like his sister.  Both have always wanted to be standing up [and would support their own weight from an early age] or carried in my Mei Tai.

Oliver is the polar opposite of his sister.  Whereas Cara was on the go from day 1, Oliver takes a much more laid back approach to life and seems to think things out before he does them; Cara has always just charged forward and then dealt with the situation that she gets herself into.

Oliver's very obvious drive to communicate with smiles and vocalizations lead me to think that he will be as "gifted" as his sister.  Even if he's not, at least he's happy.  :)

Both my husband and I are "gifted - he tested genius and I tested highly gifted.  If intelligence really is inherited then it only stands to reason that our kids would be a bit ahead of the curve.  But, I got straight B's and C's in college because I could do that without studying or putting forth any real effort.  It's taken Tucker ten years to finish his degree for many of the same reasons.

My point in telling you this is to illustrate the fact that being gifted/smart/special is only a small part of a bigger puzzle.  Intelligence is a measure of someone's capacity to learn.  There are many unmotivated highly intelligent people out there who will never reach their "potential" because of that lack of motivation.

As a former gifted child and the mother of at least one smart cookie, I think that figuring out your kids' motivations and nurturing those is the best thing that you can do as a parent.

I really look forward to talking with you all.

Diane - posted on 01/19/2009

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Hi Deborah and hello everyone.

I'm Diane and I have a five-year-old (six in April) that is also high on the gifted scale. Like Deborah's daughter, he was a c-section that was pulled out holding his head up with almost immediate eye contact. Slept through the night (8-9 hours) at just shy of 6 weeks. Although he held off on talking until the day after his second birthday, at that point immediately launched into full sentences and conversations (seems he was waiting to master the language before choosing to use it). His first unattended steps came at 10-1/2 months and they were very steady and confident with no falling. One of the most unusual things we observed from his infancy was his lack of crying - he would make specific noises when hungry or needing changed, but as long as we were meeting his needs in a timely manner we could go days without ever hearing him cry. We knew we were in trouble when he picked up one of my Stephen King novels sometime after his third birthday and started reading it out loud flawlessly. I've often found my self downplaying his abilities to those outside our family or using the old standby phrase, "they all learn at their own pace." Since his language skills seem to be the strongest, we started piano lessons at 4 years to give him something new and challenging (music) to read.

Nick's school offers TAG testing in kindergarten so we did have him tested this year as a formality; fortunately his teacher has been willing to work with us from day one and currently has him writing 1-2 book reports a week as homework since his reading skills are so far beyond his peers. My husband and I are also on the gifted spectrum and spent our school years bored and unwilling to work to our potential (why study or do homework for an A if you can do absolutely nothing and still get a B?) so we know what the challenges are for an advanced child and how frustrating it can be when everything comes easily. We don't want Nick falling into that trap - especially when we also know how easy it is to use our "powers" for mischief rather than good. ;-)

Deborah - do you find that your daughter thrives on routine and/or can get overstimulated easily?

Samantha - posted on 01/19/2009

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Hello Ladies. Great introduction and thread Deborah! I must be gifted! I chose you as moderator! :-)

Deborah - posted on 01/19/2009

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Ruvae,

Welcome to the group! With all the members you will find that some joined just to find out what exactly does highly gifted mean or gifted for that matter and I would suggest you find the 'gifted?' thread and read it. There is a lot of information in that thread. Time will tell if your sons are above average, gifted, or highly gifted but don't think you are not welcomed to this community to ask the questions and find out or at least share your journey with us as you do.

[deleted account]

Pleased to meet you all.



It seems that my experiences are a little different.  Both of my children are gifted (Hunter is 11 and in the 6th grade and Cassie is 10 and in the 4th grade).  Hunter was a classic case of being a gifted child.  He is ADHD, and is extremely bored in a classroom environment, so we really have to struggle to get him to do something with his class.  He tests extremely well, but doesn't bother with the homework, which seems to be normal for gifted children that aren't challenged on a regular basis.  He's very particular about what he reads and writes, prefering non-fiction to fiction, which apparently is a problem with the reading testers in Florida.  He always talked in full sentences, even as a baby, and knew his multiplications in kindergarten.



Cassie was a different story.  She didn't talk until she was three, and we had her tested for learning disabilities early on because of it.  All of the teachers noticed that she would watch them for their reactions and manipulate them based on that.  She recognized colors and shapes at the age of one and would group things according to that, laugh at people trying to test her as she would go slower and slower and watch them get frustrated, and refused to walk because she could get others to carry her.  When she did start talking, it was instant sentences, and she was reading at the time, but when we would catch her, she would turn the book upside down and say that she was just looking at the pictures.  Her behavior in school has been a real issue because she doesn't feel the need to conform and, while her test scores are fantastic, her homework has been a real problem.  With her, it is literally a "performance" issue.  The more that she likes the teacher, the better she "performs".  In the 2nd grade, she hated the teacher so much that the teacher was convinced that she was retarded.  The school tested her IQ and found her to be at 218.  And yet, still, she does the homework at home, but refuses to turn it in and would rather read all day than work on classwork.



So, from my experience, having gifted children isn't all a bed of roses.  Here's an interesting question for you, though.  How many of you with gifted children were gifted yourself?  Or their father?



 



Selena



 

Ruvae - posted on 01/19/2009

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Our little Jett was also drawing circles at 1.  I remember one day I bought the our boys to watch hubby coach (he's a tennis coach) and Jett completely blew away the Occupational Therapist that he was teaching, as he was drawing faces using both hands with complete control and perfect grip.  He had just turned 2 at the time I think.  He is now almost 3 and is now writing his name and will copy any word you write down for him on paper.



We have another beautiful boy Sebastian who is 5 and just received an academic award at his school.  He wasn't doing things as early as Jett, however he is still above average for his age which is extremely evident in his classroom. His memory is fantastic and picks up everything exceptionally fast and is a great reader. (aswell as guitar hero player lol) 



Both our boys are really musical also and we are about to start Sebastian on drums this term at school.  He already has a little drum kit at home that he just 'messes around on' making up his own beats.



I originally wasn't sure whether or not I should join this group, as I'm not sure that our boys are "Highly Gifted", so just let me know if I'm in the wrong place. :)



 

Barbara - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hi!



I'm Barbara - Barb, and I have an 11 year old that falls in this category. I have three kids and while my 13 year old is very intellegent, he does not show a decipline of how to use his intellegnece for good, only to get into mischief. My 11 year old son has been tested as gifted, especially in math. He can do the math that his brother does (2 grades above his current grade level). He started reading the Harry Potter series in 2nd grade - he could read it outloud without any problems. He does have the empotional issues that I have been told gifted children sturggle with.



He mostly has anger issues. He becomes very impatient with his syblings if they do not understand his concept the first time - and believe me, while they are very good concepts, they are not alway expressed in a manner that everyone understands.



My 8 year old daughter I believe will also be identified as gifted in two years when the school tests her. I do not seek out testing from private sources because I don't want any of my kids to thinkthey are better or not as good as someone else. I have always strayed away from labeling them. However, it is becoming more difficult as they get older.

Deborah - posted on 01/17/2009

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Lacy, I second the information of SENG and the website is http://www.sengifted.org/ if you want to take a look. Also feel free to post in a new thread about your experiences and I am sure someone on this board will have experienced some of what you are going through. You will find a lot of support from the group.

[deleted account]

Hi,



I'm Jennifer (JenN).  I have 2 kids, Ethan (5) and Kennah (18 mo).  Ethan was tested at age 4 after some pretty scary incidents at school.  Tested very high,  but has asychronous development (very common, basically he is more immature than his age and sex would indicate he should be).  The testing enabled us to gain some additional support from the school.  As for K, well, it seems to me that Ethan was the warm-up act.  According to the dr., she is operating on at least a 2 yo level in just about every arena.



I recently found a group called SENG (Social/Emotional Needs of the Gifted).  It has given me some great information, as well as the ability to connect with other parents in our area for support.  I highly recommend it.



Jen

Lacy - posted on 01/17/2009

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I have a 6 year old that tested as gifted last year. We always knew she was advanced, but this year has taught me I have a lot to learn about giftedness. We are very challenged by her emotional needs. I have been assured that this is very normal for gifted kids, but while she is intellectually so bright, she strugles having the emotional expressions of a 6 year old. Anyone have any experience or insight?

Deborah - posted on 01/17/2009

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Okay now you guys are embarrassing me or making me really freak out about how smart is that little monster upstairs napping at the moment. I know a lot of people think it is such a blessing to have exceptionally intelligent children but there is a down side to it and when I was right in the middle of reading the Ruf's book it hit me just how unlucky we were. I still hope and pray she is boarder line highly gifted. Here is hoping right? I have heard from others with profoundly gifted children that what she displayed was pretty over the top and she is only two so I definitely have my waves of anxiety when I think about it too much. And then there are days that she does something so typical of a two year old and I have to laugh and think just maybe we don't have it too bad.

And Jennifer thanks for sharing your story about your children. I would love to know what worked with your daughter. But you so bring up a big topic that perplexes the best of them: how do you help build the skills needed to learn when they seem to come by it so easily? At some point they will hit a wall and how do they react? Your children are such examples of the problem with giving up but what testimony to you their mother for working them through it and thinking outside the box.

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hi Everyone, I am Jennifer. I have two kids that are gifted.(3 in all)..though not quite to the extent of Deborah's...:o). We knew my oldest daughter (now 16) was advanced when she memorized books at 3 yrs, and could also quote back every word from a movie after having seen it twice. When she was in kindergarten she had an assignment to have a parent read her a newspaper article, then tell about the article in the classroom. My daughter read the newspaper article to the class.



One of the hardest things to deal with, with a gifted child, is the public school system. There are some gifted programs out there, but we haven't found any that are much of a challenge. My daughter began to get lazy, since learning came so easy to her...The hardest time was in 5th and 6th grade, where she was really bored in class. I tried to give her extra at home..but she became a bit of a behaviour problem at school. Now, I I can say we have successfully gotten her through that and she is excelling in school and taking advanced classes as well as being involved with many extracurricular activities. I am starting to be able to breath a little bit with her, but now my son is going through the same difficult times (he is now a 6th grader) that my daughter did. His teachers continually tell me how intelligent he is, but he just doesn't seem to care about his schoolwork, and is very much an underacheiver. I am working on helping him find something that will catch his interest that he may want to do as an adult...but his aspirations are to be a video game tester...(Video games are severely limited in my house, but that is what he obsesses over.)



My son was evaluated when he was young, because he has speech problems (it was very hard to understand him), and they found that his vocabulary was off the charts. (He also was reading well before kindergarten).



I also have a younger daughter who isn't as academicallly gifted, but I have found that is almost a blessing...She has learned to work hard, and isn't afraid to, while both of the older kids have gone through a period when if they didn't get something right away, they would give up. My youngest excelles because she has learned to work hard, something the older two have struggled with.

[deleted account]

Hey there,



I am Lauryan - we live in South Africa and I have two boys - Aiden is 2 years old and Nathan is 11 weeks today.



Like Deborah, we noticed that our child was "clever". Since he is our first, we thought it was because I am a stay at home mom and that I was just showing him what he wanted to learn - what he showed an interest in.



Then when friends with kids of a similar age started commenting on the fact that he speaks so well and so clearly, and that they could have a conversation with him (at 18 months) we were a bit taken aback.



Then my mom - who is extremely perceptive, said to me that she wanted me to do some research into gifted children as she felt that Aiden was more than just a bit clever, and that it extended beyond me being at home with him. This was after he showed her all the colours and shapes in a book he has. He was 19 months.



He is not as advanced as Deborah's little one, but he is definitely beyond the "normal" 2 year range. At his 2 year vaccine checkup a few weeks back, the clinic nurse said that he has already hit milestones some 3 and even 4 year olds are hitting - and this was just from observing him for a few minutes and chatting to him briefly.



His Paediatrician, who saw him at 18 months and again now when we took the baby in for his 6 week checkup also said that he is ahead of his peer group in literally every department, and that I should keep him home with me to avoid him dumbing down even now.



We also won't do testing until age 3 or 4...

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hello Deborah and hello all --



I am new to this group, and I thank you all for being there.  I have an exceptionally gifted son, aged 7, who has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  If there are any people in similar situations out there, I would appreciate hearing from you --



Fiona

Jennifer - posted on 01/16/2009

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Hi!  I'm Jennifer, or Jen rather.  Both of my children are very gifted in many ways.  I'm not talking about being tested for some type of genius, but they are ordinarily smart and able-bodied.  They catch onto things way too fast for my liking, but I'm glad that I can communicate with them as I would with anyone my own age even.



Emerald is 6 and Blade is 3.



I look forward to meeting all of you:)

Deborah - posted on 01/16/2009

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Candi that is a great question and no she has not been tested because testing so young yields unreliable data and I have no real need to test her at this point. I can tell you what we experienced from an infant to toddler and then how reading books like Ruf's "Losing our Minds" book helped shine some light on why she did what she did.

Was a c-section baby: Helped deliver herself by pulling her head up and out. Freaked the doctor out (Head of OBGYN and he had never experienced anything like it.)

Always had great eye contact and strong neck muscles since birth and never wanted to be treated like a baby. Always wanted to sit up in your arms and I am talking about a baby less than a month old. Also never napped. She was an on the go infant that would take a cat nap every few hours but never a true nap like other babies.

She was also a very verbal baby, said hi at two weeks. Said elephant right before she turned 3 months. Was talking in sentences by the time she was 6 months and using proper grammar since the start.

We noticed at an early age that she is a perfectionist. She could take steps before she was 12 months old but would not let go until she was sure she could walk on her own without falling. She used a spoon and scribbled around 6 months and was able to write circles and lines before she was 1. She now draws voluminous creatures and is adding facial features. One day recently she was scribbling on her doddlepad and said look mommy it is a baby bird in a nest and it was a voluminous bird in a nest with eyes and a beak and little wings.

Before her 2nd b-day (around 18 mths) she knew all her colors and even understood primary and secondary colors and how they mixed. She knew all her ABCs and the sounds they make. And has talked in complicated 10+ sentences forever using vocabulary that most 6 year olds don’t use.

She knows her shapes and understands her left from her right. She can recite books back to you and sings complete songs. She was able to count at a very early age (before she was 1) and is able to add and subtract. She knows her opposites and even understands the concept of gravity. She is also an extremely bossy kiddo. I am sure I am leaving something out but this is off the top of my head. And 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday she started reading.

So that is the list and then when reading up on gifted they recite verbatim the above information as clues of a child’s giftedness and even at what level they would relate in gifted.

Candi - posted on 01/16/2009

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I'm just wondering...how did you come to classify your daughter as gifted?  Has she had any testing done?



 

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