is your gifted child a space cadet? How do you cope?

Joanna - posted on 08/31/2009 ( 100 moms have responded )

35

24

0

Hello moms! I am Joanna and this is my first time posting! I wanted to start a conversation, swap stories and share ideas with everybody about our special children and the daily challenges that we have.

My son, Caleb is 9 years old and is very gifted. Since he was a baby he has been very intelligent, especially with vocabulary and reading. School has tested and determined him to be gifted in the areas of language, vocabulary, math and superior cognitive. He is in 4th grade this year and attends The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. He has played the violin for 4 years and is an amazing visual artist.

My challenge is that the child is a total space cadet! He cannot remember what he does from one moment to the next on most days. He walks out of the house nearly everyday without his backpack and I have to remind him to take it. He completes his homework each night, but often forgets to turn it in to his teacher, so he has multiple missing homework assignments each week. We are three weeks into the school year, and so far he has lost all of his school supplies, his lunchbox, one jacket and a cell phone. He has missed (i.e. was not paying attention and did not get on) the bus already this year (and luckily I was off work and was able to go to school to pick him up.) In short, I am going mad.

I talk to him every day about his responsibilities with respect to school, homework, remembering things, etc. It is not getting any better. I have tried positive reinforcement (a 'star' chart, and weekly rewards for doing better and remembering things), consequences (no TV, video games, etc. if he does not remember to turn in homework), daily talks and reminders about what he is supposed to do and things he needs to remember.....nothing works!

In the first grade, his teacher tried her best to convince me that there was something wrong with my child. She encouraged me to take him to doctors, and essentially to medicate him. I will not do this. His second grade teacher was absolutely wonderful and loved and appreciated him for everything that he is and encouraged me to NOT medicate him, and to continue to work with him and encourage him in his creativity. HIs third grade teachers were horrible and refused to work with me and my son. I am meeting with his 4th grade teachers this week to open lines of communication with them and hopefully get them to partner with me to keep him on the right track. Hopefully I will have good luck this year!

Are any other moms having these same challenges?? I believe that some 'spaciness' often goes along with being extremely gifted and talented. Teachers should understand this a little bit, but most do not and basically I catch hell constantly. So, please share with me your experiences with this, and how you cope.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Staci - posted on 11/01/2012

4

0

0

Hi Lauren!



I soooo feel your pain! I never post on these things, but when I read so many posts saying they would NOT medicate their child, it made me want to respond. I would like to clarify that I do not think medication is the first action, nor do I think it is for everyone. My point is, do not make a decision based on perceptions. Our life was a living hell, nothing worked and all we were doing was fighting. When I finally went to our doctor, I was in tears. I did not want to give him a pill every day, and I was afraid his personality would change. My doctor asked me if he had asthma, would I give him an inhaler? If he had diabetes, would I give him insulin? Of course I would. So, why would I not try something that might make him less anxious, more organized, and a happier child? She convinced me to try it, explaining that it couldn't hurt. We would try it for a month, observe him and go from there. Our lives changed almost instantly. I cannot explain how much easier and happier our lives became. He was focused, organized, and HAPPY! Of course he was happier, he wasn't in trouble and he was more confident than ever. I breast feed my children, used cloth diapers, feed them whole wheat bread and sugar free peanut butter. We recycle, buy mostly organic food, AND I medicate my child. Hope that helps.

Not - posted on 11/20/2012

1

0

0

I'm horrified at how so many of you - almost all of you it looks like, though I haven't read through all of the comments - talk about your "gifted space cadet" as though his or her experiences are cute and humorous. Though they might just be delightful to all of you, I was once one of these children. I was one of these children during the early 80s, though, when there was no medication for my condition. My school life became a living hell, and no amount of "giftedness" made up for it. My advice to the mom, and pardon me for being blunt, but I see one too many overly protective parents expressing the same attitude, is to get your kid on meds as soon as possible. Go to a good doctor and find out what can be done to get your child the relief he deserves. Thanks to my inability to function normally along with the rest of my classes through the years, I was bullied by other students and humiliated by teachers. Is this what you'd like for your child? It might come across as sweet and lovable to you, but you have no idea the hell you might be setting your child up for by just letting him go his own way when he's supposed to be keeping up in a structured environment. I'm sure there must be many alternate ways of helping kids who are struggling with this now than there were back when I was going through it, but you trust me - if you allow your child to go through an average speed school system without getting him help, you're doing him and the teachers who will have to deal with him a disservice, and that is irresponsible, reckless and above all else, selfish! I still have social anxiety today from the bullying I endured for years in school as a result of having had to go it alone with no support whatsoever. Your kid can be a special snowflake inside your home if you want, but have a care and consider that he needs to be able to function in the real world at some point. If there is help for him - GET HIM THAT HELP, and do it as soon as possible!

Irenekanderson - posted on 10/31/2012

4

0

1

I have the same trouble. My son literally forgets things as soon as they are said. What he's lacking is medium-chain fatty acids, which is what Alzheimer's patients lack as well. I began supplementing is diet with coconut oil, and have noticed much improvement. You do not get medium chain fatty acids from omega nor olive oil... Do your research and you'll see what I mean. I have compiled some info on my blog www.agreatlife.tv. Hope this helps.

Christie - posted on 09/12/2009

70

17

22

My daughter is the same way. The psychiatrist that did her gifted tested also said that she has what is called gifted adhd. He said in highly gifted children their brains need more folic acid to function properly and todays veggies/regular vit's just don't cut it for these kids causing that space cadet syndrome:) He started her on a prescription folic acid/folate called Deplin and within a couple of weeks I notice a difference. Granted it wasn't like she never miss placed anything again but it was a lot better. Even her overall mood was better...she felt better. If your still having issues you can ask your doctor about folate. My daughters doctor is from Europe and they have been using folic acid to aid gifted children for the last 9 yrs. Not a lot of doctors here know about it yet..

Suzanne - posted on 09/26/2013

1

0

0

I have been experiencing everything you wrote, and can relate to it 100%. My daughter is gifted and talented, goes to a school for gifted and talented kids and is exhibiting everything you described. Coping? Not well. Nothing works with her, and basically, I feel like I am at a total loss, and my stress level is of epic proportions. Any advice from others would be welcome.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

100 Comments

View replies by

Jamie - posted 2 days ago

1

17

0

Ok, so a lot of everyone's statements help, but here's what I've been facing, and can't seem to find a "category" to put my son in. Now don't get me wrong I'm not a big fan of labels, but I also would love to put a name with the face, so to speak.

I have 3 kids. A 17 year old girl whom is very good at school, and has a few friends but isn't part of the " main stream" cliques at school. She is friendly and caring and has absolutely no issues with focusing.

I also have a 13 year old son whom is also good at school. He's in the 94% for the state in math, but struggles with English. He is funny, athletic, and enjoys mechanical problem solving. He has, again, a few friends, but isn't part of the "cool crowd."

Now my third child is the one I'm not sure how to help. He is 8. He is good at school, particularly at math. He is athletic, funny, caring, and social. Most everyone at school, teachers and kids, love him. But he is similar to most of these kids in the fact that he can't focus, forgetful, and disorganized. His first grade teacher wanted me to have him evaluated for ADD /ADHD. I refused because he does very well in school. He's learning at a slightly faster pace then the other kids, and retains what he's being taught. But he just can't do it the way teachers want him to. Now last year his teacher was amazing! She had a child with a similar issue, so she was more then willing to work with him. His teacher this year has been amazing so far, but I'd like to know what's going on to try to help him to either excel even more or to make sure I know what we may be dealing with in the future. Any help anyone can give me, would be extremely helpful! Thank you in advance!

Susan - posted on 07/14/2014

1

1

0

My child has only just finished kindergarten and scored very highly on his entrance exam and his kindergarten teacher essentially did what your son's 1st grade teacher did, wanted me to bring him to his pediatrician as well. Everything you explained is exactly my son...misplacing things, telling me he doesn't remember things, not paying attention to the teacher & daydreaming in class yet he has no problem doing homework with me, already knows everything he's being taught. When do they test them for gifted programs? I'm struggling but have done positive reinforcement, taking away video games, etc. yet only worked for limited time. I'm with you and keep trying.

Sharlene - posted on 07/04/2014

1

0

0

Hi, I do appreciate your posts , my son is 10 an I he has been struggling with this at least since age 3. His preschool teacher would always talk about what a nice intelligent child he is. His perceptions were different from other children. Once he was given a drawing of a duck to colour and he mad sure to colour in some water for the duck to wadle in. Just one example of his difference in thought from regular kids. He is well behaved well spoken, kind and caring which I would like to take credit for but I think he is naturally this way.
My son is a good learner, smart kid without a doubt.
All through his school years the only complaints I ever got was that he needs to work faster. His work is often incomplete or not done at all. So I try to make certain that he gets whatever might be outstanding into his books.
I have always noticed him going into a daze or day dream but now it seems a real problem to him. He had studied real hard for test and knew every answer. I got his papers together with his results an it has all dropped. I was so hurt' I cried because it hit me really hard that my child has a problem.
I went through his papers seeing a lot of mistakes and an incomplete test. But I couldn't get angry with him. The teacher said that he would do his work then stop an state out the class or play with a pencil or anything different from doing his work while other kids are getting things done. I just started looking for answers of Why, and How to help my child. While I appreciate some of the suggestions and recommendations I've found one post that recommends a social sporting activity helps to occupy the body so the mind wouldn't have to pick up the slack of doing what the body should be doing. So while I'm going to try the coconut oil and folate I'll just add a physical activity. In our developing country not all schools have this.
Again thanks for sharing your story.

Aileen J - posted on 06/04/2014

66

0

9

Have you considered the possibility he might have aspergers my daughter who is fourteen and highly gifted is on the spectrum and in some ways is highly competent and in other ways like a six year old in particular planning and organizational skills particularly time another suggestion all when things go right ask hi what worked good luck A

Anne - posted on 04/29/2014

2

0

0

This reply is to Kim Maytan? I had my son in private school and it was awful!!! He was bullied and every fear that I ever had came to pass. We put him in public school the next year and he is doing much better! I found that there is actually less tolerance for difference in private school than public. I found a highly rated public school on great schools.com and moved to that school zone. Get him out of there!!!! My son found lots of other friends who also love sharks and talk endlessly about computer games. They talk all through lunch so much so that that sometimes he dose not eat his lunch! My mistake was that I didn't trust myself and pull him in the middle of the year, it would have been fine because everyone in this area moves all the time. Trust your instincts. If you feel isolated and your son feels isolated find a better place. Don't tolerate bad treatment. I asked my parents over and over again for another school they never moved. And if the public school isn't better then try again don't make him stay there. god bless and good luck

Anne - posted on 04/29/2014

2

0

0

Hello All! I am grateful for your posts. As a current and former space cadet and "gifted" person who is now dealing with some similar problems in a gifted son, I thank you for your posts. I am aware that alpa-d linolic acid helps also. It is essential for life and found in leafy greens which many of us don't get enough of. It cures that really dry itchy skin and helps the brain to function. 10 hours of sleep for children is also recommended.
ADHD is highly over diagnosed just take a look at the rates in England. It was first described in people with brain damage or head trauma also many other conditions can mimic it, since it is a "conglomeration" of symptoms. I have dyslexia and dyscalcula. Meds do not help either of these and never will! There are times meds are needed.My husband has TBI and life was a constant battle when he did not take them.
I have found that I need to write myself notes the previous night for what I need to do the next day to reboot after sleeping.
I understand the reasoning behind meds. That self perception is formed at an early age and can be eroded by a lack of coping skills. My question is...Does that not mean that you have to be on drugs the rest of your life? That bothers me a lot. All drugs have side effects. At best it is a trade. All drugs are processed in the liver. What do they do to growing organs? If drugs are not used for life then when and how do children learn skills when they encounter new situations?
I have also found that many people that cannot tolerate us space cadets are not people I want to be around anyway. Many of them seem to have low self esteem and being "perfect"(on time never late always organized) is their way of coping with that. People who are afraid of "drawing outside the lines" are sometimes abusive of others who do and think it's ok to do that because it is socially excepted. They are afraid of failure and being a space cadet activates that fear which is masked by anger.That is real, true. Life can be ugly. People who are not good looking get plastic surgery to fit in. No one is a one person army ready to change the world and peoples perceptions instantly but do the ends justify the means? What is the real price? Is it just about what is practical?
As a Mom, I guess testing is a way to confirm what my gut is already telling me. Also testing is only as good as the person giving the test. I am gifted but a common test will show average to low normal because of the dyslexia. In school I was "mildly retarded". But also my parents gave up. I was given a test and they believed what they were told.
One amazing study just came out that showed a placeibo worked almost as well as the actual drug to about 80 to 90 percent. Belief is perhaps more powerful than we realize.
Also, I went through something like that where my mother commented that I was already a teenager. At 8 my son has lost his first molar. Started talking early and etc. Could it be possible that since gifted children are advanced that they are indeed proceeding through the stages early and we are bewildered and unprepared because at 9 they act like 12 because in a way they are and the struggle for definition of self from parent and home is early?

Dorothy - posted on 04/21/2014

1

0

0

I have the same issues with my Asperger's child. We have him on medication so that he is stable enough to learn social things he will need to know in the real world, where his peers won't be so loving and patient with his quirks. A parent who refuses to give a child whatever they need to help them on not only an academic level, but on a social level, are being unfair and selfish to the child. He might be your child and you will accept him forever, no matter what, will be in for a rude awakening once they belong o the world. That loving child will hate you for not helping him when help could have made a difference. The medications aren't just to help the teachers. They are to help him and, if his peers were asked, you would hear them say the same thing the teachers are saying. Your child's disorder is not your personal battle. it is his. My child says he loves life so much better now when he takes his medication and he doesn't feel like the "freak" in the classroom anymore. The medication doesn't rob them of their personality. It actually helps the real them shine through and makes them feel in control of themselves. Just imagine how much more in control you would feel, if he could handle the things he cannot handle on his own with the help of medication. You could have a happy family, and he a happy childhood, if you gave him what his body needs and does not produce naturally.

Ashanti - posted on 04/21/2014

3

0

0

Joanna, thank you so much for your post. I felt so lost until now and started googling to see what other moms has posted. I was struggling with this issue for my 9yr old son for the last 8 years. Just like your son my son is a bright, intelligent boy whose grades are really good and who thinks out of the box. However, he keeps on forgetting simple things and doesn't seem to sit still in his desk while the teacher is teaching. He goes to his own world or stand up and walk around the class. The teachers keeps on complaining me that he has difficulty letting go of a task that he attended during recess or in another lesson but wanting to discuss about it. Just like you when he was in grade 1 we had a really difficult time dealing with the teacher since she forced us to get help thinking it's ADHD or ADD. And we did as asked by taking him to a behavior and a pediatric specialist. We took him for sessions for almost 8 months where he did different tests to see his behavior levels etc. In the end his report came out as negative stating that he doesn't have ADD or ADHD. He advised us that there's nothing medication can do to him at that point. (He was 6 yrs) When he was in Grade 2 I was worried since I started getting same complains but the teacher was nice she knew my son's academic capabilities but I just took him back to the specialist. Once again he did the same tests and the results came out as negative. Now he's in grade 3 and I'm quite facing the similar complains every week. The class teacher isn't concerned at all since he's good in his studies but I get notes from his music teacher and science teacher constantly regarding his wondering off to space and talking during the class or forgetting to complete his work. I'm so helpless and worried as what to do and how to help him. After sharing this I feel at ease but I too don't know what else to do since if medicine can help I really don't mind trying it before it's too late.

Tara - posted on 04/11/2014

1

0

0

My daughter and husband are both gifted. I see a problem with the majority of traditional gifted programs in school. They don't tend to be creative or allow them to move forward fast enough to process. We have found forming our own private home-education school successful. We know where my daughter's strengths lie (science and math) and have formed a STEM (science, technology, electronics and math) to keep her from being bored. Also, being able to run outside when her body needs to for a few minutes and be silly (she is silly) helps to.
We still have a few years to help her with organization. But right now she's able to take begin earning college credits in math.
I think our gifted kids can really help make a difference in the future!

Shee Bee - posted on 03/27/2014

1

0

0

yummy mummy, referring to your post on 30/1, how old is your child? I was doing exactly what you mentioned in your post but it didn't really work out. My girl remember what she has to do for few weeks then she forgets about them the week after. Besides verbal reminders, I wrote down in little notes too. Tell me, what else can I do. I don't hope to give her pills.

Gail - posted on 03/18/2014

1

0

0

My daughter is 13, gifted, and forgetful. Short term memory. Late for class, leaves her things at school constantly. Stresses me out. She has been like this since kindergarten.

KIM - posted on 03/06/2014

1

0

0

Joanna, thank you so much for your post. I felt so lost and alone. My husband died in 2009 and my son is now 12, he plays 8 instruments and is an awesome conversationalist. He googles everything he wants to understands and teaches me so much. However, he forgets everything if it's not nailed down. I've spanked, yelled, begged, cried, punished and nothing seems to help. He feels that his teachers hate him. He goes to a Catholic school and I've noticed that whenever he leaves a grade the teachers ignore me even when I say hi. He gets 100s and 90s but it's gotten worse in 6th grade he has forgotten to turn in so many projects and homework that he is injeopardy of failing the 6th grade. He wants to go to a performing arts school but there is none close to where we live in Willingboro, NJ. I feel so bad for my child and the teachers have no patience. He is very polite and gets bullied a lot because he is small and likes sharks, star wars and other things that are not "popular". He told me this week that his LA teacher was speaking tohim and he kept responding "yes ma'am" to which she said don't try to butter me up with the pleasantries because it will not work. He is very kind, polite and respectful all the time. Many times I have to wait for him as he holds doors for women in stores. I don't know what to do anymore and I'm afraid these teachers will damage him with their lack of understanding. He is deathly afraid of going to public school and when he talks is always "when I get rich and famous" to which one teacher said "yeah whatever". Almost every week he asks me, if I believe in him. Any suggestions will help. Thank you soooo much. My psot is long but I finally get to get it all off my chest.

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2014

65

0

14

G and Laura Morris -The issues surrounding anxiety are very interesting. We too have found that diet has helped massively. Intolerances to both artificial and natural food chemicals can result in heightened anxiety .

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2014

65

0

14

Semi T-I have found this book very helpful-Off the Charts, Asynchrony in gifted Children published by the Royal Fireworks Press. Also information on creative divergent thinking I think SENG has some info on this which is very helpful :)

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2014

65

0

14

Hi everyone. Visual spatial learners show a lot of these traits. My suggestion would be to research this topic. I have found it very helpful. There is a visual spatial learning resource website with loads of info and books such as Upside Down Learning by Linda Silverman ( available as e book) are also helpful. Sometimes I believe processing difficulties may be an issue here, such as auditory processing disorder but these often have other signs such as inconsistent attention spans in the classroom resulting in inconsistent results.

G - posted on 02/14/2014

1

0

0

Hello,
I too have a son who 2 yrs ago in 8th grade was exactly like this. Forgot to write down the homework...somehow missed the last two pages of a test...can't remember to brush teeth in morning. All the things I see mentioned.
His school (where he was in a class of ONLY 5 kids), wanted him to "shape up". I realized that punishing, getting angry, hovering over every detail, etc was not helping. If anything he was just getting super anxious and upset all the time when someone pointed out yet another lapse.
I decided trying to get some kind of diagnosis at least would make the school stop blaming him for his problems: maybe instead they woudl give extra support. I couldn't afford the ADD testing cost, so I found a hospital that was testing an ADHD drug. The testing to see if he had it came free along with it. (In fact he got paid a little money). The result: yes, he was mildly attention deficit with no hyperactivity. When they started him on the medication, within a week things were better. We thought it was a placebo to have an effect on such a low dose - ONE MILLIGRAM only!!! - but in the end it turned out he did indeed have the drug. His test scores for high school shot up to 99 percentile, allowing him to get into a great school. His school was convinced to offer more support: "Please, with only five kids, can you make SURE he writes down the homework?" (you'd think that was a no-brainer wouldn't you?...). After the end of the year he went off at summer break, and, husband being somewhat against the medicine, let him stay off the next fall.
Well, after a month or two we were back to the same old same old. Plus, he is a nationally competitive athlete in a non-team sport. His results there went sliding down. Just not enough focus. I insisted he go back on the medication. Still only one milligram. He doesn't really seem different at all. But he mostly does fine at school, athletically he went to Nationals this year, and things are good. What was this medication? NOT Adderall, Vyvanse, or any of these, It's an alpha blocker, guanfacine. Look it up. It's also a drug for hypertension and anti-anxiety. My personal opinion (not that of any medical professional) is that the anti-anxiety effect means that if something goes wrong, or gets "stuck" in his mind, he lets it go and gets past it, mentally. Less clutter around his thinking, somehow. His high school had an expert on teen mental health visit for a lecture/discussion, ADD and depression/anxiety, who was all for prescribing either Prozac or Adderall as much as possible. I asked him about guanfacine, publicly. His (totally unhelpful) reply was, "well, we just don't really use that drug." Gee why not? Side effects: mostly sleepiness at night (this is not a problem in a teen!). We don't really see any effects on 1 mg, and apparently the "normal" does is around 4-5 mg (that's when they give it on top of Adderall to "calm down" the ADHD kid). I don't understand why in the world a doctor wouldn't try this drug first, rather than an amphetamine-like medication with its side effects or Prozac which can make some kids suicidal/manic/whatever.
This is where I think the medical establishment is really missing the boat.

Semi - posted on 02/12/2014

1

0

0

Same issues with my 6-year old gifted daughter, She always takes the instruction to the next level and teacher complains " Christine doesn't follow instructions". And I don't want to take away that side from her, she needs it, that's why she is different. She is very sociable and kind. she started composing piano pieces after a month taking the piano class. The piano teach told me " it is privilege to teach to Christine" but things are not good at her private school. She tries her best to take stuff to the next level. I am not sure what is happening in her little head these days.

Yummy - posted on 01/30/2014

1

0

0

Moms:

You have not tried 'everything' although it makes you feel better to say that...

The easiest thing in the world is to get your kid a pill. Then YOUR life becomes easier. ADHD symptoms (without the true condition) can manifest when there is absolutely no discipline or expectations placed upon the child when he is young.

Sure, they are gifted. My oldest boy could read, add, subtract, spell, tell time and count money by the time he was four. I sent him to a "high end intellectual country day school" that did nothing but dumb him down and make him more
distracted.

Children need high levels of supervision, clear expectations and immediate consequences. They need to know their emotions or what they feel like doing or don't feel like doing cannot run the show. Sure its a pain, and who wants to keep trying experiment number 1000 when you can get a pill.

The point is some kids just cooperate and remember better than others. They are just naturally built like that. However, for some it is not natural. That doesn't mean they need a pill - what they need is a new approach; but parents can't be bothered because it is too frustrating and hard. A typical child might need 3 reminders of instruction and a less typical may need 1,000 - practicing 1,ooo times is better than a pill.
Labeling a child with a diagnosis means he can lean on it the rest of his life to explain away all the disappointments of life.

it is a travesty and disgusting how many parents put their children on meds.

Before you medicate your child think long and hard about it - ADHD is over diagnosed and data says 7% - 15% have it? No way.

Parents create character problems in their children by trying to be nice. "You'll love them out of everything." If only that worked! Sadly, it does not.

Good luck

Laura - posted on 01/21/2014

1

0

0

My son was exactly the same until he was diagnosed and treated for coeliac disease. Then his teacher said it was like dealing with a different child and we had the same results at home. Suddenly he was quick and on the ball. I would say look for an under lying problem before medicating a child. Hope this is helpful.

Ramona - posted on 01/20/2014

1

0

0

My son is gifted and talented. He has always had Straight A's or A & B honor roll. He now is not turning in his work, his teacher says he knows the material. He said, its getting tougher at first, but he knows it now. He just forgets or other excuses as to why it wasn't turned in, now he has a 33 and a 36 which I asked him are you bored? he says yes. He also, zones out a lot. You can stand right in front of him snapping your fingers saying hello, lol. but he still won't see you because he is so lost in his world. I am curious about gifted students with inattentive types? If its possible for him even though he was on a 9th grade reading level last year when tested and he was in the 5th grade.

Shyla - posted on 01/02/2014

1

0

0

I am having these same issues, which is what brought me here. I have often wanted to reach out but did not know who would understand. My son is a gifted and talented 14 yr old who has been winning art contests nationwide and has recently even won a superintendents award for his art and academics. Outwardly to everyone he is this very smart talented young man, but at home I give him simple tasks to get done and specific instructions for things to do the next day and he totally forgets them, or totally does the wrong thing. And he does not bat an eye while doing things wrong, without direction either, he won't ask questions. Its soo frustrating because there is seemingly no common sense going on. I don't know what it is but it is frustrating. I am choosing not to punish him because of these mistakes or forgetting things because I am sure his self esteem would be affected, if it isn't already. I wish a doctor would jump on here and give us all a good diagnosis.

Karen - posted on 12/27/2013

31

19

1

Oh my! This is my 9 yr old! I thought it was ONLY his love of electronics that made him spacey! But he does it at school, church, & Taekwondo classes! It's as if he's just off in his own world & we're background noise. But he's so sweet about it! Never rude or cranky when he's "interrupted."

His grades are wonderful, but he misses field trips, class parties, etc because he can't bring me home information about dates & times! The only back up I have for school wide info is his younger sister's pre-school folder! I dread middle school for him! (His older brother does a bit better at announcements & forms, but not by much. But he pays attention more in general to the rest of the world).

His teachers all tell me how bright & sweet he is. Just seems "out of it" most of the time. We hate to punish him for NOT remembering. But giving him bonuses & rewards doesn't seem to motivate him to stay in our world long enough to do what he's told!

Kellie - posted on 12/15/2013

2

0

0

Oh, wow. Coming across this page has made me feel so much better about my own son. He is 11 years old and in Year 5. He is extremely bright and has been placed in the gifted and/or superior ranges in virtually all areas of learning. He is smart, talented, has good friends and has a very quick wit.

The only concern we tend to have with him is his constant appearance of 'day dreaming'. He finds it very difficult to follow instructions, both at home and within the classroom, as he always seems to either be not listening, or just not taking it all in. He will be asked to go and get his shoes and, when he still hasn't returned 5 minutes later, I will go out only to find him just standing there, completely lost in his own world promptly forgetting what it was he meant to do. Or, he walks out of a school morning without his bag. Or he finds it difficult to do something in a logical manner, he tends to go the long way about solving every day regular problems. Yet, give him a complex maths problem, well beyond his expected 11 year old capabilities, and he solves it in a flash.

It is not an issue as such, we simply do what we can to remind him what it is he is meant to be doing. We try not to make a big deal out of it, although this can be hard at times, especially of a school morning when we are walking out the door to leave and he is still looking for his shoes or has to go back inside for his bag!

It has been mentioned numerous times in his school reports. He has an older brother with Autism, so a lot of people tend to jump to the conclusion that due to Autism being in the family, his bright intellect and his inability to follow instructions quickly and correctly, then he must have Aspergers. We know that this is not the case. Having a child with Autism, I would think that we would know by now what signs to look for and what symptoms are presenting themselves. Not that we are in denial about Aspergers, either. If we honestly and truly believed that was the case, then we would have done something about it years ago. I also am not ashamed or embarrassed at the possibility of Aspergers. If that were to be the way, then so be it. I just don't want my son to be misdiagnosed and therefore treated for one condition when things should be focused in other areas. Our son does not have social issues, he does not behave inappropriately, he is not regimental about his routines and he has no sensory processing issues. So why is that people can't just accept that he is a bright child who has trouble following instructions? It's like everyone and every behaviour needs to have a label to it these days!

Hearing/reading all of your stories, I can so relate. So, thank you! :-)

Bahareh - posted on 12/03/2013

1

3

0

To those who post here that us moms are taking this lightly, I think you are misguided by what you are reading. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think the reasons why mothers are on here in the first place is to seek advice and understand their child's situation and needs. I was once a very smart space cadet. My parents sent me to a doctor who after many visits turned to them and stated, " SHE SPACES OUT IN CLASS"... That is just so funny to see a man with many degrees come up with that diagnosis. We knew the issue but we didn't have a solution. I went through life getting bad grades, not remembering chores, books, keys, etc. Life was a mess. I was very bright and talented but I had an issue with "spacing out" some call it day dreaming. As I reached adult hood I had to go into the work place and really struggle to make myself focus. I have still not mastered it but I will tell you that it will pass if the individual works on it. It would be easier if I had help and support but I didn't and I still made it through. Now I have an 8 year old of my own and she is experiencing the same type of issues. She is a carbon copy of me at her age. (maybe not as bad but definitely very close)... I have put her in home schooling with a private teacher to help her focus and spend one one one time doing her assignments, I have put her in focus type activities such as piano, guitar as well as team related sports like soccer. She still has her youth groups and church affiliations to her with socializing but I think for now it is best to really teach her the fundamentals of how to study if you are unfocused and how to understand concept when reading. She is doing well now but it is a daily struggle. I encourage those parents having issues with their children in school and the child is spacing out or unfocused to really look into programs like K12.com Wonderful, free and very effective. I am not all about medication. I think if the child REALLY needs it and can't live a normal life without it then sure move forward with medicine, otherwise... take the time to support your child the way they need it and not through a quick fix of a pill from the pharmacy. I would like to hear from other parents who are going through the same types of issues. Communication is key so let's continue the discussion in a positive and constructive manner.

Cora - posted on 11/21/2013

1

0

0

Hello, I feel I was this child years back when I was in grade school. I had a very controlling older sister who used to scold me all the time for what I would forget and lose. I have to admit it didn't help. I guess I was a child then and I had other priorities, like play and friends. And the more she scolded me, the more I'd forget. I cannot give any reason for this, it was just the way it is. I think I began to be more responsible when she got married and left home, but this was unintentional. Having more space away from her, made me discover myself. I had heaps more confidence in myself and eventually became a student leader.

I don't believe your child has ADD. Children just respond differently depending on their maturity and environment. Like you said, your son is gifted, and I am sure you have played a great role in molding him to be like this. Its a wonderful thing but maybe grown up expectations are putting too much pressure on him. Remember he is a child. Let him lose all his pencils but don't ever let him lose his confidence. In a more relaxed environment, he will be able to focus better.

Brenda - posted on 11/15/2013

2

0

0

Please let me know if it works. I've tried almost everything from accommodations in school, meds, therapy, switching schools. So far the grades are just getting worse, but he is learning an awful lot. This week he learned how to grow nano wires from a local professor. His test scores are out of the roof fantastic, highest in our state in some categories.

Emily - posted on 11/15/2013

1

0

0

My son is 11 years old. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 5 but I noticed that he is very gifted with most things like music and even smart in school. His pssa testing was above average in every category this year, he started middle school and he is struggling. His grades are really taking a dive and he is medicated...which has worked in the past but now I'm starting to worry because he is so forgetful in every day routines. Brushing his teeth, even using conditioner instead of shampoo forgetting assignments not bring his agenda home I tried everything from a chart to taking things (yelling at him makes things worse) I thought when he was little that oh its because he's lazy but its obvious now that's not the case. He really doesn't remember to do these things even after repeated attempts. From my experience, I am going to try behavioral therapy to see what goes on in his head. He is so smart why is this such a challenge for him? I am trying therapy to see how goes. If I have an answer I'll let u all know

Margie - posted on 11/14/2013

1

0

0

Thank you for posting this. It's good to know that I am not alone with all the forgetfulness and losing things. I just had to call the school bus garage to find something that was lost. Thankfully, they found it. I have also made multiple trips back to school because she has forgotten something important. The tips in this blog about organization and diet were helpful. Here is a study that I thought was interesting. It is worth reading. Apparently, gifted and talented students sometimes get misdiagnosed with ADHD and other disorders. I am going read more diet and how it affects the brain as well. I also that think that being patient and loving above all else will have a greater impact than a program that we can start with our children. I am sure you do both of those things or you wouldn't be searching for ways to improve your child's life experience. There is pressure for gifted students and I think that sometimes that they just need to be kids.That's easier said than done when they act more mature than their age in some respects. Anyway, just a few thoughts. I appreciate your openness with your blog. It has helped me.

http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articl...

Ann-Marie - posted on 08/03/2013

1

0

0

He is just so busy in his head that everyday things pass him by.
My son is now 17. It's only be reptition that eventually things become second nature.
But he will likely always be forgetful.
Best advice is:
Keep a routine, give him clear instructions- but don't overload him.
Praise him for remembering like you are doing.
My son left his guitar on the school bus for 3 weeks running!!
He WILL get better as he gets older- just don't expect miracles!!

Maureen - posted on 07/22/2013

1

17

0

This describes my daughter also 9, exactly too! I am getting frustrated and mad then sad because I can't help her. What do I do?

Maryann - posted on 05/17/2013

1

0

0

I have started to go though the whole space thing with my oldest son. I never really knew what to do. Recently I was talking to a family member who has a 2yr old who has seizers.(bare with me). I was talking to her one day, trying to get advice on what to do. A couple of days later she came to me and said that she was at her 2yr olds neuroligist for a check up, and asked him if he ever kids those kids that yes they are very book smart, but can't seem do remember to do anything. He told her there is a certian type of seizer that affects that area of the brain. The seizures don't make them fall on the ground or anything. He said that it gets missed diagnosed all the time for ADD/ADHD, because of the fact that you don't really see them. He said that there is medication for them, so they can not be so spacy. I'm working with my doctor to get my son a refferal to see this doctor and have him checked out. I just want an answere. I'll keep you all posted.

Karen - posted on 03/31/2013

4

0

1

This sounds like my son and we waited to medicate. I regret that immensely. He was turning 11 when we finally started medication. As a result, he didn't learn certain habits that he could have learned, he didn't make friends that he could have made, he didn't learn skills that he could have learned. He's now been on medication for 2 years and he's a different kid. He still struggles with focus, especially now that he's in puberty and he's metabolizing the meds faster. But, it's night and day from the way that he was.

I also wish my mother had taken me to investigated when I was a child. Since I was gifted, nobody ever thought I could also have ADHD. I am now on medication and I am far better parent and wife.

Please take your child to a doctor and get the attention issues investigated. If there isn't an issue, the medication won't work. It's pretty black and white.

[deleted account]

This may partially be an "introvert" thing. And, no, your child does NOT have to be shy to be introverted. Their brains are literally wired differently. A wonderful book on the subject is The Introvert Advantage. It helped me to understand how my daughter gets stuck in loops and gets frustrated when she can't snap out of it the same way an extroverted person would. It also explains why she can't stop what she is doing and move on quickly. This is tough for kids in an extrovert-dominated world.

Geri - posted on 01/10/2013

50

2

18

My daughter spends a lot of time "in her head." It looks like she's really zoned out, but I believe it's just that her brain processes differently. This has diminished over the years (she's now 10), but I've had to prep her teachers to make sure that they get where she's coming from. I've also written letters to request teachers who have had more experience with kids who process differently.

Irenekanderson - posted on 01/06/2013

4

0

1

You know what else helps...is when I spend more time with him. I'm not sure why this helps, but it makes me think that maybe he forgets in order to get my corrective feedback, i.e. negative attention. I am not a micro manager nor a controlling person by any stretch of the imagination, and spending so much extra time with him going over things repeatedly isn't "my style" but it really helps him. So, I do it. Organization is another thing we work on. Oh he is sooooooo disorganized but if I take the time to help him determine what's needed and what's trash...then somehow he's just better. When I do this, he comes home with glowing behavior reports, his grades are better, he's more proud of the work he produces. When I don't, the boy is in detention a lot. Does anyone else find this to be true? I hope I'm not babying him, because I DONT want that, but I wonder if anyone else is experiencing this?

[deleted account]

I am looking for the same sort of guidance. I have the same problem. I hate to stifle creativity but it is hard to get my child to "keep pace" when she is expected to. I am considering home schooling as a last resort

Amber - posted on 12/18/2012

1

0

0

OMG. This is my daughter to a TEE! She is 9 and in 3rd grade, but reads at a 6th grade level. Is extremely intelligent and is often referred to as an "old soul" since she is so wise beyond her years. Everyday, however, is another step toward my being admitted. She forgets everyday routine tasks and needs constant reminders. I had to make a checklist, which helps, but If I don't remind her about the checklist, we are back to square one. She will forget her backpack constantly; can't seem to follow simple instructions. She was in cheer and lost her cheer warmups; I let the coaches know and in the process of looking for the warmups, she lost a backup pair! i had to pull her out of cheer due to her constantly forgetting gear and I thought maybe she had too much going on that was causing her to become too distracted.

In 1st grade, her teacher suggested she may have ADD, but was very positive and worked with me on ways to help her learn in "her way." 2nd grade, her teacher was impatient and couldn't handle the distractions and the lack of focus and would somewhat punish her intelligence by assigning her more work, which she did willingly. Her current 3rd grade teacher is amazing and has told me that her actions are not always intentional or selective.

She was once on ADD meds and they helped for while, but not enough to make a huge difference. I actually wondered if she changed her behavior because she thought they were supposed to?? I can look her straight in the eye and ask her a question and she won't say a word and has a blank stare like she doesn't understand ...even at the simplest of "yes" or "no" questions.

She will respond to a question and say she understands, only to later say she didn't hear that part of the information or that I didn't give her all the information...when I practically did the task for her because I gave her such specific instructions. I've tried short and sweet and long-winded. I've tried letting her do the talking and I get nothing.

I am at my wits end. I've noticed that her friends don't play with her as often and I ask parents if there's something I need to know about and they insist all is well....but I can't help wondering if something happened or if she's no longer welcome at people's houses because of her challenges. She's noticed too and is so self-conscious about making/keeping/losing friends.

I don't like to label, but my gut tells me there's something wrong - whether it be a hearing or auditory processing disorder, or ADD, or something I've never thought of. I try not to be rigid, but I am getting anxiety coming home becasue every day is a repeat of the issues the day before. I get angry and I overreact because I'm at a loss for what to do. I'm afraid doctors will just jump to a quick ADD diagnosis and pop her full of pills...when I feel she needs something more than that.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Sound Familar? I know some of what she's going through could just be "kid" stuff, but I see this spiraling out of control and she's even started hurting other kids unintentionally and had outbursts of emotions and impulsive actions that are starting to really worry me.

Patricia - posted on 11/29/2012

353

0

71

HUMMMM some good thoughts. Maybe I will make a list for the bathroom- brush your teeth at certain time, take a shower on these days- etc etc.

Staci - posted on 11/28/2012

4

0

0

One thing that worked with our son for mornings was making a check list. I typed up a sheet with a list of things that he needed to do and had it laminated. We put it on the wall in his room so he had a visual reminder of what he needed to do. It worked for us!

Patricia - posted on 11/28/2012

353

0

71

The problem with our Daughter (10) is she gets so wrapped up in the current thing she is doing she will lose all sense of time and everything else she was suppose to do that day. She will remember later on when it is too late. She gets ticked off when I have to remind her a 101 times to brush her teeth. Then morning comes- Did you brush your teeth? Oh I forgot I got into my book and then fell asleep-ugh!!! I told her I will be going in with her to make sure it gets done!!

Staci - posted on 11/20/2012

4

0

0

Thank you for a different perspective, and for sharing your story. I too suffered, so I know how my child feels. Hopefully more parents will listen to you. Good Luck!

GEORGI - posted on 11/14/2012

2

0

0

I am a principal of a small school, and my own son has ADD. He is now 18 years old, and has done exceptionally well, despite the challenges. If you medicate, you child has a chance. If you do not, you will have an uphill struggle for the rest of your life. 10% of the children in our school have been diagnosed with different variations of ADD. Those who receive optimum medication do well. Those who do not have the correct dose of medication trundle along, not achieving much. The students whose parents refuse to give medication, are slowly destroying their children,The child is frustrated, and has the perception that whatever he does is not good enough, the friends and teachers are irritated, and the parents are usually aggressive. .ADD is not just about behaviour, it

affects sports and culture as well.

GEORGI - posted on 11/14/2012

2

0

0

You state that you are going mad! So how about some sympathy for the teachers.

Lauren - posted on 10/31/2012

1

24

0

I was literally at my wits end, feeling like I was failing my gifted child when I decided to google "how to help your space cadet child". I am so thankful for all your posts. I am not alone, and I am not failing as a parent! I can't believe how many of you have the same child living in your house. The forgetfulness, the not turning in assignment..all your stories sound exactly like mine. Today, while checking my kids book bag, I find the project that we've worked on for the last two weeks sitting in there, not turned in. It was due 3 days ago! I think this drove me over the edge. The constant reminding from the moment we get up in the morning is such a struggle. We have the bulletin board, the planner, post it notes, I even prepare and paper click HW into a specific folder to help her remember and some how she still forgets. I was all out of ideas, except I never thought to discuss with her dr. I just figured it was something I was doing wrong. Thank you all for creating a place that even years later one can come and feel like I am part of something much bigger.

Jami - posted on 10/30/2012

152

35

11

My son is very spacey (gets it from me I think) but is also adhd (the add end) and he is medicated...it has helped reduce the severity of it so he's more like the stories the previous posters have told.



I am actually now reassured that it's part and parcel of having a gifted kid...I was thinking he needed a med change which I didn't want to do the meds he is on now works so well for his severe add without suppressing his appetite.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms