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