What do you look for in a gifted child?

Tammy - posted on 05/26/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My son is in the first grade. He does all his homework perfectly without my help. He can read chapter books in just two- three days ( for example he read Diary of a Whimpy kid in two days). He is in the hardest spelling group there is and every week he gets 103% with out studying. Is this gifted? The only complaint that I have is that his Hand writing is terrible. He has no behavior problems, he is very social, and creative. He has no problems like ADD or anything like that, Not that I'm saying that That is a problem. I have just heard of a lot of gifted kids that have been diagnosed with conditions like this.Do i ask the school what they think or will I look like I am pushing my son?

Moms of certfied gifted children, did the school tell you to get tested or did you ask for the test? I don't want to push my son but I don't want him to be bored or lose interest in school if he isn't challanged. All advice welcome.

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Becky - posted on 06/03/2010

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I was tucking her in one night, she was 3, she asked me "what came before God?" Nothing I could say was going to satisfy her!!
Probably one of the best things I ever did was have her tested when she was 6 by a psychologist, independent of the school system. It verified my wonderings, and also was useful in dealing with a teacher or two who really didn't want to bother with challenging her. I heard the "oh, she's a little ahead, but the other kids will catch up" during the early elementary years.
You are your child's best advocate. The more information you can arm yourself with, the more prepared you will be.
A good psychological evaluation will give you a wealth of information regarding not only IQ, areas of strength, learning style, etc. It was well worth the $$ in my opinion!

Mimi - posted on 04/26/2012

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I am a retired teacher and mother of two grown children and grandmother of five. Both of our own children were gifted in their own way, but only one was in the gifted program in our school system. Both are successful and are doing very well. My five grandchildren are all "gifted" at something. I have seen gifted children and smart children and sometimes the more successful are not the gifted kids. So Moms and Dads, love your children, give them lots of attention and opportunities to grow, and forget about bragging that they are in a gifted program. Momma Mimi

Dasantila - posted on 06/04/2010

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In Ontario, Canada, my children's Grade 1 teacher suggested that an independent, certified psychologist's report identifying a child as gifted will be recognized by school boards. This, here too, is a way to avoid waiting, at times in vain, that teachers single out and decide to assess a child .

Dr. Peggy - posted on 05/26/2010

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I am the mom of 2 grown children – the boy is three years older than the girl. The boy is what I called high normal and the girl gifted. (This turned out to be supported by later testing and the academic work they did.) When did I first see a difference? When I was teaching them their good night prayers. I did this at about the same age for each. The way I taught the boy was each night we say what he knew together and then I'd say the next words and he'd repeat them. Each night he had more memorized. We repeated this until he knew it all. Then he said his prayers on his own. He learned his prayers word by word. The girl at the same age learned in phrases - not words. She would repeat back almost complete sentences. Each night she would remember more sentences. The difference in their ways of learning was so apparent – 22 years later I still have a clear memory of it.

Laura - posted on 05/26/2010

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I would first speak to his teacher. When my son was in K his teacher already noticed his "advanced" abilities and started noting them. I have found many schools do not begin identifying "gifted" until 3rd grade unless like there is a behavioral problem. Ask the teacher when they ID them who does it and how is it done. If they cannot answer this then the school counselor should be able to give you information. If they don't go to the principal and so on. You are correct many gifted children do test with ADD/ADHD etc, but you don't have to have it to be gifted. I have a friend whose son is gifted and has none of these. Also, there is a growing belief that it may not be ADD/ADHD, but just being gifted. Some of the signs of giftedness are: sensativity to sensations and emotionally. Having a good memory, ability to learn basic skills quickly, asking questions beyond their peers ability, enjoys problem solving, tendancy to put ideas together in ways that are unusual. These are just a few. There is a really good book called "a parents guide to gifted children" by James Webb and others. You can probably get a copy at the library. It will help you see if he might be gifted. If your son is gifted they have probably already noticed and since there isn't a behavior issue there has been little need to discuss things. Unfortunately, my son has behavior issues due to being bored so you are VERY fortunate. Also, you won't seem pushy, just a parent concerned that her child get the most out of his school.

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Teri - posted on 08/10/2011

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My daughter was tested first in 1st grade and then again in 3rd to see if she was high enough to receive placement in our district's magnet school. I didn't know she was gifted at first. I knew she was smart but thought all kids were that smart. Most likely they will test him if they do believe he's gifted. Of course there are many levels of gifted and many children are gifted in different areas. My daughter does have inattentive type ADHD and I have found that many kids in her highly gifted magnet school do have some sort of quirk but not all. A few function very well socially but those are not common in her class. I'm not sure how her teacher handled 14 highly gifted children with many different abilities and behavior issues. I think she deserves an award!!

Alozia - posted on 04/11/2011

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When my son was in K his teacher notice his advanced abilities and requested that we test him for it. Since then he was in 2nd grade quest program and is now being tested for 3rd grade reach. Don't always go by the test scores also because my son missed 1st grade reach by two points but then the district noticed on his assesment test that he should be in a higher learning for 2nd and we did Reach which my son loves it. As far as ADD/ADHD just because your son is gifted does not mean he has this. My son is very gifted and has neither he just learns quickly and if you don't keep his mind busy he gets restless. That is one of the reason's he's been playing chess since before K.

Jane - posted on 03/30/2011

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Advocate for your child, do NOT expect the school to agree or to go out of their way to test and/or provide aceleration for your child. It's going to be a LONG HARD road so be sure you are ready for it before you begin. As far as testing IF you can get the school to do it, you are in good shape since they often will not accept testing done privately and are not obligated to follow any recommendations that come from the outside. Sorry to be a party pooper, but it is a nightmare at best.

Lauren - posted on 09/15/2010

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Please have yous son checked for Dysgraphia!
He sounds a lot like my 2 highly gifted sons.
One was reading at an 8th grade level in Kindergarten and spells as well as the Webster dictionary...The other tested post high school in 5th grade but can't spell worth beans!
ASK for the test and if they come back with a result you do not agree with take him for independent testing!
My sons are now 18 and 22 it always seems like the parents of TRULY Gifted children are the most shy to admit it...(I am over that).Some schools do not like the highly gifted as they have no way to teach them they are only geared for middle of the road kids, no more no less...

Julie - posted on 09/14/2010

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Sounds familiar..My daughter has poor handwriting,as well..I would seek the advice of your son's teacher..Have a meeting with his teacher to gain some insight. My Daughter is in the fourth grade magnet program. This is the first year of attending this gifted program..I am blessed that our school district offers such a program and I do not have to pay anything to have her enrolled..She was recommended by her teachers and her principle.In her old school,they were concerned that she was not being challenged to the degree that she should be..Does the school district offer a gifted program? I,also.would advise that he be tested to see exactly where he is academically..I hope this helps..:0)

Jami - posted on 08/19/2010

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Although I always thought my first born was very bright (who doesn't), it wasn't until she entered a preschool program at barely 4 that the teacher's advocated moving her directly to Kindergarden that I realized she was any different than others her age. I made the decision at that time to leave her in preschool, because she enjoyed being with her friends. My immediate concern for her if she was gifted was that she would be "labeled" and shunned by her peers because she was different. I wanted her to develop social skills that I feel are just as important as intellectual skills.

Although she continued to excell in class in Kindergarden, our school district does not start testing for gifted levels until 1st grade. She now attends a gifted school on Mondays and her regular class the rest of the week. However, her teachers have continued to be awesome about giving her advanced math and reading work (as she is always done before everyone else) and allows her to bring in any book she wants for reading time (as she reads WAY over her grade level). She has a wide circle of friends and has been voted by her class to serve on student counsel the last 2 years. (Does anyone else have a child in elementary school that has a student counsel? This was a new concept to me.)

From those I have talked to, I have had the oposite problem. Where other's have had to advocate to even get their children tested, I have sometimes felt I have had to advocate to keep her life "normal." My decisions have worked very well for us. (although she has always and will continue to have the option to opt out of the gifted program) I don't think this would have been the same if I hadn't had the support of teachers at her regular elementary teachers.

Erin - posted on 08/19/2010

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My son is 10. We knew he was gifted, but didn't push it until last year. I wish we would of insisted he be tested earlier instead of waiting. You are the only advocate your child has, so don't worry about being pushy, just ask questions unti you find the answers you need. Also at 10 my son's handwriting is horrible. I make him practice nightly but it doesn't seem to get a lot better. He also has no major behavior problems, but as he got older we realized he lacks many social skills, something we would of known if he was tested earlier. So just because they do not act up, doesn't mean there is no problems!!! Good Luck!!

Gina - posted on 08/07/2010

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I am a mother of 3 children. They are now ages 16, 12 and 10 (on Aug 15th). In their academics, all 3, at one time or another had been given the gifted test. My oldest, a son, was in 1st grade. At first he did not want to take the test. But he did. He was slightly upset that he was NOT found gifted. (He currently ranks #13 out of 213 in the beginning of his junior class.) I told him that his teacher saw some wonderful things in him to offer for him to take the test. That he was doing all the right things. My middle child, a daughter, took the gifted test in 3rd grade and wasn't found gifted. However, because she received 4's on her EOG's (End of grade test in NC) in 3rd grade. She was placed in a gifted 4th grade class. She learned Latin and LOVED IT! She excelled. Our district lines changed for her 5th grade year. So the new school tested her again and she was found gifted in BOTH reading and math. She got the highest grade on her math EOG in her 5th grade class and tied with another student for the highest grade on the reading EOG. She is now 12 and about to start her 7th grade year in the gifted class. Last year, she was tutoring her peers in math. Everyone wanted to be her partner on her social studies teacher's projects. Because she did some outstanding movies. She's very creative. My youngest, soon to be 10, is starting her 5th grade year in a few weeks. Last school year, she was given the gifted test and was found gifted in only math. She likes to read. Still has some pronunciation problems of certain words, but nothing to hold her back. Hope I was of some help.

Julie - posted on 08/07/2010

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Follow your instincts. Advocate, advocate, advocate for your son, but do so with a win/win attitude, not defensive. He does sound gifted, and you're right, you do not want him to get bored.

Candi - posted on 08/01/2010

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My son's teacher noticed his "talent" in Kindergarten, but he wasn';t tested until 1st grade and accepted into the TAG program. I had no idea he was tested! He is a brilliant kid and highly gifted. He doesn't have ADD or any of the other issues some kids have. Sometimes he is a scatter-brain, but he is only 11 and I think thats normal for his age! He never studies but makes an A on every test, can read books that would bore me to death and if he sees or hears something once, he remembers it. Its amazing.He is easily bored, always looking for challenges, and hates repitition. He is in Boy Scouts and that keeps him busy. If you think your son is gifted, talk to the school and see what their requirements are for their gifted program.

Jess - posted on 07/27/2010

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Do what you feel is right for your son I took it apon myself to do my sons testing he scored a 143 avg on his weshler exam and his reading comprehention was litteraly off the charts the computer couldnt print out the result!!!!! he was tested because i reseved several notes from his teacher stating that he was adhd ( mind you she wasnt a doctor or psychologest) he saw many doctors who all agreed he was not adhd just really bored so i had him tested. Unfortunatly I live in New York state where it is not mandated that gifted children need work to their ability but that is a whole seperate struggle. he is 7 now going into 3RDafter being bumped up a grade the school wanted to do it again but i thought it best that he stay with his friends at this point. it is very helpfull to test if you live in a state that advocates for gifted kids but if not its only helpfull if you have a high energy kid with teachers who need a good "told you so" every once in a while

Rachel - posted on 07/19/2010

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You know, my husband is an extremely intelligent man...brilliant, actually. He graduated from an extremely prestigious university and is doing exceptionally well in his career...but his handwriting is and has always been atrocious. I would speak to a pediatrician about it, but don't worry over it too much, and don't let anyone tell you it is a severe "disability." Your son sounds like an extremely bright individual. I will tell you that my husband is exceptional at math and can read books at alarming rates. So his handwriting isn't pretty? Who cares. Don't worry too much about it.

Kristin - posted on 07/15/2010

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He could very well be gifted. Sometimes you need to push for your children. A mom always needs to be her child's best advocate. His handwriting is irrelevant. I would push to get him tested. You need to collect examples of his creative and advanced work and thinking to present to the school administrators. Gifted children often get bored and tune out. That is a very common thing, especially for gifted boys. It's better to catch it early so he will continue to like school. ADD is not related to giftedness. It's good that your son has no behavior problems. Be thankful!

Kristina - posted on 06/21/2010

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Where we live, kids who are suspected of being gifted are tested in Grade 3, as I was. But I know my nearly 7 year old is gifted, at least in language skills (like me), because she spoke her first word at 6 months and was speaking in two to three word sentences by 1 year. She is just finishing Grade 1 and her teacher has informed me that she is reading books that Grade 3 kids are expected to be reading. She goes to a French school (it's my first language), but has taught herself to read English, even though the two languages are very different when it comes to learning to read (French is much more phonetic than English). She was in a split Grade 1/2 class this year, and her teacher told me she often gave her Grade 2 level work. I don't think my daughter is ever bored at school...she finds ways to fill in her time. I used to just pull out a book and read while waiting for the others to finish their work. Perhaps you could encourage him to do that. It sounds like your son also has a gift in languages. I would definitely talk to the teacher...perhaps he could be doing work a grade ahead too? Find out what your school's policy is for testing for giftedness.
I also try to keep her my daughter stimulated at home...she is very logical, so I bought her a couple of tangram sets and she loves doing those and other kinds of brain-teasing puzzles.

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Your son does sound very gifted. I think its important for ur child to be challeneged otherwise they will get bored n will not reach their full potential. My daughter is very gifted n is now in yr 2 aged 6 n half. I have had a talk with her teacher about her as she has mentioned that the work is really easy n can get boring. She is top of her class in reading, in the hardest spelling group n can write stories all on her own. Her teacher has said she will get extra spelling words to learn n other things to keep her busy in class:) Good luck it's not a bad idaea to talk to the teacher as its important to work together to make his schooling as as good as possible:)

Jane - posted on 06/10/2010

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So, to add to my previous post, yes, you can take your child to a psycologist to be tested. It didn't cross my mind at the time. And also, my two kids (now 20 and almost 17) are both gifted and did not have ADD/ADHD or any other thing. They were very well rounded. They are both musically gifted (I have no idea where from but whatever:) and did school band, my daughter was a cheerleader, my son is a football player, they were normal every day kids who just happened to be extremely smart. Kids that are gifted CAN have emotional issues as well as physical that create emotional issues but not ALL gifted kids have these issues.

Jane - posted on 06/10/2010

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Our school district bases the first findings for gifted kids on the standardized tests that are taken. Here in Colorado, the main standardized testing is called the CSAP and all students take it starting in 3rd grade through 10th grade. This test, tests reading, writing and math and in some (not all) grades, science as well. It then compares the child against the the state putting them into percentiles and obviously, the higher the percentile the child is in, the smarter they are. The gifted and talented teacher in the school uses these as well as teacher recommendations on whether a child is categorized as gifted. So, to say "is there a test", the answer is not that simple. There are some that can help determine giftedness but not a gifted test, so to speak.

I'm not sure what other states do but I think in the US, you'll probably find that it is similar.

Heather - posted on 06/07/2010

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I totally agree with Emily. After speaking to a psychologist, I was shocked to learn that IQ was based on critical thinking skills. You can not prepare a child for it. They either have it or they don't. In fact, my son is techinically "profoundly" gifted but is not excelling in the gifted program like some of the "mildly" gifted kids.

Emily - posted on 06/06/2010

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Being gifted is not how much a student knows but rather how he thinks and solves problems. You can request or rather nominate your child but in some schools the teachers will request that a student be tested. It is your right though to nominate him.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2010

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My son was in Pre-K at a private school. She suggested we have him tested because private schools usually don't offer a gifted track. We hired a private psychologist and had him tested. Keep in mind that every school district has seperate ideas of what is gifted and you must meet all those criteria. where we live, it was an IQ of greater than 130, a score of 90% or higher on the Woodcock Johnson Achievement test, and you had to meet 13 out of the 16 gifted characteristics.

But don't worry about being pushy. My best friend is an elementary school principal. She gave me the best advice. She said "unfortunately, you are your child's only academic advocate. You need to push for your child." I now live by these words. good luck!

Louise - posted on 05/30/2010

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I picked up on my sons gift very early on. He could read by the age of two, this I thought was a fluke and changed his books regularly. Yep he could read he could count and he knew all his colours and shapes by the time he got to playgroup. My son is now 18 and has a photographic memory and has never studied for an exam ever. He is a straight A* student in all subjects and is now off to university. Being on the gifted register most of his life has helped him as he has had the opportunity to do some mind stretching activities provided by MENSA. If you are convinced that your child is gifted then ask for him to be tested because once your on the list doors will open for your child to help them understand their talents.

Krista - posted on 05/29/2010

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Our system tests all kids on a standardized test (Terra Nova or IOWA) in 2nd and 4th grades. We get the results from that. From there if your child scores in the 95%ile or up, you can request further testing. Who cares if you will look pushy. Request it. I don't know what state you are in, but with NCLB, school systems have to have a plan in place for their gifted education-even if it is only for identification. Look at the website for your system and find the link to your gifted education program and see what they have to offer. Also, look up the article, A NATION DECEIVED and print it out and read it when you have time, it will give you some good information on laws, ideas etc.

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