Neurodiversity

The Next Step

Once you check the checklist and have them tested, what happens if you test and find out that your child is not gifted? So what?! A gifted person and average person have the exact same value to the Lord. One is not better than the other. Just different. Pat yourself on the back. You still have a child with potential.

However, if you test and the child or children do turn out to be gifted, you have your homework cut out for you. Research, study and search out all you can on how to meet the educational, emotional, social, etc needs of the child or children that you’ve chosen to educate at home.

Here is a good starting point: http://www.teachersfirst.com/gifted_strategies.cfm

After that develop an action plan. Re-evaluate your lesson plans in light of your new awareness of their educational needs. Have fun and stay creative!

Lastly, find a community of people with similar challenges to you and your family for support.

It can be a wonderful yet challenging journey educating the gifted child at home. Trust God to lead you and be patient.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes…” Prov 3:5-7

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

*Be careful of online schemes to charge you for “free” IQ tests.

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Neurodiversity

First Things First

The first step should be to identify whether or not your child is gifted. Some parents struggle with this because they don’t want the child’s life to change or the child to somehow pack their tiny bags and go on an ego trip. The truth is, that even without the test results, their lives are already being affected.

The main benefits that I ave found from testing and proper placement is that
1) the child no longer feels as though there is something wrong with them. 2) The teacher or caregiver can now be pointed in the right direction to best help the child be guided through the learning process.

Prior to testing, check the checklist.
Here are some links to get started.

Could Your Child Be Gifted

I found this one the most helpful:
Identifying Gifted Children

And here’s another:
Characteristics of Gifted Children

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Neurodiversity

The Angst

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” -Albert Einstein

I’ve dreaded writing this post for many reasons. One of which is that regarding the topic of intelligence I find it to be open ended and worthy of further research. Secondly, it forces me to deal with my own childhood issues. Thirdly, I would have to admit that my child/children are gifted. Lastly, if in fact they are, I’d have to come up with answers to the difficult question…now what?

So often parents lay awake at night and dream about having and raising a gifted child. Not me. I know what it means. I know the isolation that the child and parents can feel. I know the frustration the teachers teaching them can feel. I know the ridicule that can be endured living in a culture that idolizes ignorance. (Dumb and Dumber and it’s sequel, and viral videos of self inflicted injuries)
But don’t break out the Kleenex just yet. If I have learned anything I’ve learned this: it’s neither better or worse to be gifted or raise gifted children. It’s not cause for celebration nor is it cause for mourning. It’s simply a condition in life to which one must adapt.
The problem is however, that it is not always easy to tell if a child is gifted. They often are perceived as difficult, problematic, high maintenance anarchists who resist authority, in varying degrees. Not only that, but people who are not gifted in the traditional sense can be talented, hard working and determined, and achieve the same results as (and in some cases better) than the gifted person. In fact, there are many gifted people in life who end up utter failures or at least falling short of what they could have been.
Why? Because of simple misunderstanding.

There are traits common to the gifted, that without proper understanding, can seem more like a burden than a gift. Take, multipotentiality, for example. Or you could say, “good at too many things.” On the surface, it doesn’t appear to be a problem, yet it can be. Many people select a career based on their strengths and abilities and their interests follow. Now imagine standing before 12 doors and being told you must choose one. The average person faces these same doors, but only one or two may even open. With multipotentiality, 10 to 12 doors may be open and in a conventional education setting, you are told to pick one. Yet in picking one, you are saying no to 9 to 11 other doors. Furthermore, any door you say yes to will not lead to complete satisfaction because all of the strengths and abilities that opened the other doors will not be used. This dissatisfaction can lead to “bouncing” around from endeavor to endeavor, because we still erroneously assume that only one choice can be made.
Now assume that there actually exists the potential for a thirteenth door. One that utilizes all of the gifts and abilities and interests of the gifted child or adult. The only stipulation is that you have to create it for yourself.
The gifted child will never be satisfied stuck behind a desk, in a classroom surrounded by tasks that present no challenge, or within a class in which there are no opportunities for discovery, exploration or synthesis of information aquired. Moreover, the gifted adult will never be satisfied in a cubicle, office or traditional 9-5. The needs of the gifted don’t change as we age…we just learn to adapt our behavior to conform to societal norms.

Many professional educators will admit that having a gifted student or a special needs students requires the same patience and additional attention diverted from the main group.

Traditional ways of educating the child don’t work for gifted children. ( I would argue that traditional ways of educating the child don’t work for all children-Children are diverse and so are learning styles). It won’t work at home anymore than it will work in a more conventional setting.

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