Jul 1, 2011

Trust your instincts, parent

"She doesn't seem that bright to me - I have been teaching for 20 years, and just because she is a good reader doesn't mean she is gifted."
"All children are gifted."
"In the top 99.9 percentile? I have another 7 or 8 kids just like him in my class."
"It all evens out by Year 3."
"You shouldn't push her so hard. All parents think their children are gifted."
"What is so special about gifted? It is just academic talent, that's all."
Do teachers know best? Are they your go-to expert on giftedness?
It has been our overwhelming experience as a family that parents seem more horrified by the idea of a gifted child than over-eager to call their child "gifted". And as for waiting for the teacher to speak up and give you the truth...well, I wouldn't hold your breath. Looks like less than 10% of gifted kids are identified correctly by their teachers.
Here is an insightful article published in The Australian newspaper. Read the original here.
Spot the brainiac
Greg Callaghan - The Australian Newspaper June 18, 2011
SNAP quiz: who's the best judge of whether a child is gifted or not: their parents or their teachers?
Answer: their parents – by a huge margin. Parents are between 66 per cent and 100 per cent accurate in spotting giftedness in their child, while for teachers, the figure hovers at a humiliating 4-10 per cent, as borne out by a raft of recent surveys. “Parents see their kids performing a range of tasks in a variety of contexts, while teachers would be lucky to get one lecture on gifted children during their entire training,” says Dr Louise Porter, a respected child psychologist and education expert based in Queensland.
Porter’s research has helped demolish many of the myths about gifted children, most notably that parents rosily overestimate their offspring’s intelligence. While the exact meaning of the term “gifted child” has been a source of heated debate, most experts now agree that they total no more than 3-5 per cent of the child population. Gifted kids have high IQs, ace their peers on other standardised tests, and are usually high achievers in most fields (maths, language, science, music) because of the sheer processing speed of their brains, a product of their genetic inheritance. It’s been found that parents with a tertiary education have a one in 10 chance of having a gifted child, while for those who never finished high school (because of a lack of academic ability, not economic hardship), the figure drops to about one in 10,000.
And it seems the 21st century’s digital world is giving birth to a new type of gifted child. “This is the first generation of children learning by means other than listening,” notes Porter. “A mother of two from Hong Kong recently came to me; she knew her young daughter was gifted but was worried about her son, who she suspected might be autistic. It turned out both children had an IQ of 140 – the boy was visually gifted, the girl language gifted.” The next masters of the universe may well be the visual learners, Porter says: engineers, architects, film directors, sculptors.
I am doubly sure after reading this, that when in doubt seek out a gifted child expert and test IQ! Once you have the information, your choices will become easier.
You may also like this post "No, not every child is gifted". See "Gifted Pointers in the tab above for a shorter version.
What is your experience with Gifted identification?

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