Second answer in Session 4: I found it enlightening that a gifted child with poor social skills might get misdiagnosed as having Aspergers...thereby subjecting the child to interventions that are not needed or helpful, and not recieving opportunities that would be helpful. That sounds like a joke to me in the current climate of having any services go through a boatload of examination. I think it is far more likely that a child with Aspergers will go undiagnosed for giftedness, and that the child will not receive needed interventions for either Aspergers or gifteness, except by a thoughtful teacher somewhere.
It is very sad to see how as a nation there is no financial support allocated for GT programs. These could be the future scientists or great thinkers of their generation, but because of the lack of funding to keep them interested in school, we are loosing them to underachievement. We invest in our special educations children to allow them a decent future, but what about the future of our talented kids?
A big eye-opening for me was the Auditory Processing Disorder (page 260) because I have a student in my class that struggles blocking out background noise and gets easily frustrated with it. I notice that she does well in the mornings -as explained on page 261, and have more difficulty (very often frustration) in the afternoons when the kids come back wild from specials. Even though I have already made some accommodations for her, I can use some of the strategies mentioned in the book to help her out.Also, I strongly agree with the authors when they mention that "The diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is supposed to be a diagnosis of last resort, to be made by exclusion only after ruling out all other possible causes of behavior" (page 263); More than an eye opening for me, it is a reassurance of my deepest believes towards unnecessarily medicating our kids instead of taking the time to correctly identify the underlying causes of their behavior and dealing with it.
An "eye-opener" to me was how many different approaches there are to GT programs. Chapter 14 talks about "Finding a good educational fit" and on pages 298-305 the book lists many different programs that schools use to enrich their GT populations. A few approaches were the cluster grouping, enrichment in the classroom, enrichment using a resource (send-out)and then acceleration options of sending the kids to a higher grade level or just letting the students move more quickly through a subject. I just thought it was really interesting that we have come up with so many ways to serve the GT population.
Response to JBrown: I think is great that we can provide a variety of options for our gifted students to accommodate their different needs, backgrounds, and family situations. The international Baccalaureate program has been an excellent option for my gifted nephews who were originally served at a regular school with the pull out and in-classroom accommodation approach. At their new school they are challenged, motivated and free of expressing themselves through academic conversations and creative work, away from the bullying they were previously subjected to. As they expressed themselves to my sister “Mom, in this school they are all smart like me, I’m not the smart one anymore, I am one more of the bunch”. I think not only their intellectual needs are being met, but also their sense of belonging, which –in my opinion, is the greatest thing that could have ever happened to them.
PV: I found the section on the similarities and differences between gifted behaviors and ADHD (p. 265) quite interesting. It highlighted the need to always consider a child's motivation in doing certain things instead of merely ruling it out as a behavioral concern.
Students can be gifted in one area and deficient in other areas. I've seen a number of gifted students over the years who did so poorly in my class I thought the system was in error in labeling them gifted. Perhaps they were gifted in another area. I wonder if schools should identify the area students are gifted in rather than applying a blanket gifted label.
@JBrown: I, too, was surprised at how many different approaches there are. I haven't taught at many schools so I haven't seen many approaches that are listed here.
At Dave A: I hadn't thought of a more specific identification of GT. It usually is passed along orally in primary grades...but that is not particularly helpful for high school, and especially college.
parent involvement: from helping determine a disorder to evaluating the appropriateness of the school's programs.
I enjoyed reading the section on Learning Disabilities in Gifted Children because it really spelled out the areas of concern. Labels are important and need to be accurately addressed. This chapter was good for educators as well as parents because it could provide eye opening exposure to other disabilities that may not have been discovered and were just masked by the Gifted qualities, which I feel is often the case. There are children too who are not identified as Gifted but truly are and these other disabilities mask the giftedness on the flip side.