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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Roll call...
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Thu, 01-24-2013 - 4:53pm

Looks like we've got some new members and it's always nice for newbies to have a reference to who is on the board. How about a general posting about you and where your family is at in terms of educating and living with gifted children.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2000
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 7:10pm

I'm a married work-at-home mom with one DS 14.  I started on the Parents Place boards when DS was 18 months old and had just memorized all of the makes and models of cars in the US and then moved on to birds of North America.  I loved feeling connected in those days to people who would not have given us "the look" if they had met us.  I still remember stories about all of your cool kids.  DS started at the local high school this year and is doing well.  He has never been a joiner, nor has he ever been academically inclined.  Suddenly, he is interested in every subject in school, doing great in the classes, and participating in lots of extracurriculars.  He's in speech & debate, robotics, and is an officer in FBLA.  He did great on the PSAT even though he wasn't aware that he was going to be taking it.  He had some ongoing medical stuff during middle school.  Long and short of it is that now he's in remission and, apparently, this is the first time since age three that he hasn't had at least some brain inflammation.  So he's really blossoming in ways we never would have imagined.  He is thinking of applying to transfer to a governor's school for next year.  Not sure if he will get in and, if he does, if he'd be able to handle the commute.  His homework speed is incredibly slow, so it might not be a match.  But it's neat that he's applying.  He even just submitted an idea to a student invention competition.  He is still very involved in the adult LEGO community in our area and has raised about $5k for charity over the past two years by selling custom minifigs during a fan con.  Oh - and he also has a part-time job importing records into a database.  He's still the same quirky, cool, kid.  But, in some ways, I no longer even recognize him.    

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 10:56am

What a great update, Suzanne! So many good things going on.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:22pm

I'm Theresa, mom to four. Oldest dd is 22, graduated from college, working as a microbiologist, in a pretty serious relationship with her bf (whom we like) and contemplating grad school in molecular/cellular. She's my intense and emotional one.

dd20 is a senior in college. She's my studious, responsible, organized one, carrying >3.9GPA. She's a liberal arts girl, a writer, and has been accepted into "Teach for America" to spend two years in a low-income school, teaching at the elementary level. She'll also get her masters degree in teaching during those two years, but eventually is thinking of law school. Whether she ends up in law or teaching, I think she'll always have that social justice/working to help others mindset.

Ds12 is in a 7th grade gifted (all core classes) program. He's just this month off his IEP after many, many years (for speech/language) and is thriving overall.  He plays chess, is on the math team, heading to regionals in science fair, national honor roll on the AMC8... but he also loves language and literature. He's a good, serious, organized kid. He plays the upright bass, in orchestra and a jazz group, and he runs CC and track. I figure he should be nice and steady - he's already passed me up in height and we just bought size 11.5 shoes.

ds10 is my baby (and does he know it). He is sweet, affectionate, not quite as organized or hard working (unless it comes to sport and games). He plays soccer, basketball, baseball and anything anyone will play with him (we don't allow football-we figure our genes do not lend themselves to sports scholarships so he needs to keep his brain intact :)). He also started violin this year and seems to love it. I know that he's at a later age than many gifted kids are when they start music, but frankly, I don't know if he had the focus to start earlier. It seems to have come at an ideal time. He's in a pull-out gifted but is bussed to the MS for pre-Algebra, so we've been pretty lucky with accommodations.

Overall, I think we're lucky to live in a great district, although at times I envy the unschooling route. Some days it feels like a rat race. Still, the angst of early elementary is gone and I think I feel like the kids are in a pretty good place and the school recognizes their giftedness. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 9:25pm

Edited.  Sorry it seems to reset the post placement to last.

Hello All,

I am Karen.  DS6 is an only.  He is considered 2e and introverted.  He is EG and Aspergers (which no longer exists and is now ASD).  We noticed DS was different very early on.  He was being watched for ASD as early as 11 months with a formal diagnosis at 38 months. We've been in therapy of some sort or another since he was 2 years old.  I am a strong fan of Early Intervention as I've seen the world open up for DS as he meets his challenges. 

DS's learning style is apparently very different from mainstream.  He likes to take a topic of interest and explore the begeezes out of it.  This intense attention span lasts from 3 months to a year.  The things he knows and understands literally takes the breath away from those who evaluate him.  Yet his weaknesses are so strong we struggle to keep those areas "at age".  The asynchrony is very difficult to manage.

I've been surprised by some reactions to his giftedness.  I had expected that to be more accepted than the ASD.  Around age 2, we started having significant issues with family members.  Our exposure to the community outside of immediate family has been a slow and rocky progression.  The only place I discuss DS's giftedness is here.

We've tried several different types of schools in the hopes of finding a way to meet all DS's needs.  The Montessori school was good about letting him exlpore the way he loves, but did not push enough for the social interaction, so he did none of that.  Nor did he chose things like fine motor.  Great for strengths, terrible for weaknesses.

Our next try was a private school preschool (TK).  They promised the moon.  They did a decent job with teaching him to be part of a group (which he loves), but did nothing to meet him academically.  We decided at that age, the group stuff was more important and went with it.  I did not supplement at home as the school environment was a really big adjustment for DS.  He did well at school, but at home he let it all out (thank goodness he waited to come home).  He was one stressed kiddo.  But he learned a lot about friendship and they did a lot of fine motor activites throughout the day. 

This year, we are doing a blend.  He is in the same private school as last year.  This year he is in Kindy.  He is in the advanced group for reading and math (the only 2 subjects they accelerate) and gets first grade for both.  They refuse to advance more than 18 months, even though DS tested for 3rd grade placement in both areas.  They give him 'enrichment' exercises, which is more of the same work, not more challenging work.  But this year's teacher is phenomenal on his weaknesses.  She puts him in leadership roles as often as possible and he is flourishing.  We are very pleased.  At home, DS explores and experiments to his heart's content.  I do not push homework nearly like one would assume I would.  I like letting his creative juices flow instead.  He already can do the reading assignments and the math work, so I don't make him waste his time reviewing it to meet a homework time requirement.

Next year I plan to homeschool exclusively.  I consider the stuff we do while not in school and before school homeschooling as he learned a ton more at home than he has at school.  That being said, we've spent so much time bringing his weaknesses up to par, I am a little unsure about how to meet his gifted needs.  I'm flying by the seat of my pants right now and follow his lead.  It seems to be a good system so far.  I am not sure how to address the asynchrony of his development and fit him in the molds society insists on for extracurricular stuff.

Karen

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 1:02pm
Okay, now the boards seem to be working, so I can give it a try now. I have two DDs, 14 and 10. They are both gifted in music, but my younger DD is profoundly gifted and working with a university professor who specializes in work with highly gifted young musicians. Our road up to this point has been rocky, but now we're on the right track, I think. I first noticed that DD was different when she was about six and participating in group violin lessons. She had spontaneously learned everything the other children were playing, including the much older children, and began playing the teacher's parts too. The teacher pulled me aside and said that DD had a special gift and that she had never seen anything like it before. She asked if she could take over teaching her, which only worked for a short while as I soon had a seven-year-old spontaneously playing pieces that were too long and intricate to play without reading notes, yet the teacher had no ides how to intervene and teach her to sight read. What made things worse was that I don't play any musical instruments and cannot read notes, and DD had long passed the point where I could try to learn to help her. DD's only "practice" at this point consisted of playing whatever she wanted for as long as she wanted to with absolutely no guidance. We were recommended for a state-run music program at the arts university for profoundly gifted children and DD came under the guidance of one of the university professors who run the program. Since then she has two violin lessons a week so she doesn't have time to spontaneously learn a new piece that goes uncorrected before her next lesson. Her supporting violin teacher has been instructing all of the young participants in the state program for fifteen years now and says she has only encountered cases like DD once or twice in that time. She learns so quickly it seems like she always knew what she was playing. Recently she started playing a piece from front to back and at first I thought it had been one of her sister's older pieces, but it was actually a piece she heard another young gifted violinist play twice at a rehearsal. I am here because while DD receives plenty of kudos and acceptance IRL, her gift gives her a number of difficulties that no one entirely understands. She is often edgy and plays or sings nonstop. "Off" notes disturb her and wrongly played music is immediately ingrained into her memory, where it takes ages to unravel. She probably has perfect pitch, say both the professor and her teacher, but this is often a disadvantage. Her general development is also noticeably asynchronous; she spoke extremely late and has pretty pronounced difficulties with vocabulary, grammar and storytelling. On the other hand, she is advanced in math, sports and spelling, and her reading aloud is, strangely enough, extremely advanced. She doesn't care that much about achievement at school because she claims she wants to be a musician, preferably a singer. She happens to have a powerful, true singing voice and would like singing lessons, but she can't get them here until she's about twelve. She's really only happy when she's playing music, doing sports or playing make-believe. She had pretty much stopped using any toys that couldn't be used as theater props by the time she turned eight. A lot of people ask me what I do with DD to get her to make music like she does. The answer is nothing, and the truth is that I simply can't stop her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 12:24pm

Thank you, Turtle! Between my technical difficulties and flu running through the household, I've been remiss in my CL duties.  I'm mom to a 2E (twice exceptional--gifted plus impairments in other areas) 7-year-old and a 3-year-old with perfect pitch and rhythm.  I fall into the camp that believes that a) age four is too early to screen for giftedness in school (which is what they do in my area) and b) gifted kids do have different educational needs, which should be met just as any other child's needs should be.  We've found the TAG program in our district to be a better fit than the general ed., but still not a great fit because our gifted child also has ADHD and fine motor and visual issues.   Welcome to all of our newbies!

Gwen

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc248/gwennyc/b6yfcl.png<A href="http://s218.photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Sun, 02-17-2013 - 9:23am
I haven't been here in ages, and it is nice to see some familiar names still here. This is my third time trying to reply, so lets see if I can be a bit more concise this time around- not my strength! I started coming to this and the old AP'er board around 2004 when my twin boys were 2, and haven't been in a long while. They are now 11 years old and in Grade 5 and generally doing quite well. They are both in Scouts and play the piano - not seriously, but in grade 4 and very much enjoying it. They have been tested EG, but that isn't always apparent, except with their choice of books and discussions between them. One has an amazing memory for things he has read. A small team of psychologists have suggested that he has aspergers, but we have not felt the need to pursue a formal diagnosis so far. The other boy is also quirky, and extremely similar to his brother, but with minor differences that no one has really been able to put their finger on. With the exception of some organizational issues, they manage to function extremely well. Currently the boys are in grade 5 in a language immersion school. Grades 2 and 3 were nightmares for them. They had good teachers, but under direction from the (then) principal, expected a certain type of behavior and skills from them in terms of self-direction and organization that they simply could not do, and consequently they shut down. The improvement seems to be partially a crisis (one ran away from school at recess, which caused the administration to look at things more closely, request a counsellor, and acknowledge a problem). I think a large part of the reason that things are better is simply that both boys have matured significantly and are better able to be self-directing with their energy and enthusiasm. They’ve rekindled their own spark of learning. It is not lost on me that when they needed help and differentiation the most it was denied (because they weren’t doing their existing work, which was acknowledge to be very simple for them), and when they were able to take care of their own needs they were suddenly offered more help. I also have a DD4 who is the sole extrovert in our family of introverts. It has been quite a shock to us all. It is hard to pinpoint where she might be at intellectually. She does not have the compulsion to memorize facts or do puzzles or mazes for hours on end as her brothers had, but is bright, independent and goes through life with a confidence and 'sass' that we enjoy. She has a social knack none of us have and we cannot convince her that there is anyone who is a stranger. She views every person she doesn’t know as someone she should get to know, and she has stunning success with it. There were a few milestones she hit sooner than her brothers: all physical, verbal and early pattern recognition, but she did not carry these through to any exceptional level once the foundations were learned. Many of the cognitive ones that she hit sooner may have been because she had earlier exposure to early literacy toys (puzzles and things). Her brothers have taught her to love math, and she is adopting a love of books that is pervasive in our family. If I had to guess, I'd say she is MG, but I can't say that for sure. She may be more, she may be less. She is in a “GT” pre-K program. (They categorize as "GT" fairly broadly, based on a 20 minute interview and assessment and a fairly broad interpretation, using the confidence intervals. Despite that she only reads at about a grade 1 level she is at the top of her class.) She is annoyed at not being allowed yet to take piano lessons like her brothers. Last fall she just wasn't ready to let herself be taught; we have always had to work hard to convince her she isn't in charge and should follow directions. She is ready now, and eager to start. Her brothers show her a few things on the piano. AFM, I was a SAHM for much of the time I posted here, but have gone back to a law practice. It has been very challenging with very limited time resources for the kids, and the guilt that goes along with that. DH has been away for about 2.5 years of the last 4 with 2 tours to Afghanistan and some other taskings. I'm extremely glad to have him back now. I'm in western Canada at the moment, though not in m00minmama's neck of the woods. I grew up in that region, and after having lived coast to coast, have come to the conclusion that it will always be most beautiful to me. So, I'm back here after a few years. I'm hoping that a little bit of time here will help me find a place again where I can talk or brag more freely about details around my kids. It isn't that they are doing anything stellar, but things aren’t typical either. I find that more and more often there would be unfortunate consequences if I talk too much about my kids. There are other parents around who are worried that their children aren’t academically strong enough, and I know that there is very little I can say that will not make them worry more by comparison. I miss having a place to be amused when the boys choose to bring a chemistry text, economics book, or the Criminal Code of Canada to school for extra fun, or a place to roll my eyes (for lack of a better way of phrasing it) when my DD4 insists she will write out all her own valentines for both daycare and school. Shari
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
In reply to: s_mouse
Sun, 02-17-2013 - 9:24am

Honestly, there were paragraphs in there when I wrote it!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Mon, 02-18-2013 - 10:59am
Yeah, I know. Paragraphing goes missing a lot of the time here lately. Nice to see you around here again! Where did you grow up? Just curious .... Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
In reply to: s_mouse
Mon, 02-18-2013 - 12:17pm

Born in Trail & lived in the W.K. region until university. A few summers were spent up in your area. My sons were able to go back there for a month last summer, but mostly C'gar, Nelson, etc. with their Grampa. Best opportunity they've ever had for hiking and woodcraft and the more natural/slow-paced side of life... and "swimming" over bridges and other bike paths with their bikes, lol. They are working past most of their muscle tone issues, so biking there (hills) is more of an option now than before. I'm hoping that they will be able to go back again this summer. Their Grampa is talking about taking them on some bike trails, one with a gondola-type contraption across a creek. (?)  

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