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What does 'gifted' mean


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#1 Cat Burglar

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:24 PM

Just reading the 'competitive parents' thread recently about how a lot of people think their child is gifted and obviously they are 'just normal'. I wondered if maybe there are a lot of parents of gifted children on EB simply because there are so many parents on here, then I realised I don't actually know what a 'gifted' child is.

For example, my brother has a PHD from Oxford uni, he finished it in about 2 years, a masters in about 6 months and he did 2 degrees at once back when people didnt do double degrees. So obviously pretty smart, but at school he was fairly normal until about year 10 or 11. He was never skipped ahead or anything. But would he be considered 'gifted' nowadays? Or does gifted mean talents showing up at a very young age?
Thoughts?

#2 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:25 PM

He would have been considered gifted if he had an IQ score above a certain level.  He obviously has the IQ to succeed and the drive to succeed.

#3 tibs

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:35 PM

My son has been tested by an educational psychologist and found to have an IQ in the 99.9th percentile so in the top 0.1 percent of the population; the report stated that he was gifted.  I would say that gifted is a term with a fairly strict definition based on IQ testing carried out by a professional (not a check your IQ here website for example).  I read the competitive parents thread and have no doubt that many responders would also scoff at my son being gifted and say he was 'just normal' too, not that I go around telling all and sundry he is gifted anyway  wink.gif

#4 baddmammajamma

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:44 PM

I think the Hoagies'Gifted Education site does a pretty good job at trying to answer "What does 'gifted' mean. I don't think there is a really simple definition!



What is gifted?  How is it defined?  Who are the gifted?  What are their needs?  Why should we care?  So many questions...

What is giftedness?  There is no universal definition.  Some professionals define "gifted" as an intelligence test score above 130, two or more standard deviations above the norm, or the top 2.5%.  Others define "gifted" based on scholastic achievement: a gifted child works 2 or more grade levels above his or her age.  Still others see giftedness as prodigious accomplishment: adult-level work while chronologically a child.  But these are far from the only definitions.  

Former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Marland, Jr., in his August 1971 report to Congress, stated:

Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.

No Child Left Behind legislation created a new, achievement-based definition of giftedness, however it does not mandate that states use its definition:

The term “gifted and talented”, when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.
(Title IX, Part A, Section 9101(22), p. 544)

A group of respected professionals in the field of gifted suggest a definition based on the gifted child's differences from the norm:
"Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally." The Columbus Group, 1991, cited by Martha Morelock, "Giftedness: The View from Within", in Understanding Our Gifted, January 1992


There certainly are EBers who have gifted kids -- even highly, exceptionally, or profoundly gifted (kids whose IQs are in the 99.8th, 99.9th, 99.9+th percentile). And some of us have kids at those levels who also have other "special powers" (the whole "Twice Exceptional" deal - gifted with special needs of gifted with learning disabilities).

ETA: I agree with taranicole. You won't see a lot of really open discussion about gifted kids on EB because of the inherent eye rolling that tends to occur when the subject comes up. I don't consider being gifted or having a gifted child to be an achievement though -- it's what a person does with their giftedness that counts!

Edited by baddmammajamma, 26 May 2012 - 07:53 PM.


#5 madmother

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

i was reading an article on this at the GP yesterday (in Kids on the Coast).

It was really interesting as it talked of the challenges.

We are going into a meeting next week about DS2.

The only teacher he does not clash/have issues with spoke to me casually last week.

The term which drew my attention:  "He is really engaged and producing the exceptional work I knew he could."

Engaged. The biggest challenge gifted kids face.

The other teaches tend to put him back to basics if he does not conform. Which creates this cycle of even worse behaviour.

We will be addressing this in the meeting, believe me.

Grade 7. You'd a thought they'd have worked it out by now, eh? Especially as they were the ones to push for him to be tested, and the first to call him "gifted"...


Back to add:

My DS1 who is on the autism spectrum is far easier and happier in life than his brother. The issues these kids face can be massive.

And terrifying as parents.

Edited by madmother, 26 May 2012 - 07:58 PM.


#6 whatnamenow

Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

Most parents of 'gifted' children i know of will not tell you or brag about their 'gifted' child.  I find its usually the parents of normal children who want to tell you how fantastic their child is because he  walked earlier/ talked earlier/came first in maths test/insert the usual, that talk about how 'gifted' their child is.  

Some gifted children you wouldnt even notice in a normal classroom setting.  DD1 has a 137 IQ and had completed most of grade 12 english at grade 4.  But quietly spends her days in class working hard at her maths as its something she actually finds difficult.  But start an argument with her and you quickly learn you better know your subject....

#7 madmother

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

Article HERE.

#8 Lilymoon

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (taranicole @ 26/05/2012, 07:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Gifted kids don't always perform better academically either and many have learning disabilities as well.


I am asking a question with no malice so please don't jump to the conclusion that I mean to be insulting in anyway because I am only after information which is why I am posting this question. How can a child have a learning disability and be gifted? Doesn't being gifted mean they learn faster than others so are accelerated?



edited for clairty, typos

Edited by Lilymoon, 26 May 2012 - 08:11 PM.


#9 Peta Feral

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:08 PM

Can I add my own experiences?

As a child I was in the 'gifted and talented' program in primary school, and in the 'streamed' class in high school (for the 'smart' kids). I had an IQ of 130. In reality, all this meant to me was I found schoolwork fairly easy and I read a lot of books.

In retrospect though, I have recently come to realise that the fact that things were easy for me has meant that I have never worked very hard for anything. I don't regret my career, but I do think now that if I had needed to work hard at something at school I would have learnt that lesson, and used it in my adult life. My younger sister always needed to work hard at school and she has already achieved at27 things I haven't at 34.

Was just thinking about this recently and thought I'd share my 2 cents.

#10 madmother

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE
In reality, all this meant to me was I found schoolwork fairly easy and I read a lot of books.
This is what we face with DS2. It is all so easy, yet his brother beats him because he is methodical, loves learning, is self-motivated.

We know why, trying to change the attitude is what is driving us nuts.

#11 whatnamenow

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

QUOTE (Lilymoon @ 26/05/2012, 08:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How can a child have a disability and be gifted?


Alot of gifted children have a special interest/talent in terms of academia. Just like most people if they have an interest in it they will want to explore that interest further.  This leads some gifted children to have a wide difference in their abilities.

A child can also test extremly highly yet have issues such as dyslexia which can mask actual ability.

Then there are the children who are generally bored in class and feel the work is 'beneath' their abilities and simply refuse to do it so are classed as troublemakers.  When most children need to hear/work on the same information 4 times to get it to set in and my daughter only needs to hear it once.  She can get quite contrary when told to just do the worksheet.

#12 Erma Gerd

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE
In retrospect though, I have recently come to realise that the fact that things were easy for me has meant that I have never worked very hard for anything. I don't regret my career, but I do think now that if I had needed to work hard at something at school I would have learnt that lesson, and used it in my adult life. My younger sister always needed to work hard at school and she has already achieved at27 things I haven't at 34.

I totally agree- I had a very similar experience.

#13 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

Quill, I think you are talking about the difference between gifted and talented.  You can be gifted and have a talent, be talented or simply be gifted.

An IQ test tests pure intelligence (or g).  It is perfectly possible for an individual to have a very high IQ but not be able to demonstrate their giftedness.  An achievement test tests for achievement which is a different animal to pure IQ.

Take a child with an IQ over 150 but who has profound dyslexia and a phonological processing disorder.  An IQ test which does not discriminate for learning disorders will give you the IQ but test that child with a WISC which does and their IQ will be considerably lower.

Give that child a smartpen, Dragon Naturally Speaking and an iPad and a supportive classroom and they can succeed.  Give them none of that and they will not be able to show what they can do.

#14 Guest_NinjahAlpaca_*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:28 PM

My DD is gifted in her ability to make me feel like the best mother on the planet.  Yes, corny as hell, but man, if you could measure Love Intelligence in a child she'd be off the scale.

She also reads a lot and has nearly graduated from law school at the ripe old age of 7.  And A Half.

wink.gif



#15 brazen

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:28 PM

it really is about the proper testing. one of my children is gifted yet performing at totally average level at school and has never been invited to participate in any gifted activities. we are trying to have another tested, that one is performing around 2 years ahead of her peers yet still hasn't been selected for any gifted programs or extension at school. the last has tested with an average IQ yet the school were pretty sure we'd get a gifted result.

schools & teachers' ideas of what gifted means are very different to the actual wink.gif

#16 WinterIsComing

Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (madmother @ 26/05/2012, 07:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Engaged. The biggest challenge gifted kids face.




QUOTE (PetaSiddle @ 26/05/2012, 08:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I add my own experiences?

As a child I was in the 'gifted and talented' program in primary school, and in the 'streamed' class in high school (for the 'smart' kids). I had an IQ of 130. In reality, all this meant to me was I found schoolwork fairly easy and I read a lot of books.

In retrospect though, I have recently come to realise that the fact that things were easy for me has meant that I have never worked very hard for anything. I don't regret my career, but I do think now that if I had needed to work hard at something at school I would have learnt that lesson, and used it in my adult life. My younger sister always needed to work hard at school and she has already achieved at27 things I haven't at 34.

Was just thinking about this recently and thought I'd share my 2 cents.


I agree with the above due to my personal experience.

Gifted means nada unless the child is presented with a space and encouragement to work hard to utilise his talents.

The definition is important, as it gives parents motivation and structure to give their child the right learning environment.

Personally, I was also 'gifted', but never encouraged to be a disciplined hard worker.  I have fared quite well in life, including academically and professionally, but in my heart of hearts know that I never realised my fullest potential.

DH was higly highly gifted, sharp analytical mind, but grew up in circumstances with financial and personal constraints, and also feels a sense of loss of potential.

Parents of gifted childred pusuing right opportunities for their kids are doing them an enormous favour, rather than being competitive.


#17 Jane Jetson

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:07 PM

I'd imagine it would have to do with IQ testing, but also with less tangible qualities such as curiosity, the ability to cross-reference and extrapolate ideas, a vivid imagination, that sort of thing.

It's a shame that there is a culture of assuming that anybody talking about their gifted child must be big-noting themselves and their family.

I think failure to help a gifted child to enjoy and exercise their gift - not so much reach their potential, because not everybody *wants* to - and seek out opportunities for learning and intellectual challenge is frankly irresponsible. And on that note here's an evil sideways glare for my parents for discouraging my education when I was young and impressionable and dozy enough to do as they said. Seriously, if I go back to uni now and study all the stuff that fascinates me I will end up with a HECS debt the size of the GDP...

#18 *lalah*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:18 PM

QUOTE (PetaSiddle @ 26/05/2012, 07:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I add my own experiences?

As a child I was in the 'gifted and talented' program in primary school, and in the 'streamed' class in high school (for the 'smart' kids). I had an IQ of 130. In reality, all this meant to me was I found schoolwork fairly easy and I read a lot of books.

In retrospect though, I have recently come to realise that the fact that things were easy for me has meant that I have never worked very hard for anything. I don't regret my career, but I do think now that if I had needed to work hard at something at school I would have learnt that lesson, and used it in my adult life. My younger sister always needed to work hard at school and she has already achieved at27 things I haven't at 34.

Was just thinking about this recently and thought I'd share my 2 cents.
i totally agree. I was 'gifted', was tested and had a high iq and ended up in a special high school program and skipped a grade.

Then i wasnt smartest in the class any more, but i had never developed a work ethic, aaand all my self esteem was wrapped up in being 'smart'. It sucked, i was down on myself and just gave up. And i have achieved far less than other kids who might not have found the work as easy, but were more stable. I had undiagnosed bipolar too though, so it might have been a combination of things.


#19 *sassy*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:26 PM

I find this thread fascinating and hope you can indulge me with the anwers to a couple of questions...

1.  What was the impetus for having your children tested?

2.  Can IQ change - if it is considerably high as a youngster does that necessarily mean it will stay high as they get older?

Thanks - genuinely interested in this discussion!

#20 *lalah*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:33 PM

QUOTE (*sassy* @ 26/05/2012, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find this thread fascinating and hope you can indulge me with the anwers to a couple of questions...

1.  What was the impetus for having your children tested?

2.  Can IQ change - if it is considerably high as a youngster does that necessarily mean it will stay high as they get older?

Thanks - genuinely interested in this discussion!

I cant answer from a parents perspective, but my school set up testing for me. The high school program was something all kids had an opportunity to try out for, a decision i made on my own at 12. It included iq test at the school, then a secind round if testing (including writing a short story and some mathsy logic stuff) and then an interview and then a letter saying i was in! My parents weren't really keen on me going in it tbh.

I,m not sure about the iq changing thing.

Eta sorry for all the typos, tablet keep freezing on me and i cant be bothered changing it all

Edited by *lalah*, 26 May 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#21 Guest_NinjahAlpaca_*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE
Then i wasnt smartest in the class any more, but i had never developed a work ethic, aaand all my self esteem was wrapped up in being 'smart'. It sucked, i was down on myself and just gave up. And i have achieved far less than other kids who might not have found the work as easy, but were more stable.


I was smartest kid ever.  Skipped grade, top of class always, got a scholarship and then got to about year 11 when I actually had to think and study.

I'd never needed to think and study and had no idea how to do it.  Everything had just come naturally to me until that point.  I effed up so badly at that point and basically at everything I've ever done since then.

I like to think I peaked at 11.

sad.gif



#22 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:36 PM

We suspected dyslexia and we were right.

IQ does not drop but learning disabilities can make the number drop.  You can use a test like the WPPSI which does not discriminate for learning disabilities with a very young child and then retest with the WISC or SB and then see a lower score because the LDs have had an impact on the whole score.  A GAI can be used to score in those circumstances with the WISC.  You can also look at how many ceilings were scored and if you have 3 and a lower IQ than expected chances are the IQ is higher than the raw score.

There are a few different opinions on all that though wink.gif.  Some people would say that the WPPSI is not a good test as IQ is fluid until a kid is older.

#23 *lalah*

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:40 PM

QUOTE (NinjahAlpaca @ 26/05/2012, 09:05 PMwhen) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was smartest kid ever.  Skipped grade, top of class always, got a scholarship and then got to about year 11 when I actually had to think and study.

I'd never needed to think and study and had no idea how to do it.  Everything had just come naturally to me until that point.  I effed up so badly at that point and basically at everything I've ever done since then.

I like to think I peaked at 11.yup, i quit high

sad.gif

When i was young i found i was very black and white about it all, probably because of immaturity - if i can't do it i,m stupid. If im not the best, im stupid. I never understood that you can work and get better at something, at the time i thought natural ability was everything and you were either a have or have not. So it would frustrate me that 'dumb' kids got better grades and kjobs or whatever than me!




#24 baddmammajamma

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (*sassy* @ 26/05/2012, 09:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find this thread fascinating and hope you can indulge me with the anwers to a couple of questions...

1.  What was the impetus for having your children tested?

2.  Can IQ change - if it is considerably high as a youngster does that necessarily mean it will stay high as they get older?

Thanks - genuinely interested in this discussion!


Sassy, I can't speak for all parents, but we had a few reasons for having our daughter tested:

* Most importantly, we wanted to understand more about her inner workings -- her strengths, what learning styles might best suit her, just "how" gifted she is etc. Because special needs can often mask giftedness, we wanted to get as accurate a picture as possible of her entire profile.

* Confirmation of her giftedness (beyond grandma saying, "She is such a bright button.") It has been our experience that schools *do* take notice of high scores from formal cognitive testing.

* So I could best all of those obnoxious mothers who made me feel like crap when my daughter wasn't speaking as early as their little cherubs. wink.gif  Just kidding (but I'm serious about the first two points).



#25 bailee

Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

QUOTE (tibs @ 26/05/2012, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My son has been tested by an educational psychologist and found to have an IQ in the 99.9th percentile so in the top 0.1 percent of the population; the report stated that he was gifted.  I would say that gifted is a term with a fairly strict definition based on IQ testing carried out by a professional (not a check your IQ here website for example).  I read the competitive parents thread and have no doubt that many responders would also scoff at my son being gifted and say he was 'just normal' too, not that I go around telling all and sundry he is gifted anyway  wink.gif

I could have written this post! My son was tested when he was younger as part of a research study and the report stated he was on the 99.9th percentile. We are about to have him tested again - he is now 6.5 because the test is more reliable for the older kids but his psychologist is adamant that she will see a similar result with the different test. We need his school to take notice of his ability (he has physical disability and everyone tends to focus on that).  

But I dont mention that my son is in the gifted group on forums generally because the one time I did I got the whole - 'he's just normal' routine. However they dont get that he is really different to other kids - he is easily anxious to the point that it is a disability, he's frustrated with school because he is not challenged enough, he cant relate to other kids because they talk a different language to him, etc. People who know my DS get that he is gifted, however i dont talk about it very often, but friends do comment on it - not in a negative way but like a reminder as though I have forgotten about it (maybe cause I dont make a point of it).




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