Higher Percentage of Sensory Challenges with Gifted Children

With everything I post, some people may agree or not agree and I am ok with that. But in my opinion (and there is information to support this by others), there can be a correlation between being gifted and having sensory challenges. I do believe that many gifted children have intensities can also include the senses.

Unfortunately, I do think there is a social stigma about talking about “sensory processing disorder” and its direct correlation to other disorders. But it is getting to be a more common term in education and hopefully more accepted too. It can be debilitating but can also be minor and easily adapted for when it is understood.

Here are two articles about gifted children and sensory processing disorder. I would HIGHLY recommend any parent of gifted children read it. Your child might not exhibit these characteristics but I bet some other children around you do.  Always good to be an informed parent. 🙂

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Last Minute Holiday Idea- Tapple!

One of my favorite AIG teachers recommended this game to me. It looks like so much fun! I am definitely going to get this for my fourth and fifth grade students. Each round is short and could also be a great time filler for teachers.

Description from the website:

Tap the Tapple Wheel!

Tapple is the award-winning, fast-paced word game that gives families & friends a rush of excitement as they compete to beat the timer! No need to spell  just say your word, tap the timer, and pass the Tapple Wheel. The last person standing wins the round!
Tapple will entertain your friends & family during holiday get-togethers, parties and more! The kids won’t even know they’re learning as they rush to tap the timer!
AGES 8+
2-8 players
10-20 minutes play time
MSRP $19.95

http://www.amazon.com/Tapple-Fast-Word-Fun-Everyone/dp/B00BBLI5CC

Shh… Don’t Tell Anyone I am Gifted

Ashamed

Why do children feel ashamed to be gifted?

Why is there such a social stigma about children (or adults) being gifted?

Why does a parent have to hide this trait or tell their children to keep it to themselves?

But why do we say “Maybe they will grow up to be a lawyer or a doctor”?

Why do we say we value education… but only if everyone fits the normal mold?

I recently heard a parent tell me that someone was debating our school because the word “gifted” was in the name. It was not the first time I have heard this comment and I am sure it won’t be the last. But every time I hear that, it makes me sad because parents are ashamed their child is “gifted”. Wonder how that child feels? Wonder how they will perceive their abilities as they grow up?

Would this be the same parental attitude if the child was naturally a talented athlete verses being a talented student academically? 

Thank you Julie E. Creech for  this amazing perspective on how it feels to be gifted. Maybe it will provide insight for people that don’t understand.

Wow- This is a Gifted Individual

I just found this Ted Talks this week and I am so amazed at this man. He has faced so many obstacles and overcame them. I cannot imagine doing half of what he has done- intellectually, professionally, and physically. Amazing!!

Image from: http://crossfiteastbay.com/personal-training/maximus/russell-reddenbaugh/

Challenges of Being Gifted

Another fantastic TED Talks about difficulties/challenges in being gifted. I do believe there is a big misunderstanding about what it means to be gifted and it is not easy or better. This is definitely worth 6:50 of time! Thanks to The Grayson School in Pennsylvania for posting it.

Interesting Short Article about Benefits of Gifted Programs

I subscribe to a daily online gifted “newspaper” (that is what it looks like to me) and often find some great articles posted- Mr. Gelston Digest. Today, there was one about the power of gifted programs for students. Several great points were made but this one kinda stuck with me:

According to a recent report on high-achieving students, more than 7 in 10 teachers of these students surveyed noted that their brightest students were not challenged or given a chance to “thrive” in their classrooms. [1] Additionally, gifted students need gifted programming in many cases because the “general education program is not yet ready to meet the needs of gifted students” (p. 9) due to lack of general educators’ training in gifted education and the pressure classroom teachers face to raise the performance of their struggling students. [2] 

See more at: http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-education-practices/why-are-gifted-programs-needed#sthash.szlCQH6O.dpuf

Need More Holiday Ideas??

zometool

One of my favorite teachers I have worked with sent me this link over the weekend with some great toys, apps and books listed for gifted children. It is definitely worth scanning through the list.

I LOVE this toy: Zometool for math or spatial gifted children. They have lots of resources posted on the website for the toy- including resources for educators. I think this might be a learning tool we buy.

I found a review of the toy that showed how the toy works and would be great for gifted children.

Another one of my favorites that I think would lend to some really great discussions with gifted children was titled: Where Children Sleep. I looked at the pictures posted on Amazon- super idea but out of print and over $400. So I did find a link to some of the pictures in the book by James Mollison. Because I can’t let stuff go… I emailed the author to see if there was somewhere to buy the book. But he lives in Italy and I am sure is very busy.  (Guess what?!! I did hear from the author. The book will be in reprint early next year. I will have to keep an eye out for it.)

On My Soapbox- Lack of Understanding

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Recently I read a great short article titled “How to Raise a Genius” about academically gifted young children. I thought the author () in a few words really described some of the characteristics of gifted children.

I was in awe of the comments at the end that readers had made towards the content and author. Sometimes I get caught up in my adventure and research about academically gifted children that I forget the discomfort and lack of understanding that some adults have about what it means to be a gifted child.

Maybe it is the word “gifted” that makes it offensive?

Let me clarify- all children have gifts and unique characteristics (as do adults). Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  Some gifts are in arts, music, sports, academics, or a combination.

However, if one wrote an article about learning difficulties would they be criticized as much?  I am not saying one is better than the other or even comparing them with gifted children- just pointing out that is you are not educated in the characteristics and behaviors of gifted children then you cannot be so condescending. I am not educated in parenting children with learning difficulties so I could not begin to tell someone they are right or wrong in an article written about it.

This is my opinion and I am stepping off my soap box for today. But don’t worry I keep it close to my desk and will be back on it soon!

Photo by Thinkstock/Getty Images

On My Wish List

This recommendation comes from one of my favorite academically gifted websites (I will blog about his website soon).  He does a great job explaining the game and uses pictures. Over the years many of my gifted students have recommended the game to me. We definitely put it on our wish list for the holidays.

Thanks Ian Byrd from byrdseed.com for this recommendation.

quirkle gifted game recommendation

One of my best friends also highly recommended this toy! After I wrote this post she wrote me about the toy: Qwirkle is a good game of strategy. There are wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players try to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The player with the most tiles that share something in common (color or symbol) plays their pieces and wins points. The game is over when all the tiles have been played and all the points have been tallied.

Board Game for Beginner Programmers!

robot turtles

I hope I am not losing readers by now with all my game recommendations. But I am really enjoying looking at all the games and ideas that parents have told me about the past week. I especially love that this one was on Kickstarter.  The parent reviews are high and it looks fantastic for any young child that has the mind or desire for programming or coding. Reading through some of the reviews it does seem like a game for preschool to younger elementary age gifted children.