Link to a great article about gifted and Aspie

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by artana, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. artana

    artana New Member

  2. Numina

    Numina New Member

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    THanks for this article. I had to skim it, but did so fairly carefully. I'd like to go back and look at it in detail when I get a chance, but so often I don't get the time.

    It IS a problem, when we first of all have differing definitions of giftedness (as well as different expectations). I was saying to someone else on this site, that a child can be gifted, but not necessarily in ways that will show academically.

    difficult child 3 is a good example -we live with him, so we're used to him, but teachers so often say, on meeting him for the first time, "Wow! What an amazingly intelligent kid!" And yet we see the problems he has in trying to cope with a standard assessment task in History or English. This last school year just finished (Dec 08) his History teacher put his name forward for a special excursion, only for the top 2 or 3 students in History in the year. I said to her, "Are you sure you didn't get him confused with someone else?"
    She insisted, "No, he wrote a beautiful piece ofcretive writing, it was supposed to be a letter home from the front in WWI, he really captured how it would have felt. I never realised a boy with autism could have so much empathy."
    That made me doubt it even more, until I realised that difficult child 3 had probably been using his recent experience of watching a senior poetry class on TV which had been dealing with"Dulci et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen, in which the poets being interviewed were discussing the poem and the anti-war sentiments expressed in it, through the vivid descriptions of what WWI was like from the foot-soldier's point of view.

    difficult child 3's work in his difficult subjects is patchy. He is very bright, so he tries to compensate and in developing some skills, is doing well. But it's a veneer. It's easy for poetry to sound deep and profound, while still being quite simple. Robert Frost, for example, often sounds very simple but there are depths there when you look. Similarly in difficult child 3's poetry, it seems to have the hidden depths there, but it is pure coincidence. difficult child 3 wrote some poems this year for his English teacher, because I have taught him the mathematical side of poetry writing. What he ends up writing therefore rhymes well, has good metre, the words make sense - but that is all. It is teachers who read more into it than is there. If they talked to difficult child 3 about what he wrote they would realise, it is superficial. But there are tricks to some forms of poetry (such as triolet or villanelle) which can seem to be more than they are.

    difficult child 3 can write triolet or haiku, using techniques which are similar to techniques he uses to deal with quadratic equations. It's mechanical. It helps him pass the subject, but he will most likely never be a poet, not with the degree of drive and passion needed. He is just giving the teacher what sells, what he can manage.

    This article seems to make statements about giftedness as defined rather narrowly. A child could be genuinely gifted in, say, Mathematics, but not be able to cope in English. Or maybe the child can cope with English, be even above average, but not so outstanding as in the rest of his schoolwork. A child who is a friend of ours is amazing with words. Her awareness of other people's behaviours, flaws, weaknesses and behaviour in general, is better than most adults. But she isn't doing as well in Maths. Part of this, a big part, is she had a teacher two years ago who repeatedly told her she was bad at maths. This was untrue, but it did a lot of damage. She is now getting coaching in Maths to bring her standard back into line with the rest of her abilities.

    This is a kid who is gifted and has no trace of Asperger's in any way. She is a good friend to difficult child 3 but is already way ahead of him socially, even though she is a few years younger.

    I do agree that teachers of G & T need to be made aware of a number of learning difficulties (not just Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)). Too often people forget tat the category of gifted plus learning disabled, is one desperately needing attention and intervention.

  4. artana

    artana New Member

    Numina - Thank you for the article. That is really interesting, and gives me great hope about my child.:)

    Marg - I think that the article focused on gifted children with certain proficiencies because they tend to be the ones that could be confused with Aspeger's/gifted. I don't think the article meant to limit gifted to just one definition.

    You are right that gifted children are not perfect in everything and that teachers sometimes read more into actions and reports than the child ever intended.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. Very interesting.

    My son appears to be a bit of each. Typical. He's always had "a bit of this and a bit of that."