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    #33508 - 12/28/08 01:04 PM lack of services and emotional disturbance?
    san54
    Unregistered


    Dear Fellow Members,

    I'd appreciate hearing from those of you on this question: In your opinion/experience, can misplacement (lack of any services) cause emotional stress, anxiety, cause emotinal disturbance, thus an ED classification?

    Have you seen emotional disturbance lessen when your child has been placed in the correct setting, on his/her intellectual level with true peers? Thank you. Many of you know I am developing a drama and that our 27 yr. old went through this. Any explanations appreciated. --san

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    #33516 - 12/28/08 04:41 PM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: ]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Purely opinion, and we never had (or needed) any official diagnosis, but yes, I think poor placement/lack of services can have a drastic enough effect in a child to cause some major emotional issues.

    We saw it with DS7. He's always been a HIGHLY rule-abiding child--think Spock! He tattled on himself if he did anything he even thought MIGHT be wrong! He was not prone to emotional outbursts of any sort, and he was generally cheerful and easy to be with.

    But he hit 1st grade with no challenge and no differentiation, and he began acting out, missing recess, and being angry and belligerent at home. He was clearly an unhappy, troubled child, and he knew exactly what the problem was: school.

    If such a situation went on for a long time, I have no doubt that he would have had major emotional problems. He was a miserable kid. frown

    And, yes, all the bad behavior and emotional disturbance went away the SECOND we pulled him out of that classroom for homeschooling. He had only been in that class for 6 or 8 weeks, so there wasn't a long transition period. He immediately went back to his cooperative, cheerful, easygoing self. There was no doubt about the cause and effect of the change!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #33529 - 12/28/08 06:53 PM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: Kriston]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Well, this very evening, DS12 asked me at the dinner table if I had to do it all over again

    (pulling him from a public school that denied him a gradeskip, and even subject acceleration because 'they can differentiate for every child within the classroom'

    and placing him in a local private school that granted him a full grade skip and a further Math Acceleration less than a month after he joined the school, and was a great match academically, with loads of individualized teacher attention, but DS always feeling he was 'almost there' socially, and being dissapointed over and over again that he never made any headway socially, and even was a bully's vicitm for long months in the second year,

    then having to make the big decision to return to the public school system, with the skip intact, which has been wonderful for him socially, and a welcome relief from some of the 'organizational streching' that he was subjected to at the private school, while still being intellectually interesting.)

    Would I do it all again?
    I tried to explain the 'least-worst option' choice, and he cut in -

    Would I?
    Me: Yes, as hard as it was, you really needed it. Would you?

    DS12: Yes.

    Without going into the possible diagnosises that have been offered us over the years, he was just miserable (on some days) being in elementary without learning much, very stressed all the time and acting out (on many days.) Now he is almost always reasonably behaved at school, willing to try new things, doing his own homework without any parental supervision, sold on the idea that he can be competitive academically, and, best of all, the love of learning is back! He spent last summer getting faster and faster at doing the Rubix Cube, and is now into Chess, both activities that he would have previously shunned for fear of being seen by peers as a 'Nerd.'

    I wouldn't have believed that a summer birthday plus a single gradeskip plus Honor's Math, plus various afterschool activities would have been 'enough' to engage a PG kid, but it does seem to be. Next year he will have the ability to take 'Honors' classes in all subjects, at the local High School. So I am hoping it will be 'enough' for several more years, and I am not fearful.

    I hope this is an 'on track' answer. Life isn't perfect, and the highs and lows are still very intense. Certianly there is a range of individual tolerance for a poor fit classroom. Some kids are easy-going by nature, or trusting by nature, or know how to self-differentiate at a young age. But a child who is not appreciated OR challenged at school is at least 'at risk' for being damaged at school. Moving a child to a setting where they can flourish can be part of the solution. Of course there were lots and lots of other things I did that helped as well, joining DYS program, gifted summer camps, afterschooling, setting up playdates with other 'like-minded' boys, telling lots of stories at the dinner table about other what was going on in the lives of the families I read about on line, but without the gradeskip, I don't see him being anywhere near as satisfied with himself and his life as he is now.

    Thanks for asking and caring,
    Grinity


    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #33545 - 12/29/08 04:53 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: Grinity]
    san54
    Unregistered


    Thank you, Kriston and Grinity. You've shared a lot. I had an uncomfortable experience, yesterday. My friend's daughter is a special ed teacher in our district, a monied one that's considered "state of the art," so to speak. I needed to ask her a question about teacher contracts and in doing so, stated the premise of my play. Although I knew her personality is rigid, I was quite taken aback by her umbrage at my statement that "when gifted kids are misplaced, this can cause an emotinally disturbed state." She said, "I take offense that you're saying a teacher can cause a child to be emotionally disturbed." I then explained that I wasn't blaming teachers but that it was administrative. She also stated that IQ was overrated in the assessment process, didn't mean much, and that social skills were just as important (we've all heard this, and of course they are.) She said that many so-called gifted kids level out by 3rd grade. I replied that it seems that way for many; they've merely given up, resigned themselves to their placement, and have become underachievers. She also pointed to inconsistency in abilities. I began to point out how asynchrony is basic to giftedness, anyway. Well, I felt bad afterward, because I never meant to get raked over the coals or drawn into a debate. I know from Dr. Ruf that g.kids can have emotional problems from misplacement. So, my friend's daughter asserted that these kids had emotionally disturbed components before the misplacement. What do you think? Thank you, friends. I'm still sticking with my drama's premise though the work itself will be subject to a professional script consultant and NYC peers.-San

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    #33546 - 12/29/08 06:09 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: ]
    ebeth Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/08
    Posts: 412
    San,
    There is so much data out there to back up the idea that highly gifted kids will act out when they are educationally unchallenged and academically misplaced. I have been collecting just such data, so I will try to find all of my bookmarks for you. Here are a quick few that I can find immediately.

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.com/underserved.htm

    http://www.giftedkids.ie/08%20April%20Newsletter.pdf
    (scroll down until you get to the Falling By the Wayside article)

    http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10241.aspx
    Quote:
    Also damaging is when adults ignore high level ability and focus instead on perceived emotional immaturity, behaviour problems or social immaturity. Underestimation of ability can result in a rapid decline in self-esteem and consequently self-confidence.


    http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10065.aspx
    Quote:
    Even more damage can result when adults ignore a child's high level ability and focus instead of weaknesses in areas of slower development. A child's giftedness may even go unnoticed, eclipsed by behavior problems, physical weakness, or social immaturity. Whitmore (1980) gives the example of Bobby, with an IQ of 153, who spent a second year in the first grade as a result of his disruptive behavior and his failure to complete daily classroom work. A teacher's underestimate of a child's ability can trigger a rapid decline in self-esteem. Pringle (1970) found, for example, that most of the 103 bright children brought to a clinic because of general maladjustment had teachers who underestimated their ability. The most frequent symptom presented by these able misfits was a lack of confidence.


    And here is an interesting article on how gifted kids differ emotionally from ND kids. It is called the funnel theory. I'm not completely sold on it, and it seems a little bit simplistic. But it is a great place to start when thinking about the emotional needs of gifted kids.
    http://www.shulamit.info/funnel.htm

    Hope this helps some. I will try to look up other references and post them later.

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    #33547 - 12/29/08 06:41 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: ebeth]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    SENG would be helpful, too, I'm sure. But I think you said before that you were aware of that organization, right?
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #33557 - 12/29/08 08:35 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: Kriston]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    San,

    Let's accept the premise about social skills being important, but let's not accept the unspoken assertion within the argument the teacher makes - that age-peer interaction is the best way to build social skills.

    How do we make connections with others? There has to be mutual ground.

    How can a 10 year old kid develop social skills when he is intellectually ready for high school but is in a 5th grade classroom? Or a 7 year old who is ready for middle school but is in 2d grade?

    What is there for the GT kid to talk about with her age-peers if she is reading the Wall Street Journal every morning and listens to the Presidential News Conference on the radio on the way to school and then gets to school and her peers in 6th grade are talking about their dolls?

    She wants to discuss Haikus and they want to discuss Hannah's Hair Do.

    This is a sure recipe for social isolation and the stunting of a child's development.

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    #33561 - 12/29/08 08:58 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: Austin]
    san54
    Unregistered


    Thank you, also, Ebeth and Austin. This teacher, daughter of my dear friend, is 40 yr. old and had gifted ed. training 19 yrs. ago. In NJ, part of a spec. ed's major is to take this. I don't know how extensive such training was/is in NJ colleges. Well, I had really felt that my hand was slapped, had felt badly though we both had kept it cool, felt rather irritated, that I was a troublemaking playwright and one of those fussy parents she refers to. As I went to bed last night, I was even more affirmed, "I will write what has been happening to so many gifted kids across our country, regardless of who agrees with the premise." Okay, I'm over it. Thanks. I will print this thread out as a source when it's done. You've been very helpful. ---San


    Edited by san54 (12/29/08 09:00 AM)

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    #33562 - 12/29/08 09:13 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: ]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Originally Posted By: san54
    Thank you, also, Ebeth and Austin. This teacher, daughter of my dear friend, is 40 yr. old and had gifted ed. training 19 yrs. ago. In NJ, part of a spec. ed's major is to take this. I don't know how extensive such training was/is in NJ colleges. Well, I had really felt that my hand was slapped, had felt badly though we both had kept it cool, felt rather irritated, that I was a troublemaking playwright and one of those fussy parents she refers to. As I went to bed last night, I was even more affirmed, "I will write what has been happening to so many gifted kids across our country, regardless of who agrees with the premise." Okay, I'm over it. Thanks. I will print this thread out as a source when it's done. You've been very helpful. ---San


    I think you got a firsthand example of how hurtful it can be when a teacher denies giftedness(they all even out by 3rd) and denies a teacher's influence on a child's mental wellbeing(does she also think a teacher can't influence a child's mental wellbeing for the better?).

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    #33564 - 12/29/08 10:26 AM Re: lack of services and emotional disturbance? [Re: OHGrandma]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    That's a very good question to ask, OHG!

    I think you hit on a very good path to counter the friend's argument: if teachers cannot have a negative effect on a child's emotional well being, then they also cannot have a positive effect.
    _________________________
    Kriston

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