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    #359 - 08/11/06 06:17 PM New here.
    mommygiraffe Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/11/06
    Posts: 6
    Loc: East Greenville, Pa
    My daughter, Violet was just identified as gifted today, she took the WISC, but we only recieved an email so far from the school psychologist so far, so we don't know her scores. She is transitioning from a small Mennonite school with only eleven kids in her class, to a normal sized public high school. There will be 30 kids in her gifted English and History classes. She will be 14 next month. We've always known she was gifted (reading at age three, excelling academically after starting Kindergarten at four, etc.)but her small school did not have a gifted program, and was always willing to keep her challenged anyway. Now I am wondering if that was enough, but we are moving forward. She always has been on honor roll, and everything comes extremely easy to her academically. She carried a 99% average in algebra and science last year, and her other averages were high as well. She also is a talented jewlrey maker (using glass beads, wire) and last weekend was selling her jewlrey at a flea market. My question is how do I prepare her emotionally for this huge shift, that things might not come as automatically easy this year? I am excited for her placement, don't get me wrong, but I'm worried about how she will handle academic challenges in an enviorment where she might not be the star that she's used to being. Not to say that this isn't a good thing, that she might need to experience. But she already has stress in her life with me being sick with lupus, and her brother's Asperger's, and his resulting emotional problems. I am very interested to see the scores of her testing, and anxious for her IEP meeting. She is a very strong, creative, loving girl with very definate ideas how this world should work. She devouers books, and reads everything she can get her hands on. I think my vision of this is colored by how small I felt in Gifted classes myself as a child, too amazed and intimadated by the other kid's abilities. But self confidence has never been her problem, so far at least. How do I keep that confidence built up?

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    #360 - 08/11/06 10:42 PM Re: New here.
    willagayle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/08/06
    Posts: 400
    Loc: Minnesota
    If at 14 she hasn't lost that confidence yet, it is likely, imo, she won't.

    However, if she wanes, be prepared to give her opportunities to excel again. Help her develop leadership and initiative by taking on a project where she is her only limitation...ie start a book club that includes teens and adults...start a fund raising project for a local need (a kid here is raising funds for a police bike patrol)...build a deck (seriously)...etc. If she has some area where she is allowed to excel, she should be able to carry that confidence through the challenges of public school, imo.
    _________________________
    Willa Gayle

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    #361 - 08/14/06 12:09 AM Re: New here.
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hi MommyGiraffe,
    I sounds like you have a lovely daughter. I think you are wise to be concerned during this transition. Sad to say I have no experience in this area as all my efforts to get the challenge level right for my son have "undershot" and he hasn't had the chance to "be a little fish" yet.

    But I keep my ears open for information on this transition, and hope to work it out soon. In the book The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? by Maureen Neihart, Sally M. Reis, Nancy M. Robinson, and Sidney M. Moon there is dissussion of these types of transitions being one of the common areas where a child will need extra support.

    Degree of giftedness, and type of giftedness also affect what you can expect at such transitions. A big problem is under or over placement. Some transitions fail because the child is still underplaced. Some children (like my 10 year old son) seem to have gifts at right angles to the curriculum, he can talk social politics on an almost adult level, which does him almost no good at all in his school environment, where 5th graders are supposed to pour their energies into quick recall of multiplication facts and pretty handwritting and timed writing responces to prompts to support their school is testing. I want him to learn all these things, but it makes him a good example of a highly gifted kid who just doesn't seem to be that impressive to the school teachers. They have tried to provide him with some activities that engage his strengths, with good results, still I don't want him to be in your daughers shoes in 14 years.


    (no offense intended - and honestly - I don't think that my efforts will nescessarily pay off - so you may have gotten a very good value out of not beating your head against the wall and letting life come to you. After all, 14 isn't so very old. Many kids "reawaken" in high school, college or graduate school.)

    Some kids are fail at transitions because the gap is too great or the support is too little, or not the right kind. Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child (Paperback) by Karen B. Rogers is filled with down to earth tips about providing the right kind of support. She talks alot about "grade skips" but I'm guessing you could consider this a "grad skip" in a way. It also will remind you of all the things you've done right to prepare her up to this point, which I'm sure are many. Each kid is different, and each stage of life is different, so each path will have to be different, yes? I'd rather deal with a new fishpond at 14, with my parent's support, than "away at college" like I did. I was quite impressed with my classmates, and concluded that my strength were more "in the social realm" and didn't think about gifteness again until DS hit the school system...(shrug) It's not that I want to be critical of our current culture, but let's say that I'm hopeful about the energy that can be released and harnessed once we, as a culture, do better here. I think an Intellectual Golden Age is very close at hand.

    Love and More love,
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #362 - 08/14/06 02:41 AM Re: New here.
    mommygiraffe Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/11/06
    Posts: 6
    Loc: East Greenville, Pa
    Thank you for the ideas, and book suggestions guys. She has been very quiet since we got the news on Friday night through an email from the school psych. I have to sit her down and talk about this. I'm hoping this will stretch her mind in all good ways. I'm wondering too about the iep process coming up. One interesting thing is that she came downstairs today all dolled up in her best denim capris and a sequined tank just to go to the library. This is a child who had to be reminded to brush her hair last year. I was smiling on the inside, lol.

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    #363 - 08/14/06 04:18 AM Re: New here.
    mayreeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    I was 17 when I first understood that I was gifted. This was despite being in the gifted program at school - where I thought that they had made an error in accepting me.

    For me, it was a relief. I finally understood why I was different.

    Unfortunately, my only experience with teenagers is when I was a teenager - so I have no advice to offer. Just the comment that it sounds like your daughter is doing well and I dare say that she will continue to do well.... maybe there will be a disruption with the change, but she will come back to center.

    Mary
    _________________________
    Mary

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    #364 - 08/15/06 12:07 AM Re: New here.
    mommygiraffe Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/11/06
    Posts: 6
    Loc: East Greenville, Pa
    Thanks, Mary, I have to have faith that she'll adjust too. I'm new to this teenager thing too. I wasn't good at it myself as a teenager, I was an awkward one at best, so I don't have advice to give her. She's much better at the friends thing than I am. She's a strong leader, and a good loving friend, so I have to have faith that she can keep this up. I'm praying like crazy.

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