Every parent believes that their child is the best thing since sliced bread. We all get excited and proud when they do something new.
The question though is Is my child gifted?
There is a checklist I give out to parents who are pondering this very question. Wanting to know if their child is gifted or bright.
A friend of mine, Linda, always knew her son was bright as his vocabulary was far superior then his peers. He was talking in sentences from a very early age. Liam was always an extremely well behaved boy, never in trouble....except for the occasional I want this and don't want to do that. This never however lasted for long and as for most kids this was more a home thing. Liam however was always well behaved at preschool.
As most kids Liam was very excited about starting school. There was a big lead up to it.
On the day he started, amongst the kids clinging to their parents and hysterically in tears, Liam casually waved to his parents and said goodbye! Excellent we have nothing to worry about! But this unfortunately didn't last.
A couple of months into the school year things began to change. This once calm and well behaved child began to be in trouble in class. His mother would dread the pick up from school and the teacher looking at her and using her finger to call her in. One day his teacher trying to get his attention said "Liam" to which Liam said, "Liam"
Teacher: Don't do that
Liam: Don't do that
Teacher: Liam! stop doing that
Liam: stop doing that I am a parrot I am a parrot!
Yes a little bit funny however his teacher was not amused!
Liam's mother spoke to him and explained how this wasn't the appropriate behaviour to have in class. She also explained how not everyone has the same sense of humour as us. This worked well and he did begin to behave in class. Looking back now his mother says she doesn't think he realised he was even begin naughty until it was pointed out.
Things a month or so later turned again when Liam was hysterical every morning and didn't want to go to school. He also began to wet the bed. Something he had never done, even when he was being toilet trained. When his mother had said to him at 2 and half I think it is time you stopped wearing nappies he simply said no when I turn 3. And like he said at 3 stopped wearing nappies and never had any accidents at night.
Liam's mother asked for my advice as she was unsure of how to get Liam to want to go to school and get him to not lose his love for learning....
She was also concerned that some children were being taken out for special extended reading classes but he wasn't. Before he started school Linda had decided that because he had such a love for books- to the extent that there had to be a 3 book a night limit...it was probably time to teach him. She borrowed a couple of books from the local library. Liam picked them up and read them to her....wooh!! So therefore imagine her not being the expert in education finding out that the other children that could read were being taken out but Liam wasn't...maybe she should have encouraged him to muck up instead of discouraging it...maybe then he would have been noticed.
My advice to her was that she needed to get him tested. She did and even though she knew he was smart she hadn't realised to what extent. When tested Liam's results placed in the 99.9th percentile. Once armed with this the school then listened. All of the sudden they did their own testing and realised that he was reading at least a level 27 at the mid of kindergarten. His maths placed him at the level of a bright year 2 student.
So in part 2 I will explain how to identify you child as gifted and the steps you can take....and Liam will crop up again soon stay tuned!