Gifted Children

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This is a short essay I wrote while in college a few years ago. It is about testing children for giftedness, characteristics of the gifted, challenges they face, and coping strategies.

Submitted: August 23, 2009

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Submitted: August 23, 2009



It is estimated that between 20-40% of gifted individuals have a learning disability or some other type of neurological disorder. Gifted individuals will often have IQs measuring within 10-15 points of an immediate family member. The minds of gifted children are usually ahead of physical growth. Music, art and creative writing are only a few of the areas one may be gifted in.
There are numerous ways to measure whether a child is gifted or not. The most common way is IQ tests. One type of assessment for preschoolers is to analyze the books they have read within the past 6 months. With several of the tests, there is a formula to convert one score to another. 
Most gifted children learn more quickly than their peers. They usually learn things easier and at a quicker pace then their peers. They may even learn at a level in which older children are learning. Gifted children may excel in one area and do horrible in another; it all depends on the child. 
All children experience problems when going through puberty, but more so gifted children. Many will feel they have to be perfect, which can lead to a compulsive disorder. Risk taking is another issue which affects the gifted. However, as they mature, the amount of risk taking decreases. At times they even feel like they are being pushed to show how gifted they are and to the extreme of their abilities. This quickly wears them down. And when something finally “stumps” them, they quickly become impatient, used to grasping and understanding things quickly. Impatience then leads to anger and disppointment.
Coping Strategies
In an article by Buescher and Higham (2000), the following coping strategies were suggested by students with (0) being the least acceptable and (10) being the most acceptable.

“(0) Pretend not to know as much as you do.

(1) Act like a "brain" so peers leave you alone.

(2) Adjust language and behavior to disguise true abilities from your peers.

(3) Avoid programs designed for gifted/talented students.

(4) Be more active in community groups where age is no object.

(5) Develop/excel in talent areas outside school setting.

(6) Achieve in areas at school outside academics.

(7) Build more relationships with adults.

(8) Select programs and classes designed for gifted/talented students.

(9) Make friends with other students with exceptional talents.

(10) Accept and use abilities to help peers do better in classes.”

© Copyright 2019 Jerri Kaplan. All rights reserved.

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