If Monday’s child is fair of face and Tuesday’s child is full of grace, what is the gifted child?
For many parents and indeed some teachers, the gifted child is one who could indeed be described as, on occasion, full of woe.
It is a situation that comes about because most gifted children face multiple challenges which are often not recognised as such by those around them.
For having an awareness of what is going on, but not the context and understanding that comes from years of experience, the gifted child can (for example) feel failure by not being able to stop the war witnessed on television but actually taking place in another country.
At the same time the child can experience extreme frustration in being told not to worry about things she/he can’t affect while at the same time being given books to read and puzzles to solve which are far too easy and hence rather dull, in the child’s mind at least.
In this regard what we must remember is that being gifted is not the same as being talented. For although it is true that the gifted child and the talented child have that something extra, it is not the same “something” in each case.
And indeed, the ways gifted and talented children can be supported and helped through their early years will be different.
The talented child who, from a young age shows promise as a musician, as a visual artist, as a young sportsperson, as an actor or a writer, or indeed as a problem solver, has a talent that can be admired and appreciated from the start. And where it is appreciated, that talent can be nurtured by a specialist in that field.
The gifted child however is one who has a very high IQ, and for many such children in the early years this can bring more problems than benefits. For while the talented child can show her/his skills to all, the gifted child often finds life at home and in the classroom frustrating.
It is this latter problem, of how as teachers we can help a gifted child with a high IQ that the volume “A Brilliant IQ: Gift or Challenge,” has been written to resolve.
It helps teachers answer the questions, “what can I do to make school life meaningful and truly beneficial for the gifted child?”, “how can I help them become a well-rounded, successful individual?” And, indeed, “how can I be sure that a child whom I think is gifted, is indeed just that?”
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