Advocacy – Just ask Sprite and co

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Sprite had just completed a session with Dr Ed Needs, the Education Consultant, regarding her education requirements as a 2E twice exceptional student and now had recommendations for challenging her giftedness and extra support provisions for her areas of difference and difficulty. Dr Needs had stated that he would be available to advocate for Sprite by discussing the measures with the school if necessary.

“He said that I would need to learn how to advocate for myself too” Sprite said “What did he mean by that?”

“Well” I said “It means that you need to learn how to talk about what you need  in a respectful manner . For instance if you want to make mind maps and sketches when you are told to take notes you could tell the teacher that is what you are doing so that she will know you are paying attention and not just doodling.”

We have talked about Advocacy for Sprite before

Advocacy https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/advocacy/

Advocacy 2 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/advocacy-2/

The meeting https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/the-meeting/

But advocacy is not confined to talking to schools.

It can also be raising awareness of issues and tackling myths about giftedness.

Columbus Cheetah advocates for the gifted by myth busting
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Advocacy can also be explaining giftedness and the associated asynchrony and intensities to family and friends.
Retweet has encountered the need for this when dealing with Great Aunt Hashtag and her friends but has not always been brave enough to speak up.

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/when-extended-family-dont-get-giftedness/

Whenever you speak up to increase awareness or explain issues you are acting as an advocate.

This post is part of the Hoagies Gifted October Blog Hop: Gifted advocacy
Links to all the posts in the blog hop can be found at
www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_advocacy.htm
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On the Blog Hop – Giftedness: Why Does It Matter?

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I have just returned from the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September Blog Hop  laden with helpful and encouraging words on the topics of giftedness and homeschooling.

“We have had lots of lovely visitors while you were away” Sprite said “ I showed them the Doll house and offered them a cup of tea. Some of them left messages for you in the Comments section.”

Retweet, Columbus Cheetah and the Dabrowski Dogs were eager to inspect the contents of my sample bag of information and encouragement I had collected

Here are the posts I visited and the comments I left or tried to leave

All Children Matter. And Gifted Children Should Matter, Too ~ Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi Trepanier)
“Let’s say your precocious 4 year old learned to ride a two-wheeled bike earlier than most, and he entered a triathlon for kids, but the organizers insisted he had to ride a tricycle for the race. Why? That would be because most 4 year olds have not learned to ride a two-wheeled bike yet, and since most of the 4 year olds in the race are riding trikes, your 4 year old will need to ride a trike for the race just because he is 4 years old and that is the type of bike most 4 year olds ride.”

My comment:
An excellent post, Celi!
Yes, gifted and 2E students matter and deserve to have their needs met!

Appreciate Eccentricities & Embrace Quirks ~ A Voracious Mind (Amy Harrington)
“Parent the child you have, not the one you imagined you would have. I am not sure anyone’s child is quite what they envisioned when they thought about having children but as the saying in preschool goes, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

My comment:
I agree – many attributes such as asynchronous development, intensities and sensitivities that appear weird and quirky in the general population are quite common in the gifted. The gifted do need modifications in parenting and educating and to be valued for who they are!

Discovering Your Child is Gifted – Does it matter? ~ Sallie Borrink Learning
“Identifying Caroline’s giftedness (and, in the process, revisiting my own) matters because it shows me I am not alone on this journey. Discovering other parents who wrestle with the same issues and questions is important both for Caroline and for me as her mother and teacher.”

My comment:
Parenting gifted children can be a hard and lonely path. Finding others with similar stories is a real blessing! No wonder “I’m so glad I found you” brings a big smile to your face!

Freedom ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)
“Giftedness gave us the courage to set him free.”
Knowing that my son was gifted made me brave. It gave me courage to make choices that felt extreme and yet entirely appropriate. These choices set my son free.

My comment:
Freedom to learn at their own pace at their own level and to their desired breadth and depth is the great beauty of homeschooling and having giftedness confirmed can strengthen the confidence that it is a suitable choice

Giftedness:Why does it matter? ~ Gluten-Free Mama (Kathleen Humble)
“For us, the gifted label matters, because it has helped us understand our children. To accept them and not try to judge and criticize them for expressing a part of themselves. We can’t wish it away, we can’t discipline it away. It’s their wiring. And in time, they may learn how to be more socially acceptable in their expression of extreme OEs. Or not. But because we know in our house that giftedness is more than just academics – that it affects everything about how they think, feel and see the world, we try to create an environment where they feel safe. Where they can be their true selves.”

My comment:
Yes! Giftedness matters because affects every facet of life.
A great post!

Giftedness: Why Does It Matter? ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
“Giftedness matters. It matters so very much. I wrote not long ago about what childhood was like for me – not the little details about my mother sitting with us to eat oatmeal on winter mornings, or my father’s business trips to what was then termed “the Orient,” but the Big Things. It turns out, one of those big things should have been an early assessment for giftedness. I have so much better an understanding now that I know that I’m just wired differently to other people. I didn’t have that when I was young, and I spent *cough-too-many-cough* years thinking I was broken.”

My comment:
Well said! I agree – Identifying gifted children is so crucial. Supporting them is doubly so.

 Giftedness: Why Does It Matter? ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Frietag)
“Giftedness matters because, to quote the Columbus Group definition, the gifted need modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order to develop optimally” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist.

My comment:
Just checking in to see how you all are. I still have more posts to visit on the GHF September blog hop then I will be back to tell you about it and answer my comments mail

Giftedness: Why It Matters ~ Jade Ann Rivera
“If knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom, then knowing thy child is the beginning of all calm. This is why giftedness matters.”

My comment:
Thank you for a great post on an important topic, Jade!

Identification.  ~ Our Life At Home (Stacey Adams)
“In this light, it becomes very clear that identifying gifted children is not hanging a prize around their neck or stuffing them in a box marked with society’s expectations for success; it’s the crucial first step to meeting their very real, special needs.”

My comment:
Great post! All students need an excellent education but gifted students need a special education – an  education that is appropriate for them in terms of level, pace, scope and depth.

If anything matters, giftedness matters. ~ Parenting Gifted Kids (Sarah Robbins)
“You know that expression, “If anything matters then everything matters?” That’s how I feel about this topic.”

My comment:
Yes I agree ” Regardless of what you call it, giftedness matters”
Giftedness matters because it is the word we are using to denote a group that does actually exist and needs modifications in education and parenting in order to thrive!

Knowing Your Gifted Child ~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)
“Knowing your child — really knowing him — makes you a better parent, a better teacher, a better mentor. Ability, learning styles, temperament, etc. — it all matters.”

My comment:
Thank you for an excellent post! When people ask me if they should have their child tested I usually ask them about the reasons for the testing and whether it will serve a purpose in getting the provisions the child needs

The Most Unnecessary Blog ~ Your Rainforest Mind (Paula Prober)
“Why would anyone write a blog for smart people? Gifted adults, no less. Isn’t that about the most unnecessary blog you can imagine?”

My comment:
Yes, giftedness matters and matters just as much for adults. This blog is a much needed gathering place. Thank you, Paula!

Right Fit Shoes: Why Giftedness Matters ~ The Learning Lab (Maggie McMahon)
“You can’t really meet a kid’s needs if you don’t know what those needs are. Labels aren’t the be-all and end-all, but they give you a better starting point for your journey.”

My comment:
I was not able to leave a comment here but Sprite and I know about this and agree with Maggie McMahon’s post very strongly! Have a read of the posts under the De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes tag on Sprite’s Site.

Recognizing Imaginational Overexcitabilities in Our Homeschool ~ The Cardinal House (Carissa Leventis-Cox)
“So, it sounds like your son has imaginational OE.”
“What’s OE?”
A very awkward moment for me since I’ve been working at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum for a few years. I really ought to know the acronym for overexcitabilities, but I never thought my son had any.

My comment:
Thank you for a great post!
Imagination played a vital role in our homeschooling -it enabled us to think completely outside the box, to problem solve, to envisage Utopian conditions and to use humour to get through difficult patches.
I still love to hang out with Imaginational Dabrowski!

The Strong Willed Child, Limit Testing, and Why Giftedness Matters ~ A 2e Fox Revived (Carolyn Fox)
“When most people hear the word gifted, they often think in terms of academic achievement and high scores on standardized tests or the externally motivated, high achiever, perfectionist.  They don’t usually think in terms of the strong willed child or the limit testing that gifted or 2e kids can do.”

My comment:
We hope to raise children who will be life long autonomous learners and independent thinkers but these children are certainly not easy to parent or to teach!

Superheroes and Created Villains ~ Key Destiny Academy (Doresa Jennings)
“Identified gifted children can sometimes look like Superman with their intellectual abilities. Seeing their abilities can make having a Superman seem very desirable. However, in an effort to create a superhero, we can turn a child’s educational experience in that of a created villain.”

My comment:
Thank you so much, Doresa! I love your videos!

Why Gifted Identification Matters ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)
” It’s not a label unless you print it up on your handy-dandy Dymo and slap it on your kid. It’s a way to better understand how your child observes and interprets and responds to the world.”

My comment:
Thank you, Jen! I love ” it’s not a label unless you print it up on your handy-dandy Dymo and slap it on your kid. It’s a way to better understand how your child observes and interprets and responds to the world. Giftedness is not a badge of honor, nor is it a mark of shame.” That sums it up so well!

Why Giftedness Matters to Me and My Family ~ Building Wingspan (Susanne Thomas)
“Terms can help, if you don’t make them a cage.”

My comment:
I love Lesley Sword’s term ‘normal for gifted’ because so many things that are rare, weird, strange etc for the general population are ‘normal for gifted’ and knowing that means that many things which could be gnawsome (great word) worries are par for the course for gifted and should not cause as much stress.

Why Identifying High Intelligence Might Change Everything ~ Chasing Hollyfeld (Kathy Mayer)
“Understanding why we, as a family and individuals, act the way we do has been invaluable in navigating the world around us, and accepting ourselves for who we are, and who we are not. Facilitating learning for intense individuals is different, and we have approached it in a way that allows them to utilize their intellect, emotions, energy, senses and imagination as they see fit.”

My comment:
Thank you for sharing I think most people do the best they can with the information and resources available at the time; so the more information we have the more likely we are to be able to make good decisions

Why the Word “Gifted” Still Matters ~ Red White and Grew (Pamela Price)
“We need the word [gifted] until we no longer need it. We need the word until we, as a culture, can truly see the distinct and varied permutations of human intellectual difference without feeling fear, threat or envy for those whom the word “gifted” now fits.”

My comment:
Yes! The term gifted matters because giftedness exists and the gifted need to be acknowledged and given the modifications in parenting and education that they need to thrive.
Thank you for a great post!

Please join us on the hop and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/giftedness-why-matters/

 

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Giftedness: Why Does It Matter?

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The sign announcing the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September blog hop on the topic ‘Giftedness- why does it matter?’ had been posted and the characters at Sprite’s Site were busy discussing it.

“Giftedness matters because, to quote the Columbus Group definition, the gifted need modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order to develop optimally” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist.

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“It was certainly very helpful for us to have the tweetlets assessed by the Psych-Owl-Ogist and to learn about giftedness” Retweet said “Before we did that everyone said that they were just being naughty or neurotic and blamed our parenting. But when we found out it helped us to be more understanding and also to make decisions about how they should be educated”

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/best-australian-blogs-2013-no-14-stories-3-twitter-bird-tales/

“It also matters because there are so many myths and so much misinformation about giftedness” said Columbus Cheetah.
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm
“We have people saying everyone is gifted or nobody is gifted. We have people saying you can create giftedness by practice and attitude. We have people saying it does not matter whether you identify giftedness if you differentiate. We have people saying you should give all students exactly the same programs and people saying gifted do not need any different treatment.”
“But we know from the Columbus group definition that the gifted need modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order to develop optimally”

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“It is especially important in the case of 2E students like Sprite” said Columbus Cheetah. “If their giftedness is not recognized only their learning difficulties and differences get noticed and they are put into remedial groups and not given appropriate challenges. Or else the difficulties mask the giftedness and the giftedness enables the student to hide the difficulties and the student appears average and receives no modifications at all.”

“That is why initial assessment with a psychologist who specialises in gifted and 2E issues and ongoing evaluation and treatment with an education consultant can be so helpful. 2E students need to be allowed to work at their level of ability while receiving support for their difficulties. Sometimes special services or funding is available for the students whose needs qualify them to receive them”
That is why Sprite went back to see Dr Ed Needs recently for progressive achievement testing and planning the next stages of her education.
We are planning Sprite’s education programs http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/feetspeakforweb01.htm  using De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning tool and checking the effectiveness of the programs using Gagne’s DMGT model. We need to make both suitable provisions for both her giftedness and support measures for her difficulties.

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We talked about the topic of Identification of gifted students recently on Twitter #gtchat.
The transcript can be found here   https://storify.com/gtchatmod/gtchat-gifted-identification

A review of the chat and additional information links will be found on the #gtchat blog at http://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September Blog Hop.
Please join us on the hop and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/giftedness-why-matters/  

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The Doll House

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Buying Christmas and birthday gifts for Sprite is not easy. She is not a fussy, frilly girly-girl and she does not have the same interests as most girls her own age; so gifts that are popular with children of her age and gender often disappoint her.

In the past Sprite has had unrealistic expectations when compiling her gift wish lists https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/appreciation-coaching/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/sprites-2010-christmas-list/  

And she has received some rather strange and/or unsuitable gifts at times

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/sushi-chin-dog-and-chindogu/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/boxing-day/

Intellectual Dabrowski tells Sprite that she should request non-fiction rather than fiction books but Imaginational Dabrowski insists she would really enjoy fiction as well.

She has quite a large collection of soft toys and has assigned characters and back stories to each one but she is not at all interested in dolls. So it was not surprising that she was not very interested in the doll house she was given.

It was empty but had pictures of furniture which could be purchased at much additional expense in the rooms. While Sprite was looking at it and wondering why the house had three bedrooms and no bathroom Intellectual Dabrowski brought her what he claimed was a user’s manual: A doll house – Play by Ibsen.

“Boring!” said Sprite and consigned the house and the book to the corner with the Chindogu gifts and impractical shoes.

Arachnid moved in and set up a web design studio and the Ants made use of the kitchen.

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Imaginational Dabrowski noticed Arachnid and the Ants and suggested to Sprite that she should invite the Twitter Birds to paint and decorate the house and that she could add some furniture and create a home for Oliver Moremouse and the other mice.

He hinted that if she installed a miniature topiary tessellation bird leaf tree in the doll house the topiary tree octopus (Octopus Topiarii) might be persuaded to move in also.

So the Doll House is now well used and much loved.

Gifted – How?

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Psycho Motor Dabrowski had interrupted our discussion about Animal Farm to remind me that I should write a blog post on the topic ‘Gifted – How?’ for the Hoagiesgifted September blog hop.

“Some people say that everyone is gifted in some way. Do you think that is true?” Sprite asked me.

“Some people tend to confuse the term gifted (which means an IQ above a certain level and the related heightened intensity) with being unique or special.” I said

Yes, everyone is unique and special, precious and of equal worth. Everyone has areas of strength and ability and attributes which some people would call gifts or talents.

But NO, everyone is NOT gifted in the sense of the word as we use it here on the blog!

I could see that Columbus Cheetah was eager to share his myth busting efforts with us and he pointed to a collection of his cheetah logic at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

“But what about when people say something like Psycho Motor is gifted at bouncing?” asked Sprite.

“I would say that Psycho Motor has a talent for bouncing but that is not what makes him gifted” I said

The terms gifts and talents are used in different ways according to the definition being quoted.

Prof Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model speaks of Giftedness as innate abilities in a number  of different Domains which can be transformed into fully developed Talent if circumstances are favourable.

The Psych Owl Ogist talks about being gifted in different ways at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-psych-owl-ogist-6/

You can read more about Definitions of Giftedness on Hoagies Gifted Education pages at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/ 

This post is part of the Hoagiesgifted September Blog hop. Gifted, How?
The different faces of giftedness. The creative gifted, the math gifted, the chess kid, the 2e child, the introvert, etc. All gifted kids (and adults) don’t all look alike!  What does the face of giftedness look like to you?
Links to all the posts in the blog hop can be found at  www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_how.htm

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