Asking for Help – A Guest Expert Panel Q&A session

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for October 2015 looks at How and When to Ask For Help
www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_asking_for_help.htm

Who can help gifted and 2E students and how and when should we seek help?
From school administrators, teachers and coaches, mentors and leaders? From counsellors or therapists? From state &/or federal government? From humankind? From the Universe? From family and friends and other members of the gifted community? Who helps or has helped you and how? How did you seek them or reach them or find them? What difference did it make?

To address these questions we have assembled a panel of experts from Sprite’s Site.
Paula, the Physicist, will answer questions about the role of a mentor.
Dr. Ed Needs, the Education Consultant, will be joining the session via Skype.
Columbus Cheetah will speak about the myths surrounding gifted and 2E students.
The Psych-Owl-Ogist will address issues relating to identification and testing and social/emotional issues.
Twitter Bird Retweet, mother of gifted tweetlets, will speak about the support available from Parent Support Groups.
A representative from the government was invited but sent a note of apology and referred the audience to their website.
Intellectual Dabrowski was not one of the invited experts but offered to share his extensive knowledge.

The format will be Question and Answer to preselected questions.
At the end of the session the audience will have an opportunity to ask their questions in the Comments section at the end of this post.

Question 1: How can you identify gifted students and where can you go for testing?
Psych-Owl-Ogist: There are checklists which can be completed by teachers and parents and various other ways of recording observations which can help to identify gifted students.
However if you need an I.Q. test administered you need to find a psychologist or education consultant who is qualified and registered to administer the test. And it is important to choose a person who specialises in working with gifted people.
The main tests are the Stanford Binet and the WISC. For articles and discussions about the comparisons between these and other tests see http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/identification.htm 
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/testing.htm

Dr Ed Needs: Some education consultants are also qualified and registered to administer these tests as well as academic achievement level testing. They can also give testing to show areas of strength/weakness and detect possible learning difficulties and give the necessary recommendations, therapy and support.

Intellectual Dabrowski: If you are looking for psychologists and education consultants in Australia who have a special interest in giftedness see Gifted Resources list at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/psychedcons.htm

Question 2 (To Retweet): Where have you found helpful advice for raising your gifted tweetlets?

Retweet: The Psych-Owl-Ogist tested the tweetlets and gave us helpful advice about social emotional issues. And he helped us work through decisions about our parenting.
I have also found that joining a parent support group for parents of gifted tweetlets has been helpful because I am able to discuss things with those parents which most of my friends and even some of the members of our extended family do not understand.
Since we decided to continue NEST Ed rather than sending the tweetlets to fly with the local flock we have found much helpful information from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
and from the local NEST Ed group.

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about Parenting and Parent Groups see
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/parenting.htm
http://giftedparentingsupport.blogspot.com.au/

Question 3: I have been told that acceleration is harmful for gifted students. What does the panel think about this?

Columbus Cheetah: I will answer that question. It is one of the myths about giftedness that acceleration is harmful for gifted students. I discuss this and other myths about giftedness on Gifted Resources website at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about Acceleration and the Iowa Acceleration Scales see http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/acceleration.htm
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_acceleration.htm

Question 4 (To Paula): Paula, you are a Physicist and a Mentor for Sprite. How are you able to assist Sprite in your role as mentor?

Paula: Like Sprite I am twice exceptional. I have overcome the same learning difficulties that Sprite has and have earned tertiary degrees. I also share a love of astronomy with Sprite. So I am able to relate to her and understand her areas of interest and the struggles she has. Often I can offer advice from my own experience. Also I am a person who is not her parent or teacher so sometimes she finds it easier to confide in me.
As a 2E student Sprite sometimes needs special provisions, accommodations or concessions but is often embarrassed by the need to ask for help.
I know that Sprite finds it difficult to ask for help and I am encouraging her to ask for and accept the help she needs. I am also trying to help her overcome the negative effects of perfectionism while retaining the positive aspects of it

Intellectual Dabrowski: More information about mentors  http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/mentors.htm 

Question 5 (To all panel members): Do you have a role as an advocate to help the gifted?
Paula: Whenever you speak up to increase awareness or explain issues you are acting as an advocate. Sometimes I speak to groups such as this about the characteristics and social emotional issues associated with gifted and 2E students and my role as a mentor.

Dr Ed Needs: I advocate for gifted and 2E students by giving recommendations for the educational provisions they need. Sometimes this involves being present as an advocate for the student during parent/teacher meetings. I also speak at conferences and write articles which are widely distributed.
One of the most important ways I act as an advocate is by giving parents and guardians the information, support and encouragement they need to advocate for their children.
And I also encourage the students to advocate for themselves and request the provisions they need in a respectful manner.

Columbus Cheetah: I act as a Myth Buster and as an advocate for acceleration, appropriate education in terms of pace, level, depth and breadth and for time spent with true peers rather than age peers.

Psych-Owl-Ogist: My advocacy is very similar in form to that of my esteemed colleague Dr Ed Needs.

Retweet: I allow my story to be told in the hope that it will help others who are in the same situation as me.

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about advocacy read

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/advocacy-just-ask-sprite-and-co/

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

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

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_advocacy.htm

This is a post for the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for October 2015 How and When to Ask For Help.

To read more about this topic please visit
www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_asking_for_help.htm

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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 Psych Owl Ogist 2

Tweet and Retweet arranged for a baby sitter to care for the Tweetlets and went to visit the Psych Owl ogist to discuss the results of the Tweetlets’ testing https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-psych-owl-ogist-1/

The Psych Owl ogist said that he had chosen to use the Ravens test because it was suitable for young Tweetlets and a good test of visual spatial ability which is very important for Twitter birds. He said that the Tweetlets had scored very highly indeed and added that, to give a complete picture and a more accurate score, a full battery of other tests could be done in future if required.

He showed Tweet and Retweet a diagram of the Bell Curve of IQ scores in the population and showed them how the higher the IQ was the smaller the percentage of the population it represented.
He cautioned that this could make it difficult for Tweetil and Tweetelle to fit in when they started FLOCK Ed as they may not find others who would understand them. He said it was very likely that they would choose older Tweetlets and adult Twitter birds for their friends.
“It is very important for them to find true peers who can be true friends and share thoughts and experiences with them at the depth they will seek” he said.
“I want you to read Prof Miraca Gross’ article ‘From the saddest sound to the D Major chord to see just how important this is!”
He also warned that they could be very disappointed with the introductory years of FLOCK Ed as they would be covering topics which they already understood.
“In most introductory classes they are still learning the nesty rhymes,” he told them.

“In fact,” the Psych owl ogist continued “it may not be wise to send them to the local flock.  You need to select a flock which will allow them to go far!
Tweetil has the intelligence, strength of character, spatial awareness, ability and vigour to be a future Leader of the Great Migrations!”

“See, I said he got it from you, Tweet!” said Retweet and added, for the benefit of the Psych Owl ogist, “There were several Leaders of the Great Migrations in Tweet’s family tree. Tweetelle is more like my family – they were mostly musicians, poets and dreamers.”

“Both Tweetlets are very gifted” said the Psych Owl ogist “but they are expressing it in different ways. It is very common for siblings to shine in different domains. Often, even when one Tweetlet is identified as gifted, the parents do not realise that the second Tweetlet is also gifted because they seem to be so different.”

“And poets, musicians and dreamers are just as important to the Twitter Bird species as the Leaders of the Great Migrations. We need the poets and musicians to record the history and the dreamers and visionaries to show what could be. Future migrations will traverse landscapes which are quite different from those seen now. It is your duty and challenge to do all that you are able to provide a warm, nurturing nest environment for the Tweetlets with exposure to the teachers and experiences that will encourage and enable their abilities.”

At this point the Psych Owl ogist produced a diagram of Professor Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model and pointed to the Environmental Catalysts section to demonstrate how the influence of the nest environment played its part in the development of the Tweetlets innate giftedness into fully developed talent.

“So it is all about a duty to develop the Tweetlets’ talents then?” asked Retweet. “That seems like a huge burden on us and also on the Tweetlets themselves!”

The Psych Owl ogist drew himself up to his full height and fluffed out his feathers.
“Good heavens, no!” he said “Talent development is very important but it is only one part of the story.
Giftedness is not only about what the IQ score is and what achievements are made.
It is about WHO the Tweetlets are!”

The Psych Owl ogist produced a series of giftedness definition flashcards.


“Here is some more reading for you.”

The moral sensitivity of gifted children and the evolution of society by Linda Kreger Silverman
http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/the-moral-sensitivity-of-gifted-children-and-the-evolution-of-society

“Even if Tweetil never gets to be a Leader of the Great Migrations he will still be a gifted Twitter Bird and even if Tweetelle spends her whole life nest making and raising Tweetlets she will not cease to be a gifted Twitter Bird!”

The Psych Owl Ogist 1

As I guess you remember, Tweet and Retweet were becoming anxious about the behaviour of their Tweetlets. Friends and family (like Great Aunt Hashtag) had undermined their confidence in their parenting skills and  suggested that Tweetil was too boisterous/noisy/ naughty/smart-mouthed/impulsive/ADHD? and that Tweetelle was too noisy/demanding/emotional/neurotic/weird.

The nest visit from the Psych Owl Ogist proved to be a life changing event for the family. He had many years of experience working with gifted Tweetlets and there was an instant rapport between him and the Tweetlets.
He brought with him  the Ravens Progressive Matrices tests which he had chosen because of their independence of language and reading and writing skills, and the simplicity of their use and interpretation (and because Ravens sounds like a suitable test for Twitter birds).

He told Tweet and Retweet that there are a number of IQ tests and suggested that they could research these further at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/identification.htm   and http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/testing.htm

The Tweetlets really enjoyed the testing process “It’s like playing games!” Tweetelle said. And Tweetil added “I wish learning lessons was always  like this!”

The Psych Owl ogist declared that Tweetil and Tweetelle were delightful and clearly very intelligent Tweetlets; and promised to return soon for a debriefing session, to report the results of the testing and his observations and to provide some recommendations for future education provisions.