What makes them 2E?

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In conjunction with the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop theme ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?’ Sprite is conducting guided tours to some of the places in Sprite’s Site.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The first stop on the tour is the Analogy for 2E exhibit where visitors are treated to a demonstration of Roman Riding a cheetah and a tortoise.

Sprite explains that in a horse riding class where the aim of the lessons is to be able to ride independently seated on the back of a horse

  • some students will not have the ability or confidence to sit on the horse without being led by someone else
  • average students will be able to sit on the horse and ride independently
  • bright students may perform Roman riding of two horses – standing with a foot on each horse’s back
  • gifted students will perform Roman riding on two cheetahs
  • and 2E twice exceptional students will be forced to perform their Roman riding with one foot on the back of a cheetah and the other on the back of a tortoise.

At the Myths exhibit Columbus Cheetah explains that one of the myths surrounding giftedness is that it is not possible to be gifted and have a disability
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-8/

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Visitors are then taken to the theatrette to view presentations about 2E students

The first is titled ‘2E is’ and is found at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/2e-is/

The second presentation is a discussion of the Characteristics of 2 E students using a chart provided by the Cherry Creek Schools which can be found at
http://www.cherrycreekschools.org/StudentAchievement/Documents/2EDistinguishingCharacteristics.pdf

Those who have time to take the extended tour can listen to webinars about 2E students at

Jo Freitag: Characteristics of 2e students part 1
https://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/11/28/edublogs-webinar-overview-characteristics-of-2e-students-part-1/

Jo Freitag: Characteristics of 2e students part 2
https://johart1.edublogs.org/2012/12/17/edublogs-webinar-overview-characteristics-of-2e-students-part-2/

Personas, profiles and portraits of giftedness Part 2
https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/australia-e-series-tech-talk-tuesdays-webinar-part-2/

For those who do not have time to listen to the webinars Sprite has prepared a short slide show which illustrates just a few of the characteristics of 2E students observed by Dr Linda Silverman.

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For more information about twice exceptional students see
2E newsletter
http://www.2enewsletter.com/

Hoagies Gifted Twice Exceptional resources page
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/2e_exceptional.htm

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Twice Exceptional resources page
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/twice-exceptional/

To read all the posts about this topic in the blog hop please visit the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-2e-kids-what-makes-them-twice-exceptional/

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White Poodle, Black Poodle

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula, the Physicist as a mentor.
Not only does Paula share Sprite’s passion for astronomy, but she has also overcome the same learning difficulties that Sprite has and gained tertiary degrees.

Paula has been encouraging Sprite to accept the accommodations and extra support she needs and not to feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper when necessary.

But Sprite is still often reluctant to wear the pink slipper.
“People might say if I am clever enough to be in the gifted group I should not need any extra help” Sprite told Paula. “And if I do put on the pink slipper they might say I am faking and just looking for attention and that I can do well enough without it.
And some of the programs I was in last year have not continued this year.”

“So I wear the Can Do sandals or the Investigative grey sneakers and just try to do my assignments perfectly without any extra help but Intellectual Dabrowski brings me SO MUCH information that I cannot deal with all of it and then P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle says what I have done is not good enough. He says I should have written more and that I have made spelling mistakes.
And he says to hurry because it has to be finished and handed in at the end of the lesson but not to hurry so much that I make more mistakes. And I get so tired that I just want to stop work and go home.”

Paula identified two issues from this conversation with Sprite.
She suggested that it was time to visit Dr Ed Needs, the education consultant,
again for a review of Sprite’s progress and recommendations for further provisions.

And she asked Sprite an interesting question.
“What colour is P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle?”

“He is black” Sprite told her. “His coat is always very shiny and perfectly groomed with not a hair out of place.”

The next time Paula visited was after Sprite’s appointment with Dr Ed Needs.
Sprite was convalescing at home after an operation (more about that in another post) and she was sporting a new cast. Dr Ed had organized more formal support measures for her.

“In a way it is a relief” Sprite told Paula “because now I don’t have to worry about the pink slipper. But all this testing and therapy seem to be taking so long!  How long will it be before everything is perfect?”

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula as a mentor!
“I have found” Paula told her “that being 2E is not something that goes away or that I could outgrow. But there have been people to support me and programs to help and I have still managed to be quite successful in spite of my difficulties. I would like to share some of those things with you. One day you will be able to do the same for someone else.”
And Paula had brought a gift to cheer Sprite up. It was a white soft toy poodle wearing a purple coat and purple framed sun glasses.

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“I thought it would remind you of our time we have together because of the purple coat which is like the Purple Riding Boots Mentor Program” she said.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“And also it will remind you about what I am going to share with you now.
Poodles can be white as well as black and, in the same way, perfectionism can be both positive and negative.
Dr. Linda Silverman says that perfectionism is the root of excellence and the driving force that propels toward the attainment of higher goals.

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She also discusses perfectionism in an article Perfectionism: The Crucible of Giftedness which you can find at http://nmgifted.org/GAC%20Resources/Perfectionism%20The%20Crucible%20of%20Giftedness-SILVERMAN.pdf

Perfectionism can be a negative force when it causes you to procrastinate or prevents you from participating for fear of not excelling or if it causes you to never be satisfied with any effort and never feel that you have done well enough.

Some people say that no human can ever be perfect or create anything which is perfect because this is an attribute only of the Divine. In fact artists from Eastern traditions have been known to purposely include a slight flaw in their work.

That is why White Poodle is wearing sunglasses – so that he will not dazzle himself with his own brilliance!
White Poodle is here to remind you that it is great to strive for excellence and to attain the ecstasy of being totally in the state of Flow described by Csikszentmihalyi in 1990.
But White Poodle is also cautioning you to be gentle with yourself and not let the negative aspects of perfectionism rob you of your joy.

 

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This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog hop Perfectionism and Other Gifted/2E Quirks.
To read posts from others please go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/perfectionism-gifted2e-quirks/

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Delta Dog

“I think you must be very brave” Sprite told me
“Why do you think that?” I asked
“Because you still hang around with Imaginational Dabrowski even now you are a grown –up!”

“Imaginational asked me if I wanted him to go away now that my homework is all serious stuff and I have to get all the facts right and spell it all properly and cite all the references in the correct manner.

And I remembered what Sir Ken Robinson said about children being creative and imaginative but then they usually grow out if it when they get to school
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/beyond-our-ken-sprite-tries-to-fathom-the-nature-of-creativity/

But I said I didn’t want Imaginational to go because I really love him – he’s cute and funny and he makes me feel as if exciting things are possible.”

Intellectual was pacing up and down saying “I am the Alpha Dog! I am the one who is the most obviously recognized as being the gifted one. So Sprite needs to do things my way and stop hanging out with Imaginational.
Psycho-Motor could be the Alpha Dog if he put his mind to it. He is strong and quick and usually knows the right answer but he just isn’t focused enough and he doesn’t demonstrate the steps in his thinking. If Sprite follows him, he will lead her astray”

Sensual sat and scratched his head. He was feeling underestimated again and thinking that without his heightened awareness of sights and sounds and scents contributing to the data Intellectual would not be nearly as effective. He did not really want to be the Alpha Dog but he did want to be acknowledged!

Emotional sat and howled. She respected the ability of Intellectual and Psycho Motor and loved the creativity of Imaginational and she empathised with Sensual and knew that the sensations he felt always moved her to happiness or sadness and stimulated complex emotions such as anxiety, guilt, pride and patriotism. And she howled because she did not like arguments.

“Who do you think should be the Alpha Dog?” Sprite asked me.

“Well,” I said “They are all very important but I would like to point out that Lesley Sword calls Emotional Intensity the Energy that Drives the Gifted Intellect http://giftedservices.com.au/handouts/The%20Psycho-social%20Needs%20of%20Gifted%20Children.doc

And Dr Linda Silverman in her article Dabrowski’s Theory rates Emotional as “perhaps most important of the overexcitabilities” http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Articles/dabrowski/c55.pdf

“So I say long live Emotional – our gracious Drama Queen!”

“I don’t want to be the Alpha Dog” said Imaginational “I am happy to be Delta Dog, the hang gliding super hero, who swoops in to show you a humorous or creative alternative when Intellectual gets too boring or pompous”

“Why are you called Delta Dog?” asked Sprite.

“Because Delta isn’t first and top of the pile like Alpha but it is used to represent the degree of change – you know like Acceleration = delta velocity / delta time. I see how things can be changed.  Also I have a delta wing glider so you can hang out with me whenever you want”.

“I’m so glad I said Imaginational didn’t have to go away” said Sprite.

“Me too!” I said.

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!”

Gifted Island – Testing, testing…

“Are you really enjoying being here on Gifted Island?” Sprite asked me.
It felt like a trick question. It reminded me of a time I was trudging along a hot, dusty country road toward the fun I had promised at the playground, with a three year old and a baby in the pusher. Three year old asked in a very serious tone of voice “Are we having fun yet, Mummy?”

I did not want Sprite to think that I was not enjoying the experience of Survivor Gifted Island because then she would feel guilty that she had arranged it.
But I did not want to give the impression that I was ecstatically happy either; because we had often talked about the value of being direct and truthful with each other. In that way we could build a large reliable deposit in the truth bank and would be worthy of being believed when it really, really mattered.
I was tempted to answer “It’s like the curate’s egg – it is good in patches!”
But I did not want to have to explain the joke.

Then I wondered whether Sprite was wishing that she had not signed us up for Gifted Island and was hoping for my unhappiness as an excuse to leave.
So I gave her a flowery spiel about finding value and things to enjoy and learn in all experiences. I probably sounded a bit like a Pollyanna clone. But it convinced Sprite.

“Oh!” said Sprite “Oh! Well then I think I will be too sick to do any activities tomorrow”

And then I realised what the problem was.
In the handouts from the producers of the Survivor – Gifted Island game we were told that participation in the program would not exempt the students from the regular national and international academic benchmark testing.

“I thought NAPLAN was scheduling time to have a snooze in your hammock” said Sprite “But it isn’t! It is testing and tomorrow the inspector, Mr TIMSS is going to come and take the students to PISA to dive for PIRLS for more testing.”
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/gillard-was-concerned-schools-prepared-for-naplan-tests/story-fn59niix-1226038104285

Naturally Sprite was very anxious about the prospect.
One of the characteristics on Dr Linda Silverman’s Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities list was
* performs poorly on timed tests
http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/What_is_Gifted/2echildren.htm#signs

Testing was one of the times that the De Bono pink slippers could sometimes be produced.

As a 2E student Sprite would sometimes be given concessions such as extra writing time or use of a scribe or the computer during tests.
But she had not been permitted to bring the pink slippers to Gifted Island.
She was forced to wear the Can Do adjustable Velcro sandals and just manage as well as possible.
And I had noticed that some of the producers of the show tended to greet any concerns or complaints with “Suck it up Princess!”

“Would you still love me if I failed the tests and they said I wasn’t gifted at all and we had to leave the island and you couldn’t stay here any longer?” she asked.

That one question illustrated so many issues that can besiege gifted and 2E students

I could see it was time to go to a quiet rock pool for a long talk about how much I love her just for herself regardless of her performance.

“Of course I would still love you!” I said.

Pirate Party

Several of the #gtstoogies have celebrated birthdays during this week so we have decided to hold a Pirate theme party after #gtchat.
The Twitter Birds and Dabrowski dogs are already enjoying the festivities. The Dabrowski dogs are playing Paaass the Paaarrcel -except Psycho Motor who is apple bobbing.
P’est Pour Parfait, the perfectionistic poodle, is watching the game; not willing to join in because he has just been to the Paws for Poise Parlour for a lavendar lather special treatment and does not want to risk getting even a single hair out of place.
Watching him, I am reminded again of his similarity to Leaping Attack  Black Dog when the latter attended Sprite’s P Party. Perfectionism is indeed a two edged sword.
Dr Linda Silverman believes that perfectionism needs to be appreciated as a two-edged sword that has the potential for propelling an individual toward unparalleled greatness or plummeting one into despair. The secret to harnessing its energy is to appreciate its positive force, learn how to set priorities and to avoid imposing one’s own high standards on others.

Instead of pin the tail we will be playing the  rum barrel navigation game. There are two variations of the game. In one version one participant stands blindfolded on top of the upright barrel and has to draw  a path on a map on the wall guided by shouted instructions from the rest of the team. In the other version one participant stands on the barrel which is on its side and attempts to mavouveur the barrel through a set course.
For supper there is a pirate ship Birthday cake and rum balls.

On the other table you can see a poster for the film, Pirates of the Caribbean, which is playing in the Deborah Mersino theatre as preparation and research material for the #gtchat and #gtstoogies Pirate Cruise.  More news about this soon!

Reading up on VSL

I could see that the problems Sprite had been having with studying for the History exam were due to the way the subject had been taught to her and also that she did not have enough understanding of her learning style to make notes in a way that would help her to remember.
The History text book had been very dull with large blocks of small font text and very few illustrations and the teacher had been mainly reading from the text book and only writing the occasional word or date on the board. Sprite had only written down the things that were written on the board; so now when she reread the notes they did not make any sense and the Memory Elephant had not been able to add anything more.

I could also foresee that if Sprite started drawing and appeared to be doodling and fiddling in class the teacher would probably assume she was not paying attention. Sprite and I did some role playing of Sprite asking permission to make pictures with her notes in a respectful way.

I also made an appointment to talk to the teacher and looked for information about the Visual Spatial Learning style that I could take with me. I chose the article ‘I Think in Pictures, You Teach in Words’ by Lesley Sword which I found on Lesley’s Articles and Handouts Page of her Gifted and Creative Services Australia website http://giftedservices.com.au/handouts/index.html

Fortunately when the teacher read the article she could see very clearly how it related to Sprite and also several other students in the class and was anxious to learn more.

I lent her the book ‘Upside down brilliance’ by Dr. Linda Silverman http://www.visualspatial.org/udb.htm
She wanted a copy of her own and I referred her to Helen Dudeney at Australian Gifted Support http://www.australiangiftedsupport.com/index.html
I read the parent companion book ‘Raising Topsy-turvy Kids’ by Alexandra Golon and found that she also had a book for teachers and one for students. http://www.visual-learners.com/books-visual-spatial-learners.html

So Sprite is now happily reading ‘If you could see the way I think’ and I will be giving the teacher a Christmas gift of The Visual-Spatial Classroom Differentiation Strategies that Engage Every Learner http://www.visual-learners.com/the-visual-spatial-classroom.html

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