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What We Have Learned About Gifted Children: 1979-2007 Based on Linda Silvermans article Gifted Development Center.

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Presentation on theme: "What We Have Learned About Gifted Children: 1979-2007 Based on Linda Silvermans article Gifted Development Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 What We Have Learned About Gifted Children: 1979-2007 Based on Linda Silvermans article Gifted Development Center

2 Linda Silvermans Gifted Development Center was established in June of 1979. Over 5,000 gifted children have been studied, and much has been learned about this population. In 1994, a group of post-doctoral statisticians interned at the Center working to analyze and code the data gathered over the years. Statistical descriptions of the population resulted.

3 Are There More? There are far more exceptionally gifted children in the population than anyone realizes –Found: 933 w/IQ 160+ –Found: 247 w/IQ 180+ –Found: 67 w/IQ 200+ 18% of 5,200 studied have 160+ IQ

4 Where Are the Girls? More boys than girls are referred for assessment for giftedness From 1979 to 1989, 57% were male, 43% were female From 1989 to 2003, 61% were male, 39% were female This matches closely the % found in the highest IQ range: 60% male, 40% female BUT...highest tested IQ belongs to a female

5 Different Coping Mechanisms Gifted girls and gifted boys face different problems Gifted girls hide their abilities – blend in with other children – develop social relationships – devalue their intelligence Gifted boys easier to spot – often considered immature – have difficulty socializing with children with whom they have no common interests

6 Different Levels of Giftedness Mildly, moderately, highly, exceptionally, and profoundly gifted children are as different from each other as mildly, moderately, severely, and profoundly retarded children are from each other The differences among levels of giftedness are RARELY recognized

7 Sibling Studies Brothers and sisters are usually within 5 or 10 points in measured ability –Over 1/3 of sets of siblings studied were within 5 points of each other –Over 3/5 were within 10 points –Nearly 3/4 were within 13 points Conclusion? When one child in family is gifted, chances are great that all members of family are gifted

8 Second Children Second children are recognized as gifted much less frequently than first- borns or only children First-borns more likely to be achievement oriented Even a first-born twin has a greater chance of being accepted in a gifted program!

9 Parents and Grandparents Parents IQ scores, when known, are often within 10 points of their children's Even grandparents IQ scores are often within 10 points of their grandchildren's

10 First 3 Years of Life Giftedness can be observed in the first 3 years of life by rapid progression through the developmental milestones Milestones should be documented Early identification is essential to optimal development

11 Ideal Age for Testing Gifted childrens IQ scores become depressed at approximately 9 years of age due to ceiling effect of the test Ideal age for testing is between 4 and 8

12 Parents: Excellent Identifiers 84% of 1000 children whose parents feel they exhibit 3/4 of the traits on Characteristics of Giftedness Scale test in the superior or gifted range Over 95% show giftedness in at least one area Many are asynchronous in their development and weaknesses may depress their score

13 Ear Infections and Underachievement Many cases of underachievement are linked to chronic early ear infections (9 or more in the first 3 years) Residual effects cause auditory sequential processing deficits and attention problems Spelling, arithmetic, handwriting, rote memorization, attention, and motivation are all typically affected

14 Gifted Children and Learning Disabilities 1/6 of gifted children tested have some type of learning disability Central auditory processing disorder, difficulties with visual processing, sensory integration dysfunction, spatial disorientation, dyslexia, and attention deficit are the most common Giftedness masks disabilities and disabilities depress IQ scores

15 However... Higher abstract reasoning enables children to compensate for weaknesses Compensation requires more energy, affects motivation, and breaks down when child is stressed or fatigued

16 Get Smarter? Gifted/learning disabled children usually have one parent with same learning pattern Children with dual exceptionalities tend to get smarter as they get older

17 Wait... Hell outgrow it Difficult birth histories can lead to sensory integration dysfunction –Long labor, use of pitocin for extended periods, emergency C-sections, cords wrapped, oxygen deprivation Critical period for ameliorating sensory-motor deficits is from birth to age 7 Pediatric occupational therapy should be sought immediately – dont wait for child to outgrow it

18 Can You Fix Introversion? Over 60% of gifted children are introverted (30% in general population) Over 75% of highly gifted children are introverted –Correlates with reflection, introspection, deep sensitivity, moral development, high academic achievement, scholarly contributions, leadership in academic fields, and smoother passage through midlife Very likely misunderstood – well-meaning adults try to correct introversion

19 Giftedness Is Not Elitist Cuts across all socio-economic, ethnic, and national groups Percentage of gifted students among the upper classes may be higher... BUT... A greater # of gifted children come from lower classes because the poor far outnumber the rich So, if you eliminate provisions for the gifted, the poor suffer most

20 Gifted Children and Asynchrony Development in gifted children tends to be uneven They often feel out-of-sync with age peers and with age-based school expectations They are emotionally intense and have greater awareness of the perils of the world They may not have emotional resources to match their cognitive awareness They are at risk for abuse in environments that do not respect their differences

21 Social Adjustment Gifted children have better social adjustment in classes with children like themselves The brighter the child, the lower the childs social self-concept in regular classrooms Social self-concept improves when children are placed with true peers

22 Concern with Moral Issues Perfectionism, sensitivity, and intensity are associated with giftedness All are derived from the complexity of the childs cognitive and emotional development These traits indicate potential for high moral values in adult life The brighter the child, the earlier and more profound is his concern with moral issues

23 Egalitarian Gifted Programs? The more egalitarian gifted programs attempt to be, the less defensible they are Children in the top and bottom 3 percent of the population have atypical development patterns and require differentiated instruction It is important to provide in-depth services for those who need them the most

24 Reference Silverman, L. (2007). What we have learned about gifted children. Institute for the Study of Advanced Development: Gifted Development Center. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from We%20Have%20Learned%2079-03.htm We%20Have%20Learned%2079-03.htm

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