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Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students. Goals for this session: Gain a better understanding of the social and emotional issues and concerns facing.

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Presentation on theme: "Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students. Goals for this session: Gain a better understanding of the social and emotional issues and concerns facing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

2 Goals for this session: Gain a better understanding of the social and emotional issues and concerns facing gifted children today. Discuss different strategies that parents and educators can use to address these issues with gifted children. Receive information on how to become an advocate for your child’s academic and emotional needs.

3 What is Giftedness? The State of NC defines giftedness as: “…Academically or intellectually gifted students perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. Academically or intellectually gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields.” - Article 9b (115C-150.5)

4 How do YOU define giftedness? When you hear the term “gifted,” what comes to mind? What traits do you picture? Discuss ideas with your elbow partner or at your table. (3-5 minutes) Share your ideas!!

5 Common Myths and Misconceptions About Gifted Children Gifted students are a homogeneous group, all high achievers. Gifted students do not need help. If they are really gifted, they can manage on their own. Gifted students have fewer problems than others because their intelligence and abilities somehow exempt them from the hassles of daily life. The future of a gifted student is assured: a world of opportunities lies before the student. Gifted students are self-directed; they know where they are heading. The social and emotional development of the gifted student is at the same level as his or her intellectual development. Gifted students are nerds and social isolates. The primary value of the gifted student lies in his or her brain power. The gifted student's family always prizes his or her abilities. Gifted students need to serve as examples to others and they should always assume extra responsibility. Gifted students make everyone else smarter. Gifted students can accomplish anything they put their minds to. All they have to do is apply themselves. Gifted students are naturally creative and do not need encouragement. Gifted children are easy to raise and a welcome addition to any classroom. From:

6 Society’s Perception of Giftedness Giftedness on television: The Big Bang Theory - stereotyping Is it “cool” to be smart? Gifted programs = elitist?

7 Asynchronous Development Disparities between their intellectual, physical (fine motor) and emotional abilities. Amplified by large discrepancies between a child’s strengths and weaknesses in twice-exceptional students and exceptionally (highly) gifted students. Uneven development and feeling out of step with social norms. Years between 4-9 are most likely to be beset with problems with asynchronous development. Inability to emotionally handle some information they receive/are exposed to. From: The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children (2002, Prufrock Press, Inc.)

8 Gifted Females Teachers and parents often underestimate the intelligence of girls and stereotype their abilities, especially with regards to math and science Memories of negative parental comments often stick with girls into adulthood Decisions about duty and caring (putting the needs of others first) versus nurturing personal, religious and social issues Higher degree of (unhealthy/neurotic) perfectionism World of limiting stereotypes and barriers to achievement More likely to attribute success to luck instead of ability (“The Imposter Phenomenon”) Try to avoid competition to preserve relationships, even if it means they need to downplay their skills (“The Horner Effect”) Often avoid displays of outstanding intellectual ability and search for ways to better conform to the norm of the peer group Believe it is a social disadvantage to be labeled as “smart” because of negative reactions of peers, the potential to be viewed as physically unattractive or lacking in social competence

9 Ways to Support Gifted Females Provide special programs that stimulate and challenge them (Girls on the Run, Science Club for Girls, Girl Scouts, etc.) Encourage them to take higher level math and science courses (AP/IB) Use multiple measures of ability and achievement. Girls tend to score lower on the SAT, CBAT, GRE and other exams critical for college and graduate school admission. Encourage them to take credit for their successes and recognize their own talents. Provide material to compensate for the lack of inclusion of women’s accomplishments in literature or textbooks. Foster friendships with gifted peers who share similar interests. Provide role models of women in traditional and nontraditional careers who have successfully integrated multiple aspects of their lives. Avoid sex-role stereotyping. Encourage awareness of biased depictions of girls and women in the media. Encourage independence and risk-taking. Avoid having different expectations for girls than for boys.

10 Gifted Males Emotional sensitivity – often not valued in males in our culture. This can lead to withdrawing emotionally from others around him. Societal pressures and stereotypes of masculinity may cause boys to hide their giftedness to conform to the ideal of the rugged, athletic, individualistic male. Athletic + smart = socially acceptable. Tend to be more of the “underachievers.” May not be identified early because often giftedness is equated with verbal ability, so boys with strong spatial abilities may be overlooked. High energy gifted boys can be misunderstood and labeled as “troublemakers” when they express creativity in the classroom. Instructional strategies may not match the needs of gifted boys who often require more spatial, kinesthetic and technology-based instruction.

11 Ways to Support Gifted Males Expand instructional strategies to include more: speaking and listening in teaching reading, use more technology, greater amount of physical activity in lessons, less lecture and more spatial/diagrammatic lessons, include books high in action Provide accelerated learning in areas of interest. Provide opportunities for movement throughout the day. Make available activities for boys who are not interested in athletics (Chess Club, Robotics Clubs, Science Olympiad, etc.) Offer leadership training for gifted boys. Counsel boys to explore various career and occupation options. Match boys with mentors who can support them in goal setting (coaches, high school/college boys looking to mentor, neighbors, male teachers, etc.) Provide gifted boys with role models who have intellectual depth.

12 Perfectionism in Gifted Students “Healthy Perfectionists”: derive a very real sense of pleasure from the labors of painstaking effort and who feel free to be less precise as the situation permits  empowers “Neurotic Perfectionists”: are unable to feel satisfaction because in their own eyes they never seem to do things good enough to warrant that feeling  cripples Overcommits himself/herself Rarely delegates work to others; Always has to be in control Difficult time making decisions Competes fiercely Last-minute cramming or always arrives late Gets carried away with details Frequently criticizes others, but refuses to hear criticism of himself/herself Pays more attention to negative than positive comments Calls himself/herself “stupid” when he/she does something imperfectly Procrastinates Deeply embarrassed about mistakes he/she makes Anxiety over stating opinions Afraid of appearing incompetent, being rejected or appearing “stupid” Believes that what he or she can do is more valuable than he or she is Sets impossible goals Resists challenging work; will not take risks

13 Ways to Support Perfectionists Allow students to experience failure within a safe environment – be there to support the learning and the struggle Compliment the effort and process of thinking involved in completing a task – not the product or outcome Let your child know that you understand his/her desire to do well and recognize his/her fear of goofing up/failing Help teach time management and organizational skills (use of calendars, breaking large projects into smaller tasks) Concentrate praise on child’s efforts and be sincere – do not praise every single thing the child does Avoid criticism and focus more on what your child learned during the process Do not assign tasks that are too easy or too difficult – it should be slightly challenging Do not do tasks for your children – this conveys the message that they are incompetent and creates overly-dependent children Focus on famous people who had failures before success (Thomas Edison, Einstein, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc.) Teach your child ways to manage stress and anxiety: exercise, breathing techniques, meditation, good eating habits, laughter Help them set realistic and attainable goals Model self-acceptance of mistakes – we all make them and when you model how to react to making mistakes, the children will follow your lead!

14 Underachieving Gifted Students Low academic self-perceptions Low self-efficacy Low self-motivation and low effort toward academic tasks Low goal valuation Negative attitude toward school and teachers Low self-regulatory or metacognitive skills (disorganized, impulsive) Procrastinate Easily distracted Turn assignments in late, incomplete, or not at all Lack of risk-taking; perfectionists Peer pressure from others to not earn good grades Higher incidence in males than females Inconsistent parenting techniques can lead to underachievement (too lenient vs. too strict)

15 Ways to Support Underachievers Help your child develop organizational skills (checklists, calendars, filing, etc.) Don’t push your child to do more than he or she is comfortable doing – this can lead to feelings of not being able to live up to your goals and they will stop trying Guide them towards activities that reflect their interests and values Avoid competition and comparison – especially with siblings Hold family meetings and/or class meetings to discuss concerns and progress Free time scheduled each day to show importance of relaxation and free choice Verbal praise for any self-initiating behaviors

16 More Strategies for Supporting Gifted Students Collaborate with your school’s counselor/guidance counselor to learn about strategies to support your child both at home and in school Be involved in your child’s achievement, but not overly invested in it – teach them self-efficacy and independence Allow choice when possible Listen without offering criticism or advice – just listen. Praise personal values you are trying to promote instead of the outcomes or products (hard work, kindness, responsibility, etc.) Teach good time management and organizational skills Provide opportunities for community service or action – this allows for feelings of contribution. Promote social contact that is positive – encourage them to get together with friends who have similar interests and values Promote the value of challenging work and appreciation of learning Model risk-taking and coping strategies in the face of failure Talk to other parents of gifted children or form discussion groups (e.g. SENG)

17 When Should I Worry? Self-imposed isolation Extreme perfectionism Deep concern with personal powerlessness Unusual fascination with violence Eating disorders Substance abuse Preoccupation with self Withdrawal into a fantasy world Rigid, compulsive behavior Preoccupation with death

18 Talent Development/Advanced Studies/AVID Department Contacts Director – Kathleen Koch (980-343-6174) Elementary Specialist – Lisa Larotonda (980-343-6165) Compliance/Testing – Sheena Miracle (980-343-2700) Secondary/Horizons (highly gifted) – Trinette Atri (980-343-2644)

19 Evelyn Schlick LI/TD Magnet Coordinator Shamrock Gardens Elementary

20 References Alvino, J. An investigation into the needs of gifted boys. Roeper Review, 13(4), 174- 178. Cross, T. L. (2005). The social and emotional lives of gifted kids: Understanding and guiding their development. Waco, Texas: Prufrock Press. Delisle, J. & Galbraith, J. (2002). When gifted kids don’t have all the answers: How to meet their social and emotional needs. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. Fisher, T. Using bibliotherapy with gifted children. rapy_with_gifted_children.html rapy_with_gifted_children.html Ford, D. Y. (2000, June). Multicultural literature and gifted black students: Promoting self-understanding, awareness, and pride. Roeper Review, 22(4), 235 – 241. Hoagies Gifted education Page. Halsted, J. W. (2002). Some of my best friends are books: Guiding gifted readers from preschool to high school (2 nd ed). Scottsdale, Arizona: Great Potential Press. Hebert, T.P. & Kent, R. (2000, April). Nurturing social and emotional development in gifted teenagers through young adult literature. Roeper Review, 22(3), 167 – 172.

21 References (continued) Lewis, L., Rivera, A., & Roby, D. (2012). Identifying & serving culturally and linguistically diverse gifted students. Waco, Texas: Prufrock Press, Inc. Neihart, M. Cause for Concern, or Reason to Celebrate: Maureen Neihart Discusses her Research on the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children. Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Neihart, M., Reis, S., Robinson, N.M., & Moon,S. (2002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? Washington, DC: The National Association for Gifted Children in conjunction with Prufrock Press. Quindlen, A. (2005). Being Perfect. Random House. Rimm, S. B. (2005). Why bright kids get poor grades: And what you can do about it. Three Rivers Press. Romanoff, Brenda (2004). Class Notes – Social and Emotional needs of gifted students. UNCC Siegle, D. (2013). The underachieving gifted child: Recognizing, understanding, and reversing underachievement. Waco, Texas: Prufrock Press. Trail, B. (2011). Twice-exceptional gifted children: Understanding, teaching, and counseling gifted students. Waco, Texas: Prufrock Press, Inc. Walker, S. Y. (2002). The survival guide for parents of gifted kids: how to understand, live with, and stick up for your gifted child. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing. Webb, J. (1994). Nurturing social-emotional development of gifted children. The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC #E527). Accessed from


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