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Parenting the Gifted and High Ability Child: THE ULTIMATE THRILL RIDE! LOIS HORN-DIAZ, ED.S.

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Presentation on theme: "Parenting the Gifted and High Ability Child: THE ULTIMATE THRILL RIDE! LOIS HORN-DIAZ, ED.S."— Presentation transcript:


2 Parenting the Gifted and High Ability Child: THE ULTIMATE THRILL RIDE! LOIS HORN-DIAZ, ED.S.

3 Wearing Three Hats As a School Psychologist… –B.A. Elementary Education, Summa Cum Laude, 1980, UCF –M.S. School Psychology, 1985, UCF –Ed.S. School Psychology, 1989, UCF –25 years experience as a Certified School Psychologist, testing and placing hundreds of students into the Gifted Program As a Parent… –13 years “on the job” training as the parent of a gifted son (identified at age 6) As a Teacher... –Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education, 2010, USF –(Almost) 3 years experience as a Teacher of the Gifted

4 Introversion vs. Extroversion Gender Parenting Previous Educational Experiences Not ALL High-Ability and Gifted Kids are Alike!

5 ALPHA Program (GIFTED) Entrance criteria based upon a test of Intelligence (IQ)…what they are capable of learning. STEM Program (Academically Talented) Entrance criteria based upon measures of academic achievement/performance…what they have actually learned and what they are demonstrating in the classroom! Students may be placed in BOTH programs, or just one and not the other! Identification of Students for Special Programs As a School Psychologist….

6 Identification of the Gifted: Assessment of Intelligence

7 Identification of the Academically Talented: Assessment of Academic Achievement

8 What I Learned About Gifted Kids “On the Job”!




12 As A Parent We Are All in the Same Boat! No Instructions Included! Researched Out of Desperation! Discovered Resources:

13 Infancy Make Mine Flannel, Please! Enhanced Sensory (Tactile) Awareness The Mommy Soundtrack/Walk and Talk Need for Stimulation MORE! Need for Stimulation Just Enough Time to Clean… Less Need for Sleep The A,B,C’s? Early Development of Basic Skills


15 Those ‘Terrific Twos’ and Threes Colors, Numbers, Shapes and Opposites Early Development of Basic Skills “Spinish Keeeesh!” Enhanced Sensory (Smell) Awareness Empty-phobia and the Magic Potty Increased Awareness and Anxiety God Bless America Precocious Memory and Music Sense


17 School Daze… No nap needed Reduced Need for Sleep No movies please! Super-Empathy No side effects reported Intensified Reactions to Medications Brand Loyalty Enhanced Sensory (Taste) Awareness Because You Never Asked… Early Aquisition of Academic Skills



20 A Great discovery…

21 Asynchronous Development Overexcitabilities

22 Asynchrony Means out-of-sync Gifted child may experience asynchrony on several levels –Between intellectual abilities and physical abilities or affective abilities –Between chronological peers and mental age –Between giftedness in one area as opposed to others (math, music, etc.) Can create social and emotional vulnerabilities Most problematic between 4 and 9 years old The higher the IQ, the more acute the problem

23 OVEREXCITABILITIES “ Superstimulatability” in five global areas: *Intellectual *Psychomotor *Emotional *Sensory *Imaginational Innate and observable from birth Increases with level of IQ Expanded awareness and capacity to respond to stimuli Increases with stress May lead to misdiagnosis of other disorders

24 The Bottom Line ? Intensity! Perfectionism! Sensitivity!

25 As A Teacher How Do We Handle Them? It Takes One To Know One! They Soak it Up Like a Sponge! They have “special needs”… making YOU a “special needs” parent! There is SO MUCH More For Me to Learn!

26 Our Next Step? Part Two? Parent Support Group?

27 Thank You For Your Attention!

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