In my experience, there is not a grandparent in the world who is not convinced that their grandchildren are gifted. To listen to them, that giftedness is present in just about 98% of all children born. While such protestations make for great familial comraderie, I fear that the testamonials will not suffice for inclusion in an AP Program. So, let's see what the legislature has to say about the gifted child.
The current Elementary and Secondary Education Act definition of Gifted is:
Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.
With that let's look at some characteristics that may give us a few clues to understanding, identifying, and supporting gifted students.
Each gifted student presents differently. Gifted students often have characteristics that may include:
Giftedness occurs equally in all racial, and income levels. Frequently, educators and school psychologists mistakenly identify exposure to opportunity as inborn potential or giftedness in their identification procedures. This results in an inequitable system that maintains the skewed playing field.
Gaming the system - It is common knowledge among parents that if you go to certain psychologists you can get the 130 IQ needed to get your children into a gifted program, for which they do not qualify, but offers many educational benefits in our geographical area. Shopping around for psychologists is common. This sets up many children with unrealistic expectations and the stress to stay in gifted programming.
Next on the Agenda
3. Gifted Students Learn Differently
4. Things You did not Know About Gifted Students
5. Institutionalized Racism Exists Within Our Schools
1. The State of Gifted Education
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Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children. As a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant she has assisted in the development of thousands of IEPs nationally and consulted with schools. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work as well as expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny and she always inspires and informs.
MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher She has been honored with the receipt of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate who teaches professional advocates, educators, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.
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