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Gifted Children/Can you be gifted and dyslexic and can you be gifted without reading and writing well?

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Question
I have a dyslexic daughter and a gifted son. My son is 7 and in 4th grade. He skipped a couple of grades. He is a straight A kid. My daughter is dyslexic but shows all the signs of a gifted child. Is it possible for a dyslexic to be gifted? She is very creative and good at things like singing and dancing and acting, rather then reading and writing like my son. Is it possible to be gifted without reading and writing well?

Answer
Yes, it's very possible for a child to be dyslexic and gifted at the same time.  It's possible for a gifted child to have trouble reading and writing. Some gifted people have one or sometimes two gifts that  so extreme that it seems impossible for any human to be that intelligent, like a person who can multiply extremely high numbers almost instantly. We use the word "savant."  There was a movie made years ago entitled "Rainman" in which the actor Dustin Hoffman played a savant in using numbers. For example, when a large box of hundreds of toothpicks was spilled on the floor, he could look at the pile of toothpicks and instantly tell you the exact number.  But he was also very impaired in most other ways; HE couldn't manage a job or care for himself.  Most gifted people are gifted in several ways, but not all, like you notice in your children.  There are many different types of thinking and intelligence, different people have different styles of thinking. It can be complicated.

You can find good reading on many different topics at Free Spirit Publishing (www.freespirit.com).

A very important thing to remember is that even though he's in a classroom with mostly 9 year olds, emotionally he's 7 years old.  He'll get plenty of academic stimulation in a lot of ways and places. WHAT HE NEEDS FROM HIS PARENTS MOST IS TO MAKE SURE THAT HIS EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT GETS THE ATTENTION IT NEEDS, TOO. THAT HAPPENS MOSTLY AT HOME.  It's called "asynchronous" development. You can read about that too.

The most important part of this answer, for your children and family, is MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE HIGH PRIORITY.

Thank you for letting me serve you. Your feedback is important.

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Faith A. Coleman MD

Expertise

No questions are off-limits. My strengths are understanding what questioners are really trying to ask, knowing the right questions to get to useful answers, and putting complicated, subject-specific words and concepts into language accessible to lay-persons. The topic is fascinating and can be surprising, the opposite of what might logically seem expected of giftedness. I am skilled in identifying giftedness at any age, including very early in life.

Experience

Children constitute about one-third of the patients in a Family Medicine practice. I was Director of Children's and Women's Public Health Education Programs with the Northeast Texas Public Health District. I have two highly gifted children, one of whom attended Roeper School, listed first in this site's Sponsored Links. I was the health expert for Roeper's board of directors; I maintain contacts there. I'm on the board of directors of several organizations of which I'm a member. I spent a summer as the Medical Director of a camp for kids with ADD, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders. Editor, Medical Economics Publishing Co. licensure to teach K-12 in Oklahoma, with added qualification in Journalism

Organizations
Champions for Children: Advocacy, resources, quality assessment, for early childhood daycare (Board of Directors). American Academy of Family Physicians. Michigan Academy of Family Physicians Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. READ: Advocacy, education, resources for teaching and encouraging literacy in adults. East Texas Network for Children (Planning Board).

Publications
Journals: Medical Economics, Contemporary OB/Gyn, Diagnostic Medicine. Albuquerque Journal Daily, Tyler Daily News, New Mexico Daily Lobo, New Citizen Weekly, Alpena News, daily.

Education/Credentials
BA, Journalism MD University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Internship, Detroit Medical Center. Family Practice Residency, Top-100 Hospital - Beaumont. Clinical Faculty appointments to three medical schools. Faculty, Family Practice Residency, Detroit area.

Awards and Honors
Two official commendations awarded by United States Army for service and contributions to young soldiers and families. Publishing Internship, Medical Economics Publishing Company. Research Internship, Hastings Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences. Woman Medical Student of the Year. Numerous others.

Past/Present Clients
As above in experiences, publications and awards. Many thousands of patient/family encounters.

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