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Gifted Children/Gifted or Immature?

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Question
My daughter is 6 years old. Since she was born she has been a very intense child. Her milestones were early and in no general order, it was as if she chose what she wanted to learn and did it. My daughter developed her own language to communicate with those around her. In the beginning I thought it was a cute stage, but, by age 3, I was concerned because everyone around me pointed it out and made comments. So, I had her assessed. they put her into a special needs preschool which had speech therapy. By, one week she spoke English regularly and let her own language go. By, age 5 when going into K, she had worked her way out of speech. She went from 18 months speech assessment at 3 to age appropriate in about 18 months.
 My problem is that she has always been very smart, in many different ways. She picks up things very fast, has always had an amazing understanding of those around her, numbers, sorting like and different objects,imagination,letters, words, and many other things. We have had several instances in school where is KNOWS the material but, is so disinterested in it that she has melt downs because she sees no point in proving to this adult that she can do it. She wants them to take her word for it. She also is one who will challenge an adult in the room if she feels she can " get over" on them. At home she is relatively calm, follows the rules of the house, plays like any normal 6 year old, but finds solace with older children rather than children her own age. My question is should I have her IQ tested or do I look at the fact the behavior at school as an indicator that something else is wrong with her. I have 3 children one is gifted but, because of other reasons has not been tested ( he entered K at 4, and is in advanced Math and social studies classes) and I a lot of the same signs I did in him in her but, she is much more emotionally intense than he is. Please help me find a direction if you can!

Answer
You did the right thing by writing.  No parent know how to handle stuff like this without some guidance.  Your daughter is showing many of the characteristics of giftedness, and intellect runs in the family, too.  Most gifted kids share some characteristics but not all, and all have unique personalities and temperaments. Intensity is definitely associated with giftedness, but to widely different degrees, from none to off the scale.  Gifted kids can also have learning disabilities, little to extreme, such as with severe autism (I'm not suggesting that you daughter is autistic.) It's important to sort out the various traits that affect her functioning.

IQ testing alone is not very useful.  "Neuropsychiatric evaluation" is what's needed.  That doesn't mean your daughter has disabilities or mental illness; it's just the name of the type of testing she needs. Often school systems do the testing or know how or where you can get it done. It can cost several hundred dollars to more than a thousand. You may be able to get financial help for that if you need it.

You may be seeing what's called "asynchronous development."  A child can be years ahead of age in intellect, but emotional maturity is a better match with age. She'll never run out of intellectual stimulation. The PARENTS' MOST IMPORTANT JOB IS TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. It's easy to expect too much because they just seem so much older.

No matter how smart a person is though, if they can't get along with people, or can't recognize appropriate authority, they have little chance of success and fulfillment. That's why your job of teaching ok behavior and "people skills" is so important.  Gifted kids need consistency, firm boundaries, and prompt correction even more than kids of average intelligence.  

"Free Spirit Publishing", www.freespirit.com, will become your good friend.  Go to the "Parent's Page" and heave a sigh of relief - there are answers!  Also, at your fingertips, is "About.com", similar to AllExperts.com, where you find short articles and quick explanations.

Humptydumptyparent.com is a newer, rapidly growing site for parents to connect, share ideas, get news about events, and other functions. Your comments are welcome there, as suggestions for topics or information about matters of interest. It doesn't (yet) have a Q&A feature but it does have an energetic, action-oriented founder. There's an article I wrote, "Parent: a Job Description" which I think you'll find helpful.

Today's most important message: MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE HIGH PRIORITY.

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Gifted Children

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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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