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Gifted Children/School behaviour


Hi - over the past 12 months my sons behaviour in preschool and now in school has deteriorated. He does not listen, gets aggressive towards one teacher in particular, throws toys and tries to hide in the school. He does not display this behaviour outside of school apart from the lack of listening now and again.  He is seeing a child psychologist and at first she thought he was frustrated and clever. We did an IQ test but im not convinced of the results. We went through the papers and some of the questions she said he struggled with, i know he knows the answer to them. Now she thinks he is suffering from anxiety. His current school has said he is no allowed back until he displays better behaviours.  I think I need to change the school now, regardless of his outcome they have labelled him trouble.
I'm not sure where to go from here!

With so little information it's hard to comment.  How old is your son? Can you tell me where you live - what country? Do both parents work outside your home? Are they educated?  Are there other children at home?  You are not required to answer, but it may help me give you a useful answer.

I can imagine how distressing and even frightening it is for you having to deal with this. I want to try giving you some guidance even if you prefer not to answer the questions I sent, and that's fine.

Did anything happen 12 months ago that triggered the changes in your son? A new baby, loss of a grandparent, divorce or separation, a parent losing a job, moving to a different house, illness in the family?  I'm sorry to have to mention that changes like this can be a result of prior or current physical or sexual abuse.  His behavior changed before he had the teacher who is the target for his aggression, is that correct?  I'm wondering if the classrooms have cameras mounted for surveillance. It would be a big help if you could observe the behavior.  Would it be possible for you to sit in on the daily activities? A couple days is optimal, but any time would help.

Is there anything worrisome about the teacher he targets? It sounds like they haven't been very helpful. It surprises me that the psychologist didn't recommend more.  A child can be gifted and have learning and behavior disorders at the same time.  An IQ test alone in these circumstances isn't really useful.

1) First your son should see your family doctor or pediatrician. He or she will check for physical disorders, may need to do some bloodwork for things in the bloodstream that are toxic, such as lead and metals.  

2) Vision and hearing should be checked.

3)  The doctor should be able to recommend some person or clinic that does what's called "neuropsychiatric evaluation." It doesn't mean there is some psychiatric problem, although testing for that is included. It's just the name of the testing. Have that done. If you don't get useful referrals from the doctor, a good place to go is a hospital or clinic that's associated with a university health center. You would ask for the children's neurology department.  A university with an education department is another option to find help.
4) There is a web site that's somewhat associated with this site. It's "" It has articles and longer explanations about various topics, as well as recommendations for additional reading. There's a page about giftedness ( and other sites about discipline, learning problems, family issues, etc.

5) Get familiar with "Free Spirit Publishing" which has excellent reading material, family games, and other encouraging and informative items.

6) For general health problems and guidance use or

7) Give your son some extra affectionate touch as often as possible. Just brushing away the hair on his forehead, a light pat on the back when passing. Use affirming words too, like "I'm so glad you're my son", "I believe in you," things like that.

8) Make "appointments" with your son; it will feel very grown-up and special to him. Even 10 minutes a day can make a big business. You and he can come up with ideas for how to spend the time.  Is his father involved?

9) This is the most important thing to learn today, if you're married - MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE HIGH PRIORITY.

10) Have family fun, the sillier, the better.

I hope this is useful. Do you feel like you can move forward from here?  Please write anytime.  Let me know what happens.

Right now you don't know if its good to find a new school or return to the old school. Let's see what you learn about your son and what can be done for that, before you make a decision about schools.  

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Faith A. Coleman MD


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.


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

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).

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

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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