Gifted Children/Gifted child

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Question
QUESTION: What can I do to get my child's school to see she needs to skip a grade? Report card scores are 98-101. My child reads at 8th grade level an is in the 3rd grade.My child is becoming bored and frustrated with school because its not challenging enough. On the ITBS test the overall Composite was SS 217, GE 6.0,NS 9, NCE 99 and NPR 99. I challenge my child outside of school,but my child needs it in school as well. Help. I'm afraid my child's grades may drop because of boredom and frustration.

ANSWER: Thank you for your patience. In order to give you the most useful answer, I'd like to ask you a couple questions. You are not required to respond, but it would be very helpful.

1. Has your son had any kind of evaluation or testing in regard to intelligence, academic needs, learning style, etc.?

2. Have you discussed your concerns with the counselor at school, the principal or other school professional?

Dr. Coleman

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1.Yes, she was tested and put in gifted program in 1st grade.Teacher gave her 2nd grade work.

2.Yes, I discussed my concerns with teachers, Principal and Gifted teacher.Principal seems to think that she may slow down with her learning ability at a certain age (really). Teachers think that she needs to skip.

Answer
I apologize for referring to your daughter as your son in my question above.

The decision whether or not to skip a grade is always difficult, even when all the adults are in agreement that something needs to be done in the child's best interests in education. It involves social, emotional, and mental well-being, in addition to academic needs. I'm not in a position to say whether or not it's in your daughter's best interest to skip, because its so complex, but you're doing the right thing by looking at ways to better meet her academic needs. Two very important things to remember: 1. This matter is for the adults to determine. It's best for your daughter to keep discussions/debates/decision making between the adults and shield her, especially from controversy. Although she is intellectually gifted, years ahead of age, she's still emotionally at her calendar age. That mismatch is characteristic of giftedness; it can be hard to keep that in mind. 2. In discussion with the school, always remain calm when you're speaking with them or visiting the school. That can be very hard to manage, when emotions run high, but it keeps you at your best to advocate for your daughter. Were you to go back through previous answers, you'd find parents who were glad that I had cautioned them to keep emotions in check while interacting with school. You'll be glad you did.

It's very difficult when the principal and teacher don't agree, and when the teacher is the one who spends the day with her and knows her best, believing that she needs to advance, but the principal over-riding that is hard to understand. I would want the principal to explain that to me, and recommend reading resources to learn more about it. I would hope the principal would believe in the judgement of the teachers. I don't understand on what basis the principal thinks that your daughter's learning would slow down.

Some ideas: Learn all you can about giftedness. Free Spirit Publishing, www.freespirit.com, is a real treasure of books and various materials to learn about kids with all kinds of needs and abilities. As you're learning you'll start to feel more confident about knowing your daughter's needs and feel more empowered to meet them. Do you have other options for your daughter's education? Are there private schools available? By no means is private always better than public, but that's an option that you could investigate. If tuition is costly, many private schools have scholarships, sliding scales, or lower tuition in exchange for a parent doing volunteer work with the school. There are many home-school curriculums, on-line and off, which are options. There are also educational materials to purchase to augment learning for kids who need more challenge than the standard curriculum.

One thing I tell all parents, and it's true with your situation too, is if you are married, make your marriage high priority, and have lots of family fun. It's well-documented in research that making those high priority is better for kids overall, including academically.

I hope this is helpful. You can always return here with questions. Let me know what happens. Thank you for letting me serve you.  

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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