Gifted Services Board Policy
The Fairborn City School district, in partnership with the community, will provide a safe, nurturing environment that values individual differences and is relentless in the pursuit of personal and academic excellence that prepares all students for success.
General Characteristics of Gifted Students
- They have a natural talent and interest in one or more areas, and a great capacity within that area of talent(s).
- They learn quickly in the area of talent(s).
- They require little repetition when learning new information in the area of talent.
- They have a finely-tuned nervous system which responds quickly to multiple sensory and affective stimuli.
- They probe for more knowledge and deeper meaning in the area of talent.
- They synthesize many sources of information.
- They view the world and situations holistically or globally.
- They often have strong opinions and feelings.
- They have a variety of learning styles: self-directed/guided by others, individual learners/group learners.
- They have a variety of personality profiles: generous to a fault/self-centered, anti-social/social-conformist, cooperative/rebellious, and all profiles found in the general population in every part of the known world at every developmental stage.
- They will often take on the problems of the world – that is, will self-impose the obligation to better the world (family, school, environment)
Parenting Highly Capable Children
By Susan Winebrenner, Parenting Your Gifted Child Videotape
- It’s very important to remember that your gifted child is first a child. They need love and controls, attention and discipline. They seem to need a reason for everything, so you should accept this need as a part of their ability and not as a challenge to your authority. They key is to give them choices whenever possible while retaining your authority.
- Listen to your child. The endless questions reflect the gifted child’s unusual curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell your child that you don’t know the answer to some questions. Your job is to help guide them to find the information themselves.
- Don’t compare your gifted child to other children, siblings, or peers. Try not to discuss their ability with other people in a way that makes it sound like you are primarily proud of them because of their intelligence. Gifted children need to understand that their advanced learning ability makes them different, not better, than their age peers; and that they are perfectly normal in their own right.
- The gifted child needs time to daydream, be silly, lie on the bed and contemplate things. Be patient when your child seems unable to stay with a topic for very long, or finds one and never wants to go on to another. They have a vital need to acquire information and store it away for future reference.
- Encourage your children because all people need encouragement to stay goal-oriented. Praise their efforts as well as outcomes. Also praise their ability to take a risk when something doesn’t work out well
- Many gifted persons have difficulty dealing with the issue of perfectionism. Perfectionists believe that they will only be valued when they do exceptionally great things. They need consistent experience learning that they are valued just as much when they are not “perfect”.
- Gifted children must learn that true learning is a struggle! A grade lower than an “A” may indicate the student is struggling to learn new material. The longer a student’s experience with struggle is postponed, the more difficult it may be for them to develop study skills needed in these situations. Remember that colleges are very interested in “well-rounded” students and a few “B’s” will probably not prevent the student’s admission. Intelligence is not the same thing as effortlessness!
- Do whatever you can to help your child find a suitable friend – one who is just as capable as your son or daughter and who shares the same interests. Many gifted individuals are content with one or two close friends. It is not productive to insist that they socialize with age peers if they’d rather not.
- Be aware that gifted girls have special problems as they are conditioned as they get older by society to be more feminine and less intellectual. Emphasize that the best jobs require as much training in math and science as possible. Encourage them to take these classes and excel in them.
- Many pressures accompany exceptional learning ability. When gifted youngsters continually hear about the contribution they will someday make to the world, it may cause them to worry about what will happen if they don’t succeed. Try to encourage, but not overemphasize, their ability to impact the future.
- Gifted people usually have many careers they might follow. They may experience a great deal of stress and indecision as a result. Encourage them to “follow their passion” rather than to try to fulfill anyone else’s goals for them.
- Parents of gifted children are people too! Recognize your need for help and guidance in understanding and dealing with the special needs of your children. Become a member of your school’s parent group and visit your state’s annual conference for those involved in the lives of gifted children.
- Enjoy! Of all the problems children can have, being gifted is a good one! As you help your child take pride in his or her accomplishments while learning to accept other children as they are, you will be able to relax and enjoy the excitement of parenting gifted children.
The Sensitivities of Gifted People
Compared with most people:
- Gifted people are more receptive and responsive to more stimuli. Everything comes in. They are more intense and they have trouble screening out.
- Being more sensitive and insightful, they have more to deal with and are more easily overloaded.
- They have a larger drain on their system’s ability to deal with the environment.
- Since they experience more of the world, they have more to process, deal with, and cope with.
- They often do not cope the way others think they should. T
- hey feel that they should not make mistakes and should know better. They hesitate to ask for help as a result of receiving many subtle messages that they should be able to handle it. They regret that other people probably wouldn’t understand anyway.
- They perceive themselves as more vulnerable. In their own minds, they are likely to make more mistakes because they are more aware of more choices and thus, more potential for error.
- They must compromise their ideals more often. For them, every possibility has vast options and nuances and shades of meaning.
- They may be discouraged by being aware of the “more” that is denied and not possible to actualize. Denying, thus, leads to more frustration and grief for the loss of what they never had.
- Even though much may be actualized, they are usually denying more than they are actualizing.
- Still, there are more possibilities to excel and what is manifest may be excellent. Worth of accomplishments may be based more on personal meaning than product.
Ways to Encourage:
- Help the gifted person understand and accept his thought process and his differences from most other people.
- Develop peer interaction and a sense of acceptance by being in the company of those who share the same struggle. When one is received, his ideas are great because they are also now within another. To receive helps to validate and convey courage.