This page contains an affiliate link. If you take action based on it, I’ll receive a referral fee, at no mark up to you. Here’s why – and what my son thinks about it.
During your time as an educator, you’ll come into contact with kids who differ in countless ways. Accounting for various personalities and learning abilities can be difficult; however, the more you know, the easier you can navigate the differences.
That’s why I started this blog. I saw my son (who I now know is “highly gifted”) struggling a lot socially. And no one could help me figure out what was going on; not his teachers, not the school counselor, and not his pediatrician. I’ve never felt so desperate for answers!
How to help minimize this
- Don’t fall for the myths about gifted students. (This article by a gifted educator describes four common misconceptions.)
- Know the hallmark traits of giftedness:
- This is a true neurodiversity issue. You can see it on MRIs. Plus, why else would a play therapist make a Rain Man reference after one session with my son?
- Because of this unique “brain wiring,” there are distinct differences between high achievers and gifted students.
- Keep in mind that many kite kids have been misdiagnosed with conditions, such as ADHD, OCD, ODD, sensory processing disorder, sleep disorders and Asperger’s. It isn’t your job to fix that, but imagine how that might impact a student – and you.
- On the flip side of that, though, be aware that some kite kids are twice-exceptional (2e), so their disabilities can make their giftedness difficult to see (and vice versa.)
If you think your student may be gifted
If you have a student who displays several kite kid traits, please tell the child’s parents. I know there are rules around what you can (and can’t) say, but something is better than nothing. Most parents have no idea what giftedness really looks like, so it would at least put the possibility on their radar – and the ball in their court.
If you know a student is gifted
- Don’t assume his parents have been told about anything other than academic accommodations. I can almost guarantee no one explained uneven development or overexcitabilities when discussing the evaluation results. So don’t be shy about mentioning that – or telling them about great ways to nurture a gifted child.
Talking about the Kite Kid Mama blog doesn’t hurt either. (They can subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send more info to help educate and support both them and their kiddo.) 🙂
- If your student is experiencing significant social-emotional issues, and it becomes a discussion point between you and the child’s parent, tell her that most child and family therapists aren’t familiar with asynchronous development and overexcitabilities. Therefore, she should try to find a therapist who specializes in giftedness, and will take that into consideration during evaluation and treatment.