Anne Sanderlin

Freelance Writer & Marketer

Location:Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States
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Gifted, But Different
How to Parent a Gifted Child
By Anne Leverette-Sanderlin
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Children differ in their physical, social and intellectual development from the day they are born. Because of these differences parents walk a fine line with their preschoolers determining the difference between a truly gifted or precious child. Mozart possessed an extraordinary talent from his toddler years and died penniless at the age of 36, while Thomas Edison was considered an academic and behavior problem until his late teen years. There is no unique characteristic or single event that designates giftedness.

According to Richard Culyer of the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., there are a number of things a parent can look for, such as walking and talking early. "The absence of these examples doesn't necessarily mean that a child might not be gifted," he says. "Other indicators are a large vocabulary, excellent memory, interests in many things and an exceptional ability in a particular subject."

Signs of a Gifted Child
The Council for Exceptional Children identifies the early signs of giftedness as:

•Abstract reasoning and problem solving skills
•Rapid progression through developmental milestones
•Early and extensive language
•Early recognition of caretakers
•Enjoyment and speed of learning
•Extraordinary memory
•Very high activity level
•Intense reaction to pain, noise or frustration
•Sensitivity and compassion
•Very alert in infancy
•Has a very vivid imagination

These are just a few typical factors stressed by Culyer and other authorities as being indicators of giftedness. No child is outstanding in all of the above areas, and there is a group of children that the state of Florida calls "Plan B children," who don't show the gifted traits at an early age. Yet, when they start school and are placed in an environment that stimulates them, they may be what Culyer calls "late bloomers." Culyer says Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison are examples of Plan B children.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Want to see more?
•Raising Creative Kids Series
•Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
•The Gifted Child: Better off? Or Branded?
•Talk about it!

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