Information for parents
Is my child more able?
A more able child quite likely:
- Has a wide vocabulary, talked early
- Asks lots of perceptive, insightful questions and learns more quickly than others.
- Has a very retentive memory. Some may have a photographic memory; though it is the ability to use and apply what they learn that marks out the gifted child.
- Is extremely curious and can concentrate for long periods on subjects of interest; may get bored and fidgety when not intellectually challenged.
- Has a wide general knowledge and is curious about, and interested in, the world.
- Enjoys problem-solving, often missing out the intermediate stages in an argument and making original connections.
- Has an unusual and vivid imagination.
- Learned to read at an early age.
- Shows strong feelings and opinions; may have an odd sense of humour.
- Sets high standards and is a perfectionist but loses interest when asked to do more of the same.
What to do if your think your child is more able:
- Share information with your child’s teacher and his/her strengths, interests and achievements including any particular gifts/talents that he/she is developing out of School. Sometimes exceptional abilities are evident only outside the school setting and it is important that we know about this
- Discuss with us how we intend to support your child - in most cases we will be able to provide everything your son/daughter needs, just occasionally it may be necessary to point you to external support or opportunities
- It is also important that your child has access to any additional out-of-school opportunities such as clubs and holiday schools that may be provided by external agencies
- Ask questions - especially if you don’t understand.
What can I do for my child at home?
There are many ways that parents can support their more able children. Below are just a few ideas that you may like to try.
- Encourage them to take up a hobby.
- Encourage independent research (Use local libraries or the school library which has a range of materials for the more able student.)
- Use the environment to provide a broad range of experiences, e.g., visits to galleries, museums, sports centres
- Encourage them to read national newspapers or to watch the news on television, to help their knowledge of current affairs.
- Talk to them about what they have learnt in school during the day and what has particularly interested them.
- Support homework activities by ensuring that the work is completed to a high standard.
- Encourage creative and independent interests using resources either from local libraries, the internet or the School.
- Help to develop team skills including cooperation and leadership by encouraging your child to take part in team games and sports.
- Encourage your child’s work in school, providing rewards for good work, to stimulate an environment of positive achievement.
- Talk to them about Thinking Skills and encourage them to do lateral thinking puzzles etc., to increase and develop these skills
- Read all you can about giftedness and talent and learn about the characteristics of gifted children
Problems that a gifted child can experience
- Success does not equal popularity. Gifted children can sometimes get a poor deal because we live in a culture that finds celebrating success very difficult.
- Gifted children can be misdiagnosed, bullied or disaffected.
- It's possible to be gifted and have special needs; many have a learning difficulty (dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory retention problems etc or a disorder such as Asperger’s) which compounds their problems.
- Their intellect can be more advanced than their social and emotional development.
- Because their thought processes can be different from their peers, they find it hard to mix and make friends.
- They may find work in the classroom painstakingly slow but must keep their head down as they don't want to seem arrogant and precocious.
- Fast workers are often told to ‘do more of the same',