Saturday, 10 January 2015

Talking about the Gifted Child (& a useful Bibliography)

I don't ever blog about having a 'gifted' child. Partly this is to protect her privacy, but mainly because it's just not something I talk about much at all, even with close friends (and never with parents). I've always felt that talking about the issues associated with a child who is "academically gifted and artistically talented", as I think of it now, implies that you think your child is better than other children - cleverer, more special, excelling in school and so on. So I've kept quiet, until recently.

Although we've known for some time that one of our girls was 'advanced' in terms of learning and other abilities, when school informed us she was on their 'Gifted and Talented' list, we didn't really know what that meant. To be honest, most schools don't really know what to do with that type of information, either. Things have only developed because for our child, being Gifted and Talented brings with it a whole other host of Additional Needs including but not limited to: Sensory Processing Disorder; Anxiety; Anger Management Issues; low Self-Esteem; inherent infinitum.

Which means for her parents and siblings, giftedness isn't automatically a good thing; neither is it for the child. We've found, however, that learning to understand the nature of giftedness goes a long way to helping our family help each other to deal with it. Although it remains a huge learning curve and there's never an easy day.

I probably still won't talk about this in much detail, other than to our Family Support Worker at school and a couple of friends who actually know what we go through. However, I've found some useful literature which enlightened us as parents which I thought I should share. There are also publications aimed at children which have helped us, although (typically) our gifted child found them patronising. There are also other parenting books which have helped me to deal with behavioural issues in general which I list. I hope others may find them of use, as we did.

A Gifted Bibliography

'General' Gifted Books

Colangelo, Nicholas (2007)  A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children

Distin, Kate  (Ed) (2006) Gifted Children: A Guide for Parents & Professionals (most useful one for me - UK author.)

Fonseca, Christine (2010) Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings

Fonseca, Christine (2011) 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: The Ultimate Handbook (this is aimed at gifted kids - ours found it 'too patronising' but I found it so useful!)

Webb, James T et al (Eds) (1989) Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers

Gifted/Other Additional Needs Books

Kennedy, Diane M (2011) Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD and Autism

Lovecky, Deidre V (2003) Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome and Other Learning Deficits (although I don't like the word deficits, it's worth exploring books like this if there are other additional needs involved)

Parenting Books We Found Helpful

Faber, Adele (2013 edition) How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Kimmel, Tim (2005) Grace Based Parenting (A great Christian parenting book.)

Kohn, Alfie (2006)  Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason

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