Gifted Young Children: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Gifted Young Children: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Gifted Young Children: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Gifted Young Children: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

Synopsis

A guide to identifying gifted children aged 0-8 years and helping them reach their potential.

Excerpt

The gifts of nature are infinite in their variety, and mind differs from mind almost as much as body from body. (Quintilian, in Laycock 1979: 59)

Let's say that you are a preschool teacher with a four-year-old student who has been attending your centre for two months. Even after this length of time, she still seems unable to separate comfortably from her mother, even with your patient guidance. She becomes distressed and clingy and, long after her mother leaves, remains unsettled and forlorn. When she does play, you observe the child hanging back during activities, either not becoming engaged or flitting from one activity to another without becoming engrossed in any. She does not make friends with any of the other children. She avoids drawing and painting activities and does not appear to enjoy sand play or many other activities. If permitted, she will accompany the adults at preschool, talking with them incessantly. Their suggestions to play with the other children go unheeded, and sometimes they almost have to be rude to get her to leave them to their other duties. In your conversations with her mother, she reports that her daughter used to dress herself independently at the age of two, but that it is a running battle most mornings to get her to cooperate with dressing now.

You could be forgiven for thinking that a child such as this has delayed development. That is certainly a possibility. But it is also possible that the child is gifted. This chapter will describe how this pattern of behaviour can emerge with gifted children.

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