A Tale of Two Sisters: Chapter 2 Gifted and Talented

Danielle-

As you guys know this year has been one change after another for my sweet Danielle. She started the as a kindergartener and now is a first grader, however that label still follows her. Just last week her current teacher (who we absolutely love) refered to her as a 1/2 kindergartener 1/2 first grader. When working with the Girl Scouts I have to always ask things like “does she bridge up because her age doesn’t match her grade”.

Right or wrong the label of “kindergarten skipper” will follow her throughout her educational career. I knew it would be a bit of a struggle for her and sometimes we have tears over homework. She is reading like crazy and loves the challenge of getting her reading level up. She brings home a new book to read everyday. She brings home report cards with mostly A’s but a B thrown in there. She tested for GT but didn’t get in and I think that was a huge blessing. I think she still has some growing up to do, and she had enough change for one year.

Do I think she’s GT? Well I go back and forth. Our GT teacher told me I better test her next year because her score was so close, so we will see.

Veronica-

Veronica tested into GT in Kindergarten. She blew the test out of the water, she has a 140 IQ. She is gifted. This too was a struggle for us, at first it took learned what gifted actually was. There were a lot of times I had to tell her Daddy that gifted wasn’t just smart it was special. My daughter was a special ed student just on the different end of the line.

I bring all of these up because of this amazing article that was posted on Facebook.

This article brings up the real struggles of GT students. She has a label but everyone ignores it. Sure she will pass the test, but it will almost kill her on the inside.

One struggle mentioned in the article linked above was this:

are… EMOTIONALLY AND SOCIALLY INTENSE – Gifted individuals are born with emotional and social sensitivities and intensities which make their lives a bit more difficult. Events, sounds, feelings, smells and social situations which would not bother other people could feel so intense to a gifted child that they cry, scream, become anxious, shut down or fall apart. Do you think every child reacts to a tag on the back of their shirt like it is a piece of wood with hundreds of sharp nails protruding into their skin?

Ms. Celi Tre`panier, you are my hero! We deal with this ALL. THE. TIME. My Veronica struggles with sounds, mouth sounds when eating, pencil sounds on the desk, the sounds of just normal fidgeting. She has to test with ear buds in her ears, but I can’t get her small group tested because she’ll pass the test. She’s not a risk to the district. She is her calmest when she can put on headphones with loud music and drown out all the sounds that are like nails on a chalkboard to you and me.

She is bullyed, she is forgotten, she is ignored, she is left to do it alone because she’s smart and she’ll pick it up.

She has a label too but it’s a label that makes her transparent to the school system.

I want to close with this- It’s wonderful being a parent to a GT student, but the struggle is real. Her struggle to find a place she fits in, the struggle for her to find peace and a calm in the storm. It’s also wonderful being a parent of a student who’s just smart. Sure Danielle’s chances are pretty high she will get the GT label, but we don’t treat her any differently.

Also in another article written by my new Hero: Celi Tr`epanier she wrote:

Gifted children have an unusual cross to bear; most of society sees giftedness as …… well, as a gift, but gifted children most often see it is a curse

Disclaimer: the part in italics was written by someone else and copied from their blog. I didn’t write them she did and she gets all the credit, and hero status in my book!! Thank you for being an advocate for the gifted and talented.



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