Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My gifted child

Last week, we found out that we have a wonder child in our midst. My son, who's 10 turning 11 next month, was diagnosed as gifted with a mental age of 15 years on the average, and 17 years in the language/verbal area. Of course the little girl inside me did cartwheels and shouted a cheer. It was nice to hear this good news while living with my back pains.

I've always had a gut feeling that he was different. When he was four months old, while he was in his playpen, he blurted out, "Yaya! Dede!" His dad, our yaya, and I laughed. He was always curious, and before he was two, he knew the alphabet and all the animal sounds. He talked early. At three, he began reading words. And at four, I remember he almost cried tears of joy at realizing he can read the sentences in the story book we had in our hands by himself. At five, he would take his favorite Lego story book and read the story to people around him.

When he was six, he had to wipe away tears of happiness when he got as a birthday gift from his lolo and lola a hardbound book on the presidents of the US. He was into almanacs and atlases thereafter. At seven, when 9-11 happened, he would read the tickler fast when we tuned in to CNN. At eight, we read together In the Presence of My Enemies, the book written by Gracia Burnham, who was kidnapped with her husband by the Abu Sayaf.

He's into politics, history, and military stuff. When the Gloriagate Senate hearings were being shown on TV last year, he would watch it on ANC and write down notes to create a timeline of the whole event. Oh yes, he had an opinion on everything that was happening in current events. When my dad's Time subscription copy would be delivered, he'd shout a "Yay!" then read it first in our room. Last year, we had to buy teach-yourself German and Japanese books because he wanted to learn those languages.

Sometimes he would ask me things I do not know the answer to, or do not know how to answer. How many square miles is Texas? What are the top ten military airplanes? What is oral sex? Can I have a brother?

He would beg to be allowed to stay up late to watch Jeopardy. Today, his last day in school, he went home early and was able to watch Game K N B and had so much fun answering his questions. He told his lolo to enter him as a contestant if they come up with a kiddie version.

His dad said he's smarter than either of us. I agree. I wonder what God has in plan for Him. I pray that He will use his mind for His purpose and to help other people.

In the meantime, I'll try to answer his questions as best I could. If I can't, we'll Ask Jeeves.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Night by Elie Wiesel is a sad thin book about his heart-wrenching experience in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Wiesel won a Nobel Peace Prize. His writing is clear and touching. Read it at least once, like you'd watch Schindler's List the movie at least once. It will keep you grateful for the life we have now.

VERSE OF THE WEEK: Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

6 comments:

roseatdawn said...

Remember when, in 1999, he could already name every car, make and model, when we could barely tell the difference between two compact cars? And remember when he said he would, one day, have the gray-old, dilapidated buildings of some parts of Quezon City cleaned up? Can't wait to see the day!

quietstream said...

Hey there! Thanks for reminding me of that. I think he was just two when he would drool at every car ad in a magazine. :)

Anonymous said...

[Parenting Gifted Children] school for gifted vs. progressive school

Hi! My name is Karen and I'm new here. - WELCOME, KAREN!

It was just a few weeks ago
when we learned that my 10-year-old son is gifted. Since then, I've
been looking for a support group online, and that's how I found your
group. :)

We live in the Philippines and the school year just ended this week.
My son just finished fourth grade. The next school year starts in June.

Just want to ask your opinion if it would be better to transfer him to
a school for the gifted or retain him in his present school. - WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHY THIS OPTION CAME ABOUT FOR YOUR FAMILY. IS YOUR CHILD HAPPY IN HIS PRESENT SCHOOL, IF NOT WITH THE ACADEMICS, THEN WITH THE EXTRA CURRICULAR OR WITH FRIENDS? IS HE ACCEPTED AS THE GIFTED LEARNER HE IS? IS THE ENVIRONMENT, IN TERMS OF BOTH STUDENTS AND TEACHERS HEALTHY AND ACCEPTING? IS YOUR CHILD FREE TO TRULY EXPRESS HIS PERSONALITY, WEAKNESSES AND STRENGHTS?

His
present school is progressive and follows the multiple intelligences
approach. I like this school because they care so much about the kids,
not only with their academic performance, but with their EQ as well. - MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE APPROACH HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE GOOD FOR ALL TYPES OF LEARNERS, GIFTED STUDENTS INCLUDED

My son is bored with his classes in his present school, though, but I
talked with his teacher and the directress of the school this week,
and they're willing to help my son meet his mental needs in fifth
grade. They can give more challenging stuff for him. - THE COMMON PROBLEM IN THIS SET UP IS THAT THE GIFTED LEARNER IS GIVEN "MORE" RATHER THAN "DIFFERENT" OR "ENRICHMENT". THE TENDENCY IS FOR THE CHILD TO FEEL THAT HIS GIFTEDNESS IS A PUNISHMENT RATHER THAN A GIFT BECAUSE HE HAS TO DO MORE, PUT IN MORE HOURS, ETC. WHY NOT TALK TO SOME PARENTS OF OTHER GIFTED CHILDREN IN THAT SCHOOL AND SEE IF THE "CHALLENGING STUFF" PROMISED HAS FULFILLED THE NEEDS AND HAPPINESS OF THEIR GIFTED CHILD? THERE MIGHT BE A PROBLEM ALSO WITH PEER ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-ESTEEM IF HE IS THE ONLY ONE "DIFFERENT" IN CLASS... JUST SOME THOUGHTS...

His dad also
likes him to stay in this school because he said the gifted school
environment isn't like the real world. He said in the real world, you
have to deal with people who are not as smart as you are, and the
present school gives this kind of environment. Any comment on that? - IT IS TRUE... WHY DON'T YOU FIND OUT "HOW" THE GIFTED SCHOOL ADDRESSES THIS? DO THEY HAVE MANY ACTIVITIES IN THE COMMUNITY? WITH RESOURCE SPEAKERS? DO THEY MINGLE OR HAVE GROUP ACTIVITIES IN THEIR CURRICULUM? DO THEY PROVIDE CLUBS? DO THEY SUPPORT THE JOINING IN CONTESTS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL? ARE THE PARENTS AND SIBLINGS ACTIVE IN THE SCHOOL? SOMETIMES, ESPECIALLY IN GRADE SCHOOL, THE GIFTED CHILD HAS TO GROW INTO HIMSELF FIRST, BE ACCEPTED, BE ADMIRED AND RESPECTED, BE COMFORTABLE TO BE WHO HE TRULY IS "FIRST" BEFORE INTERACTING WITH THE WORLD AROUND HIM? HE CAN FOSTER IN THE GIFTED PROGRAM FIRST AND DEVELOP OUTWARDLY IN GRADES 9-12... MAYBE CHECK IF THE GIFTED SCHOOL HAS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT? OR ENRICHMENT, ALLOWING FOR LATERAL GROWTH AS WELL? SOCIAL SKILLS AND INTERACTION IS A LEARNED SKILL THAT CAN BE ADDRESSES IN MANY WAYS, NOT BY MERELY PLACING HIM WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE. THERE ARE MANY WITH LOW EQ AND SOCIAL SKILLS EVEN IN A UNIVERSITY-TYPE SET-UP.

The school for the gifted which we checked out lets kids advance on
their own pace. Some gifted kids do high school math in grade school.
My son is excited to go there. - IM SURE YOUR SON'S HAPPINESS MUST BE A PRIORITY... CHILDREN ARE ALSO VERY GOOD AT SIZING UP THE AURA OF ENVIRONMENTS AND PEOPLE. IF HE HAS BEEN THERE AND IS EXCITED TO TRANSFER, THAT SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE GIFTED SCHOOL AND A LOT ABOUT THE SCHOOL HE HAS BEEN IN ALL THIS TIME... THERE ARE MANY STUDIES AGAINST GRADE LEVEL ACCELERATION THOUGH... MAYBE CLARIFY IF THEY DO THIS OR JUST SUBJECT ACCELERATION? ALSO, WHAT IS THEIR METHOD, TRADITIONAL, PROGRESSIVE, MI? MAYBE THEY TEACH THINGS IN A SIMILAR FASHION TO THE PROGRESSIVE,MI YOU LIKE BUT IN A FASTER WAY? ALSO, LOOK INTO THIR OPTIONS FOR LATERAL DEVELOPMENT OR ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES... WHY NOT MEET SOME OF THEIR STUDENTS? OR PARENTS? THEY ARE TESTIMONY TO HOW HAPPY THEY ARE WITH THE GIFTED SCHOOL OR METHOD USED AND CAN BE AN OBJECTIVE VOICE...

Do you think my son will thrive better in a school for the gifted or
in his present school? - AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE BEST WAY TO DECIDE IS TO SEE WHERE YOUR SON WILL BE THE "BEST" HIM HE CAN BE... WHERE HE CAN BE RESPECTED AS HIS GIFTED SELF...

Thanks! - I WISH YOU ALL THE LUCK. ITS HARD BEING A MOM.

Karen
http://quietstream.blogspot.com/

quietstream said...

Wow! This is really helpful. Thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions. It really is hard being a mom. But it is also very rewarding and fulfilling. :) I'll keep all your suggestions in mind. Thank you again. :)

Poppycock said...

K, I would like to know how you explained oral sex to A, ha ha ha :)

But truly he is so blessed by God, and a blessing to you and people that he meets. I envision a bright future for your boy :)

quietstream said...

mwahahahaha! :-) Hard to explain.

Yes, he's such a blessing. My prayer is that he will continue to grow in his faith always and be a godly man someday.