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My son might be gifted but he does not stay in task. what can I do?


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lizdarelli April 15, 2009


My son is in kinder, I have been told by his teacher that he is very smart and advanced, he is very creative, social and has a great memory, the test shows that he knows more than is required for his age.


But there is one thing that she is concern about and me too, he can not concentrate very well he gets very easily distracted and can't finish his work at school. His class is kind of large for my taste 24 kids and 16 are boys I wonder if that is the issue.


Any ideas? thanks.


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gogators April 16, 2009


My ideas are this: (1) very gifted & not mentally stimilated enough so he is not mentally engaged by the work (even if he doesn't say he is bored.) (My daughter would mentally "check-out" and be daydreaming instead of doing her assignments or daydreaming while doing the assignments, and is very easily distracted ) or (2) ADHD, or (3) both.

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lizdarelli April 16, 2009


So what do you do to help her be more focus in her work? does your daughter has ADHD?
I had ask his teacher about it and she does not think he has ADHD, there is few kids in the class that she has recomended for ADHD medication. That is why I did not think about that. Thanks for your opinion.

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gogators April 16, 2009


We had her tested for IQ and ADHD. No ADHD but still pretty high scores on that test...apparently highly gifted kids have the traits of ADHD. IQ testing found that she was highly gifted, performing years ahead of her peers. Socially, she was and is behind her age based peers. To keep her focused, the school pulls her out of first grade and sends to to 3rd & 5th for academic instruction in the mornings. To help with transitions and finishing assignments while in the 1st grade classroom in the afternoons the teacher uses a visual time/timer where she can see how much time she has left to work on something to help keep her focused. here's a website for it. http://www.timetimer.com. The timer has really helped her focus...the teacher just has to remember to set it at the beginning of the assignment period. Did this cure her distractability? No. But her teacher says it has made a HUGE difference in staying on task and getting stuff done in a timely fashion, and has also helped other kids stay focused too (which by the domino effect meant that they weren't doing things that might distract my daughter). Also, the teacher sometimes will pull my daughter to a separate table away from the other kids to help her keep from getting distracted.

You might also want to ask the school if they have someone who can test him for IQ and/or ADHD, and if not, find a private tester and get it done before next school year. check out the hoagies gifted website for a list of testers in your area.

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healthy11 April 16, 2009


My son got similar comments from his kindergarten and first grade teachers, and he was also in big 24-27 student classes. A private evaluation showed him to be highly gifted, but they weren't sure if he also had ADHD. Even after we changed him to a private, gifted school, with smaller class sizes and more hands-on instruction, he continued to have trouble focusing, and I volunteered in the classroom alot, so I could see the problems, too. (He was my firstborn, so I didn't have anyone else to compare him to at home, even though I could see he was always going from one thing to the next, without finishing many tasks.)
His ADHD was formally diagnosed at that point, and I've spent years learning all I could about kid like him, who are also known as "2e" or "twice exceptional," being gifted along with having ADHD and/or LDs. You might like to read some of the resources I've compiled here: http://community.greatschools.net/groups/16042

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lizdarelli April 16, 2009


Thanks so much for the tips, I will check this website.

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lizdarelli April 16, 2009


I am in the same boat, he is my firstborn and I just feel sometimes helpless, dont know where to start, I am glad I found this website, your advices and ideas helps a lot, gives me a starting point, I guess there is alot to learn.

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KarenTC April 17, 2009


Forgive me, but I had to laugh. We went through so much of the same thing....our son's K teacher wanted him put in pre-K when he could read before school started. I visited the class and could see why he was so frustrated.

I'm a retired teacher and at least in our state, teachers have no training in gifted education. I had him tested when he was 6 and then the school would let him be accelerated for his favorite subject (science).

Accelerating him in all subjects wasn't going to be the answer. The answer is accomodating the needs of each child. One size fits all is outdated.

I also was able to arrange for mentors from a nearby college (I paid for gas) with majors in his favorite subjects. He loved it. When he went to fifth grade (and already read at HS level) teachers refused to allow mentors. We decided to home school (never thought I would). We love it and all its flexibility (5 years now).

Anyway, go to
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/gifted_101.htm
(tops in all areas)
SENGIFTED.org (SUPPORTING EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THE GIFTED)
http://www.davidsongifted.org/
(SCHOOL IN RENO FOR GIFTED CHILDREN)
All of these give great information for deciding if your child is gifted. You can also just take your child to the ISD unless you prefer to pay a psychiatrist (or is it psychologist?)/

Also be sure to look up Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities. Just type it in and see if it sounds familiar :-) It is so perfect to see that they are normal for what they are--gifted.

If you look at these sites, the support and understanding will help you tremendously. You may also find a gifted education group in your state. He's your gift. Don't give up!!

Karen

PS Get from your library or buy at Amazon (cheap) "You Know Your Child is Gifted When.." by Judy Galbraith. Explore and if it sounds like your child, then the school has a better chance of accomodating his needs. "Edison Trait" helped us, too.


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sarakat May 28, 2009


My daughter has issues with distractibility, and it turns out that she has ADHD. This might not be the case with your son, but you could always have him evaluated if he continues to show signs in first grade, when much more is expected from the kids. Also, in our school system, all first graders are given a group intelligence test early in the year, and based on high scores from that test, along with other signs of advanced ability, my daughter was invited to participate in an enrichment program. Our school system does not provide a formal "gifted" program until 3rd grade, but there are other options (such as the pullout program she's now in) for younger gifted children. You might want to check with your school to see how they evaluate for giftedness. Also, I'd suggest meeting with your son's first grade teacher early in the school year and ask what techniques he/she uses to assist children who tend to be easily distracted. My daughter has a great teacher who works with her by making sure she is seated in the front of the room, asks her to repeat directions on occasion, etc.
Hope this helps, and good luck!

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TeacherParent June 5, 2009


That a child - and a possibly gifted one at that - cannot stay on task in a kindergarten class is not surprising. Nature intended children to have short attention spans. On top of that, your son might be gifted which means his minds might work in a different way - gifted children do best when they are intrigued - do you find the tasks he's given in his class to be intriguing ones?

As children grow, they most often grow longer attention spans - some few children are born focused, most others mature into having greater focus. Focus can be fostered but it will be a slow process to foster focus in a room of 24 kindergarten age children and 16 boys.

This year is almost over - some teachers do better with the students who seem to have shorter attention spans - some teachers are more patient with such children and some others have the special knack that is fostering focus - I always suggest going in and observing the teachers in the grade ahead and if you see one that you think would be a good match for your son, request that teacher for your son from the principal.



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