To Everyone Here... Your Child May Be Gifted!

by Hopefully Helpful

Many gifted children have sensory issues, ADHD, slight Autism, social issues (getting along well with older kids not with peers) and other behavioral/developmental concerns. Check out the gifted children's website in USA by searching hoagiesgifted or search giftedchildren.

I thought my child was odd, different, socially inept but he turned out to be gifted in maths and science. If you think your child is gifted after searching for the above sites, then have them assessed by an Education Psychologist recommended on the gifted website as some Ed Psychs don't have a background in assessing giftedness. Giftedness is usually in one or two areas only, so just because they are bad at language doesn't mean they can't be gifted. Gifted can be any one of the following areas: maths/science/music/art/socially/language/memory/creative imagination etc.

There are lots of fun places for gifted kids/parents to interact including gifted clubs and education where they go to an advanced school for one day per week, known as One Day School, alongside their normal school. Chat to the parents on the forums and you will discover your unusual child is quite normal for a gifted child.

Good luck.

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Jan 29, 2020
Riddle answered!
by: Cindy

I believe I have a child with SPD. For the first 6 years, of her life she was an enigma to me & it was a constant battle with clothing. Everything was either too "itchy" too "tight" or it felt "funny" and god-forbid any shirts have a tag! Socks also, had to fit a certain way or she would have to constantly re-adjust them by taking her shoes off and adjusting the fit. I finally just got her slip on shoes that could be worn without socks, problem solved.

She has always been a "busy" child but I noticed from the time she was born she was very sensitive to touch and to sounds. And I don’t think she slept until she was four. She never slept more than 3 or 4 hours at a time even when she was actin baby. Also, when she was an infant, noticed if I held her she cried and if I put her down, she would stop! My family would just get a confused look on their face when witnessing this. They were about as confused as myself.

As far as noises go, my daughter would became frightened & cry at the automatic car wash and would get upset at the sound of the the vacuum cleaner. She also would become very fussy on car rides. All these things that put my other child to sleep when he was young, had the opposite effect on my daughter.

I also noticed little things like instead of playing with her tiny plastic farm animals, she would instead line them all up in a long line in a particular order. She lined everything up, HER shoes, MY shoes, her blocks, her crayons, etc OH- and she ALWAYS had to smell everything! Every time she would eat something, she would smell it first and from different angles before she would finally put it in her mouth. And she choked on everything!

I went out to eat with my sister and I told her I could only order something smooth for my daughter to eat or she would start choking. So I ordered mashed potatoes and when she started choking on those, I just remember looking at my sister and saying "you gotta be friggin kidding me! Who chokes on mashed potatoes?"

All this time I never realized these behaviors were symptoms of SPD. In fact, I had often wondered if her behaviors were autism related. After reading about this, I understand that she probably had this "disorder" but after she turned 6 it started getting better (except the clothes with tags stabbing her in the back and socks that were too thick, that is still a thing)! I had always looked for an answer for all the quirky things she did and believe now the riddle is solved!

I understand the situation with my daughter and myself could possibly be hereditary?

I walked on my toes for the first 4 years of my life and I still can’t stand some things to touch my feet. All the former toe walking caused my Achilles’ tendon to be shortened. I have never had a problem with balance though. Also, when it comes to noises, I can’t stand people talking loud (sounds like echoing through my head) or hearing wind or road noise in my car. I also, never had any learning disabilities.

I was in the accelerated math program and could have graduated a year early. I am curious however, if anyone knows of issues with migraines (I have them often but my daughter has only had a couple) I have not found anything about migraines in the literature I’ve read.

I’m not sure if in most these cases the behaviors subside with time but in the case of my daughter (and myself) they did.

Apr 19, 2013
Let's raise awareness!!
by: Shell

I am an Occupational Therapist who is has a particular interest in sensory processing. I am so passionate about lessening the impact of sensory processing difficulties in daily life for these kids. I have developed and started delivering teacher training to raise awareness of how to accommodate and cater for for kids with sensory processing difficulties at school.

This all began when my kids started school and I would help with reading groups in their classrooms. Looking around the rooms I could see so many behaviours going on related to sensory processing, whether it be sensory avoidance, sensory seeking and/or self regulation. Whether the child is gifted and talented, has ADHD, Aspergers, Autism or is neurotypical.........there are so many kids out there who are impacted by sensory processing that interferes with their school life.

I so hope we can get the message out there so that teachers can gain a good understanding of sensory processing, how it impacts these kids at school (rather than thinking the child is difficult) and what they can do about it. Wouldn't it be awesome to see classrooms that cater for kids sensory needs so that they can reach their absolute potential with minimum angst!

The result for teachers would be that every student in their classes would benefit as we all have different sensory needs and preferences and if these are addressed, it puts us in our best state for learning, interacting and completing our tasks of daily living.

Mar 14, 2012
by: Anonymous

I am a pediatric physical therapist, and am struggling coming to terms with my own child. I have been fighting the system for the past 4 years (or more). He is a wonderful child. An extremely bright child, and is now a kindergarten student. He is off the charts in both reading and math (the 2 standards they keep track of in my state in kindergarten).

As a physical therapist who has worked with children most of my adult life, I recognized the difficulties with sensory processing very early on...around 18 months. He was late to roll (a major issue for his PT mom!) and very early with all of his other motor milestones (crawling at 6 months, walking at 8 months...and not just one step...around the house without help). I have been through multiple occupational therapists, developmental therapists, and now teachers in the school systems who have all made me feel as though I was a "crazy mom".

I finally have had an occupational therapist agree with me, and thankfully his kindergarten teacher is on board as well. He is a child who bolts and hides in locked rooms when he feels that overwhelmed or that others are judging him, can't deal with even the slightest imperfection with his schoolwork, and cries himself to sleep at age 6 because he feels that he has no friends. I feel very equipped in helping others through this, at least in the gross motor arena, but feel so helpless to help my own child. I am hoping that this latest array of evaluations will guide his educational programming, but would love to hear some advice from parents who have been there. It is a humbling experience to be on the other side of the table so to speak. I was fortunate in my childhood to have great advocates with many of my teaches, as I was also in the gifted and talented program as a child. However, I did not experience the sensory difficulties that he is demonstrating. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jul 17, 2011
Gifted + Special Needs = Twice Exceptional "2E"
by: MarcieB

We have two boys who are now 15 and 13. They were identified as gifted in early elementary school, and attended a gifted magnet. Both of them started to struggle with academics by 1st or 2nd grade and we didn't understand why. We have spent thousands of dollars on assessment testing, individual, and family therapies. The public school systems won't help with identifying learning differences because of their budget constraints. We have started an online support group for families of 2E kids. You can go to yahoo groups and search for 2E Network LA to find our yahoo website. Please join us in understanding and advocating for our unique and special 2E kids (and adults). :-) Marcie B

Dec 23, 2010
Please learn what giftedness means
by: Anonymous

To the other commenter, You are correct that lots of parents say their child is gifted - but very few say that in reference to IQ (what giftedness has long meant). Studies have shown that parents who do say this are correct nearly every time, but they are not believed - just as your comment suggests.

Parents are the most likely to recognize high intelligence in their children while teachers are the worst at it, and often say just the opposite ( ash happened with both my son and me). Worse, the more highly gifted a child is, the more likely it will be overlooked, especially in school. And, the more likely a child will be thought to be delayed instead. This is because school is taught almost entirely by rote memorization (in order to accommodate children with the lowest IQ's). Children with very high IQ's often have very poor rote memorization abilities. They learn by the highest order of thinking - which is called associative. Rote is what Rainman could do - memorize, and associative is what he could not - use those numbers purposefully. This is also true of most high school graduates, because Rainman's rote is all they learn, but that's another topic. An exceptionally to profoundly gifted child can't learn by rote, and so is often labeled slow or retarded because of it. Then they become behavioral problems because a gifted child LIVES to learn, and is denied that as well as medical care.

The term 'gifted' is a stupid one, that has caused many a child with high IQ problems. It has also been appropriated by wishful parents and teachers, who say "all children are gifted". I prefer a term I made up - far-ender. It highlights the things (SPD, social issues, genuine special needs) our children have in common with those at the other end of the spectrum, as well as the fact that the farther from average one is, the worse those things will be. My son's IQ puts him in the exceptional to profoundly gifted range, making him very much a special needs child (just as an exceptionally to profoundly retarded child would be) even without the SPD. But it also made the medical community deny him care that any child with delayed milestones would have been offered at birth. Which, BTW is when we first noticed SPD symptoms that should have jumped out at any one of his pediatricians.

My children were doubly rare - very few gifted children are verbally/visually talented. Most are mathematical/musical and some of those are delayed in speech ( Mozart famously did not speak until he was 4 years old). This also worked against us. Literally no one we met knew what to make of my two - one made a lady scream (and me cry) when he said Hi! and waved at her at 4 months, and my dd started talking at 7 months, but with full sentences. Doctors could not get past viewing them as marvels and see their discomfort.

Dec 23, 2010
second half of my comment
by: Anonymous

Doctors reaction to my concerns was to tell me I was bragging, and to wait until he was in school and let his teachers address his needs (the single worst advice I've ever been given - teachers are the worst source of help for these kids). Then, his kindergarten teacher insisted he was mentally retarded ( her term - see what I mean about being the worst?). Funny. My teachers said the same about me. And, I later learned so did Edison and Einstein's teachers. This level of giftedness is something most teachers have no idea how to recognize or address.

This site, and all sites on SPD need to not only mention this issue, but highlight it. And keep highlighting it, even if parents of gifted children scream and yell that they don't want gifted to be seen as anything but smart. The reason this is not acknowledged by the greater gifted community is that the vast majority of gifted children have an IQ under 165, and those kids generally don't have a lot of SPD symptoms. It is when you look at the much much rarer population of children with IQ's over about 175 that you see these symptoms, and the social issues that go with both SPD and processing information not only faster, but differently than your average bear.

Dec 23, 2010
Thanks for bringing this up - everyone should read
by: Anonymous

As the mother of children who do have very high IQ's as well as SPD, I'd like to comment on both the original essay and the single comment before mine. I am splitting it into two comments, because this site only allows 3000 characters, and this is too important to leave things out.

These things do very often go together, and they do present a major block to getting help. I took my son to ( ultimately) 50 pediatricians, trying to get an evaluation for him. He was a very uncomfortable baby, and today, at close to 20, he is an uncomfortable young adult. We never found a ped or later, gp, who recognized SPD, even after telling them about it, and we were denied a referral for an evaluation from a developmental specialist for his entire childhood, because he had advanced milestones.

This (giftedness or advanced milestones) is not mentioned anywhere on this otherwise excellent site, and it is extremely hard to find mention of it anywhere - 15 years ago, it literally was not mentioned anywhere. Even on GT (gifted/talented) lists, it was denied - people said sensitivity to seams in socks was a sign of giftedness!!!

Ultimately I did 10 years of research on SPD, entirely on my own, and the main thing I came away with was utter amazement that no one has recognized SPD out before now, nor has much been recognized about it yet ( I mean, things that are plain as the noses on the expert's faces, that they are overlooking.) This bit about sped up milestones is just one. Because I have no degree in this area however, I am routinely dismissed when I bring these things up.

SPD is caused by anything unusual in development, and that includes sped up milestones. Moreover, I believe my son's milestones were sped up even more by his discomfort. He was born with a pincer grasp, and severe gravitational insecurity. I felt him braile-ling (not kicking) my womb long before he was born. He also rolled over, back to front ( the hard way) at 6 weeks. He was born during a time period when we were told to place babies on their backs - something I thought idiotic then and worse now. With severe GI, no wonder he stayed up all night (about 12 hours!) and fought to roll over, refusing any assistance until he could do it on his own. And he started talking at 4 months. I think he was trying to let us know how bad he felt.

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