Story Time

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Does this child sound familiar?

My son N is hard to define. He has a great personality but has no close friends. He tends towards situational friendships. He isn’t shy with strangers, yet is cautious in new surroundings. He is very conscious of possible consequences and regards each new activity from a safety standpoint before participating.  An example of this would be watching other children on the playground go down the slide several times before trying it himself. He needed to make sure no one fell off the side prior to taking a turn. Another thing that holds him back is his perfectionist streak and a fear of failing.

He is very emotional and tends to crumble when frustrated. He has very little patience when things are not going as planned. He’s overly dramatic when hurt, simply bumping his knee results in several minutes of agony and tears. His world is intensely literal and this has caused him problems with others. Life is Black and White, when asked to discriminate the grays, he questions why? His sense of justice is extreme as well. Seemingly everything in his life sparks an emotional response. The highs reach the sky and the lows seem terminal….

Academically he’s amazing.  We refer to his education as “feeding the monster.” I’m constantly on the lookout for new material. N wants to know everything and hasn’t shown a need for much depth in many areas. He will intensely focus on one area ie: space, anatomy etc. for a month or so, then just walk away. If you question him, he relays that he knows enough for now.  I’ve taken his education wide in an attempt to slow him down but it hasn’t really helped. He makes connections without any prior knowledge. Although I try to challenge him, I don’t feel like I’m doing a very good job. I’m implementing more and more problem based learning as in these situations he at least has to think a little! His perfectionism raises its head in this area as well. He can get to 90% complete in a math class in just a few weeks, and then he begins to stall. The reason for this is that as long as he remains in the same unit he is confident in his abilities. He fears whatever might be presented next. What if it’s too hard? What if he can’t do it? It’s interesting that he feels this way as to date I haven’t found anything to give him trouble.

He loves music and plays the piano. He started violin lessons, but is on hiatus while his teacher is having a baby. He can identify many classical pieces that he heard as a baby. He doesn’t seem to forget much of anything. He enjoys drawing and will make very elaborate characters and scenes. He has a good imagination although he’s not really a daydreamer. He enjoys his own company and doesn’t let lack of friends stop him from doing whatever he needs to. He is sensitive to sound although it isn’t extreme. He keeps the volume on the tv and radio low. When we have company or large groups in our home, N will participate for a while, then disappear. He calls it an overload and seeks out the quiet of his room for a short time. Then he’ll return to the gathering. There isn’t any sort of behavior attached to this, he doesn’t seem to get anxious or cranky. He just knows when he needs a little peace.

N doesn’t eat. It’s not an aversion, it’s not a texture thing, he’s been tested for allergies, Cilliac and assorted other maladies. He quite simply doesn’t want to be bothered. It takes away from whatever he’s doing.  At  7 ½ he weighs in at 38.5 lbs. We are working with a nutritionist, attacking the issue from an academic standpoint. She has been great at explaining how the body works and why he needs to eat even when he’s not hungry. He takes liquid supplements twice a day and is finally beginning to gain weight. It will be very embarrassing to him if he starts high school still riding in a car seat!

In so many ways N is contradictory. He knows that he’s smarter than the average bear but at the same time lacks confidence in his abilities. He will argue with an adult authority figure convinced that he’s right, but then burst into tears if another child calls him a name. There are days that I truly am convinced I live with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

If you live with a child like this, I need your story! We started off with a bang, now things are starting to peter out. Don’t stop sending me your pieces.

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Everyone has a story…..

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Response to this point has been very good but I need alot more! Think of a quilt. If each of you gives me one block, I will sew it all together. I think I inadvertantly scared some people away with the 1500 word posting. That was a MAX! If you have a story that clearly points what life is like with your child and you can put it into 250 words, that’s great!

You can’t live(or be owned by)one of these brilliant people without accumulating some stories….. It’s just not possible! You have nothing to lose. I promised anonymity to anyone that requests it, so your spouse doesn’t even have to know!!  Come on, you know you want to!

The ball is rolling!

Posted: July 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

The initial support has been tremendous! I would like to reiterate that I need stories of all ages. I have been getting e-mails from several people concerned that their child wasn’t old enough to write about. If you have a story, send it!

Special thanks to Hoagie’s Gifted for posting my request today!

Spent the day at the New Mexico Association for the Gifted’s Summer Institute. My head is stuffed with new ideas and information. It was also a really good chance to get the word out about this project to more people. Everyone I spoke to agreed that personal stories would be a good idea, since the majority of what is written in regard to GT are of the technical nature. Two people asked why I didn’t just write a book about my own story, but a book about one child has no voice. This isn’t about one kid, it’s about all of us. 

So far there are four people committed to writing letters. It’s a good start but I need more!  Come on, it’s not hard. Many of you write several thousand words a day on blogs, forums and e-mails! You know who you are……!

It all started in an attempt to make my mother happy. Seriously, i’ve been writing for years and my mom has always been my biggest fan. She is very subtle, poking, prodding, dropping little innuendo here and there. Never high pressure but over time it builds until you have two choices, either make an effort to please her or tell her to stop (which wouldn’t please her at all). So I wrote an essay in letter form titled “Dear Mr. President”. for a writing contest. The letter was about what it’s like to try to raise a PG child. Not just from an educational standpoint, but all of the little things, like keeping your mouth shut while all the mother’s at your kids playdate gush over their two year olds first words. Wondering what alien life form swooped in and gave your three year old the ability to read. Debating skills that many college freshmen would envy.  You all know what i’m talking about. I have no idea if the publisher will like it, hate it or just arbitrarily dump it in the slush pile.

Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about everyone else’s stories and you all have them. I read them on the forums and facebook. Always a little tight and veiled, always fearing that damn “braggard” tag even among peers. But why would people understand our lives? When you are owned by a child that is 1 in 500,000 the odds are that most of the world won’t ever even have the opportunity to meet one. The only occasion for exposure is the one that gets paraded out on stage for Oprah and that kid MUST have it all together, after all he’s on national T.V! 

 I want a chance to tell the real story, to give those that take the time to read the choice to understand. So now i’m on a mission. I want letters, lots of letters. What would you say if you had ten minutes with the President? “Dear Mr. President……” Take it from there.  A simple letter that describes what it’s like for you. Not a letter full of legalise or precedent, but rather a personal, heartfelt factual accounting of what it’s really like to raise a child in a world that is set to cater to the mainstream. 

I intend to compile those letters into a book and publish it for all the world to see. A clear, true picture of our amazing, wonderful kids without the stereotypes!

  A book of letters to hand our neighbors and friends who tell us how lucky we are to have kids that don’t have to work for it.  They might actually gain some insight and perspective. A book to hand new parents fresh of the shaky consequences of GT denial?  Might it not be some sort of road map for them, a place to go for ideas when they are holding their heads and muttering “what’s next?” I believe it can be.

I’m currently soliciting parents and guardians of these kids (you know who you are)to write me a letter. If you want anonymity, change the names but be honest in your story. I want the good and the bad, all of it for the world to see. Start with the line “Dear Mr. President” and a maximum count of 1500 words (not looking for War and Peace). Submit it to me at inmypgworld@yahoo.com and I’ll take it from there. This promises to be an amazing journey and I hope you will consent to be part of it.

Many Thanks,

Shari

Welcome!

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

This blog was created to give parents of profoundly gifted children the opportunity to learn about a project I am currently working on. It is my hope that if you are one of these parents, you’ll be willing to participate.

The project?  “Dear Mr. President”…… Explanation coming soon.