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Gifted 12-Year-Old Gets No Special Treatment
Q: My son, now 12, tested with an IQ of 135, but the school system treats him as they do all others. He even gets in trouble for reading his textbooks ahead of time. Do you have any advice?
I am also looking for new technologies that are good for challenging gifted kids. Do you know of any resources?
A: I assume from your email that there is no gifted curriculum in your son's school. There may be other special interest activities in your school or community that could give him some means of challenging himself. Examples: a library club, Great Books Club, History Day competitons, etc. What do the teachers say when you meet with them? If he finishes his work quickly, can he work on a special project of his own choosing that requires some additional reading? He should not be penalized for wanting to learn. Early adolescence is a time when some kids "turn off" to learning because of peer pressure and extracurricular interests. Is there a teacher who could be a mentor at school for your son -- encouraging him in his interest to read and to learn? I would get a bit pushy with the school if I were you. There are many free or very inexpensive things educators can do to keep a student like your son interested.
Online, I would suggest you go to http://www.prufrock.com for Prufrock Press, a distributor of many resources for gifted kids. Also, the National Association for Gifted Children at http://www.nagc.org has some listings of new technology for gifted students, as well as listings by region of special summer activities for gifted students. Good Luck!
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Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.