|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Gifted but Has Terrible Handwriting

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Rita Culross, Ph.D.

Q: My daughter is six and in the gifted-and-talented program, yet her handwriting is awful. She is a lefty. Should I be concerned? Should I get a tutor?

A: Gifted-and-talented children frequently exhibit what we psychologists call "asynchronous development." This means that the different areas of their development -- physical, intellectual, social, and emotional -- are often not at the same point.

For example, bright, gifted preschoolers may have large vocabularies and already be reading, yet lack the motor skills to write or draw at the same level of proficiency. Gifted-and-talented children are not always gifted across the board -- they may exhibit strengths and weaknesses across subject or skill areas.

Since you indicated that your daughter is in a gifted-and-talented program, there may have been some testing done to determine her eligibility. As a beginning, you might want to contact the school and have them review with you the procedures that were followed to identify those gifts. If tests were given, they may have included information about psychomotor skills, including writing. Those test results may provide clues to your daughter's writing skills.

If there was no testing that focused on psychomotor abilities or writing skills, it may be appropriate to request that the school do some follow-up testing with your daughter to determine the seriousness of the problem.

In states where gifted education is included as a part of special education, an individual educational plan (IEP) may be developed for each child. If so, that plan would address both the strengths and weaknesses of the child and recommend appropriate steps to address any issues of concern. The plan could recommend, for example, enrichment activities in language arts and math, along with additional help in the area of writing.

As a "lefty" myself, I found mastering some motor skills as a child difficult. Tying shoes was a great mystery to me, and learning to write tested my patience. Fortunately, I can do both pretty well now.

More on: Expert Advice

Rita Culross is Associate Dean, College of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Curriculum and Instruction at Louisiana State University. Culross has served as the consulting school psychologist for a public school elementary gifted program, and has written a book and several journal articles on gifted education.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.