GPP is looking for feedback from our readers. Within the next few months, we will be publishing a book by Dr. James Webb titled Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope. Dr. Webb has written this book to help bright minds understand, accept, and overcome their disillusionment. With the title and content in mind, Which of these two covers would you prefer to see for this book?
Email us with your choice: firstname.lastname@example.org
The summer months are rapidly approaching and GPP would like to offer a few resources for parents to ponder for the summer and the coming fall.
Summer Camp Considerations:
Author of Raising Creative Kids, Dr. Dan Peters posted the following article on Piedmont Patch to help parents consider summer camps with the needs of their gifted children in mind.
Click here for the full article.
Suki Wessling, author of From School to Homeschool, takes a much more specific approach to summer activities in her most recent article featured on Growing Up in Santa Cruz. She focuses on Horse Camps in the Santa Cruz, California area.
Click here for the full article.
With a few months to consider your child’s education, you might take a look at a few of the following educational options. Re-Forming Gifted Education will help you to piece together the best education plan for your child and then map it out with the Gifted Education Planner. This process can often be grueling and require lots of materials to support your actions, especially when you bring your thoughts to schools. Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children can help you to approach the schools and request reasonable educational options for your child in each academic year. This book also provides information on testing, score interpretation, curriculum, and successful programs for children in grades K-12. If testing is, in fact, a topic of your conversations with educators, you might also look into the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS). The IAS is an objective guide for considering an individual child for academic acceleration. In the event that you find yourself leaning away from the formal schooling approach entirely, take a look at From School to Homeschool. This book guides you through the process of considering homeschool options and educational alternatives while providing practical information and resources that will get you off to a good start as you begin your homeschooling journey with your children.
Today’s blog post features Dr. James Webb’s responses to a few questions posed in the Misdiagnosis group discussion on Linkedin.
There are many unanswered questions surrounding misdiagnosis in gifted children and adults.
Dr. James Webb has initiated the Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses for Gifted Children and Adults group on LinkedIn to encourage those with questions and those knowledgeable about the topic to interact and help the gifted community to better understand how to identify and prevent misdiagnosis of gifted children. Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) showing their support by introducing the SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative.
To get involved with the conversation and have your questions answered,
follow this link: http://lnkd.in/pPibSf
Or search for the Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses for Gifted Children and Adults group on LinkedIn. The following is just a small section of the on-going conversation:
- Is there any research showing the percentage of misdiagnosis among the gifted?
Dr. James Webb (JW): We do not yet know the percentage of misdiagnosis among gifted children or adults. We would like to do such research, but getting funding for it is very difficult. At this time, we simply have numerous case studies, which fortunately are a time-honored tradition in health care when one is looking at a new clinical area.
- Is it possible that also among other patients we will see a similar amount of misdiagnosis? Any research known? And what about misdiagnosis in the whole of the medical domain (including non-psychic disturbances)?
JW: I do not know the frequency of misdiagnoses made by physicians and psychologists in other areas. I will see if I can find this, since it would provide important base rate data.
- Is the effect indeed often disastrous for a patient, or more often for the status of psychiatry in the eyes of the informed public?
JW: The effect is much more on the patient than on the field of psychiatry. Because psychiatrists and psychologists do not know what they do not know, they come up with rationalizations for why they were correct in their diagnoses. This is made worse because the field of psychiatry has come to rely so heavily on psychopharmacological treatments, and far less on understanding the patient and the situation.
- Is the effect of a diagnosis, of the way of questioning, of asking for complaints and for the impairment of some neutral behavior: a distortion of a healthy mindset, and causing a bias called “the positive test bias” (We say more often yes to questions…without having a stable criterion.)
JW: I am not sure I understand what you are asking, but I will answer what I think is the question, which ties in with your [next] question.
- It possible that the gifted have a rather limited self-knowledge, and while he answers the questions of the psychiatrist, will construct a distorted view of himself. This effect is called framing, and a long list (50?) of cognitive biases can be seen as causing this. (Maybe unknown in psychiatry?)
JW: Gifted children and gifted adults often lack self-understanding to a great degree. They have a sense that they are different than others because others often tell them things like, “You think too much; you are too sensitive; too strong-willed, too intense, too self-absorbed, have a strange sense of humor, etc.” Because of this, gifted children and adults may be more likely to accept a diagnosis that something is wrong with them. However, having said this, there is a different scenario with many gifted children if they are not treated with intellectual respect by the psychiatrist or psychologist. In that situation, the child is likely to become obstinate, superficial, or even may intentionally try to play a game where he tries to see how much he can deceive the psychiatrist or psychologist.
- Is any psychiatric diagnosis causing more collateral damage than help, because of the implicit suggestion of a lifelong, inborn, incurable disease; so the patient may think he will have a limited responsibility for his behavior: it may create the feeling of helplessness for problems that are just part of any life?
JW: Many psychiatric diagnoses can cause collateral damage where the patient now feels unable to control his or her behavior. Parents, too, will sometimes use the diagnosis as an excuse and say, “Well, after all, he can’t control himself because he has ADHD, OCD, ODD, etc.” and the parents or teachers absolve themselves of responsibility to help the child learn to manage himself and his behaviors. What we are finding in the United States is that pediatricians and family practice doctors are particularly open to engaging in “anticipatory guidance” with families, including families of gifted children. This is very helpful since over 75% of psychotropic medications are prescribed by non-psychiatric physicians, and these physicians are the ones who are treating most of the children and adults with emotional problems. This is why many of us are trying to provide formal Continuing Education programs for pediatricians, family practice doctors, psychologists, as well as psychiatrists.
- What’s very popular here [in the Netherlands] is the so-called verbal/“performal” discrepancy. Many psychologists think there IS something going on when this occurs during an IQ test (WISC) and do not realize that this does not have to be the case.
JW: I am sorry to hear that the psychologists there still rely so heavily on the difference between Verbal IQ and Performance IQ scores. There is good research (much of it summarized in the Misdiagnosis book) to document the asynchronous development intellectually in gifted children, along with the finding that the higher the overall intellectual level, the more likely the child is to have a difference or span in the sub-test scores (and abilities in different intellectual areas). Of course, also there is the asynchrony where the child’s judgment lags behind intellect, and that also adds to the difficulty when trying to make a diagnosis.
If you are interested in learning more about misdiagnosis in gifted, check out the GPP book Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults.
Be an advocate for gifted children and make these gifted mandates nationwide standards!
“Implementing Acceleration provides educators with guidelines for practicing acceleration. The suggestions we oﬀer for implementing acceleration are based on the Iowa Acceleration Scale 3rd ed. (Assouline et al., 2009). We discuss the three broad areas of how to implement acceleration: referral and screening, assessment and decision making, and planning.”
The Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy were established to support and guide those schools developing their gifted acceleration program by:
- The Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA)
- The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
- The Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted (CSDPG)
- Nationally prominent researchers: Dr. Nicholas Colangelo, Dr. Susan Assouline, Dr. Karen Rogers, Dr. Pamela Clinkenbeard, Dr. Jaime Castellano
- Summary of acceleration research
- Evidence of the advantages of academic acceleration
- Acceleration case examples
- Strong empirical bases for all dimensions in the IAS
- Weighted numeric values for each item in the Form
- Summary scores yield categories of appropriateness for acceleration
Colorado’s new mandates are a reflection of mandates that have been in place in Ohio since 2006. To continue mandating standards for grade acceleration in gifted children, like Colorado and Ohio already have, parents and educators should bring this information to the attention of educational policy makers in your school districts and legislatures, as well as your state and local gifted associations.
Be an advocate for gifted children and help GPP to encourage these standards!
Is your child misdiagnosed?
Take a look at these tips for differentiation guidance:
If you answered yes to any of the questions above,
and want even more detailed information and guidance, be sure to read the book
Join the initiative!
Buy Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults [eBook, Paperback, Hardcover]
Read the recent article “Giftedness Should Not Be Confused With Mental Disorder” posted on Psychology Today by Dr. Allen Frances and Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis, Director of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted)
[Click to enlarge]
Dr. Dan Peters receives CAG Distinguished Service Award!
Take a look at his book Raising Creative Kids:
and check out his latest blog posts on Patch.com:
- Common Misdiagnosis in Gifted Kids (in Malibu Patch) ADHD, Asperger’s, and Bipolar Disorder can all be misdiagnoses of a gifted child.
- A Creative Generation is in Demand (in Napa Valley Patch) Creativity is needed now in the world more than ever and it’s our growing children who are going to be the ones to provide it.
- Your Child’s Sleeping Habits: Normal or Not? (in Piedmont Patch) A conversation with Nancy Knop, ET addresses parental concerns regarding their children’s sleeping habits as relating to overall health.
- Monitoring Anxiety in Your Gifted Child (in Brentwood Patch) There is a thin line between anxiety being a normal byproduct of their often perfectionist drives or becoming something that is detrimental to their overall health and well being.
Happy New Year! The start of a new year gives us a chance to refresh, renew, and reevaluate our goals and how we plan to reach them. What are your plans for this next year?
Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start educationally for your family – if so, you might be interested in reading these books:
- Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent’s Complete Guide
- College at 13: Young, Gifted, and Purposeful
- Re-Forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child
- From School to Homeschool: Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Child?
- Being Smart about Gifted Education: A Guidebook for Educators and Parents
- Why Bright Kids Get Poor Grades and What You Can Do about It
- A Love for Learning: Motivation and the Gifted Child
Maybe you’d like a book that addresses the social and emotional needs of gifted learners, in addition to their educational needs:
- Helping Gifted Children Soar, 2nd Edition
- Living with Intensity
- A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children
- Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women, and Giftedness
- Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning
- Grandparents’ Guide to Gifted Children
- Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child
- Life with Gifted Children: Infinity and Zebra Stripes