The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Still a way to go yet

I have been thinking long and hard about Mstr A since meeting with the Ed Psych's, and I'm not sure they've really got him yet. I mean, it's nice to hear that your child is "gifted", and that explains all his problems, but a) he's not really IMO and b) it doesn't.

This is why I think he's not really gifted. Mstr A was/is nothing like that. He's bright, he asks lots of questions, he walked early & read easily, and he's ahead of his age-group at the moment. But.....he does not "just understand" new concepts, he can't hold "adult" conversations, his grasp of the world around him is typical for his age (he has no concept of what a magistrate is, let alone pretend to be one!).

Both myself & Aggie were very bright at his age - I had to get special permission to learn division aged 5 as I'd finished all the maths books that didn't have it, and to use the junior's library twice a week, as I had read every book in the infants one. But over time, my peers caught up. By 11 I was merely one of the brighter ones, by 14 I was slipping in a number of subjects, and by the time the important exams came round at age 18, I'd realised I was really only slightly above average. Now I'm all grown up my IQ rarely makes it much past 100 (although I balme my complete lack of spacial awareness for the low scores), and I would class myself as only slightly above average intelligence. I think Mstr A will be similar.

However, his behaviour is not normal for a 51/2 year old. He is completely incapable of following instructions without constant reminders. He still runs around in public completely naked, without even noticing. If he doesn't get his own way, he throws himself flat to the ground and screams. If he hurts himself he sits down & cries until cuddled better. He expresses frustration through physical violence. He can not share or take turns without supervision. He makes a constant noise (humming, singing, talking, yelling). He has a good understanding of the biological differences, but otherwise sees boys & girls as exactly the same.

This all points to a child who is either very behind in his social skills (a good two years or so), or has something else wrong. As he appears to be OK emotionally (he can do the faces test wiothout problem, can empathise with others if asked about situations etc), and his humour is apparently advanced for his age, I feel it can not be a simple case of being backwards.

I think I am going to have to do some more research before I meet with the EP's again, and push a bit harder. Still, at least he is getting some assistance now, and any work they do with him has got to be helpful. But I think they just jumped on the first pidgeonhole they found for him, and I'm just not convinced.


  • At Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:40:00 pm, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said…

    Way to go! Too many parents hear "gifted" and ignore what their gut is telling them. My son was "gifted" too, but that didn't explain his problems. The attitude here was, if he's smart, there's no problem, or he's smart enough to outgrow it in time. Unlike your child, mine did not recognize non-verbal cues. I had to teach him different facial expressions and the emotions they were connected to. We played this constantly for a couple of years. I would make a face and he would have to guess what I was feeling. The next step was teaching him to slow down and pay attention to the non-verbal cues his playmates were using. Initially he couldn't understand why they would get mad and not want to play with him anymore. He didn't connect his actions to their reactions. He's a teenager now and much better, but still has lingering problems. When he's in a mode and thinks something is funny, he doesn't pick up on the cues that the other person no longer finds it funny, wants to move on to something else, or is getting annoyed with his persistence. Then when he finally gets it, it's too late, they're really angry and he's mad too that they "just snapped" on him. It appears sudden to him, because he wasn't registering the previous signals. When I'm around, I can still tell him to stop or slow down. I tell him to tell me what the other person just said to him, what it means, and what he should do next. I really think he doesn't fully process all the signals. He moves too quickly, or attaches to an initial imput and follows that, not stopping to pick up any other input along the way. I've taken him to numerous doctors and never gotten a good diagnosis. I hope you have better luck, but know, that it's okay to study your child and learn what works best to help him.


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