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Gifted and Bored!

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: I am unsure about whether my child is gifted or not. Chloe was able to read and count numbers up to 100 at 3. she could read write, count and sequence numbers up to 1000 when she was 4. she started to learn to read at 2. She has a large capacity for learning and is in her bedroom every night and works continuously for 4 hours with educational books that I have bought. I am however at loss to how to help her with school she says that she is often bored she has to group read with children who are far below her ability and they are still only doing numbers 0-20. Why don't they recognize that she needs to be challenged or is it just me?

A: Your daughter has above average abilities from what you had described. She appears to me, to be just bored and unchallenged with schoolwork, which is quite typical of gifted children who do not see meaning and purpose in what they are doing. I am actually quite amazed that she is able to work continuously for 4 hours! She may find the educational books that you bought her rather challenging, hence the long attention span. 

I am not at all surprised that she would be bored at school. If she is able to count to 1000 and school only does 20, you may be doing her injustice by enrolling her in such a school. She may need to be in a school that recognizes mental ability rather that just stereotyping children based on chronological age. If the school has not recognized her abilities, you may want to look out for non-mainstream schools that cater for children with special needs. Or, schools that have gifted programs. Better still, get her IQ tested (based on a standardized test) and show it to the school. As much as I am not very much in favor of IQ testing to determine giftedness, it has proven to be the single best predictor of general intelligence and high scores on a standardized IQ test would surely raise eyebrows of selection teams in schools! 

I hope you handle this as soon as you can before she burns out. Best wishes to you.


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