Interview with School Choice Magazine on Gifted Children

May 20th 2015

1. When did you discover your child was gifted & talented?

When she was about 4 months she started talking. She was sick as a baby so we had her assessed with a speechie at 15 months she had vocab of a seven year old. We sort of hadn't really noticed as we were focused on her illness. At 16 months she taught herself to read and we found this as she read the headline off the paper to my mum

2. What characteristics did your child exemplify?

She is very high strung, has lots of sensory issues. She is a perfectionist. She is competitive with her older sister. She has a very keen scene of social justice

3. How did you determine if your child actually was gifted or talented?

She was assessed by speechie at 15 months, she was assessed by the school counsellor at 3 and half to get early entry. At the end of year one she was assessed by GERRIC at UNSW.

4. Where there ever any issues of misdiagnosing your child? I.e. Was your child ever misdiagnosed with ADHD?

She now has a diagnosis of Aspergers, after her brother had a diagnosis of autism. Her GERRIC assessment had her with an iq of 165 at 6.

5. Did being gifted and talented affect behaviour in your child?

Can you give some examples? She has never been great at having friends but the friends she has are intense. She would rather fail than come second. She stopped swimming in a race when she was little as she was not winning, another child's father jumped in to save her.

6. How did you choose the GAT program to put your child in?

How much research did you do before placing your child in the program?She was involved in a virtual gat program through DEC in rural NSW in year 5&6 as there was no oc class close by. She is in the selective class at her high school. We were offered a scholarship to a local non govt school which we looked at but declined.

7. What does the program offer?

It offers like minded children who learn at close to her pace.

8. What other assistance and support (beyond GAT programs) do you know of that is available for your child?

When she was younger we were members of the NSW gifted and talented association. We also were member of a local support group.

9. What type of support is available for parents with a GAT child?

Not a great deal.

10. How can parents, teachers and students work together to nurture a GAT child?

Have an open conversation and ensure that you are part of the education process, if the wheels come off like they did for our daughter last year makes it much easier to support if the lines of communication are already there.

11. Any other comments?

Enjoy your kids, help them find what they enjoy doing, find them an outlet that isn't about them being a GAT kid. Teach them it's ok to not always come first or succeed.