Friday, November 11, 2011

A Gifted Symposium

Much to my amazement....I discovered that a group called Cognition New Zealand was running Symposiums throughout the country for people involved with gifted children and one was being held in Wanganui. So naturally I toddled along - completely freaked lol. I don't do well in crowds - I get so nervous that I talk at a hundred miles an hour. Anyway it was very enlightening and I had the chance to talk to a clinical psychologist who not only specialised in gifted children but was a parent as well.

Talking to her was truly comforting. You talk to so many people while you're looking for a bit of help and guidance, in the early years, and you get so many....'you have got to be crazy!' looks...that you start to doubt what you saw! She also touched briefly on the Aspergers question and it seemed to me that she also thinks that its more likely that some of the behaviours observed common in the gifted (such as being 'over-sensitive') are not any kind of syndrome - it's just the flip-side of their gift. Certainly there have been some interesting studies that suggest an actual physical difference in the way the gifted brain is wired. Along similar lines is an idea that talks about it being related to the flight or fight mechanism. It makes sense to me.....a brain that is wired for flight will naturally be more sensitive - able to utilise human sensing abilities to a higher degree and to act on that information in time. Could it be that the higher the gift - the higher the sensitivities?

What also struck me was the number of times we'd managed to come up (by accident) with different ways to deal with certain characteristics - like the perfectionism. One parent expressed concern on this issue and how it could become psychologically dangerous. The question on earth can you help them with this? My husband has always played word games with Sophia....turning common words into nonsense words and deliberatly mis-pronouncing things. She still gets pretty crazy about pronunciation but she is relatively flexible now because we made it a game.

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