Tag: Power Up

Gifted and Talented Children

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Gifted and talented students are those with exceptional abilities and qualities in areas such as academics, culture, leadership, arts, creativity, and sport. Gifted and talented children are found in every cultural, social, ethnic and socioeconomic group. However, it is relatively uncommon, and is recognized only in children whose IQ is at or above 130. Exceptionally gifted students, usually have pronounced talents in one specific field of interest – for example, music or mathematics – and are even less common.

Due to a gifted child’s rapidly developing cognitive abilities, often there is a large difference between their chronological age, intellectual maturity, and emotional maturity, causing some gifted children to experience an intensity or sensitivity of feelings and emotions.

This sensitivity or intensity of emotions may be displayed in a range of behaviours which may leave the gifted child open to teasing and social isolation at school.

Identifying a Gifted Child

Gifted children often display some of the following traits.

  • Extremely Curious
  • Excellent memory
  • Fluent and flexible thinking
  • Excellent problem solving skills
  • Learns quickly and with less practice and repetition
  • Unusual and/or vivid imagination
  • Very sensitive, emotionally and even physically
  • Concerned about fairness and injustice
  • Perfectionism
  • Relates well to adults
  • Extensive Vocabulary
  • Reads Rapidly and Widely
  • Enjoys learning new things

A video about Gifted children and Quirky Kid

How are gifted children assessed?

Giftedness is accurately identified through a psychometric assessment. Psychometric assessments including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fourth Edition and the Stanford Binet 5 are used to assess the general thinking and reasoning skills of children. There are also other kinds of assessments focusing more on  Nonverbal Tests of Ability.  Assessments should always be administered by a specialist Educational  and Developmental Psychologist or a Registered Psychologist with specialist skills.

How can I help my gifted child make the most of his abilities?

Communicate with your child’s teachers. Ask about what accommodations can be provided for your child to help keep him stimulated and learning at a challenging pace. You may also want to ask about accelerated or advanced classes, or special programs for the Gifted and Talented.

Consider enrolling your child to programs like ‘The Power Up!’ program by Quirky Kid

Provide learning opportunities for your child outside the classroom. Gifted children excel when they are given the chance to keep learning and developing their talents. He may excel in academically-themed camps, weekend classes in drama, music, languages, sports, or writing.

Trips to museums, science centres, and other cultural events may also be fun and a great way to bond with your child. The University of NSW (UNSW) offers school holiday programs for Gifted and Talented students through GERRIC. Programs like ‘The Power Up!’ program by Quirky Kid are also a great idea.

Introduce your child to other gifted or talented children. Research shows that gifted children experience less stress and negative emotions when they have the opportunity to discuss their social and emotional concerns with others of high ability. A Gifted and Talented program, either as part of school curricula or as an extracurricular pursuit, can help your child meet and interact with other gifted students.

Affirm your child as a whole being, not just as a ‘high achiever’.
Qualities such as kindness, tolerance, and fairness – not just intelligence or achievement – are important. Recognition as a ‘all-rounder’ will help reduce the pressure many gifted children feel.

Talk to an experienced Psychologist. Gifted and talented children are often at risk of serious under achievement, social isolation, poor concentration and mood swings associated with frustration. Psychological intervention can assist with motivation, organizational skills, social issues and study schedules and many other related concerns.

Recommendations for teachers and parents

  • Gifted students love the idea of learning something new and they will enjoy being provided with additional, more challenging work. By accelerating a gifted child’s work, grades or by attending opportunity classes, it will help feed the child’s need to learn and help to keep their behaviour under control.
  • Gifted students should be provided with opportunities to socialise with peers of similar abilities. This may be possible by attending a selective High School, or participating in Gifted and Talented programs.
  • Gifted children may benefit from being provided with independent study or research projects, particularly in their area of interest.
  • Extra curricular activities, such as drama, music, languages, sports, gymnastics, dancing, or creative writing, should be encouraged.
  • Highly gifted children are often at risk of serious under achievement, social isolation, concentration or behavioural symptoms and may benefit from receiving counselling.

What are the challenges associated with giftedness?

While giftedness is generally considered an asset, many gifted children experience challenges that their non-gifted peers will not.Due to a gifted child’s advanced cognitive abilities, they may find it difficult to relate to, and from satisfying bonds with other children in their peer group. This can lead to social isolation from same-aged peers, identification with adult or elder peers and frustration in class.Gifted children process information more rapidly than others in their age group, which can make them highly sensitive to their environments. This sensitivity can lead to moodiness, irritability, or anxiousness in gifted children.Giftedness is often associated with perfectionism, which can lead to procrastination and, paradoxically, under achievement in school.

Recommended Resources 

Quirky Kid published a range a resources to support the emotional and social development of children and adolescents. Parents can greatly benefit from some of this resources available on the Quirky Kid Shoppe. Below you can see the Face it cards, The Just like when cards and the Likes of youth

 

The Quirky Kid Clinic offers a range of services to assist gifted children. Please contact us to make an appointment or visit our assessment page for further assessment information.

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This article was also published at the Essential Kids Website.
First posted on October 2011. Revised  September 2012

Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, and the following article.

Dabrowski, K., & Piechowski, M. M. (1977). Theory of levels of emotional development. Oceanside, NY: Dabor.

Young athletes and performers

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Many young people are beginning to push the boundaries of their chosen pursuit to an elite or professional level from their early teens. It is not uncommon to begin representing your country whilst still in high school, or begin professional or semi-professional careers in the performing arts industry.

There are many challenges associated with being a young athlete or performer and it is important to look after yourself and your future. Here are some tips which may help keep things on the up and up.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Although you might feel like you should do nothing but train or practice it actually won’t do you any favours in terms of your performance. At the Australian Institute of Sport, the program originally saw athletes focus on nothing but their sport, but they found that the performances went downhill badly!! Why? If you have all your eggs in one basket it’s much harder to take risks and really push yourself to the limits of your performance. You are great at what you do, but you are much more than just your athletic talent or creative ability. Remember to develop yourself as a whole person and keep your studies, job, social life and family relationships as normal as possible.

2. Use setbacks as opportunities for learning

There is no doubt that reaching the elite or professional level as a teenager means that you have a lot of talent! Lots of younger athletes and performers have found themselves moving quite smoothly up the ranks of their pursuit however major snags can occur once you reach the bigger pool of other international and/or professional competitors. You can make every experience count, even if your performance was dismal! Take note of your strengths and identify your weaknesses, then set about learning from your mistakes. Work with your coaches, teachers, agents or psychologist to target difficulties and fast track your progress to becoming a seasoned competitor so that your talent and hard work can pay off when it counts!

3. Don’t buy into the hype!

Many talented young athletes and performers fail to reach their potential, or quickly spark then burn out when  they get stuck in the “lifestyle” associated with international success and a public profile. Athletes and performers who achieve long-term success usually stay well grounded, keeping everything in perspective.  Work with your coaches, teachers, agents, psychologist or media trainer to feel confident and in control in the public arena.

4. Look after yourself

You dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to train and practice to achieve success and reach your potential, however like everyone else, you can become ill or injured. When you are unwell or injured make sure your decisions are keeping your long-term future in mind as well as your present needs. Always consult with medical professionals when making decisions about coming back from illness or injury.

The content of this fact-sheet is part of the Power Up! workshop by Quirky Kid. We provide psychological services to a range of young elite athletes and performer.

For more information on the Power Up! Program, visit our workshop pages. The Power Up! was already implemented in schools like the Illawarra Grammar schools.

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Reference:
Gould D, Dieffenbach K (2003). Psychological issues in youth sports: competitive anxiety, overtraining, and burnout. In: Malina RM, Clark MA (eds). Youth Sports: Perspectives for a New Century. Coaches Choice, Monterey, CA, pp 149–70.

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Power Up! @ Illawarra Grammar

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Power Up! By Quirky Kid

Image from the Just Like When Cards by Quirky Kid

During two days next week, 10 young athletes from Illawarra Grammar  School in Wollongong will be lucky to participate in the Power Up workshop by The Quirky Kid Clinic.

This activity-based workshop is designed for children and young people training and competing at club, regional, state and national level in their chosen sports, academic pursuits or the performing arts. The workshop explores an abundance of psychological skills and techniques practiced by Olympians, academics, prima ballerinas and musical soloists in order to compete at their very best. The workshop has been developed by psychologist Belinda Jones and incorporates her experience working with athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Belinda Jones, a Quirky Kid Child Psychologist, will facilitate the workshop with the support from school staff!

The Power Up! is also offered in the clinical setting. Visit our workshop page to find out the next date. If you would like to arrange a workshop for high-performing students at your school, please contact us on 02 93 62 9297.

 

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