Home : 2009 : Nov : 30
I don't know what gifted children you've been working with.. but I've worked with gifted children for 15 years, and trust me.. they get bored! And they don't always "find something to do".. well, sometimes they do, but trust me it most likely won't be what you want them to be doing...
Just a few issues to consider, gifted or otherwise:
Asking for clarification may not necessarily mean he doesn't understand - it could be an issue with confidence, perfectionism, a need to please, all sorts of things could cause him to constantly need clarification - and it is a trait of gifted children to constantly ask for clarification, if they have perfectionist tendencies or do not like to be "wrong." Depending on what this "personality disorder" is, that could be the cause of the need for clarification, not that he doesn't understand...
Rather than giving him just "extra" time, you might also consider breaking the assignment into smaller parts to help him maintain focus. This can be as simple as folding the paper into three or four sections. Answer only the questions he can see, then move on to the next section. It could help to let him have a short break between each section - even if it's to get up and get a new pencil or get a drink of water.. anything to break up the assignment into shorter pieces. One thing that I've used to "trick" my ADD kids is use a smaller font, same amount of work.. but it looks like less because it's on less paper - one sheet as opposed to three, etc. It sort of tricks to mind into thinking it's not as much "stuff" and they don't get overwhelmed.
Not knowing the particular disorder, it's difficult to address the calling on him issue - could be not paying attention, could be not wanting to be singled out (many of my former students with Asperger's preferred not to be called on in class because they didn't like having attention drawn to them), could be any number of things.
Lastly, if a gifted child is bored they will often refuse to do work they know they have mastered (doesn't matter to them if you know they've mastered it or not...), or, because it is "boring" they will take forever to get it done. The idea is to give them DIFFERENT work, not EXTRA (more) work. Talk to the child, tell them you are giving them ONE pre-test to see if they can do the work, and if they can score whatever percent you set (I usually tell them 85-90%) they will get different work to do during that time (higher level, more complex problem solving, etc.), but that they MUST work, they are not exempt from classwork just because they already have mastered the concept being taught.
This is the list of descriptors we use for identification of Twice-Exceptional students:
Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities
High abstract reasoning ability
Good mathematical reasoning ability
Keen visual memory, spatial skills
Sophisticated sense of humor
Imaginative and creative
Exceptional ability in geometry, science, arts, music
Good problem-finding and solving skills
Difficulty with memorization, computation, phonics, and/or
Distractibility and/or disorganization
Grasp of metaphors, analogies, satire
Comprehension of complex systems
Unreasonable self expectations
Often, failure to complete assignments
Difficulties with sequential tasks
Wide variety of interests
(Baum, Owen, & Dixon, 1991; Silverman, 1989)
Characteristics of Gifted Students Who Are Bored
Poor attention and daydreaming when bored
Low tolerance for persistence on tasks that seem irrelevant
Begin many projects, see few to completion
Development of judgment lags behind intellectual growth
Intensity may lead to power struggles with authorities
High activity level; may need less sleep
Difficulty restraining desire to talk; may be disruptive
Question rules, customs, and traditions
Lose work, forget homework, are disorganized
May appear careless
Highly sensitive to criticism
Do not exhibit problem behaviors in all situations
More consistent levels of performance at a fairly consistent
(Cline, 1999; Webb & Latimer, 1993)
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or