Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have no idea what to do about the kids assessment results, so I have to ask all my expert buddies out on the net.

We expected them both to be ADHD, (insert guilt) and we expected them both to be smart. (Burst with pride), and we knew that Kaz was gifted in math, but not overall, and it was like, no big whoop. You know, like, hey great in one class he gets all A s?

Kind of a counterbalance to his poor marks in writing right?

But Mac and Kaz are both overall gifted, and if we start Mac on ADD meds his tests will go much much higher.

And he will be like Kaz, who it turns out is severely gifted, profoundly so. The psychologist said that kids like this are very rare, and he has only seen these kinds of test scores a few times in his forty years. It's like he could either graduate from Harvard at 14 or become the Unabomber. It all depends on how we as his parents go forward.

I wasn't expecting this, that's for sure.

I'm kind of scared. I'm really shocked.

Any ideas?


  1. really you had no idea?
    come on. As in math with crap handwriting? Its like secret code.
    he will not be a unabomber. this I know.

  2. not like this....I thought that was code for adhd or just "boy", seriously....

  3. You're asking for assvice? Hmm...

    I'm currently reading about how to reclaim childhood from a culture of hyper-parenting, so my knee-jerk reaction is to say "just let him do whatever he wants to do. He'll learn plenty just by being a kid."

    Yeah, let's go with that.

  4. Mac, Kaz: just say no to bombs.

    Seriously, tough, I don't know. I know nothing about this. From what I have read here you seem like a pretty great mother so it's a good bet that you will do good by the boys.

    Now go sign them up for Mensa...

  5. Wow, but...this is GOOD news, right? I guess though a little intimidating to think of how to best nurture and protect this gift. But overall, wow. Congrats. You're doing something right. You'll figure out the rest, with good help.

  6. Now this is 25 (gulp) years ago, but when I was at journalism school in London (ON), I saw an ad in the newspaper for a meeting of ABC (the Association for Bright Children). I called the number, & wound up doing a feature on them -- interviewed some parents, got to visit a separate classroom for gifted children & talk to their teacher, who was a gem. There are pros & cons to the separate class approach... if they're in a regular program, they will sometimes take the gifted kids out for "enrichment" activities. From what I remember, the thing is to keep them challenged & not let them get bored, because that's when they start acting up. ; )

    I'm willing to bet there are similar parent groups in the GTA that could provide you with advice & support. Good luck!

  7. No ideas, I'm just trying to get my head around the pressure you must be feeling!

  8. it's not easy to parent a gifted child with adhd. i think it's all about finding what works for you both and involves a lot of trial and error.the main thing is to try not to be too hard on yourself or second guess everything. one step at a time you will discover what is best.

  9. So here's my thoughts(anonymously). For the first years I was in school, I was a problem. Hyper, wouldn't sit down, wouldn't shut up, couldn't/wouldn't hold a pencil right (I'm not sure why teachers obsessed over the latter).

    Then, after extensive testing, turned out I was really gifted. My state didn't let you skip grades unless you went into private schools, or their magnet academies. I had test results like that at 10 years old. My parents, with their higher ed degrees, chose to do nothing but provide me with extracurricular stimulation, because they wanted me to socialize with other kids my age. At 13, I had the opportunity to take a test for an elite boarding school. I took it, passed, decided I didn't want to leave my friends. My parents let me make the decision. I appreciate that, and respect it.

    But sometimes, sometimes I wonder if a lot of my teenage suffering came from the fact that I was bored (I still did perfectly in school, just with little to no effort) and different. It's like I went looking for trouble because I needed some kind of challenge. But that's all in retrospect.

    I think with your boys' ADD, that they need to attend a gifted program--perhaps a private academy. And be followed by an educational psychologist. I of course don't know the specific things in place in Canada, but if I were you, I'd look into it, and fast.

  10. I just caught up on your last several posts. And I just want to let you know, you are a great mum! I think all of us have done some stupid things. My daughter once fell off a bed when she was a toddler and we were unpacking in a hotel room. She was fine, but had a scrape on her nose for the whole long weekend vacation!

    I think it's great that Mac and Kaz are so very bright. I think if you look into what resources you have in your area to help gifted children that would be a great help for them as well as you. I think you should continue to balance good educational programs with physical activity and just being a normal kid. I think it's great to keep them educationally stimulated, but try to make sure other than the education changes that they have a normal childhood. Our daughter is very bright and we're about to have her tested for the gifted program at our public school, but we're very into making sure she has something physical to get her energy out. She hasn't been diagnosed with ADHD, but my brother is and I see all the signs. I try to keep her to a routine, I wouldn't say schedule as it does vary, but it is a routine because she knows what she needs to do and what comes next. But making sure she gets her energy level out with something physical helps her focus better. She goes to figure skating class/practice twice a week and other than that, I kick her out of the house to run around with her friends. We like yoga too!

    And I don't think either will become the next unibomber. You're doing a great job.

  11. I grew up in a small university town with great public schools (no really) and a number of very, very bright professors' (mostly) kids. The kind who take calculus in 7th grade and then go on to college and graduate school classes.

    Pretty much all of those kids went to Ivy-League colleges and then ... didn't finish (often even their first year). Burned out, dropped out, came home ...

    I don't know how you balance challenging bright kids with not burning them out, but it does seem to me it's something to pay attention to. That and them having some life skills and not just school skills ... not being over-scheduled and over-managed by their parents to the point where they cannot get through their days themselves (when they go off to college).

    Good luck to you. I do think it's challenging and don't know what the answers are.

  12. Well, congrats? No ideas at all. Maybe you could try fundamentalist religion with them?


  13. First of all, congratulations. It's a wonderful thing to have the opportunity to raise gifted children. There is a lot to say, but these are the most important things I can share with you:
    1. It's harder to raise gifted kids. They are able to reason rings around you and therefore you need to remain firm in making their limits really clear and unyielding.
    2. Gifted children usually develop passions for specific subjects (sometimes very narrow subjects)- let them go with it. Studying anything, mastering anything is a key to mastering other things in the future. Don't worry about them being well-rounded in the short term. Those things usually work themselves out in the long run.
    3. Provide a rich experiential environment- talk about the world in ways that help them understand it. Take the opportunity to show them and teach them whenever they express an interest. We used to keep a huge map of the US on the wall in our dining room (where we ate all of our meals) and in addition to geography and map reading skills, it spurred all sorts of discussions. The more interesting their world is, the less restless they will be.
    4. Enjoy it! Gifted children are a real gift!

  14. I am trying to figure out a way to comment about this without sounding supremely annoying, but no dice. I will just say that I am somewhat uniquely aware of the challenges you face, and if you want to talk to someone who has been on Kaz's side of things, feel free to email me. Now I'm all embarrassed, so I'll stop.