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Gifted and Talented


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Gifted Glossary

2E - Twice Exceptional



News & Highlights:

3/7/2011  application deadline for the 2011 Barrett Summer Scholars Program  

3/26/2011  AAGT Parent Institute 
at ASU - great information for parents

SENG Webinars - various presentations on social/emotional needs of gifted children

Learning about Giftedness 

Differences Between Bright and Gifted Children, by Janice Szabos

Strengths and Problems of Gifted Children , by M. V. Seagoe

Specific Problems and Causes of Underachievement in Gifted Children , by Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D.

5 Books for Beginners



Differences Between Bright and Gifted Children

from Bright Child Gifted Learner, by Janice Szabos Challenge, 1989, issue 34, p. 4

Knows the answers Asks the questions
Is interested Is highly curious
Completes assignments Initiates projects
Copies accurately Creates new design
Is alert Is keenly observant
Is receptive Is intense
Answers the questions Discusses in detail---elaborates
Understands ideas Constructs abstractions
Absorbs information Manipulates information
Grasps the meaning Draws inferences
Listens with interest Shows strong feelings and emotions
Top group Beyond the group
Enjoys peers Prefers adults
Enjoys school Enjoys learning
Pleased with own learning Is highly self-critical
Is attentive Is mentally and physically involved
Has good ideas Has wild, silly ideas
Works hard Plays around, yet tests well
Learns with ease Already knows
6-8 repetitions for mastery 1-2 repetitions for mastery
Technician Inventor
Good memorizer Good guesser
Enjoys straightforward sequential presentation Thrives on complexity

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Strengths and Problems of Gifted Children

Adaptation of Seagoe's list (1974) from Gifted Parent Groups: The SENG Model , 1998



Acquires and retains information quickly Impatient with slowness of others; dislikes routine and drill; may resist mastering foundation skills; may make concepts unduly complex
Inquisitive attitude; intellectual curiosity; intrinsic motivation; searches for significance Asks embarrassing questions; strong-willed; resists direction; seems excessive in interests; expects same of others
Ability to conceptualize, abstract, synthesize; enjoys problem solving and intellectual activity Rejects or omits details; resists practice or drill; questions teaching procedures
Can see cause-effect relations Difficulty accepting the illogical, such as feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith
Love of truth, equity and fair play Difficulty in being practical; worry about humanitarian concerns
Enjoys organizing things and people into structure and order; seeks to systematize Constructs complicated rules or systems; may be seen as bossy, rude, or domineering
Large vocabulary and facile verbal proficiency; broad information in advanced areas May use words to escape or avoid situations; becomes bored with school and age-peers; seen by others as a "know it all"
Thinks critically; has high expectancies; is self-critical and evaluates others Critical or intolerant towards others; may become discouraged or depressed; perfectionistic
Keen observer; willing to consider the unusual; open to new experiences Overly intense focus; occasional gullibility
Creative and inventive; likes new ways of doing things May disrupt plans or reject what is already known; seen by others as different or out of step
Intense concentration; long attention span in areas of interest; goal directed behavior; persistence Resists interruption; neglects duties or people during periods of focused interests, stubbornness
Sensitivity; empathy for others; desire to be accepted by others Sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection; expects others to have similar values; need for success and recognition; may feel different and alienated
High energy, alertness, eagerness; periods of intense effort Frustration with inactivity; eagerness may disrupt others' schedules; need continual stimulation; may be seen as hyperactive
Independent; prefers individualized work; self-reliant May reject parent or peer input; non-conformity; may be unconventional
Diverse interests and abilities; versatility May appear scattered and disorganized; frustrations over lack of time; others may expect continual competence.
Strong sense of humor Sees absurdities of situations; humor may not be understood by peers; may become 'class clown' to gain attention

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Specific Problems of the Gifted

by Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D.

  • Confusion about the meaning of giftedness
  • Feeling different
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Idealism
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Relentless self- criticism
  • Increased levels of inner conflict
  • Deep concerns with morality and justice
  • Lack of understanding from others
  • Unrealistic expectations of others
  • Hostility of others toward their abilities
  • Difficulty with social relationships
  • Difficulty in selecting amount a diversity of talents
  • Lack of sufficient challenge in schoolwork
  • Depression (often manifested as boredom)
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Hiding talents to fit in with peers
  • Nonconformity and resistance to authority
  • Refusal to do routine, repetitive tasks
  • Inappropriate criticizing of others
  • Excessive competitiveness
  • Isolation from peers
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Intolerance of others
  • Lack of study habits  


Causes of Underachievement

by Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D.

  • Fear of Failure
  • Fear of Success
  • Fear of lack of acceptance by peer group
  • Undetected learning disabilities
  • Lack of basic skills and study habits
  • Inappropriate educational activities
  • Too high or too low expectations of parents
  • Lack of parental support for education
  • Fear of overshadowing parent
  • Passive-aggression toward parent
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Low risk-taking abilities
  • Lack of competitiveness
  • Guilt for being advantaged intellectually
  • Interests in activities other that school
  • Cumulative deficits and belief in failure

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5 Books for beginners


1.Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child by Sylvia Rimm
Concise, warm, and practical book for parents. Four page keys written on each of 42 topics such as Early Childhood Testing, Parent School Communication, Gender Issues for Gifted Children, Underachievement, Challenge Alternatives. Something on every age - from preschool through college age gifted children. Important insight into how easy it is to over-empower gifted children.

2.A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children by James Webb, et al
And the earlier, thinner Guiding the Gifted Child by Jim Webb, et al. Written by beloved psychologist and pioneer in social/emotional needs of the gifted. Thorough good first read and excellent reference to revisit over the years. Like the Dr. Spock for gifted.

3.Re-Forming Gifted Education by Karen Rogers
Self-help handbook on “Matching the Program to the Child”. Walks you through the steps of collecting information about your child, developing an educational plan, and talking with the school. Describes gifted programming options and when to use them. Includes worksheets to help you organize what you’ve learned and planned. Great research-based info on acceleration and grade-skipping.

4.Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults by James Webb et al
This must-read page turner helps lay-people and professionals understand how to recognize the differences between giftedness and disorders such as ADHD, bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, and depression. “My advice to parents would be to read this book before your child is misdiagnosed and mistreated. – former pres. of APA.

5.Smart Boys by Barbara Kerr and Sanford Cohn (also Smart Girls by Barbara Kerr) Surprisingly spot-on descriptions of gender-specific milestones and danger zones for gifted children.

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MSGT is a non-profit organization and is not affiliated with any city, state, private, or charter school.  MSGT is run solely by volunteeers. All MSGT events are open to the public, regardless of city or district, and are intended to benefit gifted and talented students, their parents or guardians, and educators.