6. GT by xiaocuisanmin



General intelligence is more than book learning or test-taking skills. It reflects a deep capacity for

comprehending the environment, a broad mental capacity to solve problems, handle abstract ideas,

learn quickly, and profit from experience (Lubinski, 2009). Although it reflects a broad capacity, it

is typically measured by an intelligence test and by an IQ score. A high score of 130 is the cutoff for

gifted and talented with 160 as the cutoff for highly gifted children. In fact there is evidence of a

significant ‘bump’ on the normal IQ curve at about 160, with scores up to 200; this suggests that the

normal curve is not as smooth as expected (Webb et al., 2005). The highly gifted and talented fall in

this tail-end of the IQ distribution, but their scores are so high that they could be described as

qualitatively different in intelligence (i.e., they are outside our range of normal experiences,

Gottfredson, 2003).

                                                                                Chapter 6 Gifted p. 1
        It may be surprising that many of these GT and highly GT children have co-occurring mild

disabilities. The relationship between intelligence and disability is complex -- not only is higher

intelligence associated with better reading performance (Stage et al., 2003), but it is also associated

with higher heritability for poor reading ability and reading disability (Shaywitz et al, 2008).

       Before describing the overlap between extreme ability and disability, it is important to

understand giftedness as a single trait, which shows up early in toddlers as differences in attention

(alertness, long attention span, and preference for novel over familiar stimuli), excellent memory,

and advanced language development and vocabulary. Infants with GT often need less sleep, are

more active, smile or recognize caretakers earlier, and have a marked need for stimulation that

appears different from their intense reactions to pain, noise, and frustration (Silverman, 1998).

“Gifted infants tend to be both highly active and highly reactive—intense balls of energy who have

as great an impact on their environment as their environment has on them” (see Robinson, 1993,

cited by Silverman, 1998).

       In order for these innate predispositions or traits to produce extraordinary achievement,

additional child qualities are needed. These include task commitment (zeal, tenacity, grit), creativity,

and perhaps verbal, quantitative, spatial, musical, or other talent (Gottredson, 2003; Renzulli, 1977).

Renzulli further stated that “gifted behaviors take place in certain people, at certain times, and under

certain circumstances” (1988, p. 21). This suggests that certain environments, opportunities, and

encouragements are necessary for the development of giftedness. Such challenging opportunities

may be less frequently provided when the child has a co-occurring disability (twice exceptional) or

when the child comes from an underrepresented group or culture. It is thus important to recognize

giftedness associated with disability and within different cultures, because the drawing at the

beginning of this chapter is presented as a stereotype (e.g., Caucasion girl, who knows all the

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 2
answers, is behaviorally compliant, and wears glasses) does not represent the diversity of this group

of students.

A. Characteristics: Informal Educator Identification

   A 1. Academic Characteristics

   During preschool and school age, there can be early reading that is observed by parents. At

   school, they score at the 95th percentile or higher on any group-administered achievement test

   and students with GT already know 60% to 75% of the material that would be presented in a year

   at their chronological age level (Neihart, 1999, cited by Webb et al., 2005).

       Early cognitive indicators of giftedness are high task motivation and persistence (Seeley,

   1998). High levels of motivation, in particular, are found in children with innate talent areas,

   such as in music, chess, mathematics, creative writing, or language but rarely in the areas of

   visual-arts, science, or leadership (Seeley, 1998). In the case study for this chapter, Connor

   shows these early indicators of talent and interest:

       “Connor tends to work on his own in the resource room. He enjoys working on math
       problem-solving and problem-based learning.” And “Connor is a very accomplished student.
       He loved math and when introduced to square roots was able to do most of them in his head.
       He was very proud of this. When Connor engages in individual work he seems to enjoy the
       process. He likes to prove that he can accomplish a task on his own and seems to gain
       enjoyment and self-efficacy from it.”

       Many of these students also work to broaden their knowledge (e.g., leisure reading, hobbies,

   projects). They are self-motivated, persistent, adept at expressing their ideas, and able to move

   through information at a rapid pace (Renzulli, 1979). As would be expected, their academic self-

   concept is higher than that of average students (for review see Taylor et al., 2009). However, it

   should also be noted that children with GT are more variable in their academic abilities and

   behavior than are typical children (Webb et al., 2005).

   A 2. Behavioral Characteristics

                                                                              Chapter 6 Gifted p. 3
Gifted children, given the right encouragement and circumstances exhibit many positive

behavioral characteristics. For example, an early behavioral indicator of giftedness is creative

play and a sense of humor (Seeley, 1998). However, given less encouraging environments, these

students may exhibit negative characteristics in the classroom.

   Elementary school. Students at this age level may be glib in their responses to teacher

inquiry, dominate classroom discussions or disrupt lessons, become impatient to move on to the

next task, become frustrated with tasks that seemingly have no meaning or relevance for them

(Webb, 2000).

   Middle school. In particular during middle school when other children are concerned about

following rules, these students question rules (Silverman, 1998). Students with GT often have a

clear perception of what they believe to be correct and struggle with inflexible classroom rules

and standardized procedures (Webb et al, 2005).

A 3. Social-Emotional Characteristics

Most group comparison studies indicate that children with high intelligence are as much or better

adjusted than children of average intelligence (Gallagher, 2003). In fact early indicators of

giftedness are advanced social skills and social ethics; this includes choice of advanced-level

friends, advanced play interests, and advanced moral judgments of fairness, justice, altruism,

idealism, aesthetics, and issues of mortality (Seeley, 1998; Silverman, 1998). GT children can

also be very socially sensitive to the needs of others, seek to contribute to the enjoyment of

others and themselves, and have strong attachments to others and commitments to human rights

and other global issues (Silverman, 1998).

   However, the ability to ‘fit in’ may be somewhat less than would be expected. That is, the

judgment of these children often falls behind their intellectual development. They may criticize

                                                                           Chapter 6 Gifted p. 4
or say things that appear less mature or rude than what would be expected given their cognitive

skills and talents. For example, when we take a specific indicator of social adjustment (bullying

to include name-calling and teasing), we find similar rates for GT children and other children.

That is, in a nationwide study, 67% of 8th grade gifted children had experienced bullying, 11%

had been frequently bullied, and 28% had been the bully (Peterson & Ray, 2006). These statistics

were more likely to characterize boys, to occur during the 6th grade, and to be similar to the rates

of bullying in typical children (75-89% bullied; 10-37% frequently bullied; 24% bullies; for

review see Peterson & Ray). Because judgment depends on experiences/insights and on

maturation of the frontal lobes, judgment is more likely to be age-appropriate (Webb et al.,

2005). “In general the brighter the child, the greater is the gap between judgment and intellect.

However, each passing year, the gap narrows” (Webb et al., 2005, p. 27).

   There is further evidence of greater alienation and social problems of some GT children with

an IQ of 180 or greater (Webb et al., 2005), with co-occurring LDs (Baum, 1994; Olenchak,

1994) and ADHD (Moon et al., 2001), and from low socio-economic groups (Baum, 1994). For

example, children with the underachievement type of giftedness are low in motivation and have

poor self-esteem (Seeley, 1998b). The lower self-esteem may be due to difficulties juggling two

exceptionalities, especially when others view them in terms of their disability rather than in

terms of their abilities (Baum et al, 2006) or when teachers believe that these children must first

master simple tasks before being challenged by complex tasks. Low self-esteem can also be

produced by expectations that are too high, when based only on aptitude without accommodating

for disabilities. In the case study of Connor, it is unclear what contributes to the magnitude of his

social/emotional difficulties:

   “Connor is a very sensitive child who is prone to outbursts that can become violent at times.
   He is very bright and often tries to manipulate the circumstances to meet his needs. When he

                                                                            Chapter 6 Gifted p. 5
   is unable to do so he does not seem to be able to handle the emotional aspect of not getting
   his own way or gaining power. Connor has a difficult time relating to his peers.”

   “Connor is a highly gifted child who may well be able to cognitively grasp what is happening
   to him, but is unable to deal with it emotionally.

Connor shows evidence of narcissism but these characteristics could be in response to the deaths

of significant others. (Narcissism is further described in a chapter in the section related to

behavioral disorders, see Chapter 10). Alternatively or in addition, Connor demonstrates

characteristics of social phobia, see Chapter 11:

   “One of his biggest avoid payoffs seems to be the avoidance of social relatedness. He does
   not engage his peers unless he absolutely has to. When he does, his interactions are power-
   seeking and not those of someone who is seeking relatedness.”

       In many GT students, lower self-esteem and disruptive behavior could be attributed to the

fact that they are more aware, sensitive, and idealistic than typically developing children (Clark,

2002). ‘Deviance fatigue’ can occur in students with giftedness and refers to the amount of

energy required to “make a giraffe act more like a horse” in order to fit in (Webb et al., 2005, p.


A 4. Cognitive Characteristics

   Intellectual. Intelligence is defined by an overall score on an intelligence test; this global

score represents accumulated knowledge and reasoning abilities. When a test assesses multiple

aptitudes (e.g., verbal, spatial, visual), the findings are that students who are high in one mental

aptitude tend to be higher on all aptitudes. This is considered a general intelligence factor -- the g

factor (Gottfredson, 2003). Even though subtest scores are related, most studies on GT students

report higher Verbal than Performance IQ scores (e.g., 27% with at least 20 points between

verbal and performance scales) and greater within-child variability or subtest scatter (Webb et

                                                                             Chapter 6 Gifted p. 6
   al., 2005). Unfortunately, intelligence tests seldom assess creativity or ‘talents’ (e.g., musical,

   leadership, physical aptitudes).

      Attention, Memory, and Organization. Early indicators of giftedness are attention and

   memory abilities (Seeley, 1998). GT students require little to no repetition in order to retain

   information, and repetition may actually interfere with the retention of information

   (Tannenbaum, 1992).

   A 5. Communication Characteristics

   Early indicators of giftedness are advanced language development, vocabulary, and frequent

   questioning (Seeley, 1998). In an attempt to keep pace with the fluency of their ideas their

   writing can be messy (Webb et al., 2005). However, if the child has a co-occurring verbal LD,

   there may not be advanced language development.

   A 6. Motor, Sensory, Somatic Characteristics

   Although failing to meet early motor and language developmental milestones can be an early

   indicator of intellectual disabilities (see Chapter 5), meeting milestones of motor coordination,

   memory, or discrimination were not predictive of IQ scores of youth at 16-17 years of age

   (Seeley, 1998).

B. Definition: Formal Identification

Gifted/Talented is not a category under IDEA nor under DSM-IV. It is an area of exceptionality

rather than of disability. An IQ score of 130 is the standard cutoff for entrance into gifted programs

(although this score may vary by state); this score indicates that the child is performing better than

96% of the population on that test (Taylor, Smiley, & Richards, 2009). Fortunately, the field of

giftedness has supplemented the use of just one cutoff full-scale IQ score. This is especially

important for children who show significant subtest scatter (e.g., children who are twice

                                                                                Chapter 6 Gifted p. 7
exceptional). Intelligence is now defined more broadly as multiple intelligences (i.e., verbal-

linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal,

and naturalistic) (see Gardner, 1983). The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

defines a student with GT as someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional

level of performance in one or more areas of expression (a talent).

   Subtypes of GT. (1) creative, (2) academic, (3) intellectual, (4) underachievers, (5) economically

disadvantaged, and the (6) highly talented with specific aptitutdes (Gardner, 1983). GT students can

also be subdivided into those who are creative and those who are not (Webb et al., 2005). Creativity

can be assessed by the production of products useful to the self or to society (see Csikszentmihalyi,

1996, cited by Gallagher, 2003). Creative individuals are typically independent, nonconventional,

flexible, and sufficiently introverted to allow for reflective thinking (see Simonton, 1999, cited by

Gallagher, 2003). The following represents a comparison between the creative and

academic/intellectual subtypes:

 Alice, the intellectual and academic subtype         Barbara, the creative subtype (synthetical)
    Alice excels in intelligence, has a very high        Barbara earns good grades, but scores
      IQ, outstanding grades, exceptional                  low on aptitude tests
      analytical ability
    She is superior at acquiring knowledge.              She is good at acquiring knowledge

     Alice is very good at solving problems              Barbara is very good at “finding”
     She tests well                                      She does not test well (thus she has an
                                                           “underachiever” label)
     She excels in planning, monitoring,                 She excels in coping with novelty, in
      evaluating and implementing problem                  seeing old problems in new ways
     She may see the trees but not the forest            She can identify which problems are
                                                           most important (i.e., sees the gestalt)

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 8
   The underachiever can be defined by (a) uneven academic performance, (b) by discrepancies in

performance between ability and school performance (low achievement in spite of high IQ), and (c)

discrepancies between their investment and performance with self-selected readings and topics of

interest versus with everyday schoolwork. These students often hear statements such as, “You are so

good in math, why can’t you do better in all your other subjects?” (Seely, 1998b, p. 88).

Underachievement is “largely due to environmental factors” (Plomin & Price, 2003). The

environmental factors that contribute to poor motivation and underachievement are, for example,

frequent school changes, teacher indifference, and family disruptions (e.g., divorce). Similar to

underachievers, children from economically disadvantaged families are infrequently identified as

gifted (VanTassel-Baska, 1998a), especially minorities and those who are linguistically different (for

a review of evidence of the above summary, see Seely, 1998b).

   In addition to environmental affects on underachievement, many children have co-occurring

disabilities, such as LD, ADHD, delinquency, truancy. These children are called twice exceptional

and are often not identified as gifted. For example, see the description of creativity in relation to

ADHD in Chapter 7. In addition, Silverman (2003) concluded that “a major cause of

underachievement in the gifted appears to be undetected learning disabilities” (p. 533). Students with

GT plus LD are more likely to show creative potential but to also behave disruptively and

underachieve, which reduces their opportunities to be identified as gifted (Moon & Reis, 2004).

Rather than being accelerated, about half of these students were retained one grade in school, which

was a considerable source of shame for these students (Reis et al., 1995, cited by Moon & Reis,


   B 1. Prevalence of GT

                                                                                Chapter 6 Gifted p. 9
Over the past several years, 3-5% percent of school age children have been assessed as GT. If the

highly talented were included, then the estimate could be as high as 10-15% (Taylor et al.,


B 2. Possible Co-occurring Conditions

There are a number of students with GT who are twice exceptional. That is the “incidence of

learning disabilities in the gifted population is at least as high as the incidence in the general

population (10-15%)” (Silverman, 2003, p. 533). There is surprising evidence of increased rates

of LD and of ADHD as IQ increases, especially above 160 (Silverman). When gifted children

have LDs, they are typically missed or not identified until 3rd or 4th grade and many not until

middle or high school (Webb et al., 2005). In these cases, the disability can ‘mask’ giftedness,

such that the disability is recognized but GT is not; alternatively, the giftedness ‘masks’ the

disability, such that the child looks average or only gifted. This happens when the child uses

intelligence to compensate for weaknesses. For example, giftedness can reduce the identification

of auditory weakness or reading disabilities, because the abstract reasoning ability of these

children (e.g., using context cues) allows them to fill in missing sounds and words when listening

or when decoding (Silverman, 2003). For this group of the twice-exceptional, discrepancies in

achievement can contribute to the appearance that they are lazy, undisciplined, or unmotivated.

     Differential Diagnosis. A nonchallenging environment can mask giftedness and make these

children appear to have behavioral disabilities. That is, students with GT are often placed in

repetitive and boring school contexts, which will contribute to the identification of

social/behavioral disabilities. For example, gifted children typically spend one-fourth to one-half

of their time in general education classrooms waiting for others to catch up (Webb et al., 2005, p.

23-24). Under these conditions, they become bored and unmotivated and may become disruptive

                                                                             Chapter 6 Gifted p. 10
with behavior that looks like ADHD, Conduct Disorder (CD) or Oppositional Defiant Disorder

(ODD). These disruptive characteristics were observed in the case study, Connor:

   “He spent a large part of his time in the general education classroom being very disruptive
   and sometimes violent. When the class would sit on the carpet with the teacher, Connor
   would often pull another child’s hair, wander around the classroom, throw a fit if he was not
   chosen for a task, or sometimes walk to the front of the classroom and interrupt the teacher.
   If a classmate antagonized him or stood up to him, he has been known to attempt to stab a
   child with a sharpened pencil. He has also thrown things at classmates and also pulled things
   out of others’ hands. He thoroughly alienated his classmates to the point that they did not
   want to sit next to him or anywhere near him at all. Some of the girls were actually
   frightened of him.”

   To disentangle these disorders from GT: (1) an assessment can be made to determine whether

there are nonchallenging or inflexible classroom settings, (2) children can be provided with tasks

that challenge their abilities, and (3) parents can be asked about early development (i.e., parents

are very good judges of giftedness in their preschool children, Silverman, 1998).

   Unfortunately, professionals can be confused by some of the overlapping characteristics

between ADHD and GT during elementary school years: emotional intensity, high levels of

energy and activity, creativity, and an attraction to novelty (e.g., avoiding repetition and doing

things differently) (Clark, 2002; Zentall et al., 2001). These two groups are also similar in their

engagement with sports and social activities. Connor, our case study, shows signs of co-

occurring ADHD, but this possible diagnosis might never have been indicated if this child had

been challenged academically, as reported by his observer:

   “He may not actually be ADHD-H; he is a highly gifted child who has never really been
   stimulated academically, at least not at school. His lack of cognitive stimulation may well
   have caused him to behave disruptively in class and garnered him a diagnosis of ADHD…..
   No other members of his family have an ADHD diagnosis.”

ADHD can be distinguished from GT in that some of the above overlapping characteristics are

not markers for ADHD (e.g., extraordinary memory, long attention span, advanced language

development, questioning of rules and traditions). More definitively, students with pure GT do

                                                                            Chapter 6 Gifted p. 11
not show impulsivity (e.g., blurting out incorrect answers) more often than other children of the

same age and do not show social problems unless they are the highly gifted. Nor do these GT

students avoid homework, unless it is highly repetitive and nonchallenging. Flint (2001, cited by

Zentall, 2006) documented that all students with both GT and ADHD demonstrated creativity,

but students with GT without ADHD were better able to organize and finish their creative

projects. Students with GT are emotionally intense and have a clear sense of justice, which may

be confused with children who are oppositional. However, students with GT demonstrate intense

emotions of all types (positive and negative) and their anger, when expressed, is more often a

response to perceived larger social injustices (Webb et al., 2005).

When identifying GT students, a distinction must be made between bright and gifted children:

  Gifted Child                                      Bright Child
  Asks the questions                                Knows the answers
  Is highly curious                                 Is interested
  Is mentally and physically involved               Is attentive
  Plays around, yet tests well                      Works hard
  Discusses in detail                               Answers the questions
  Is beyond the group                               Is in the top group
  Shows strong feeling and opinions                 Listens with interest
  Already knows                                     Learns with ease
  Constructs abstractions                           Understands ideas
  Prefers adults                                    Enjoys peers
  Is intense                                        Is receptive
  Creates a new design                              Copies accurately

B 3. Age, gender, and cultural factors

Age: Screening for giftedness in early learners can be seen in the abstract reasoning and

problem-solving skills, curiosity, early language development, enjoyment and speed of learning,

excellent sense of humor, high activity level, intensity, long attention span, vivid imagination,

and extraordinary memory. As you might expect, smart children become smart adolescents.

However, there is a decline in mental power between the ages of 18 to 80 years. Although

                                                                           Chapter 6 Gifted p. 12
general intelligence (the g factor) begins to decline in early adulthood, knowledge continues to

grow until old age and then also declines with very old age (Gottfredson, 2003).

Gender: Gifted boys and girls are often more androgynous than other children (see Kerr &

Cohn, 2001, cited by Webb et al., 2005) and gifted girls have broader interests and adopt

nontraditional roles more than other girls. Boys are overrepresented (more boys) at the extremes

of giftedness (Gottfredson, 2003). However, at the elementary level, where there is more

emphasis on achievement and grades rather than on possible talent, girls outnumber boys in

gifted programs. In contrast, at the secondary level in talent search and in on-campus programs,

girls are underrepresented (VanTassel-Baska, 1998b). Some of these differences may reflect

cultural influences, because girls may be more likely to avoid expressing their giftedness in order

to fit in with other girls (VanTassel-Baska, 1998). Because gifted girls recognize that they are

different from other girls, they are more likely to lose confidence in themselves and attempt to

adapt or blend in with their non-gifted female peers (Silverman, 1998).

Culture: Students who are Jewish Americans and Asians Americans are overrepresented in the

gifted area, whereas students who are African Americans are underrepresented -- using current

IQ-based selection procedures (i.e., using accumulated knowledge, Gottfredson, 2003).

Furthermore, the majority of GT students are from high SES backgrounds. Using standardized

assessments of IQ with 7th and 8th graders from a community sample, only about 16% were from

lower SES (VanTassel-Baska, 1998a). These children from more impoverished economic

backgrounds consider themselves less academically competent but more socially competent.

They also have clear strengths in creativity. VanTassel-Baska summarized some of the indicators

of creativity for children from underrepresented cultures -- including the ability to express

feelings, to be emotionally responsive and expressive through role-play, story telling, the visual

                                                                           Chapter 6 Gifted p. 13
    arts (drawing, sculpture), creative movement (dance, dramatics), and expressive speech, body

    language/gesture, and humor. There is also an enhanced enjoyment of music/rhythm and of

    group activities and problem-solving activities. These children can improvise with commonplace

    materials/objects, have rich imagery in their informal language, are quick to warm up, and are

    original, problem-centered, and persistent.

C. Etiology

        Biogenetic. Genetics play a major role in determining intelligence (see Taylor et al., 2009).

This is reflected in statements about the case-study student, Connor: “His father is highly gifted and

his other siblings are gifted as well. It is clearly a family trait.”

        Environmental. Children from low SES backgrounds have lower IQ, due most likely to lack

of environmental stimulation and fewer resources (e.g., adults, health services) and fewer

opportunities for expression or development.

        Functional. The antecedents that increase disruptive/avoidance behavior are nonchallenging

tasks, inflexible demands for routine, rote task performance, and emphasis on form rather than

substance, on compliance rather than invention, on teacher-directed activities rather than student-

directed activities, and on dependence rather than independence.

D. Long-Term Outcomes

“ IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many

important educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes” (Gottfredson, 2003, p. 34).

The g factor is strongest at predicting school achievement, moderately so for job performance, and

least for law-abidingness. Low g predicts higher health costs, number of auto accidents, poverty,

illegitimacy, school dropout, etc. In other words, advanced information processing skills allow

individuals to meet the environmental demands and opportunities of daily life.

                                                                              Chapter 6 Gifted p. 14
       Continuance. The heritability of IQ increases with age. That is, about 20% of IQ scores are

closely related to parental intelligence in infancy, 40% in preschool, 60% in adolescence, and 80%

by adulthood (see Plomin et al., 2001, cited by Gottfredson, 2003). In other words, the effects of the

environment (family advantage, child-rearing style) decrease as children age and the effects of

inheritance increase. However, inheritance and environmental opportunities interact. That is, gifted

individuals seek out and adapt their own environments to be line with their inherited abilities,

especially as they age (Bouhard et al., 1994, cited by Gottfredson, 2003). For example, bright

children select bright playmates and educational programs that foster their abilities; they read more,

ask more questions, are more curious, and think more. There is more cognitively-directed activity.

This can be described as evidence that genes determine experiences and that intelligence may be

more of an appetite than an aptitude (Plomin & Price, 2003).

E. Summary of Strengths and Needs

            Probable Strengths                                 Probable Needs
High metacognitive skills are reflective    Flexible teachers who emhasize substance over form,
skills appropriate for students who can     invention over production, and independence over
select their own goals, tasks, schedules,   dependence
resources, etc.
Problem-centered learners who enjoy         Empathy training to reduce possible bulling behavior
problem-solving and problem-based           and judgment errors.
learning opportunities
The ability to grasp concepts of fair       Homogeneous groupings with high IQ peers
play, justice, kindness, conservation,
Multiple talents are possible               How to be leaders without being bossy
                                            How to negotiate with teachers who believe that
                                            basics (rote skills) come first.
                                            Recognition of alternative types of giftedness (e.g.,
                                            social, creative, humor, visual arts, dance, story
                                            Opportunities for development and expression of
                                            Opportunities to work faster in ‘their heads’ without
                                            needing to write down steps or procedures.

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 15
F. GT Implications for:

   F 1. Intervention

   Most interventions for GT students focus on specialized instructional groupings. Programs that

   facilitate their growth are: full-time gifted programs, cluster grouping of GT students within

   classrooms, grouping for subject-matter acceleration of the curriculum, cross-grade grouping in

   nongraded classrooms, and enrichment pull-out programs (for a full description, see Feldhusen,

   1998a, b). At the secondary level, the major offerings for GT students are advanced/honors

   classes, special academic classes, target schools, local colleges an universities, but even these are

   available only in larger school systems or cities (Feldhusen, 1998b).

      Inclusion, which is widely used in collaboration between general and special education, does

   not provide the specialized programming needed for giftedness (Seeley, 1998b). For example,

   even when students do receive specialized services for a co-occurring LD in the general

   classroom, there is usually a focus on remediating skill deficits rather than recognizing,

   emphasizing, or teaching through strengths. This emphasis on strengths is particularly important

   for girls with giftedness, who have low expectancies, avoid challenge, and blame themselves for

   failures (VanTassel-Baska, 1998b). Although there are few studies on these twice-exceptional

   children (Moon & Reis, 2004), acceleration of GT students should include twice exceptional

   students. That is, when students with GT plus ADHD were accelerated, the investigators

   reported that they achieved at the level suggested by their abilities, even though they still had

   difficulties in group-work, peer interactions, and with long-term projects (Moon et al., 2001;

   Zentall et al., 2001). These social interaction, judgment errors, and difficulties with persistence

   require additional interventions.

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 16
F 2. Accommodations

Generally the approach for twice exceptional children is to assess strengths and weaknesses and

to use strengths to compensate for weaknesses (Seeley, 1998b). With an emphasis on strengths

and a de-emphasis on disability, children can learn to compensate (Moon & Reis, 2004).

   Accommodations for reading and math are relatively simple to include. For example, the

reading requirements and homework for GT students should involve more complex, abstract

material (e.g., primary, rather than secondary sources, readings and responses to readings,

solving complex verbal problems, answering divergent questions, conducting empirical

research), which are available in more contexts (e.g., libraries, studios, computer labs, meeting

places, online), and that can be responded to in multiple way (e.g., writing essays, small group

projects, seminars, debates, email, discussion groups or LISTSERVs) (Pyryt, 2003: Feldhusen,

1998c). For mathematics, the curriculum for GT students should be fast paced, with an emphasis

on concepts, mathematical models, and multiple solutions to one problem rather than procedures

or multiple problems with one solution (VanTassel-Baska, 1998c). For a complete menu of

instructional activities for the GT child in reading, writing, verbal expression, math, science,

social studies, and leadership/social skills see VanTassel-Baska (1998d). One accommodation

across subject areas is to “accept correct answers, even if the child cannot show his or her work”

(Silverman, 2003, p. 541). That is, their written work should be graded on content and advanced

concepts and not on mechanics or compliance with step-by-step procedures (spelling grammar,

written math steps). According to Silverman, nonsequentiality is a common ingredient in the

profiles of gifted children with LD, and they do not learn in a step-by-step fashion.

   Environmental opportunities also include specific characteristics of the adults who interact

with twice exceptional students. For example, there is evidence that those effective teachers of

                                                                            Chapter 6 Gifted p. 17
   students with giftedness from underrepresented populations are more likely to include student

   ideas, use more praise and encouragement, verbally recognize student feelings, promote time on

   task, and use more activities per unit of time. Teachers who model enthusiasm for a subject of

   study have profound affects on students’ intrinsic motivation to learn about a subject area

   (Feldhusen, 1998c). Helping students set their own goals and manage time are also important,

   since many of these students are multitalented and have difficulty setting priorities. Parents can

   encourage girls with giftedness by holding high expectations, encouraging high levels of activity,

   not being overprotective, supporting interests and capabilities, encouraging mathematics, finding

   female role models, etc. (VanTassel-Baska, 1998b).

                                END OF CHAPTERS ACTIVITIES

A. GT Crossword Puzzle




                      1                        2


ACROSS (grayed bars with numbers at the       DOWN (blank columns with bolded
end)                                          numbers at the top)
   1. A child who knows all the right            1. Takes information apart in order to

                                                                              Chapter 6 Gifted p. 18
      answers, works hard, answers                   understand it better. An example is
      questions, and learns with ease is             task analysis.
   2. when one is able to learn in one           2. A child who asks good questions,
      setting and apply that learning to a          can be opinionated and intense, can
      new setting, we would say that                form abstract concepts, prefers
      _____ has occurred.                           adults, etc.
   3. A type of grouping in which all            3. A type of grouping in which
      members are similar with respect to           members have a variety of traits
      at least one trait (achievement level,        that include achievement level, IQ,
      interest, etc)                                interest, etc.
   4. The ability to put together ideas of
      parts of objects to form a whole

B. GT Chapter Questions

  Question 1. Why are GT students often confused with children who have disruptive behavior?
  Question 2. What does this mean? ‘Intelligence is more of an appetite than an aptitude’?
  Question 3. How can we identify GT children from underrepresented populations?
  Question 4. If a child is high in the g factor, what additional factors might be needed to produce
              extraordinary achievement?
  Question 5. Why are boys overrepresented in GT populations at the secondary level and not at the
              elementary level?
  Question 6. What have you newly learned about the GT population from this chapter that you
              find interesting?

C. GT Case Questions

   Connor Question 1: What might be an alternative diagnosis to explain the social difficulties of
                    Connor, in addition to what can be explained by ADHD?
   Connor Question 2: If Connor has a high need for control/self-determination, how could you
                    provide him with more appropriate replacement activities where he could have
                    and use control more positively?
   Connor Question 3: In what ways would you provide Connor with appropriate challenges?
   Connor Question 4: Given that other possible diagnoses besides giftedness are possible for
                    Connor and with which diagnosis should accommodations begin?

Case Connor subtitled: “[He] finishes reading a chapter in a book and stops reading; teacher tells
him he needs to read until 8:45 a.m.” (adapted from an assignment submitted by Jillian G)

Connor is a 7 year-old highly gifted student in an urban elementary school, who is also diagnosed
with ADHD – Hyperactive subtype along with a co-occurring Emotional Disability (ED). Connor
was removed from the general education gifted cluster classroom and placed full-time in the
resource room. Connor is the youngest of three children; Connor is in second grade. Connor is a very
sensitive child who is prone to outbursts that can become violent at times. He is very bright and
often tries to manipulate the circumstances to meet his needs. When he is unable to do so he does not

                                                                            Chapter 6 Gifted p. 19
seem to be able to handle the emotional aspect of not getting his own way or gaining power. Connor
has a difficult time relating to his peers. He spent a large part of his time in the general education
classroom being very disruptive and sometimes violent. When the class would sit on the carpet with
the teacher, Connor would often pull another child’s hair, wander around the classroom, throw a fit
if he was not chosen for a task, or sometimes walk to the front of the classroom and interrupt the
teacher. If a classmate antagonized him or stood up to him, he has been known to attempt to stab a
child with a sharpened pencil. He has also thrown things at classmates and also pulled things out of
others’ hands. He thoroughly alienated his classmates to the point that they did not want to sit next to
him or anywhere near him at all. Some of the girls were actually frightened of him.

Connor comes from a home where he had a very controlling father. His father divorced his mother
very suddenly and left and this affected him greatly. He also had a godfather who was his surrogate
father after the divorce. They were very close. His godfather died of a heart attack last spring so
again he is fatherless. He seemingly has little control over people leaving him.

Wednesday September 5

Behavior observed       Antecedent              Consequence             Payoffs
                                                Teacher re-directs
                                                him to complete the     Get competence
Drops bag on floor      Morning routine         routine                 (power)
                        Drops papers on the
                        floor while looking
                        for book in desk.                               Avoids task, Get
                        Leaves them on the      Teacher asks him to     emotional
Throws papers           floor.                  pick up papers          stimulation
                                                Teacher comes over
Begins to read with     Teacher asks him to     to desk to ask him
papers still on floor   pick up papers          again                   Get relatedness
                                                                        Get emotional
                                                                        stimulation, Avoid
                        Teacher asks him to     Teacher stops him       task, Gain
throws papers           pick up papers          pushing desk            competence (power)
Finishes reading                                Teacher tells him he
chapter in book and                             needs to read until     Avoids task, Gets
stops reading        Reading time               8:45 a.m.               competence (power)
                     Teacher tells him he       Turns card to red
                     needs to read until        and sent to "time
Refuses to read      8:45 a.m.                  out"                    Avoids task
Cuts corners running Warm ups for gym           Teacher yells at him    Get competence
around gym           class                      across gym              (power)
Continues to cut     Teacher yells at him       Teacher yells at him    Get competence
corners              across gym                 across gym              (power)
                                                Boy shoves back.        Get competence
Shoves boy in front     Waiting in line for     Teacher does not        (power) Get
of him in line          his turn                notice                  emotional

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 20

                                                                      Get competence
                                               Child pulls foot       (power) Get
Stands on foot of    Waiting in line for       away and ignores       emotional
boy behind him       his turn                  him                    stimulation
Cuts corners running Trips while running       Teacher yells at him   Avoid failure, Avoid
around gym           backwards                 across gym             social failure
Thursday September 13
Leaves board game
on floor after                                 Aide asks him to put   Avoid task, Get
picking up pieces    End of recess             it away                Competence (power)
                                                                      Gets self-
                       Aide asks him to put    Aide does not          determination, Gets
Growls at Aide         it away                 respond                competence (power)
                                                                      Get self-
Walks on all dark      Walking in line to      Teacher warns him      determination,
squares in hallway     Chess class             to walk in line        Avoid social failure
                       Getting back in line                           Get competence
Boy behind him in      after being                                    (power), Get
line shoves him        reprimanded             He shoves boy          tangible stimulation
                                               Teacher pulls him      Get competence
                       Boy behind him in       out of line and        (power), Get
He shoves boy          line shoves him         reprimands him         tangible stimulation
Teacher pulls him                                                     Avoid social failure,
out of line and                                Pulls his arm away     Get self-
reprimands him         He shoves boy           from teacher           determination
                                                                      Get competence
Continually corrects                                                  (power), Get
chess partner          Chess class             Partner gets upset     relatedness
                                                                      Get competence
                                                                      (power), Get
Partner gets upset     Tries to help partner   Yells at partner       relatedness
                                               Teacher removes        Avoid failure, Get
Yells at partner       Partner gets upset      him from the class     self-determination

Friday September 14
                                                                      Get self-
Plays with pillows in                          Teacher reminds        determination, Get
reading corner        Reading time             him of task            competence (power)
                                                                      Get self-
                                                                      determination, Get
Falls asleep in                                Teacher does not       competence
reading corner         Reading time            notice                 (power), Avoids task

                                                                           Chapter 6 Gifted p. 21
Wakes up, but            Reading time on          Teacher gives          Gets competence
refuses to open eyes     pillows                  warning                (power), Avoids task
Refuses to change                                                        Avoids failure,
card or follow           Teacher gives            Teacher changes        Avoids task, Gets
instructions             warning                  card for him           competence (power)
Tries to lie down        Given warning and                               Avoids failure,
again                    card color changed       Teacher sits him up    Avoids task
                                                  Teacher changes
Refuses to change                                 card for him and
card and starts                                   stands him up to
throwing pillows at      Not following            move him to time       Avoid failure, Gets
the teacher              instructions to sit up   out                    self-determination
                         Teacher stands him
Screams and falls to     up to move him to        Teacher tells him to  Avoids failure,
floor kicking            time out                 get up                Avoids task
                                                                        Avoid task, Avoid
                                                  Teacher calls for     failure, Gets self-
                                                  help, evacuates other determination, Gets
Opens one eye and        Teacher tells him to     students from the     kinesthetic
kicks teacher            get up                   room                  stimulation
                                                                        Gets self-
                                                                        determination, Gets
                         Teacher calls for                              kinesthetic
Continues to kick        help                     Teacher ignores him stimulation
                                                                        Gets sensory
                                                                        stimulation, Gets
Stands up and runs                                Teacher places him    stimulation, Gets
to desks and starts to                            in small child        kinesthetic
push them over           Teacher ignores him      restraint             stimulation
                                                                        Gets self-
                                                                        determination, Gets
Frees himself from       Teacher places him                             kinesthetic
restraint and runs to    in small child           Teacher holds door    stimulation, gets
classroom door           restraint                closed                self-determination
                                                                        Avoid failure, Gets
Attempts to crawl                                                       self-determination,
under computer           Assistant principal      Assistant principal   Avoid sensory
table                    tries to talk to him     pulls him out         stimulation
                                                                        Gets sensory
                         Assistant principal                            stimulation, Gets
Kicks assistant          pulls him out from       placed in full        kinesthetic
principal                under table              restraint             stimulation

Tuesday September 18 - Teacher Interview

                                                                              Chapter 6 Gifted p. 22
                                                                    Get self-
                                              Ran and climbed       determination,
Released from                                 under computer        Avoid failure, Avoid
restraint               Calmed down           table                 sensory stimulation
                                              Mother told him she   Get emotional
Spoke with mother       Would not             loved him, but he     stimulation, Avoid
on phone and began      communicate with      had lost his video    failure, Get
to cry                  staff or come out     game                  relatedness
                        Mom told him he                             Get emotional
Would not stop          lost his video game   Mom came and          stimulation, Get
crying                  reward                picked him up         relatedness

Friday September 21
Pushes other
students aside so he                                                Get competence
can work on project     Told to work on       Students will not     (power), Get self-
at their table          violin project        move                  determination
Tells students that
this is where he                                                    Get competence
always works on is      Students will not     Students will not     (power), Get self-
project                 move                  move                  determination
                                                                    Get competence
Growls, moves to                                                    (power), Get self-
another table, and    Teacher re-directs      Teacher asks him to   determination,
begins to sing loudly him to another table    be quiet              Avoid social failure
                      Teacher notices that
                      he is copying notes                           Gets emotional
                      word-for-word, and                            stimulation, Gets
                      not making own                                kinesthetic
Breaks pencil in half sentences               Sent to "time out"    stimulation
                                              Teacher removes       Gets self-
                        Told computer time    headset and tells him determination, Gets
Ignores teacher         is up                 again                 competence (power)
                        Teacher removes
                        headset and repeats                         Gets self-
Ignores teacher         instructions to log  Teacher logs him off   determination, Gets
again                   off computer         mid-game               competence (power)
                                             Teacher reminds
Yells, "No." Flings                          him that he has a      Gets self-
himself out of chair    Teacher logs him off reward coming if he    determination, Gets
trying to overturn it   computer mid-game can keep it together      competence (power)
Bumps into several      Teacher reminds                             Get competence
desks on the way to     him that he has a                           (power), Get self-
his own, gets work      reward coming if he Teacher reminds         determination,
out, but does not       can keep it together him to gets started    Avoid task

                                                                          Chapter 6 Gifted p. 23

Continues to sit                               Teacher tells him to     Gets self-
doing nothing, says     Teacher reminds        figure it out and        determination, Gets
he has no pencil        him to gets started    problem-solve            competence (power)

                             Connor's Overall Payoffs

                                                          Get Payoffs

Before the observation, it appeared that Connor was avoiding work, interaction, and stimulation.
However, these data show that his get payoffs were more than his avoid payoffs. Many of his
behaviors were double and even triple coded. For example, even when Connor chose to avoid
something, the ultimate goal was a get payoff--most often the get self-determination (42%) or
competence (56%).

                                                                             Chapter 6 Gifted p. 24
                                    Connor's Avoid (A.) and Get Payoffs
                                         A. sensory

                                    A. social
                            A. failure
                     A. task
                                                    kinesth stim

                                             tangible stim

                                                       emotion stim
              -15     -10      -5        0      5       10     15     20      25      30

One of his biggest avoid payoffs seems to be the avoidance of social relatedness. He does not engage
his peers unless he absolutely has to. When he does, his interactions are power-seeking and not those
of someone who is seeking relatedness. He know he has alienated his peers and seems to have no
idea how (no ability or no desire) to bridge the gap in relatedness.

         Resource Room. Connor has been placed in the resource room on a full-time basis except for
special events and some special classes such as PE and music. He is the only high ability student in
the resource room, so he does not participate in group activities, as his level of work is far higher
than those of his age-peers. Connor tends to work on his own in the resource room. He enjoys
working on math problem-solving and problem-based learning. He also enjoys reading if it is his
choice of reading. He is working on the Chronicles of Narnia. If Connor is able to choose the order
of tasks then he is able to complete a task without a fuss. It is only when a schedule is imposed on
him that he rebels. The resource room staff tries to keep him on the same schedule as his general
education classroom in order for him to be finished with a task in time to attend PE or music or to be
able to attend special events such as Chess class. This is also done for ease of transition back into the
general education classroom in the event that this does occur. This is the ultimate goal for Connor.
The vast majority of Connor’s payoffs in the resource room are get payoffs. He is determined to gain
power and self-determination. He has been removed from his classroom and he is in a room he does
not particularly enjoy. His activities are monitored by at least 4 adults at all times and he has very
little control over what he does. While the ultimate goal is to provide Connor with the opportunity to
make appropriate choices, in order to be able to keep him in his least restrictive environment there
needs to be a stringent schedule that he adheres to. If too much self-determination is given to Connor
without teaching him skills to cope with it, then his behavior is such that a more restrictive
environment will be chosen for him.
         General Education. When Connor attended Chess class and PE class he had very little
interaction with his peers. His interactions with his peers in line on the way to Chess show both get

                                                                                Chapter 6 Gifted p. 25
and avoid payoffs. While Connor is trying to establish himself in the group and gain relatedness to
some degree he is also picking up the behaviors that he displayed in the general education classroom
as he knows that these will also distance himself from the other students and avoid social failure. He
knows he has already isolated himself from his peers so he continues the pattern in his interactions
with them. This can be seen very clearly in PE when he chooses to play by himself in the corner,
rather than interacting with his classmates who he has not seen in several days.
        Independent Work. Connor is a very accomplished student. He loved math and when
introduced to square roots was able to do most of them in his head. He was very proud of this. When
Connor engages in individual work he seems to enjoy the process. He likes to prove that he can
accomplish a task on his own and seems to gain enjoyment and self-efficacy from it, even though he
does not always demonstrate this overtly. Connor does not like to rely on the help of others and
tends to take over a group when he does interact. What Connor reacts to is the amount to which he
can self-direct his activity. This is when we see the behaviors that lead to self-determination payoffs
as well as power payoffs. Again, Connor is not avoiding the task per sé, but trying to exert his will
on the situation.
        Group Work. The only time Connor really worked in a group was in a pair at Chess. His
behaviors were most often power-seeking in that setting. The other time I saw him interact with a
group was when he was setting up his project to work on. He also showed power-seeking behavior
there as well. He does avoid one-on-one interaction more so in the group setting. He did not greet his
peers when he joined them in line and they did not greet him. He made no attempt at all to engage
his peers in an appropriate manner, he merely resorted to the power-seeking behaviors such as
shoving and standing on toes. Again, this shows an avoidance of close interaction
Apparently very few children in the neighborhood like him, and his sister does not like him either.
He has dug himself into such a deep hole, socially-speaking, that he may not know how to rectify the
situation. He may well fear giving up the power-seeking behaviors. This seems to be a vicious cycle
for him. Connor’s mother is very dependent on him having his medications. She added Risperdal to
his Concerta toward the end of last year. Whenever she missed giving Connor his meds she would
rush to school and make a big deal about giving them to him. It gotten to the point that Connor
believed that he could not control his own behavior without the medication and voiced this belief
many times. This belief may add to Connor’s feelings of lack of self-determination. If he truly
believes that he can only behave with chemical intervention then again power and self-determination
are removed from him. He may not actually be ADHD-H; he is a highly gifted child who has never
really been stimulated academically, at least not at school. His lack of cognitive stimulation may
well have caused him to behave disruptively in class and garnered him a diagnosis of ADHD. His
father is highly gifted and his other siblings are gifted as well. It is clearly a family trait. No other
members of his family have an ADHD diagnosis. Connor is a highly gifted child who may well be
able to cognitively grasp what is happening to him, but is unable to deal with it emotionally. He has
moved through 3 counselors in the last year due to issues mom had with them and is provided no
counseling services in school since the school he attends does not have a counselor.

Connor has not had the opportunity to really show his giftedness. If given the right challenging
environment, Connor may well show a decrease in his negative behavior and an increase in his
“gifted” behaviors as is often the case with bored gifted students. It may be important to see Connor

                                                                               Chapter 6 Gifted p. 26
in a medication-free state in order to be able to really assess his behavioral issues (i.e., the meds are
not reducing his negative social behavior). Connor needs to be included in setting up his own
behavior plan. Gifted students have high metacognitive skills and can become part of their own
team, which would include goal-setting as part of the process. This will also allow Connor to gain
some self-determination and power.

Connor should be a part of determining his own schedule for the day and monitoring it. It might be
useful to have Connor build his schedule for the day using pictures or words or even writing it in his
daily planner. He can then monitor what is going to happen that day and cross off tasks as he
accomplishes them. Connor should be given choices within limits. I believe that the educational
reaction to his violent outbursts in the past have been to remove all choices from him and impose
expectations. This seems only to have exacerbated his behavioral problems. If Connor perceives
some choices in his day-to-day tasks he may respond more to being told what to do. For reading
time, allow Connor to choose the book he wants to read or a place in the room where he would like
to read. All of these choices still accomplish what the teacher needs him to do, but allows him to
determine a few things for himself within the framework of his school day.

                                                                                 Chapter 6 Gifted p. 27

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