My view: The joys and challenges of raising a gifted child
Chandra Moseley and her daughter, Nya
August 23rd, 2012
02:07 AM ET

My view: The joys and challenges of raising a gifted child

By Chandra Moseley, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Chandra Moseley is a working, single mom. A resident of a Colorado city, she makes sure to expose her daughter to small-town living through weekly trips to the Rocky Mountains.

(CNN) – My daughter, who is 5, was identified last year as "gifted.” Well, I honestly had never properly understood what being "gifted" meant. I naively thought, "Oh, my baby is so advanced, she is just so smart!”

For those of you who are truly unaware of what being gifted means, let me help you understand.

Gifted students are defined by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) as those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains.

The part of the definition that’s missing - and what I so desperately needed to understand - is the social and behavioral issues that may come with giftedness.

For one thing, my daughter, Nya, is a perfectionist. She gets frustrated even if she only slightly draws outside of the lines. She also gets unnerved by certain loud noises (buzzing or toilets flushing) and even the seams on her socks.  I’ve had to turn her socks inside out because the seam on her toes irritated her so much. I thought she was just being fussy.  

I became aware of Nya’s giftedness through Rev. Regina Groff, a family member’s minister, who noticed the way Nya was coloring when she was just 2. Rev. Groff has gifted children of her own and recognized Nya's frustration each time she drew outside of the lines. That type of frustration and overexcelling is all part of the perfectionism characteristic of being gifted. Just that simple act of frustration revealed her giftedness at the right time that day.

Photos: Inside a 'genius school' in 1948

There are other characteristics of giftedness that for many, including my daughter, are telltale signs - excessive energy, unending curiosity, emotionally advanced, early and superior language skills or a need for perfectionism. Gifted children might have supersensitivities, and that’s what was going on with the loud noises and her socks.

Rev. Groff suggested getting Nya tested and recommended an early childhood education public preschool that has a program for gifted children. Her children attended the same school, and she could not say enough good things about it. I was in the process of trying to find, as many parents do, the "perfect preschool.” Thank God, I listened to her advice and pursued that specific school. I am a firm believer in the notion that God sends people into our lives to guide us, inspire us, lead us and teach us. Rev. Groff guided me that day into the right place my daughter needed to be, and Nya continues to guide me into the right place I need to be.

Nya, which means fulfilled wish, has always been extraordinarily special to me. She was a gift from the day she was born, delivered to me by another vessel. Nya is adopted. I sometimes have to remind myself of that because she couldn't possibly be any more like me. In what I thought could be only one miraculous event by her being born, she continues to produce miracles and forever enrich my life. She has not only taught me what unconditional love feels like - how to laugh until your belly aches, how to play like you are the silliest person in the room - but also how to be so aware that every challenging moment in your life exposes you, teaches you and prepares you for something to come.

I remember Nya’s first year of preschool. What could have been a 10 minute homework session (yes, homework in preschool) turned into an hour and a half of erasing and rewriting each word until in her mind it was perfect. Let me tell you, there were many pencils being thrown across the room (not by me), breakdowns, and crying (yes, some by me.)

What I didn't understand at the time was her constant quest for perfection.

Her amazing teacher, Brenda Natt, explained to me that it is all part of being gifted and that was the very reason Natt cuts off all the erasers of her pencils in her classroom. She understands that her students struggle with that issue and what she wanted them to understand was that it was OK if something isn't perfect sometimes.

The same teacher strongly advised me to enroll Nya in a gifted school to prevent her from getting lost in the loopholes of a typical school program - not only academically but also emotionally. She told me, "gifted kids are almost comparable to special needs children. While their IQs are high, they have behavioral aspects that need special attention and the right teachers with the right understanding to guide them."

After four years of questions - How can Nya go from 1 to 10 over something so simple? How can she be so sweet, compassionate, mellow and then completely lose her cool over not remembering the right words to a verse of a song? Why is she such a hothead? - all of this was finally making sense. If I only knew then what I know now.

What I have learned is not to deter Nya from finishing a project or even a simple task when she’s in the middle of it. Gifted children are not all on the same page; they all have very different levels of needs, some more than others.

It has been fascinating and amusing to talk to other moms in her class and compare how they react to certain situations in the same way. I am constantly learning and trying to gain knowledge on how to help Nya be the person she is destined to be, while she has helped me be the person we needed me to be.

One of the most important things now truly embedded in my thought process is the notion that we just don't know what a child may be struggling with or what a parent might be going through. Many of us have witnessed situations in stores or restaurants where a child is lashing out or just having a complete breakdown and we are so quick to assume or place judgment on that parent.

"They just don't know how to discipline!" "That child is a complete brat!" or even "That kid is completely out of control and that parent has no idea what they are doing!"

What I have realized is that parents are all on the same team. I really wish we would start doing less criticizing of each other and do more listening, learning, encouraging and supporting. Like my example in the store, maybe next time we see a child in that circumstance, we can evaluate that situation and maybe show support by a kind smile, a glance of understanding, a sweet distraction or maybe, for some, a sincere prayer.

That’s what it's all about, right? To learn from each other and grow with each other. To continue to become better for each other, our children and generations to come.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chandra Moseley.

soundoff (1,064 Responses)
  1. Joanna

    Okay, I am just putting this out there because apparently people are too ignorant to read the article. THE LITTLE GIRL IS ADOPTED AND THE PICTURE IS OF THE AUTHOR IF YOU READ THE SUBHEADING OF THE PICTURE IT WILL TELL YOU THIS !!! Also, to those who are racist your ignorance amuses me :D

    August 23, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • rh

      So what? My husband's step sister has a beautiful son who looks 100% African-American, and she is as white as a sheet, yes she gave birth to him.

      My kids don't look like me, and I get comments all the time, not that they are adopted but people assume I am their nanny because I have dark skin and they have light skin.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  2. me341

    Sounds like my son – only he is diagnosed ADHD. Man, the sock thing with him drove me nuts! Regardless of the word (gifted, autistic, add, adhd, blah, blah, blah), what matters making sure her needs are addressed and she learns how to grow up to a productive adult working to her strengths and managing the difficulties.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  3. amooreyr

    I find the article to be interesting. One caveat would be to encourage the author to have her child formally tested for giftedness, as opposed to simply looking at behavior issues to assess her abilities. I have extensive experience with truly gifted individuals. They sometimes show behavioral issues, but it is not simply perfectionism. Rather, it usually manifests itself in a drive to pursue their gifted side to the exclusion of their less gifted abilities. For instance, one student who is truly expectional at math (calculus and trigonometry in 4th grade) may struggle with writing or english. Because these other subject come less easily as math, the student can become frustrated or give up easily on studying them, even though s/he may simply have to put in the same effort as an "average" student. The perception I see from posts is that there is a focus on the label of giftedness and not on the child or person. There are challenges with truly gifted individuals that "average" folks will never understand. For instance, the average person can dwell on a topic for finite period of time before becoming bored or having attention drawn to something else. A gifted individual can dwell on multiple topics, at multiple levels of comprehension, for extended periods of time. Why do you think Einstein could solve so many problems? He never stopped thinking about them; even when he was doing something else, his mind was working on equations. That is the classic gifted presentation. And it is very difficult to be the parent of a classically gifted student, as you can see from the critical and condescending posts to this article. Gifted students will need extra care to socialize with their peers. They need extra effort on the part of teachers who will have to teach someone who is vastly smarter than they are and who will continually thirst for more information and understanding about the subject matter being taught. It is challenging. It is often misunderstood. And it is a shame that the students and parents are the ones who have to fight the judgments as they try to do their best to navigate an educational system that caters to the middle.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Freddo

      Ok, so on the one hand, gifted students become easily frustrated in subjects in which they don't excel and abandon them; on the other, they have superior powers of concentration, don't become bored like their peers, and can focus for hours on learining new things. Which is it?

      August 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  4. mk

    "Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

    August 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • A

      Wow, I've never heard this quote before. Love it.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  5. JW

    I am sure when the writer of the article saw a white blonde woman with a 1/2 black child who was "gifted", she jumped all over that. If the child had been blonde and looked like the mother CNN would not have been interested. Further promotion of race mixing. Geesh, the black guy who got his "blonde patch" didn't marry her. Wow, that's strange.....

    August 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Another Point of View

      How do you know she didn't adopt that baby from another country? Why do you just go and assume it was a hook-up resulting in a child out of wedlock?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Joanna

      Umm that picture is the writer and the baby is adopted ...

      August 23, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Astounded

      You really must READ the article before responding. She states that the child is adopted. Judge much?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Edinamom

      Ahhhh, why can't you just take the article for what its meant to be? – its not a hard hitting, researched journal article on gifted kids. This is one persons experience with it...thats all. Stop reading into it so much and placing negative assumptions.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • GetReal71

      Did you read the article? 9th Paragraph down...

      "Nya, which means fulfilled wish, has always been extraordinarily special to me. She was a gift from the day she was born, delivered to me by another vessel. Nya is adopted."

      August 23, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Woatalk

      You are a gifted idiot ! ;-)

      August 23, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  6. Hello

    What is the real point of this article. They told white women how great backs are, but truth is out they just get the women pregnant then leave but now they tell us these children are gifted and its a source of great joy and pride to have your own little half black gifted fatherless child, roll eyes.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • D

      Did any of you bother to read the article? You don't have to be "gifted" to achieve basic reading comprehension. The article specifically says that the child is adopted. Not that it should matter.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • Woatalk

        Add to that an incompetent understanding of spelling and grammar.

        August 23, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  7. scott

    This kid has some markers of autism spectrum, which is very different from gifted. Being gifted does not imply special needs. The upside is that spectrum kids like this who are smart usually do just fine – they're coachable due to their intelligence.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Laura

      Actually, Scott, being gifted IS a learning difference, just like dyslexia. It means that a person's brain works a specific way, and it can in fact include sensitivities to light, touch, and sound. As a teacher, I look at what those kids who are given that label need to succeed in my classroom, and it may require some adjusting of lessons or even teaching styles. Having been "a kid like that" and as a parent of a gifted child, I know all too well how complicated and amazing a gifted child's mind and how it can affect that child in school and in life. A person, by the way, can have both a learning difference ANd be gifted.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Laura

      Actually, Scott, being gifted IS a learning difference, just like dyslexia. And I have had many students who have both a learning disability AND are gifted. One does not exclude the other. In teaching language, some of us call that being "2E" or twice exceptional. It means that a person's brain works a specific way, and it can in fact include sensitivities to light, touch, and sound. As a teacher, I look at what those kids who are given that label need to succeed in my classroom, and it may require some adjusting of lessons or even teaching styles. Having been "a kid like that" and as a parent of a gifted child, I know all too well how complicated and amazing a gifted child's mind and how it can affect that child in school and in life.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  8. NicPayne

    Only parents, teachers and scientists are impressed by geniuses. Most geniuses dont function well in society. EQ matter way more than IQ. In fact, most (notice i didnt say all) geniuses work for someone with a lower IQ than themselves.
    A funny line from my favortie movie, "Matilda"
    (Teacher) Ms Honey: "Matilda can add large numbers in her head"
    (Mean Principal) Ms. Trunchbull: "So can a calculator"
    LOL

    August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • SierraG

      That is certainly true. I went to small high school. I'm not gifted, by far. But there were only 27 kids in graduating class and we'd been together since Kindergarten. 4 were in gifted classes and at our first reunion (20yrs later): 1 was a policeman, 1 was a plumber, both females were non working housewives (one of whom was considering applying for a cashier job). I can't say I'm a great success, just a nurses aide, but the one who did seem most successful was the boy whose parents tried to get them into gifted, we all teased him for being a wannabee in school because he kept taking the test and not scoring high enough to get into the gifted class: he was a chemistry professor at a small college.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • Visionf

        What is sub-par with a career as a policeman? Great retirement and if you are in the correct department good pay and benefits? Almost half of current college graduates and the bachelors end up in service jobs requiring no degree and with limited pay.

        As for being "gifted" that is a relative term, someone maybe a gifted golfer or fisherman, or perhaps does well in math. In law enforcement a gifted person is one who survives to retirement without being murdered, sued into non-existence or burned out into an alcoholic with a broken marriage. You survive those hurdles and make it to the hammock by the beach you were truly gifted.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • A

      I can't speak for any certifiable geniuses, but I do work in a building full of intelligent scientists, many of whom are the most awkward individuals you'll ever meet. While being socially adept is a wonderful thing, and I feel those of us that are a little better at fitting in with general society have more fun, none of us would be the successes we are today if we weren't book smart.

      To the other reply that said all the gifted students in your class turned out to be menial or otherwise normal, that's a really small sample size. It could be as simple as those kids lacked the will to get a college education, which is required for most of the jobs for which you would picture them. The chemistry professor clearly had a drive to succeed, evident by how often he took the tests for the advanced classes, and also pursued the degrees necessary (he likely has a PhD) to become a professor.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • SierraG

        See that is the 'difference' in my 'intelligence' and A's intelligence. I was trying to say exactly what he is saying, but guess I came off as well, gifted doesn't amount to much, which is definately not what I intended. Yes, the chemistry professor has phD.

        August 23, 2012 at 11:28 am |
      • Chance

        @SierraG- You say "yes, he has a PHD" as if you know the guy. You do not have to have a PhD to teach college part time. It is called adjunct faculty. I know because I am a professor and only have a MSED.

        August 24, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  9. EJ

    "For those of you who are truly unaware of what being gifted means, let me help you understand."

    This statement proves that this child's core problem is a needy mother. It's very sad because parents who need their child to be "gifted" thrive on the attention and drama brought on by the child's behavioral problems. It can be a form of Muchausen.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Joseph

      I have a friend whose son has been diagnosed with every mood disorder under the sun and is also "gifted". His behavior is destroying the whole family and she disclaims all responsibility for it by saying that "it's all biological, discipline and consequences don't work". However, I have seen with my own eyes how she enables him and his behavior is ENTIRELY bad parenting, not a funcion of being a "genius", as she says.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  10. Scott

    I also have a gifted child and also experience seeing some of the social awkwardness in him.

    Here is my take: All children are good in some things and bad in others. With my son he's very smart but tends towards social awkwardness; therefore, that is the area that I, as a parent, need to help him grow in. I don't need to help him much with his homework. He's got that down pat. But I can help him with how to deal with other people, to be braver in making contacts, to be able to read social cues as to what is appropriate or not for a situation.

    In the case of the authors daughter one of the VERY most important things she can do is to, and I mean this, set her daughter up for failure. Failure happens in life. It has to be dealt with. The daughter is not comfortable with failure and doesn't have the coping skills (probably because it doesn't happen that often). But those are important skills. So she needs to help her daughter feel more comfortable when things are not perfect otherwise she will grow up miserable.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • EJ

      Pefectionists really are miserable. Perfectionism is a form of self-abuse.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • CJ

      I think you are 100% correct Scott. My son had the same issues yours has, it's a long road, but if we guide them properly they turn out fine. The key is to start guiding them early on, before patterns are set. Pay attention to your kids and what's going on with them and do your best to help them learn and grow into good stable people, simple as that.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  11. Mandy Minor

    Thanks so much for putting your experience out there. My little girl has the same socks and loud noises problems, and she was recently evaluated as gifted.

    Ignore the naysayers and downright ugly-hearted people who've posted negative comments here. You're doing a great job, and Nya is BEAUTIFUL!

    August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  12. SierraG

    Whatever you want to say about my child is gifted too/Asperger's/whatever diagnosis you have/want, the point is that if your child is truely 'gifted' it does not mean perfectionist only which is what she seems to focus on. Why not be blunt, all you 'gifted' parents. The gifted label rarely/never comes without a high I.Q. score. Gifted in today's educational program is tied to I.Q. What was Nya's I.Q.? What test was used? I have 3 adopted children. One has I.Q. of 68 (not gifted, in mental retardation range, very athlete, dx with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, horrendous behavior, best reader and speller in his class, 4 grade levels behind in math, is able to meet self care needs like cook simple meals/get dressed/etc..), child 2 has I.Q. of 100 (the 'average' I.Q.), he cannot move due to cerebral palsy, wears a diaper as a teen, has few behavior problems (mostly due to being unable to move/throw tantrums), has no self-help skills. And finally youngest has I.Q. scores tested 3 times over course of 10 years of 158, 183, 165. He is not a perfectionist, has no behavior problems, is 2 years below level in reading (nobody knows why–not dyslexia), is only at grade level in math, and spends all his free time playing with neighborhood kids. I'm assuming Nya's mom focused only on perfectionism on purpose. There are a lot of other frustrating and misunderstandings by parents of non-gifted kids. Parents who cry 'no, not far. my child is gifted too.' There are a core set of issues that gifted parents have including being labelled 'cry babies and attention seekers' for bringing up issues. Perfectionalism and frustration with not doing things correctly, low self esteem, and highly active/non-sleeping are some of them.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  13. Nancy Reich

    You might want to check with a psychologist if she has Asperger's Syndrome. Some of her quirks seem to fall into the category.
    Best of luck,
    N.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • paul

      My thoughts exactly, as we have a "gifted" son with Aspbergers having the same frustration fits.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  14. AW

    Both of my children are doctors. They were both in sports (year round) and were (GT) gifted and talented since kindergarten. I am retired military and we moved a lot. We kept them on schedule and stayed involved in there lives.
    While it is important to get the right school any kid can make it that wants too.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Rob

      Not really.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Rob

      What does 'want to' mean, anyway!?

      August 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Dave

    Looks like woops is this forums uneducated inbred moron. Congrats!

    August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  16. Marilyn Stanley

    I hate that word, Gifted. Every child is gifted. They are just gifted in different ways.

    I raised a "Gifted" child. Not all are perfectionist. Even with high IQ, each child is different. At a young age, they do seem to understand why things are important, like how to write, etc.

    "Gifted" scared me when I fully understood it. Would I be able to raise this child correctly. Then I realized that my husband and I could have been considered gifted and out parents did ok. We are not perfect, but we made it to adulthood as functioning people and are fairly happy. Could we have been raised better – yes, but we had made it.

    One frustration I have is other parents didn't understand what we were dealing with. Like some of the comments above, there was just a lack of understanding. They assumed we had it easy. WRONG. The child is very demanding and needy. I wasn't sure how to give the child the social skills he needed to become an good adult. My social skills were not the best, so I felt lost in teaching skills I did not have. I now can see adults that must have been gifted kids, whose parents and schools did a poor job of this. The Gifted child needs stimulation. That sometimes gets hard to do, especially if the parent doesn't have a high IQ. If the parent doesn't demand respect and give lots of love, the child will lose his trust in the parents.
    My son is now 23 years old and I think doing a fine job. His life isn't perfect and he isn't setting the world on fire but that is fine. In our area, the public school offered us the most help. Private schools wanted him, but they wanted to put him in with all the others. I hope that I can continue to help him with his life.
    Most of his male friends from grade school that were called Gifted are now lost. A couple did not finish High School. Some graduated, but still haven't found a life. I see them or their parents and they just don't know what happened. He was such a bright kid.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • AZ

      True.. everychild is gifted in some way or the other

      August 23, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • JaneK

      Respectfully disagree, Marilyn. Not all children are Gifted. It is a defined measurement into which not all children fall. That is like saying all children qualify for special education, all children are blind, and all children have asthma. The word itself has become an elitist term within many educational settings, and most parents who wish their children were gifted really don't understand what it means. For many parents with exceedingly gifted children, they wish they could just be a bit more average.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  17. hawkechik

    Reading the comments has really brought home how many people just skim information which really cuts into their comprehension.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  18. WHY?

    I am a father of 9 year old twin boys who are both autistic. And they both display all these symptoms mentioned in the article. What I want to know is why people with "gifted children" get so upset if autism is used to describe thier child why is gifted good and autistic bad when if you look closely at the two, they are basicly the same thing. I dont care if my kids are autistic or gifted or just weird, they are people all the same and need to be treated the same as all kids. why pressure them with their issues. let them be and support them the best you can. we should be helping out the best we can and not bashing people for their beliefs. let parent think what they need to think to settle their minds and move on.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • redbullets

      A good point, and kind of why shooting holes in the piece the author wrote is important.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Kelli

      Agree, I was thinking the same thing while reading the article, autism. I have two little girls with autism. Gifted children is just another term for autism. Autism is not bad it is beautiful with ranges of different "gifted" needs with social skills, academics, and communication.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Eden

      So I completely understand your comments – when we were going through the early years my first thoughts and questions about my daughter were about autism. I was educated by our OT that there is indeed a 'spectrum' but trying to label my daughter with autism would be like trying to diagnose a non-specified auto-immune problem as Lupus....it would lead to completely innappropriate treatments and therapies. She's now a middle school girl that's giggly with tons of friends and an active social life, which my friends with autistic kids struggle more with. So I don't want to say you are wrong, because frankly, it was our willingness to embrace that possibility that led to her getting some really great early intervention. But it truly is a spectrum that can't all be called and treated the same. And a non-autistic kid can have these tantrums out of intense frustration, but as they grow and thier control centers in thier brains develop, they themselves, as such intelligent beings, learn to control it. Best of luck – you are an amazing person to lovingly raise autistic children – they are so vulnerable and wonderful, but it is never easy.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Stacie

      I have a daughter (10) who is gifted and also shows traits similar to that of the child in the article (doesn't like loud environments, sensitive to rough clothing, perfectionist and gets frustrated when schoolwork doesn't go her way, and anxiety over making decisions). At many points in her childhood, I would have loved to be able to point to a diagnosis like aspergers, because then it would be so much easier to explain to people why she was acting so differently than other children. But even though here were traits in common (obsessions, lining up toys) nothing was extreme or strong enough to really make me suspect Aspergers and go to the extent of testing. I was not afraid of the diagnosis, in fact, would have welcomed the explanation for the odd and quirky behaviors. It would be a way to explain her to strangers and acquaintances. It would be a relief. But, it just wasn't extreme enough to be tested, even though pieces of the puzzle were there. It wasn't until I talked to a fellow mother of a gifted child, and found an article or two which did suggest that gifted kids can show traits similar to aspergers that I felt a partial relief. But because people who mention their child's giftedness are often judged (see comments below) that discovery is still not a panacea for the problem of explaining my daughter to others.

      http://mcgt.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/ˆx-Giftedness-Asp.Dis_.Checklist.pdf

      August 23, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Because!

      You make a good observation! I'd love to be labeled 'autistic'. As it is, I'm just a odd. Annoyingly, dysfunctionally, and unpalatably, odd. Perhaps unemployably so. Sometimes effortlessly brilliant and sometimes incredibly dumb. A little OCD, a little phobic, a little paranoid. A little anxious, a little depressed. I don't understand other people and am confused as to why people don't see what's obvious. Not into small talk because no one wants to talk about anything. Undereducated for my abilities, but can't cope with mainstream. Easily overwhelmed with sensory input -forget flipping channels or unwelcome and distracting sounds. And the socks, the sweaters, the turtle necks. Ugh! Long sleeve shirts are bad enough.

      So, being labeled with a word as concise as 'autistic' would be comforting to me.

      But I'm not 'autistic', just a mostly unlikable weirdo. But loyal. At least there's that.

      Your sons are lucky to have you!

      August 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  19. Michelle

    The child sounds autistic to me.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  20. Branden

    I have to concur with others in that signs do point to Aspergers/Autism spectrum, which often gets missed in girls. It might not be a bad idea to get her tested in this area. As a parent with a son with a very hih IQ and Asbergers, I have to say school got a lot easier when we figured out the Asperger's side of it. There were things like the perfectionism and emotional outbursts that were baffling up to that point. Here is a link to a site that looks at indicators.
    http://www.autismindicators.com/asbergers-syndrome
    It is important to note that some of these indicators will not apply, each person with Aspergers is different, but it is something to consider. Our son is in High School now, he has always had friends (I would change 'can't make friends' on the list to 'has difficulty making friends'), but he tends to gravitate toward others who have Aspergers or are otherwise out of the mainstream. Giftedness and Aspergers are often interrelated. Also, if you can observe your child in a school setting it can give a clearer picture of social interaction. Nya is the cat's meow, Moon mommy.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Nancy Reich

      I agree, sounds like Asperger's. She needs to be tested.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Joanna

      I made a comment earlier on someone else's and honestly people use the word Autism to explain how they pee. People need to stop assuming autism. Autistic children are not getting the treatment they need because paranoid parents are taking the treatment away from those who truly need it and are using it for their child because their child laughs at dolphins or something stupid like that and they think "OMG that is an Autistic trait" Everything according to everyone is an "autistic trait". ADHD and autism are so closely linked that people misuse it there too. A lot of mental issues are done this way. People need to stop looking at every little detail and see the whole picture.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  21. woops

    0 people commenting on here actually have a 'gifted' child. youre all just pathetic & small minded enough to not only fall for this womans 'poor me' holier-than-thou bull (which is pretty ironic considering she was stupid enough to get knocked up by a black dude) and feel the need to act like youre part of her 'woe is me' fanclub.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Joanna

      I am sorry for you ...

      August 23, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Huh?

      "Nya, which means fulfilled wish, has always been extraordinarily special to me. She was a gift from the day she was born, delivered to me by another vessel. Nya is adopted. I sometimes have to remind myself of that because she couldn't possibly be any more like me. "

      Reading comprehension, much?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Cmae

      I'm sorry, did you even READ this article? She clearly states that her daughter is adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Lacy

      She clearly stated the child was adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • kings

      did you read the article? she adopted her daughter...

      August 23, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Marcie

      The girl is adopted, you moron. And it sounds like you have a HUGE chip on your shoulder. Get a grip and leave the rest of us without your uneducated, stupider than thou comments.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Rachel

      Did you read the article? She was adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Rob

      Why are you angry at her? Why are you so angry about such a benign subject? Let it pass.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  22. woops

    "blah blah blah and im a single mother"

    *looks at half black baby*

    NO, REALLY!?

    August 23, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Scott

      The child may be the product of an interracial relationship but one thing is clear; the child already is smarter than you are even at age 5.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
      • Joanna

        LOL Love this comment :D

        August 23, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • etacie

      woops it doesnt surprise me to rear your racists ignorant comments because clearly you didnt read the article just saw the photos and made assumtions ...

      August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Phil

      Well if you bothered to read the story, Nya is adopted, fool.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |
      • Tanya

        and she's not mixed either....sheesh....she is adorable!!!

        August 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Brandi

      The article (which you obviously didn't read) clearly states the child is adopted. Troll.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • lrkr

      Hilarious. You looked at the picture, read the caption, and posted two racist comments without actually reading the article: Nya is adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Eden

      Did you read the article...Nya is adopted. THis is a lovely mom who took a child that needs love into her heart...regardless of her race or needs. And it's not holier than thou sitting with a child who has been sobbing and agonizing over a task for 2 hours...it's painful; I appreciated her sharing her experience.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Tanya

      UM....the baby is not half black......she's adopted but you can see she's a little black girl.....adorable I might ad

      August 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • JD

      Wow, thank you for sharing with everyone your bigot mindset (define by Webster Dictionary-A person who is intolerant of any race or belief that differs from their own). If the woman had featured a white child would your comments still reflect your thinking? The article deals with how parents should work to listen to their child to help them better identify their needs. Instead, we see a ton of comments reflecting bigots hate toward a white women who adopted a black child...we still got a ton of people with a pre civil war southern mindset...its 2012...wake up!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  23. woops

    and by gifted you mean half black.

    and wheres the dad?

    oh, right.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • llana

      If you read the article and not just look at the picture, you might figure that one out.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • MMM

      The article clearly states she adopted Nya. Read much?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • readerCNN

      She is ADOPTED! Read the WHOLE article before passing judgment!!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • kap

      If you had read the article you wouldn't have written something so ignorant. Perhaps you have comprehension issues. Whatever the case, you sound like a jerk, and I never want to meet you.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Sometimes

      Sometimes, when I read people like you I feel sorry for the human race. You are a mean, bigoted person who has no ability to read a simple article and understand it. The problem is that there are so many people like you out there dragging society and the entire planet down.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • hannah007

      She was adopted you moron, try reading the article before making imbecilic comment.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Chris

      Read the article! Why on earth would "half-black" have anything to do with intelligence? It's very sad that there are still people like you who are racist and think that you're right in that thinking!
      II teach elementary music to over 600 kids a week. I'm mainly white. Most of my students are Hispanic, about 20% African-American and maybe 5% Asian, 5% white. Regardless of their race, I have many students labeled as "gifted" and they do very well in my classes. Even the ones who are in self-contained Special Education classes are gifted in my observations. God has gifted us all in different ways regardless of race, gender, etc... Oh, and I was labeled gifted in school. But, many of my gifted traits are now called Aspergers, Autism, ADD, ADHD, etc...

      August 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  24. SI2K

    It's refreshing to read about a family who has found the right school from the outset. This is not the norm. These neurologically hypersensitive kids are special needs kids – served by Special Ed. in many districts. They're also more likely than average to have dual diagnoses like ADHD, autism, OCD, anxiety, depression, and even epilepsy. My son is gifted with mild sensory and executive function needs, and my daughter is gifted with coexisting Asperger's syndrome and related social anxiety disorder. These traits have been in both dh's and my families for three generations that we know of.

    Public awareness is so crucial. Without funding for special programs these kids are at severe risk for lifelong social-emotional problems and dropping out of school. I left school in grade three for a time because attending a program that was three years behind my level was mental torture. So far my daughter has been through three schools with no primary gifted program and hasn't completed a full year yet due to boredom and extreme anxiety about being so different from her teachers and peers. "Well, at least your daughter can read," a parent said once. Small consolation. I quit my job as a university professor three years ago to be on-call to the school district, attend a myriad of meetings, and provide various therapy appointments. You don't just walk back into that kind of career. But I don't regret my career loss. This is what parents of special needs kids do. I have more in common with the moms of learning disabled kids than I do with the moms of typically developing children. We are fighting the same fights, meeting with the same school staff and psychiatrists, crying down the phone to each other when no one else wants to listen..

    After homeschooling most of last year, it's worth it now to see my daughter wake up in the morning smiling and excited about her day (She was a depressed, unmovable lump in the mornings of grades 1 and 2.) She starts at a new school in the fall – the one her brother goes to for congregated gifted – a school I had to fight for three years to get her into with both autism and gifted supports (imagine trying to finagle both of these out of a financially strapped public board in this climate. We had to hire a lawyer, a psychologist, a neuropsychiatrist, a pediatric psychiatrist, consult with the district trustee, four principals, and three superintendents.)

    People try to train their kids up to get into gifted schools. I can't fathom it. Let them be typical. Our son? We knew the genetics were there, but he's so easygoing and can entertain himself in class better than many, so we didn't say a thing until the district identified him in grade three. If there's a take-away from this discussion, know that all we hear from our kids is, "I wish I could be like all the other kids." When I say, "Oh, everyone's unique," they give me this look. You know. That look. Like, "Oh, please, you know exactly what I mean."

    Thanks again for helping raise public awareness about this.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Joanna

      Awwwww ... I hope it goes well for her :) I cant wait to get my son into a school that actually cares about children :)

      August 23, 2012 at 9:18 am |
      • SI2K

        Thanks, Joanna. From what I've read it's usual for a school district to take years to identify and accommodate learning disabilities, gifted, or any other learning differences. Many students don't get support until middle school, and many never get support. I'm simply floored that this is the status quo.

        I tell you what, if anyone later on harps on me about why we didn't get early intervention, they'll be very lucky if I'm able to bite my tongue and walk out of the room. Otherwise it might not be pretty!

        August 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • redbullets

      Just guessing here, but I'd never take the guidance of a pastor as to the proper school for my gifted or challenged child unless said pastor had an extensive education pedigree in dealing with gifted and/or challenged children.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • Joanna

        It depends on how religious you are I guess... i would not either but it is her way I guess :) at least she is trying to help her daughter though

        August 23, 2012 at 9:30 am |
      • SI2K

        Community religious leaders can be very adept at family and social work. Depends on the focus of the religious community, really. Sounds like this one knew what she was talking about from personal experience. Peer-to-peer support is often the only support families with additional needs receive, and thank you, internet, for our enhanced ability to reach out to one another in this day and age. My parents didn't have that benefit at all. Even Mensa back then didn't focus on support and advocacy for children like they're starting to do now.

        August 23, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Eden

      Best of luck! It's a long but love-filled journey! I don't pretend to have any answers, but our daughter's more challenging behaviors have started to mellow as she goes into middle school. Loud noises still overwhelm her, but she knows either how to avoid them or when to extract herself when the sounds start to take over. She's been put into a more challenging school and now the homework agony has subsided...sounds like homeschooling has been the ticket for you. We have also found over the years that stimulating that vestibular system is awesome – swinging on the swing set, doing summersaults, cart-wheels, bouncing around balls and jumping on the trampoline are all some of the best things we do. She's calmer and happier. She has tons of whacky phobias and they seem to subside (or she can control them more) when we do these things...and she sleeps better (which I'm sure you've experienced is a challenge). An OT gave us this information, so if you haven't seen one, check one out...they seem to help use the body to help calm the mind.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • SI2K

        Thanks. We're fortunate to have an OT scheduled to consult with the new school in September. On this topic, what's extra fascinating is that her level of cognitive stimulation appears to be directly related to sensory-seeking behavior. For example, on days where a school activity actually did stimulate her mind, the sensory-seeking and unsocial behaviors declined dramatically. Another thing – once we started homeschooling full time last year her poor eye contact completely disappeared. The psychologist was astounded. I hope medical science can unravel the cognitive-sensory-social puzzle in my lifetime. I'm so curious about its biological basis.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  25. Stacie

    Thank you. I have a 10 year old daughter who sounds a lot like yours. Her giftedness is not easy to talk about, because it is a blessing and can be seen as bragging. But there are related issues that are not spoken of that do make life difficult for our daughter and us. You understand those types of issues and I really appreciate your attempt to educate. Thank you.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  26. Barb

    It's nice that your daughter has such great school choices to help further her education. I have two daughters, who are labeled gifted. Unfortunately for us we live in a small town in western PA where my girls have had very little gifted enrichment. It is so frustrating to know what some states offer. My state certainly doesn't take gifted education seriously so why would my school district. The focus in our state is on passing basics skills tests for HS graduation. Our gifted program consists so one woman who is to provide services for K-12 students AND ESL for the entire district. Insane!

    August 23, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  27. Zoey

    My adult son was labeled gifted in school too but didn't have the obsessive compulsive behavior your child demonstrates. You may want to get your child tested for some other ESE program as many gifted children also have underlying issues such as emotionally disabled.
    I was not very happy with the gifted program in my school system because they didn't seem to challenge my son enough. He always aced every test he took even though he didn't spend much time on the subject matter. I was hoping he would come out of the program as a hard worker but he didn't so be careful with which program you put her in as some programs can make behaviors worse.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  28. alison

    how true her article is and how badly we who suffer need to be understood. i am not proclaiming my son's 'giftedness' from the rafters. his brains are sometimes amusing but his perfectionism and his extreme emotions are nothing short of horrific to endure. any person who condemns this mother and her child are lucky that they do not similarly suffer. what gets me through some days is thinking that maybe, MAYBE, if i can help him learn to identify and control is emotions, MAYBE he can cure cancer or give back to the world that is requiring so much patience as he slowly developes. Please, if you have not walked in these shoes, don't drop a deuce on them. they're real and we're trying.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  29. edward barneys propoganda

    test

    August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Avery

      You failed.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  30. Successful Career Chic

    A lot of parents do want to believe that their child is academically or athetically gifted and it's actually funny when parents push them over the limit to prove themselves. But there are some kids that actually are...this little girl might as well may be gifted. Einstein was a wierd guy (OCD in our terms) but was a genius...his focus and need for perfection is what differentiated him from other normal mortals. Kids that exhibit superior talents yet have social behaviors do need special schools so that they can cater to their gifts and teachers that understand their behaviors. Putting them in the mainstream program would not be in their best interest...this article is just trying to drive that point to parents that might have a child that is different.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  31. Joanna

    i have a gifted child myself and I know this frustration. We are putting my son into a completely different school district because the one he is in is terrible. She is right you absolutely need the right faculty at the schools. I am for one glad she wrote this because it helped me understand more about gifted children and know that I was right to think of my son's actions as being linked to his IQ. It does get better as they get older :) My son is now 7 and he is not completely to the "standard" but he has definitely matured and knows how to handle his issue much better. 2 years can make a huge difference. I have to say also that he can get overwhelming with questions about why, what is this, and how does this work, but education is everything and I hope that his new school will challenge him better than the school he is at! Thanks for writing this article. And to the skeptics> You have no idea what us parents with gifted children go through unless your child is gifted.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  32. Mary

    If the author discussed what a great athlete her daughter is, this wouldn't be an issue for those jealous parents of average intelligence kids. Even though she is not bragging about her gifted child, why it is more acceptable in our society to share all of glory details of their multi sport little leaguer or soccer star? Why is it ok to accept that some kids are super athletes but not that some kids have superior minds? Each child comes with her own challenges.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Avery

      Who's jealous? Of a kid that throws pencils? Yeah. I'm green with envy. ha ha!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • Mary

        Not every gifted child is disruptive in class, some show lots of self control and just wait until they get home, before they have the melt downs. Others are not so lucky and do feel overwhelmed b/c so much is expected of them everday. They fear any type of failure and if anyone offers constructive criticism, they are crushed by what they perceive as a negative. Have a little sympathy! Haven't you ever met an uptight anxious adult, who worries about everything? Be glad that you are able to balance the positive & negative so easily. Maybe ignorance is bliss, Avery.

        August 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  33. DC

    Medical science is a long way from understanding normal brain function let alone abnormal or above normal brain function. Our assessments of behaviors resulting from these brain functions are a double edged sword since we don't truly know the cause.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  34. CptDondo

    I'm sorry, but this comes across as incredibly self-centered. My kids are "gifted" too – and they have real achievements and no behavioral issues. So what? It doesn't matter how gifted your child is, if they cannot function in society they will be outcasts, no matter how "gifted" they are. All this is about is the mom. Poor little me, look at me, I have a gifted child, look how much I'm struggling. Oh woe is me.

    I suggest she pull her head out of her nether regions and start dealing with the behavioral issues, and focusing less on the "my child is gifted" nonsense. Right now it looks like she's raising a very self-centered child who will turn into a self-centered dysfunctional adult with no ability to produce anything useful.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • really

      Where is your CNN article? I'll read that next one next. It must be useful.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • hawkechik

      I think you completely missed the whole point of the article.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • exsi

      Oh my goodness! You hit the nail on the head. My daughter was gifted too, she grew up to be an awesome kid, graduated college and is on her way to obtain her PhD. This kid sounds like a smart kid with some issues. The article is very much about the mom.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • hawaiikaos

      I was a gifted child (my IQ is 172), and the behavior described in the article is very familiar. I COULD NOT STAND wearing dresses as a child because the hems would brush against my legs and it drove me up the wall–it's sensory overload and it takes a lot of effort to block out the constant sensation. I still deteste seams, straps, hems, hair touching my face, and certain fabrics but I deal with it (mostly). It completely mystified my mother and I got punished for complaining but of course that didn't solve the problem so my behavior didn't change. I had to talk my mother into only buying me pants and shirts using well laid out reasoning; she finally relented and the torture subsided. It would have been so much easier for her to understand me if she knew what to expect (she did know I was precocious because I was reading at 18 months and drawing like a 10-year-old at 2 years). No, not everyone is gifted, and the term is too often mis-used. The kid in the article clearly is gifted.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  35. Mark Pruett

    For what it's worth, my brother and I were both classified as "gifted" as children, and our mother also happened to teach early childhood special ed for 20 years. According to her, we were more challenging in most ways than the special ed children. I never asked why, but I suspect it's because dealing with special-needs kids is more of an exercise of bringing them up to level- you know where they're deficient, and can work on it.

    With gifted kids, you have to stay out ahead of them, and it's more of a personal stretch to do so- they may outperform you at a very early age in some things.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Avery

      Sounds terrible. :( Your poor mom.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Joanna

      OMG it is a challenge!! :) But I would not trade it for the world!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Cecil Burrow

      These 'gifted' kids aren't solving differential equations, they are just OCD and insist on drawing inside the lines, and so on. I'm pretty sure any reasonably competent teacher can handle them.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • Joanna

        Actually not really. She needs to be challenged more. My son has ADHD and is gifted, trust me if she were challenged more and given things to meet her potential she would probably stop the "OCD". OCD is not perfection by the way it is mostly Obsession. Being a perfectionist does not mean you have OCD or are obsessed over something.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • hawkechik

        Handle them, yes, but can any "reasonably competent teacher" help them stretch to the best of their abilities? In a normal class there is quite frequently the problem of teaching the middle of the road students without having the advanced students being bored out of their skulls and the laggards struggling too much to be able to keep up. Better that gap is just a chasm rather than the Grand Canyon it could be by putting both ends of the spectrum in a regular class.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Pete

        @Joanna: So give him a differential equations book. Or if that's too hard, an introductory calculus book, or if that's too hard, an algebra book.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Jim

      Gifted really, with those grammer errors?

      August 23, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  36. JakesMom

    This article brought back memories. My son, at the age of 4 was reading me a 20 page children's book. I was sitting there listening, marveling, and wondering if he was really reading it, or had just memorized it. Then he messed up the pronunciation of a word on the last page. He had a complete meltdown and vehemently insisted on reading the whole thing over from the beginning until he got it perfect. I could not understand the pressure he was putting on himself at such a young age to strive for perfection.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  37. Dan

    She is autistic. There are schools that will help her maximize her potential.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Joanna

      No she is not. This is what is wrong with people today. Autism does not explain everything and honestly I am sick of hearing people blaming autism for everything. Some children are truly autistic and calling every child autistic takes away from those who truly are. If you noticed that a lot of kids today are being misdiagnosed just because their parents name them immediately Autistic and then tell doctors they believe this. This makes me sick. I am sorry but there is more to Psychology than autism. Her daughter is special and smart and needs to be challenged in school.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • hawkechik

      Thank you for that armchair diagnosis Mr. Dan.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  38. Joan

    I had to skip most of the inane comments. Some good ones there, though. I can relate to the perfectionism. And when my child didn't IMMEDIATELY figure something new out, she'd get totally frustrated. I didn't have a lot of behavioral issues with her, though. One thing that helped her was to have a routine. She's 26 and still handles life much better when she has a set routine and isn't hit with a lot of surprises. That's just her personality. And she's also wickedly witty, warm, and loyal. It was sometimes a real challenge to raise a gifted child, and I do think they have real needs that need addressing from a young age, rather than just tossing them with the so-called regular kids (gifted kids will have specific problems as result). But we all have our problems growing up. Being gifted is at least largely a good one.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  39. Pete

    Good article, but the comments are predictably funny. Here's a template for the standard comment:

    [ I | My kid ] [ am | is ] gifted too! [ I | My kid ] [ have | has ] and IQ of [ number 6 sd above avg ] and [ fictional bragging anecdote ].

    So many geniuses eager to impress random strangers on the Internet :)

    August 23, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Pete

      Notice the intentional grammatical error in the template of the oh-so smart person :)

      August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Avery

      But, Pete – they aren't "bragging" at all! It's HARD having a gifted kid. I mean, if he's doing math at 2 thats obviously hard to deal with. They're telling all of us all the early things they did to show how challending it is, not to brag. (end sarcasm)

      August 23, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  40. Por1

    Having someone tell you that your kid is gifted means the parent should be concerned my so called normal kids have become very successful in life and friends with these gifted kids are now living in there parents basements because most of them dont know how to socialize in the real world.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Avery

      But at least they know how to use punctuation as to not write run on sentences.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |
      • Por1

        Get a life its just a post no need to be so perfect.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Pete

        @Por1 "no need to be so perfect" unless you're "gifted" :)

        August 23, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • Avery

        Get a life. It's just a post. No need to be so perfect.

        See how much better that looks? Now people can better understand your stupid thoughts. Your welcome.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Joanna

      That is the parent's fault for not helping them use their gift :/ Sadly enough it happens a lot. I am very smart (straight A student even in college) but my "lovely" parents never had me tested for high IQ or anything and honestly I wish they did because I could have done more (I have done a lot but I wish I could have done more). Sometimes it gets wasted :/

      August 23, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  41. florida dude

    What is really interesting about all the comments regarding the mom needing to get more professional analysis of Nya's social problems is simply that the mom ADMITS she needs that. For those that suggested more analysis, good. For those that then went on to be critical of her, assuming she has not or wll not do that, please read PARAGRAPH 4! And as for those who were critical of the article writer and/or the mom, basing their criticism on the use of the word 'gifted', it would be helpful for them to chill a bit. After all, an article that says a child is somewhat advanced and has social problems wouldn't get that many readers. But to use the term gifted, and here it should be read as having a small 'g', is sure to get attention. (I rest my case on this point!) So....bottom line is that mom has more work to do, Nya does seem exceptionally bright and needs some attention to that, and let's all have some empathy for the others, leaving our knee jerk prejudices in their dark closet. A good article makes people thinking people think, and this one did that.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Avery

      A good article makes people thinking people think, huh? Interesting.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • George

      The school age population K-12 has increased 8.3% since 1970.Employment in K-12 schools has doubled in that time.How you doing America?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • D

      Thank you for a rational response.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • D

        @ Florida Dude, not the others!

        August 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  42. Fred

    One child is seen as "gifted" another diagnosed with OCD. Looks the same to me.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • OCD

      i agree. nothing wow here. just OCD. i guess OCD is high IQ. Not one word in this article shows she displays high skills in math, reading, problem solving, a music instrument playing ability, chemistry, or anything educational out of the ordinary. just OCD, like turning the socks inside out, spending 1.5 hours making that letter perfect.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Fred

      This kid will be on OCD meds on about 5 years.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  43. Kathy

    All children are gifted. WHen we accept that fact we may have an easier time raising them.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Cecil Burrow

      You certainly weren't.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • demovsemperor

      Sorry, there are some really dumm kids out there, really. But I have found most dummies are adults.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • allmylove

      All children are not gifted. "All" children do have gifts, a special part of them that they bring to the world to make it their own or to make it a better place. Some small percentage are "gifted", in that not only are they intellectually or even physically more advanced, but it also brings emotional sensitivities, a heightened sensory awareness, persistence of questioning that does not end, and a real need to be stimulated intellectually more that what the normal classroom provides.

      I have 4 children, the oldest being "gifted', and while all 4 of them have gifts for sure, the other three are not "gifted". All of them get my love and attention, but there are issues that need to be dealt with for the oldest that the others haven't run into.

      Not every child fits into the same "one size fits all" mold.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  44. watergirl

    My child is gifted and he will not be tested for it till he is older. He will be treated just like everyone else. The stimulating information he needs,I provide him. Studies have not proven that an early or advanced education has any long term effects on children. In the meantime, I want him to have the same experience as everyone else.Because emotional intelligence is more important than any other kind. Because genius or gifted children are raised to be different, I see many end up working fast food and being dysfunctional because they spent their lives being different, that they can't relate to everyday people.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • seth

      Mind sharing these studies with everyone?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • D

      Where is your stats on the "many?" I was tagged gifted and was happy to be placed in an environment that challenged me. My friends of that program, (all but one) have successful careers. Your child is different because they are. What you give them is great, but the addition of challenges of the classroom will only add to what you give. The plasticity of the mind is at it's highest level as a child and they should be challenged to take advantage of this small window in the learning of the mind. I am a surgeon and I call upon my moments in the gifted program to this day. I encourage you to enroll your child in accelerated programs because speaking from experience, he/she will be treated different regardless of the time you have them tested because we are different.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Mom of a Gifted Child

      I was a gifted child, as was my husband and now our daughter is as well. I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a gifted program at age 9, and have a Masters Degree. Every friend I had that was enrolled in that program with me (most of us have kept in touch) are successful... going on to colleges like Yale and Stanford. It is Ridiculous to suggest that gifted children if treated "differently" will end up at McDonalds. Yes, gifted children do have different personality types... odd quirkiness... and sometimes OCD/ADHD. I would say you are doing a disservice to your child by not having him tested, and by trying to camouflage him as a normal child. Everyone is going to notice he is different if he is truly gifted, and they are going to point it out – either by noting how intelligent he is (wow, isn't little Johnny bright) or by how different he is.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Por1

      True I have seen friends with these gifted kids fail in life.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  45. Andy

    I agree with some of the other posters. My daughter is 'gifted' as well, but she has exhibited zero social issues. She's a very well rounded person and is just plain smart. She works very hard at most tasks, except maybe keeping her room clean. She enjoys being challenged, but never really gets frustrated by it.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • watergirl

      Cleaning doesn't seem to fall into the gifted category, LOL.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • Andy

        ;). Was basically trying to communicate that she's not too fussy or OCD about anything...

        August 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  46. haha

    all little black kids are gifted

    August 23, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  47. Andrew

    When my father began to figure out that I was 'gifted', life seriously went downhill.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  48. aja

    "For those of you who are truly unaware of what being gifted means, let me help you understand."

    Oh, gee, thanks for letting us small minded people on what "gifted" means. I'm pretty sure even the dumbest reader here knows what "gifted" means. Do you know what "smug" means? What about "perspective"? Because you come across as smug and you need to put things in perspective. Your gifted child isn't challenging compared to those with Autism, physical or emotional abuse, or behavioral problems. Get a grip lady. Your child will fare well in life. Those with the issues I mentioned usually don't.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • redbullets

      Better response than anything I've written. Nice one. You must be gifted. :)

      August 23, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • j

      jees back off aja.. just an article.. wow

      August 23, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • aja

        Back off? This lady put it out there, so I'm just supposed to leave it alone? Last time I checked I'm allowed to post an opinion. Thanks.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Michelle

      Aja, wow. My guess is that you don't have a gifted child. You apparently have no idea what a challenge it can be. As a parent of one, we have had many challenges with our son. It's not just that he's smart and that we parents are "bragging" about how smart he is. They are misunderstood by people, like you. If not guided delecately, they can become enraged like the kids who walk into schools with guns or they can be suicidal. Learn about them before you judge them or their parents! Parents of gifted children support one another and if my husband and I didn't have a support system, people like this woman sharing her story, and informational resources to help us know how to parent our son and challenge him in an appropriate way that is best for him...we'd be going out of our minds and risking severe behavorial problems that could lead to terrible outcomes! Shame on you (and anyone else) for criticizing this mother. Shame on you.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • Avery

        You misspelled "delicately." I guess your "gifted" *eyeroll* child didn't get it from your side? ha ha! Shame on YOU.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
      • redbullets

        Ridiculous response. Aja is spot-on. This kid may be gifted, may have ADHD/OCD/Aspergers, et al, but Mom put it out there, and essentially was whining because her daughter may be special. And Aja is right – try dealing with a kid who actually has some challenges, such as autism or physical disabilities, and then come complaining. If you have a kid who is genuninely gifted, in this day and age, and you're whining about it, or unable to cope with it, then the real problem is you, not the system or the kid. There are so many mechanisms to reinforce how "special" our kids are that you must, yourself, not be gifted at all if you can't figure out how to make use of the system.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • Michelle

        I know how to spell, thank you very much! It amazes me how people can be experts on something they have no experience with.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |
      • ED

        "Gifted" or not children need discipline. Sounds to me like she is catring to the "brat" side rather than the "gifted" side. I have nieces that are gifted. They never threw pencils or had tantrum like what she is explaining. Becaues they got a swat to let them know it was unacceptable. Gifted? or Brat?

        August 23, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • redbullets

        "My guess is you don't have a gifted child..." Really? You don't see the irony in writing such a silly sentence?

        August 23, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • Avery

        Apparently you don't know how to spell, Michelle, or else you wouldn't have misspelled delicately.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • keebler

      Seriously aja, re-read the article – especially the last paragraph. She's not being smug at all.
      Although my son doesn't need to print perfect (in fact, it's the complete opposite where I have to fight for him to get his work done neat because (in his words), "I know the answer so why bother writing it?"), he does, however, have a need for perfection at other things where he'll lose it if he's not perfect.

      It's not bragging, but bringing a realization that even though kids can be labelled as gifted, it doesn't mean it's all roses. It's also not about comparing it to other issues such as Asperger's or Autism as they have their own issues. Some gifted children are in the same realm as both of those. It's all closely related (but obviously different).

      The article is about not putting first judgements without understanding the situation or realizing, it may be different than you think so don't judge.

      To Steve, who cares where the Dad is? Plenty of single Moms out there for plenty of reasons. It doesn't matter. All that matters is she loves her daughter and is making a go of it. Kudos to that! :)

      August 23, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Avery

      Waaah! My gifted child is a challenge! Waaaah! Shut up.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • seth

        Its called a troll....just let it sit under its bridge

        August 23, 2012 at 8:44 am |
      • ktyyk

        LOL!...I laughed, but I didn't want too. I actually don't have any negative comments to make on this article. Just a mom expressing her opinion, nothing wrong with that. But that made me laugh!!

        August 23, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Vicki

      Obviously people here don't know what it is like to be dealing with a child like this in a world that doesn't understand them and is completely unwilling to help them in any way! Low self-esteem, depression, suicide, etc., these children are being lost to the world because everyone perceives that they are not as "needy" as the children you mentioned. They are probably even more "needy" because of their awareness of the world they live in and people like you.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Christine

      Hi Aja,

      I see where you are coming from in that there are people with worse problems. But that doesn't change the fact that this mom has issues she needs to address with the child she's parenting. Nor does it negate the idea that other parents, who have children in similar situations will also experience these issues and could benefit from the information she's providing.

      Someone having other significant issues doesn't erase your issues. If someone breaks their toe, you don't get mad at them for limping because their femur is intact and other people have broken legs. That doesn't make sense. There is no reason to get angry with the author. She is simply stating that "gifted" children have some unique characteristics that make them tough to parent in some respects. Perhaps a better word for the personality trait she's talking about is "driven". There are other children who pick things up quickly who aren't as driven toward perfection, but there are a group of children who share these traits.

      The reality is that parenting is hard and if your kid has similar issues to someone else's kid, it is nice to get their perspective and coping techniques as potential additions to your available parenting tools and skills. No one has it easy with parenting. You can look at another parent and say "they have it easier or harder than I do", but everyone falls somewhere on the spectrum and the parenting spectrum starts at "it's hard" and gets tougher from there.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  49. dkjd

    Every kid is unique and special.
    I have three kids, all are gifted with IQ 140+.
    Just glad that my kids are smart.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  50. whatever

    This is no different then parents dealing with children that have disabilities. Poor you

    August 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  51. Michelle

    It always amazes me how quickly people jump on the autism bandwagon. It's like ADHD was 10 years ago. My son was doing math problems at 2 and was reading by 4. His speech was delayed because he was such a perfectionist if he said it wrong the first time, he wouldn't say it again. He also had a hard time with the seems on socks, I had to cut all the labels out of his shirts. I was so happy when they started printing those labels on shirts. Getting her tested did him very few favors. He was diagnosed with ADHD and other issues which had him spending years on medication that did little to help him. It did however make him feel like there was something wrong with him. Eventually, I drastically changed his diet eliminating processed food and junk, and got him counseling. Now he is a well adjusted teenager who is in the "gifted" program in a district that only takes the top 3% for this program. Expert opinions should be taken as such, opinions. You know your child best, and with a little work on your part, you can figure out what is best for them.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • aja

      "Autism bandwagon"? Nice. You mean that issue that plaques 1 in 88 children? That issue that if caught EARLY can mean all the difference in the world for the rest of a childs life? Yes, EVERYONE should be on the "bandwagon" because then its a relief that if it wasn't autism and if it was, it was caught early. Careful now, your ignorance is showing.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:24 am |
      • Michelle

        Who's showing ignorance?

        August 23, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • aja

        You are Michelle. You are. I thought that was clear since I replied directly to your comment and said "your". I guess you aren't gifted. :)

        August 23, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • John

        You don't have a lot of friends do you? Must be the autism. I'll bet you have gluten allergies, too, due to poor bioavailability. Crawl back in to your Reader's Digest, have some egg whites, and release the coffee enema from your bowels.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • RobM

        Aja...What is the motivation for such negativity. Who do you hate and why hate them? Live (read) and learn or live and let live. My child is "gifted" and he is different. My nephews and nieces have been diagnosed as Autistic and they are very different. Do you even have kids? Any like the ones described in these strings? I think that the writer was actually trying to relay to parents of children with similar profiles what her experiences have been and her attempts to create normalcy for her child. She was in fact trying to describe how understanding the profile can help get them to normalcy in social and emotional development. Don't hate.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • MMM

      Sounds like you did everything right. My child is ADHD as well as has Sensory Processing Disorder. Sounds like your son is similar. SPD is fairly new. We have modified his diet as well as some other exercises we are doing.

      I hope as mine grows older, he will be as successful as your son has been.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  52. Dream

    I believe all parents want to get a gifted child, but it is not easy to give a suitable education to gifted children. Many gifted children have emotional problem. Some of them don't like to stay with others. Parents should provide a suitable education to their gifted children. At the same time, pay more attention on their daily emotion . It is better to consult some professionals to gain a correct education format.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  53. Cat

    I think most of you have missed the point of this article. She did not do this article to "BRAG" about her child. She wanted to inform people that being "gifted" is not all that it's cracked up to be. The "gifted" programs of today are not the same as they were when we were children. Both my husband and I were in "gifted" programs and 2 of our 3 children, who display the same or more skills/symptoms (for lack of a better term) as the 2 of us have been denied entrance. All 3 of my children are reading well above their age levels and were speaking well beyond their ages since they were able to talk. They find it easier to carry on a conversation with an adult than a child because a child is not thinking at the same level as they are. They do very well academically, but all have difficulty completing tasks in the suggested time given in the classroom. I don't even want to talk about how long we have to spend on homework!! It was hard for 2 supposedly "gifted" parents to comprehend why our first child was not accepted in the program, but after further research decided it didn't really matter. They are still in advanced programs because they are very intelligent. We are offering them plenty of challenges and they will be successful adults because they are learning to find these challenges and face them on their own.

    Another point I want to make is that my 3rd child, who the tests are still out on, fits her description to a "T". He is a perfectionist to the point where he sometimes is not able to function in the classroom. We are parents that have worked very hard to teach our children that we need to find better ways to express our frustrations than melting down in the middle of a store. Now that they are all school age we rarely see such outbursts. This does not mean that we didn't go through the terrible 2's or the "terrorific 3's", as I like to call them. But, my youngest will still have a random "meltdown". I mean this literally. He will actually either let himself fall like puddle on the floor or turn himself into a ball when something becomes to much for him to handle. He is only given half assignments because his perfectionism prevents him from being able to complete the assignments in the time they have in the classroom, yet he is comprehending and excelling at understanding the concepts. He has been diagnosed with ADD, but we are still searching because, while we do not disagree that he has attention issues, this just doesn't seem to encompass all that he is going through. A day in school for him is so exhausting that by the time he gets home that some days he just doesn't have the energy to do what he knows is right and work through the logic of why he should do what is asked of him when he gets home. Of course, this does not fly with us and he has consequences, but my heart is often breaking while sending him to his room because it is more than likely his emotional exhaustion than his true feelings driving his outbursts. All we can do is to continue with therapy and continue to help him understand what is right and wrong. Like some of the other posts said, I feel my child has probably a few issues that are being blended, I just hope we can help him deal with all his emotions and frustrations in a way that he CAN become a successful adult. Like so many have pointed out, children who are "gifted" or have "gifted-like" characteristics often do go the wrong direction if they do not have the proper support, and sometimes even when they do.

    Like Chandra said, we need to be supportive of each other as parents and not be so quick to judge. I'm a strong believer in "it takes a tribe to raise a child".

    August 23, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • redbullets

      No, Cat, you missed the point. The point of this article was EXACTLY to brag/deny around a child who may be gifted, but then again, may be facing some developmental challenges. And if Mom has decided she's only going to follow one path, the most socially acceptable one down at Starbucks, then the kid may be screwed.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:50 am |
      • Cat

        From your posts I can tell that someone has obviously rubbed you the wrong way and that you feel slighted because someone was perceived to be better than you because they were "labeled" as gifted. I am sorry that this has happened to you, but that is NOT what this woman is trying to say in her article. You obviously missed the part about where she is a working single mother. Which means she most definitely does not have time to be sitting at Starbucks comparing her child to others. She has recognized that her child needs extra help and guidance and is doing everything she can to help her. She wrote this article to help educate people on what life with a "gifted" child is really like, it is not about being able to brag about your child. Not to say that this doesn't happen and that children are put into the programs because of pressures influential parents have placed on some school districts, but many children who are truly "gifted" have a very rough childhood, not to mention what it is like to be the parent of that child. Sounds like you may need some therapy to deal with your emotions...

        August 23, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  54. redbullets

    From General Patton: "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." Obviously, this quote is not a perfect fit, but we do strive to teach our children that getting things done well is better than not getting them done because of perfectionism.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  55. Aaron Poscovsky

    Why does she have a BLACK baby?

    August 23, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • redbullets

      Because she adopted the baby. A better question – why do you write idiotic comments on blogs?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • Aaron Poscovsky

        I hate white women dating black man! And, that's I how I feel!

        August 23, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • truefax

      Try reading the article.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • sharine

      adopted, tg

      August 23, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  56. Corey Nguyen

    I think you believe perfectionism=gifted. My opinion differs.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  57. Jackson

    Really? Complaining that your child is gifted. Looks to me like you have bigger problems – being a single mother of a mixed race child probably among them.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Shayla

      She adopted the child:) Maybe read the article before you comment:) Be blessed!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • claudettew25

      Try reading the article before you leave idiiotic comments. And the race of her child has nothing to do with the topic of the article.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • JD

      Wow, thank you for sharing with everyone your bigot mindset (define by Webster Dictionary-A person who is intolerant of any race or belief that differs from their own). If the woman had featured a white child would your comments still reflect your thinking? The article deals with how parents should work to listen to their child to help them better identify their needs. Instead, we see a ton of comments reflecting bigots hate toward a white women who adopted a black child...its 2012 and we still got a ton of people with a pre civil war southern mindset...

      August 23, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  58. ATL Parent

    As a parent of a "gifted" child I can certainly relate to this woman's thoughts. Children who are truly superior in intelligence usually come with some quirky behaviors. Some are difficult to deal with, almost OCD like. Our son is now in college and a top college and still maintaining a 4.0 average. Not without struggling to keep that perfectionism in check though. He still can totally "lose it" when he feels like he did something wrong and not perfect. it's true these kids are the future of business and science but they have to be worked with emotionally to keep them on a healthy track.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • zod

      sounds like we will be hearing about your kid on the news some day and not in a good way.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  59. allikaat

    Hi Y'All.
    Interesting mix of opinions here. Lot of sour grapes, but a lot of good, honest consideration, too.
    As a disclaimer, I'm going to tell you I was one of the unlucky ones. One of the brighter-than-average kids who never fit in, who was bullied her entire life due to social challenges, whose parents blamed her for her issues (why do you have to be different? It's all in your head!), and who read obsessively from kindergarten about anything I could get my hands on, mostly because books don't talk back or insult you. I lived almost entirely in my head. There were a few good teachers who recognized that I had special needs – I probably have some form of Asperger's or am high-functioning autism – but back in the 70's, kids like me were just labeled 'weird' and put in a corner with some extra books to keep us busy and out of the way.
    The emotional abuse of growing up bullied and different most definitely left a lot of scars. But I learned to live with them, and today, as a parent of three very bright (and yes, perhaps 'gifted', too) little boys and a career as an academician at a well-known research university, I put what I've learned from such a lonely childhood to work helping others. Being different doesn't have to be painful or lonely for my children or for my students. There is still time to help them avoid some of the scars that left painful marks on my psyche growing up the way I did.
    If little Nya's mother is aware of what mainstream society can do to a child who is different and is taking the steps to protect her from those kind of damaging experiences, I say, "Good for you both!".

    August 23, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  60. Mom of a Gifted Child

    At age 3, I knew my daughter was different from other children. Her vocabulary started growing rapidly and soon approached that of an adult. She spoke in sentences that started with words like Actually and Obviously when she wanted to argue a point. By Kindergarten she was reading 100 page books without help, and looking up vocabulary she didn't know in the dictionary or asking aloud, if one wasn't readlily avaiable. So, I took her to be tested. Her IQ 149. She is emotionally ahead in so many ways – it takes her 5 minutes to do her after-school homework. But, in one way, she is like the little girl in this article, and so many other gifted chidlren I have met. She gets really frustrated when she isn't perfect at something the first time, because she puts so much pressure on herself. If she doesn't play a piano piece correctly the first time, she can get teary. And timed games, like perfection (when she was 4), and she didn't get all the pieces in before it popped, was a total meltdown. It can be hard to deal with those rare moments, because normally she is so strong, so bright, so well behaved. And then, something will frustrate her and the tears will pool in her eyes and I feel awful for her. She doesn't throw things, like the little girl in this article, but the emotion is the same. She thinks she should be able to "get it" the first time, and when she doesn't it is tough. Our school doesn't have a gifted program. I wish it did.. so my daughter could be in with children like her. Gifted children do have a different way of interacting with the world.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • Shanno

      More and more gifted schools are opening, esp. as public schools are cutting funding for gifted education. Look for one. My local one in the Cleveland OH area happens to be tuition free. My oldest has an estimated IQ of 150. Estimated because she answered 121 out of 121 questions correctly on the test at age 5. She had a very hard time relating to her peers. Finding a gifted school for her was out answer. They differentaite the education for each child. So at 9 she is entering 6th grade math and has private reading. She reads and writes at a college level. At her school each kid is on thier own path – so they don't tease her for this. Now we get calls every weekend for playdates and she is a very happy little girl! Not sure what we will do when it is time for high school, as this school only goes to 8th grade.

      I have two other gifted little girls. They are more of your typical gifted. Both perfectionists. One highly gifted in math, one highly gifted in reading. This is yet another issue with the way some schools test. These two might not qualify for gifted programs in some schools. All kids have strong and weak subjects and need education that adresses that. I fear out public schools just don't have the time to individualize. When my kids were in public school I heard things like – "well this is what we do in first grade, if she wants to learn X we'll get to that in second grade" or "we don't do gifted testing until 3rd grade" or "our gifted program consists of working for an hour in a small group once a month." My advice – look for a gifted school. At the very least John's Hopkins and Northwestern offer online courses for gifted kids that they can complete in the evenings and weekends. They also have summer programs. So at least your child could meet other children like her. Good Luck!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  61. mom

    Hello, a nice article. Ignoring the evil trolls, some posters may have a valid point. I just finished all the testing with my son. In my unprofessional (but been there) opinion, you might have what is called a "twice exceptional" child. A twice exceptional child is one who is very smart but has other issues. Yes, some levels of autism fall in this category, as do many children with ADHD and other disorders. These children test off the charts for IQ and other things, but often have other issues that cause them social problems and even problems in school (see http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/newsletter/spring98/sprng984.html). You are lucky to have the giftedness identified first, before the public school system has a chance to ruin your child's self esteem. Most aren't so lucky. I would however have some of the other traits looked at by a professional (like an educational psychologist). They may cause your daughter more severe problems as time goes on. I wish you and your lovely daughter the best of luck.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Catca

      Yes, I had the same thoughts. Not all gifted children have sensory issues or some of the other issues mentioned. Some just have really high IQs. An example of that is the little girl from Maryland who made it to the National Spelling Bee competing against kids twice her age. None of these behavioral issues have been reported about her, she just have an extremely high IQ and intense curiosity. I know of two siblings, both of whom are profoundly gifted, one has emotional issues, the other doesn't. I know of another child who has extremely high energy (trust me that's actually very difficult to parent) but other than that, no behavioral issues associated with the high IQ. The story does talk about the fact that gifted children are no different than other children in the sense that they are not all alike. But even if a child has no behavioral issues with their high IQ, they are a challenge to raise. One aspect the author does not talk about is that one of the points to gifted schools is that research has shown that children who are not challenged in school actually decrease their IQ. The point to gifted schools isn't just to deal with behavioral issues, it's to provide a curriculum that is appropriate for their ability level.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  62. Fakuzzzz

    Ohhh!! my Kid is so smart raising him is so hard... seriously?

    August 23, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • Shanno

      A bit yes. Try raising a kid who at 5 knows she is smarter than most of the people out there including her parents. Raise her to be humble, have compassion for others and a work ethic. Because no matter what you throw at her she learns with ease. Because strangers on the street who overhear her talking, comment and mavel at how smart she is. How do you teach the kid to work hard to overcome challanges? How do you teach that kid that some day, some where, some one will be smarter than you and that's okay? That some day, strangers are going to stop fussing over you because a 15 year old who can read is a lot less impressive than a 2 year old who can read. Try and teach her that it takes more than a high IQ to be a successful person in life. Teach her that some kids will tease and bully you five minutes after meeting you because of your vocabulary and hobbies – but that's okay – you should not "dumb down" to be accepted. It does have it's own challanges. Trust me. And mine doesn't have any side-car issues like ADHD.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  63. John

    If your perfecting something, your neglecting something else. Gifted my as s

    August 23, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Kristen

      You are obviously not gifted yourself, John. That's apparent in your response.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Mike A

      Try perfecting your spelling John. It's "you're" neglecting something else. Dum b a ss

      August 23, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  64. Marcia

    As someone who identifies children with Autism, I would say that Nya has Autism. The issue with the clothes, need for perfectionism, needing to complete tasks before going on the next task are all typical of children with Autism. She most likely would be identified as having Asperger's based on the quality of her language. The need to identify her correctly is important, because when she is older some of these quirks will become more difficult and cause problems with jobs and social situations. Please continue with evaluations, mom, you may be going in the wrong direction.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • CarmenSo

      My friend's son acts the same way Nya does, and they have also labeled him as gifted.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Sciguy73

      You don't sound like a doctor.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Reality Check

      Marcia, do you honestly believe you can asses Nya from the remarks of her mother? Are you using the DSM IV? If so please list the criteria you are using because I do not see it.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Kristen

      My daughter is also gifted and I speak to plenty of parents of gifted kids and they all share some or all of these atributes. And I can tell you with certainty that my daughter is not austistic or has Aspergers. You have no clue what you're talking about.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Simsek

      I have to agree. I have two girls on the spectrum, and the description of Nya sounds very much like my oldest daughter, who is diagnosed with Aspergers. All the sensory hallmarks, (we had to cut all the tags out of her clothes for years, she would cry and cover her ears around bathroom air hand dryers, etc) the emotional volatility (meltdowns about seemingly insignificant things, the need for things to be perfect, the tenacity etc) and the high IQ are all familiar to me, and many mothers of kids on the spectrum. It was missed until she was 6, as she was inquisitive, happy, often charming, and always wowing adults with her knowledge on a variety of topics and her tremendous, adult vocabulary. It was not until her younger sister went through the diagnosis process that we finally realized that the things that made our oldest different, were also traits of autism, and then that we sought testing. Being autistic isn't what people think it is, and in girls, who are often less disruptive than boys, it can be missed for a long time, written off to shyness, cluelessness, bright geekiness, etc. But getting a proper evaluation and diagnosis opened our eyes, and with that understanding came access to the resources she needed to balance her intelligence and and her social and sensory needs, as well. I only wish we had sought evaluation earlier! Good luck to you!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      Actually, the labels and seams, plus the completion of tasks and perfectionism are strong signs of GT too, I would doubt she is autistic unless her social skills are showing signs.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • RobM

      Sounds like Aspergers on the Autism spectrum. My nephew exhibits some of the same characteristics. BTW it is obvious that many of the people commenting with negative reactions do not have children and have some sort of political axes to grind such as racism or otherwise.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  65. mom who knows

    Please read the free articles on the website SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted). http://www.sengifted.org

    This organization "gets" gifted. Kids who are gifted can definitely be perfectionistic and are often highly emotional. Their brains develop in an asynchronous way. There is nothing more important than protecting the emotional health of these kids. Many people have posted negative comments on this article, and this is the sad state of understanding gifted kids who are often inappropriately labeled with mental health diagnoses.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Christy Lawrence

      I completely agree with you. My daughter, now 15, has exhibited the same perfectionistic traits as discussed in his article. From the finicky way she wears her socks (Thank God companies started making them without seams) to the 2 hour homework sessions in 1st grade. I remeber at one point she had erased so much and so hard that she ripped a hole in her paper. I made her turn it in, unfinished and ripped apart, I talked to her teacher about her "issues" with perfection, the Teacher was shocked that my daughter would have behaved in such a way. But for me, it has been a long, hard road with the emotional rollercoaster we have experenced together. Now, at 15, she has made us so proud with all of the achievements she has made; broken hearted and humiliated in public that I can never have my own thoughts and the ones I do have are never right or acceptable. I have sometimes found myself trying not to cry in front of the other moms, holding back the humiliation of being corrected by my teenage daughter, frustrated that my daughter would talk to me in such a way (with little reguard to my emotions), and devistated that she seems to have no boundries when it comes to what she will and won't say to someone (although she speaks her mind, she is never vulger). I understand now, after reading this article, that all of this is just a part of her 'Gift', however, I wish there would have been a class for her like the one that Nya is blessed to be in. As well as a class for parents who must rear a child with such advanced thought processes.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • peg redding

      SENG.org excellent website...agreed

      August 23, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      SENG rocks!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  66. redbullets

    Are you kidding me? There's not enough fanny-patting going on for you concerning your "gifted" child, and you need to write up something for CNN describing how challenging it is? Really? CNN, please don't waste our time with this sort of tripe. When I was in school, the demographic on "gifted" (whatever that really means) kids was somewhere in the 5% range. Now, given all the various ways of identifying "giftedness" (I don't think gifted people would actually make up and use such a word) it seems to be more in the 20-25% range. And we give a trophy to every kid for just participating, eveyone is special, blah, blah, blah.

    All three of my kids have been flagged as gifted by the school system. I think one of them actually is gifted, given the old-school application of measurements. But you know what? All three are special, special to me and we as a family are doing everything possible to ensure their future success.

    Ms. Mosely, please save your self-congratulatory angst for the local Starbucks "Moms of gifted children" coffee klatch.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • April Dunn

      Thank you "redbullets" for making sense! When my child is being "gifted" she gets punished for it...it's called lack of self-control.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:44 am |
      • redbullets

        I honestly believe (though have not done the public policy research to back up my view) that there must be some fiscal value in identifying larger numbers of school kids as gifted. In other words, more government dollars must come into the school system if the system has a 20% gifted demographic. I live in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, and we seem to have a disproportionate number of gifted children when measured against other school systems. I just have to conclude that this has to do with bucks and not brains. Otherwise, we'd all have to conclude that the more money we have, the smarter we must be :)

        August 23, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Reality Check

      Redbullets, you are pretty much wrong. You give no evidence to support your belief that schools are claiming a quarter of their students are gifted and none showing that there is some great pool of government money schools are dipping into if they up the numbers of gifted students.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
      • redbullets

        Well, duh, Reality Check. And I said so with the first sentence I wrote. But I can say that many more kids are labeled "gifted" now then when I was in school, and that is true and accurate. So what's your point? Can you provide said data? Please prove to me that I'm wrong, and that all three of my kids are ACTUALLY gifted, as opposed to being used by the school system to bring in more funding. What's the matter? Is this shaking the confidence you have in a school system that would label YOUR kids gifted?

        August 23, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • aja

      completely agree!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • claudettew25

      Save us from people with thoughts like yours. You are "special" and not in a good way. Please respond to articles only when you actually understand the topic at hand!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Catca

      Redbullets,

      If you live in one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. than you probably live in a county with an above average educational level too. Educational level does not equate with being intelligent and people without college educations can be incredibly intelligent, but you're quoting statistics. When looking at a large group of people, the ones with higher education levels will on average have higher IQs and there have been significant amounts of research that show that intelligence is largely inherited (i.e. while environment has influence over your IQ, the bulk of your intelligence is inherited). Another aspect to IQ is prenatal care and parenting (vocabulary used by parents, etc.), both of which are correlated with parent's education levels. For example, doctors and lawyers have IQs around 130 on average and they'll be found in large numbers in wealthy counties. It is no surprise their children test higher for IQ levels on average as well. As far as the pool of money you refer to, very few states provide funding to school districts for gifted programs. Funding for special education is generally reserved for children with developmental delays and articles like this aren't meant to brag but rather call attention to the idea that these children have unique needs as well. If you are the parent of gifted children yourself, why would have an issue with your children's needs being addressed as well?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:51 am |
      • redbullets

        Catca,

        I don't believe that education level, standard of living, or anything else environmental overly influences the intellectual CAPACITY of a kid. Actully, I was being flip. I believe there's probably a relatively fixed IQ spread in the general population based upon nutrition, prenatal conditions, etc. And that's kind of my point – the school systems, writ large, tend to move that measurement based on some pretty ethereal data.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Shanno

      It really doesn't work that way – at least not here in Ohio. Schools here have a mandate to test for gifted children by the state. They do not receive extra money. They do not have to provide gifted education. In fact, the few schools districts around Cleveland that had a true – full day – gifted program have cut it due to budget contraints. I always wondered, why make them test and then not provide them care. Why shouldn't a gifted child get an IEP that the school has to follow, just as kids on the other end of the spectrum do? Makes no sense to me. Also, while I qualified as gifted growing up, I would not under the requirements my children had to meet. Not sure if it is a state requirement, but my kids had to have an IQ of 130 or higher on a test administered by a board certified psychologist who was certified to administer IQ tests. Less than 2 people in 1000 would meet that.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  67. Joe

    Actually, just looking at that young girl's facial expression in the photo is enough for me to agree that she's gifted in some way. For a four year-old she looks awfully thoughtful. And the look in her eyes is almost searching and intellectual. Unlike her mother.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • Wha?

      Why are you slamming the mother. Obviously, she is striving to do the best for her daughter and you disrespect her!

      August 23, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • srsly?

      Hey Joe,

      Here's a picture of a turtle. How smart is this turtle?

      August 23, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Reality Check

      Or one of them just farted and is trying to hide it while the other is trying to smile for the camera while not smelling it. Do you also read astrological charts and do phrenology?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  68. Nicole

    My son is on the Autism Spectrum.

    He has super sensitivity to clothes, cannot have tags in his shirts or pants, throws off his shoes the moment they are not needed, and would rather be in his undies most of the time. it's called Sensory Processing Disorder. Part of the Autism Spectrum.

    He's also Hyperlexic. He started reading words when he was 2 years old. He's 4.5 years old now, and can read as well as my son going into the first grade.

    Yes, he's smart, yes, he's probably "gifted," but yes, he's on the Autism Spectrum.

    He also has Speech Apraxia, and talks like a 3 year old. He gets speech 8 times per week, and OT twice per week, to help deal with the sonsory issues.

    I suggest the writer of the article get more evaluations done. There are probably some underlying issues going on that she's not aware of - and needs to get her daughter more help.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      Two of my children are gifted. One has hypersensitivity. He is extraordinarily good at art but having completed high school art he has now given it up. It was just so painful watching him erase continually, and failing to hand in work because he couldn't perfect it. I used to buy him Smartwool socks, which he loved. Also those tee shirts with printed labels are great, but after a few washes he refuses to wear them as they are no longer soft. At the age of 14he still has to sleep with his security blanket, another sign of GT and it is advisable to let these kinds of kids keep their blankets. I only tested him this year because he requested GT testing. He is definitely not autistic and his younger brother is gifted in different ways. They both have an extraordinary sense of humor and the two of them together remind me of Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore, or the Monty Python team

      August 23, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  69. D. Cimper

    It is my understanding that the main sign that educators watch for to identify (academically) gifted children is the early or accelerated ability to read, and the natural curiosity to try to read pretty much any book you hand to them. That aspect alone doesn't guarantee anything, but it is extremely common (in such children).

    August 23, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  70. Haha

    Haha this is to just encourage more white women to have bi racial relationships even though they now know the man wont stay and support the kid. But it's ok since the kid is a superior being haha

    August 23, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Did you read the article?

      This child was ADOPTED.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Suz

      Did you even read the article? The writer said her daughter was adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Wha?

      You are ignorant and contribute nothing.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • truthhurts

      The girl was adopted. This isn't propaganda for interracial relationships Einstein.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:30 am |
    • Let's be careful readers

      “Nya is adopted.” Nya may, or may not be, bi-racial– we don’t know.
      Her race doesn’t have any bearing on the points the author is making.

      August 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  71. JFS in IL

    I have to agree with most of the other posters here – sounds far more like an autism spectrum disorder child with OCD issues and sensory problems than a truly gifted child. My kid sister was gifted (over 160 is all we were told) and I tested over 150 as an adult. I have twin sons – one is in Honors and a Chem. major in college (tested gifted as a kid)....the other has autism. I have been researching autism and related disorders for over 15 years now. Sigh. From the information presented in the article this child sounds more like she needs a full work-up from a developmental pediatrician to start. And an occupational therapist.
    JFS in IL AutismNews in IL

    August 23, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • JFS in IL

      I might add – one thing I have learned over the years from other parents of special needs kids is that every kid on the autism spectrum is different. Some are indeed mentally gifted (not mine). Even if the mom in this article does have a gifted (or just bright) child, there are red flags that need to be addressed.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  72. packhawk

    What is with the editor's note? The child needs trips to small towns to show her how "normal" people live?

    August 23, 2012 at 6:47 am |
  73. Tom

    She is so in denial. Sounds like the kid is your regular OCD Aspbergers whack job. So she'll memorize your phone directory in 5 years time but that's it. Prepare for a rough ride.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • kenkajin

      How utterly and completely insensitive and ignorant you sound! Yes, Nya sounds like she might possibly have Aspergers, but "whack job"? People with Aspergers are hardly "whack jobs". They are no more "whack jobs" for having unusual behaviors that require they learn some skills for reading and responding to certain social cues than you are a sociopath prone to saying insensitive and unacceptable things about others.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:56 am |
      • Point Taken

        Exactly...whack jobs!

        August 23, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Russ

      Another shining example Tom of what this internet has become laden with: posters and bloggers just looking to flame someone or attempting to show their mental superiority. Do us all a favor and shutdown the computer and talk to a human being. See if you have the brass ones to tell Nya's mother what you wrote. What has happened to the words understanding and compassion.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • TemperedAlch

      Hey! I'm one of those whack-jobs to which you're referring.

      Insensitive clod!

      August 23, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Joel

      You are an a$$

      August 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Tony

      I wasn't going to be as mean or direct as some, but as Tom said, she has classic signs of Aspergers. Unfortunately the "gifted" parts often come with the OCD symptoms and social issues that you mention. I hope for you, that she is on the highly functioning side that excels in life.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  74. Betsy

    Chandra, first I want to say what a beautiful girl Nya is and how lucky she is to have you as her mom. I do have one thought, however. Have you considered getting an assessment by an occupational therapist? Nya's issues with sensitivity to noise and touch are not uncommon symptoms for a child with sensory processing disorders. An occupational therapist could provide you and Nya with great strategies to help make these challenges for her much easier. I've been an OT for 37 years and know first hand how OT intervention can change the life of a child and their family. Good luck to you both! I know that Nya will continue to bring joy to you and all those who know her!

    August 23, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Joel

      OTs rock!! An amazing OT helped do great things with my daughter who deals with Sensory Processing Disorder. Not a lot of people understand what OTs do, but to me they are miracle workers!!

      August 23, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      Thank you! I didn't know what type of specialist could help two of my children, I was looking earlier this year and went on a misophonia website which seemed to suggest there wasn't a lot one could do to combat these sensitivities!

      August 23, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  75. Engineering_PhD

    While tests for Aspergers and other Autism spectrum disorders are very accurate for infants and children; you won't know if a child is academically gifted until in their teens. A gifted individual usually takes a fraction of the time normal people do to complete academic tasks like HW, not 9 times as Nya takes.

    It looks like Ms. Mosley will believe whatever her pastor tells her. She's in for a lifetime of denial and depression if she doesn't face facts soon....

    August 23, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • Debbie

      Although you may think that you know what can and can't be diagnosed at what age, until you go through it yourself you can't really comprehend what is going on. My child fit the emotional and social description of Nya to a t. She was treated for everything, depression, OCD, autism, you name it. The noises and textures that bothered her then still bother her today at 25. She was "diagnosed" as gifted in 7th grade. Once that was acknowledged the world changed. We moved her into a private school where individuality was welcome. She learned how to study instead of breezing through her work, she worked with her teachers on special projects when the classroom work wasn't keeping her engaged and most importantly, she found both students and adults who could relate to her personality. She has just defended her master's dissertation and is looking for work. This is the biggest challenge of all, as her social skills are something she works on constantly and still needs help from me to refine. We role play to help her learn how to deal with certain situations she will encounter. Although expensive, we have always encouraged her love of horses and the people who work with them. There has been no better therapy and because she has to work with another being and all of his imperfections she doesn't seem bothered by the fact that they don't always work in perfect unison. It's still an ongoing process but she and I are so glad we finally figured the "diagnosis" so we could find ways to deal with her issues.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  76. Norm

    Typical brag, brag, brag, gloat, gloat, gloat. "Oh my child is so much better than yours. My child can walk on water and turn water into wine....A typical shallow and arrogantly boastful Mom touting over "their child". So what you got your free publicity stunt so now take you and your white horse back to the stable were it belongs.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Joe

      I was tagged as a "gifted' child myself (155 IQ) and my child has also been tagged as such. I can say from experience there is validity to the article. Gifted children are highly intelligent, but they also run into a host of emotional and developmental issues that are often overlooked. So in response to your specific comment, you should really shut the hell up about something you clearly know absolutely nothing about.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:42 am |
      • Engineering_PhD

        Joe, just curious. What's your IQ now? Is it still 155 or is it a 100 now? IQ tests are notoriously inaccurate for kids. Thats one of the reasons you have to wait until you're 18-20 to get your real score....

        btw, what's your profession? Are you a scientist or a plumber?

        August 23, 2012 at 6:46 am |
      • Joe

        IQ wasn't tested when I was young. IQ 155 today. Seven figure profession. Why not take your doctorate and try to engineer yourself a clue?

        August 23, 2012 at 7:01 am |
      • Ann

        Joe, you're absolutely right. We are right there with you. Raising a gifted child is challenging, emotionally draining and at times we've wanted to just scream when dealing with our daughter. I've spoken to other parents with kids the same age and none of them deal with what we do.

        Engineer – my husband tested off the charts IQ-wise as a child and still as an adult. I was identified as gifted then and held the IQ through adulthood. The chances of daughter doing the same is pretty high ;) If you were truly that intelligent you'd understand that.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Ally821

      Wow, Norm ... I think this entire story went right over your head.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:46 am |
  77. more edward barneys propaganda (public relations)

    Obviously, this article is to imply having a mixed raced child will be smart. Really, think about what the picture conveys. Ofcourse the simpleton brainwashed masses will shout racism, but I ask them to take a step back and think. Really think about the Edward Barney's propaganda (public relations) being used.

    I am of the thought that people should stay with there own race. I know that is considered old and out of date, but I think that when races mix, no matter the two races, cultures are diluted and preservation is lost. I like diversity. One may say if we were all the same color then no more descrimination will exist. Will it? Ofcourse not, humans are tribalistic creatures and we will always stick to our "tribe", so the descrimination will take new forms.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • scoobyd

      idiot.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:35 am |
      • Sheila

        I agree. Double idiot and a racist too.

        August 23, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • Greg

      Dummy, do you know your roots? Say you're white, but your great great great grandmother was of a mixed race. So that would leave you would being 5% of another race. Get with the program, not all people in this country are 100% of one particular race. Some white people come from Irish descent, but I guess if the skin color is the same it doesn't matter to you. Wake up!

      August 23, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • kenkajin

      Not only are you a racist, bigoted moron but your reading comprehension is very poor. As the article states, Nya is adopted.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Ally821

      I just "can't" with ignorant people like you! First of all, read the article...then, read it again. This child is not mixed. She was adopted, as clearly stated in the article. So, regardless of your opinion on interracial marriages, this particular child will always be African-American.

      As far as the rest of your comment goes, you seriously need a reality check. It's people like you who try to mask the term "racist" with "cultural preservation". Go back in the closet where you came from.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • 150 IQ

      Idiot is being too kind. Racist Idiot is more accurate. Actually mixing races is healthier for many reasons you might not be able to comprehend. Simply put constant inbreeding unfortunately leads to peope like you.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • edward barneys propoganda

      Typical, none of you could refute what I actually typed. What does the picture convey? The PICTURE?

      Cute, just idiot and racist. LOL. I also said the CULTURE gets diluted. I am like you say a small amount of native american, but I know of NO nativie american traditions.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Let's be careful readers

      “Nya is adopted.” Nya may, or may not be, bi-racial– we don’t know.
      Her race doesn’t have any bearing on the points the author is making.

      August 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  78. nadine

    Wait for her grades in high school and when she graduates from college then compare her to the rest before labeling her as being gifted. Unfortunately, standards are lower in America than Asian countries and Europe to attain such a description. I wish that child good luck and protection from an over-doting mother.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:22 am |
  79. kay

    my 5 year old daughter read this article.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • 150 IQ

      My sperm read this article too!

      August 23, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  80. Karen Hazlegrove

    I raised two gifted children, but I don't believe in early labeling. True giftedness may not be objectively identifiable until children reach the middle school years. My children were reading at college level by third grade, and my son could tell time and make change at age 3. He took his own training wheels off of his two wheeler at age 4, and just started riding. Both of my kids are now grown, professional adults. They are well adjusted. Their father and I love them for who they are, and never really harped on the gifted label. Gifted children are not easy to raise because they are so active and inquisitive! As a former teacher of the gifted and talented, I see way too many parents living through their children to boost their own self-esteem. I think that is sad. It is true, however, that a gifted child is usually a product of one or both parents who are gifted themselves.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      I tested my middle chid in 5th grade because his teacher kept calling him stupid. He believed he was. His teacher gave him a 21 out of 55 on inelligence, below average! I knew he was GT as he had been identified years earlier. He passed and I pulled him from that school. My eldest child tested on his request because his younger brother teased him because he wasn't GT. He passed. I don't think I would have tested them otherwise.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  81. Remmaps1

    Can any of you gifted ones actually read and comprehend? The person who removed the erasers was the teacher, not the child, and it was done so the children who were perfectionists couldn't continually erase things in their quest for perfection. Plus, the CNN editor of the story apparently didn't catch that in the last sentence of that paragraph, the word "is" shoud instead be "isn't." Bozos...

    August 23, 2012 at 6:18 am |
    • jomartin

      Fixed. It wasn't technically incorrect but it may be clearer this way. "She understands that her students struggle with that issue and what she wanted them to understand was that it was OK if something is perfect sometimes. " – implying that it's OK if things aren't perfect all the time.
      John Martin
      Schools of Thought editor

      August 23, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  82. beantownwriter

    It looks like I am going to be the very first person on this board to admire and praise Chandra for: 1) having the foresight to identify her daughter as gifted and 2) having the love in her heart to find the right school for daughter and enroll her. It's truly a selfless parent who wants more for their child than what most people in society expects of them–as evidenced by the hatred, ignorance, and idiocy shown on this comment board so far (re: the Neanderthal that called Nya out of her name). I think most of the people who are criticizing Chandra for her decision to send her daughter to a gifted school can't relate to the struggles of meeting the advanced developmental needs of a gifted child...all of which Chandra identified in her child (not just fussy perfectionism but including unending curiosity, emotional advancement, and early and superior language skills.) Congratulations Chandra! God Bless you and your lovely, brilliant daughter! I hope you continue on this path and let your child soar!

    August 23, 2012 at 6:12 am |
  83. STAHM-UR

    Holy Heck, hate much? I am not gifted, but was raised with a brother who was not given the proper avenues. Back then most 'gifted' children were called disruptive and unruly... Just because they didn't fit the mold; who can sit and listen the longest. Isn't that basically the education system? He found an avenue for himself, but it was later in life and took the roughest way there. If he had been given avenues and coping skills for this, oh what he would have done. Personally I believe all children need better education options, our minds do not all work the same.

    PS... The teacher cut off the erasers not the little girl...

    August 23, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  84. John

    Like Barack Obama, this half black child is fortunate to have a white Mom that will make sure that her child succeeds. Gabby Giffords did well in finding a white family to live with when training in Iowa for the Olympics. Her own mother was against the idea.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • Chamion

      @ John, please elaborate, I am having trouble grasping what you are trying to say. I don't want to misinterpret; BUT YOU SEEM TO BE SAYING THAT BLACKS DON'T CARE ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN EXCELLING.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • kenkajin

      You are a bigoted moron that spouts fallacious arguments advertised as fact.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Wha?

      I kind of think maybe there are a few other top Black athletes in the USA, who weren't all raised by a white family. Just a hunch. You have been watching too much The Blindside.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • jomartin

      You mean Gabby Douglas, right? Gabby Giffords is a former Arizona congresswoman. Since the CNN community is speaking to the rest of your comment, I'll let it stand on its merits.
      John Martin
      Schools of Thought

      August 23, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  85. ned

    ooh look at me, my child was called gifted. let me go tell the world on cnn

    August 23, 2012 at 5:50 am |
  86. Modina

    JERK!!

    August 23, 2012 at 5:50 am |
  87. Kitty

    I know how closely the public system loops gifted and special needs kids, but in a special needs classroom it is the gifted kid who is hurt the most,
    You would not believe what some of those teachers do, or maybe you would I don't know.

    I was gifted at a young age, I did a twelve page paper on the Bison and Native American people in first grade and was reading six hundred page books far before that.
    My motor skills advanced very quickly as did my academic skills, I was the three year old who could fully explain what she wanted and read the business section of the newspaper and understood it.

    But in the end I ended up in the special ed camp in middle and high school after my family moved, and you would not believe the hell they put "gifted" kids through in there as I said.
    They tell you that you are stupid and worthless, and more or less tear you apart worse than any classmate could.

    On the upside I proved them wrong, and I still am.

    Anyway on topic, the author is correct to say some gifted children throw tantrums and have emotional problems.
    But defacing pencils is not a sign of being gifted, nor is the coloring within the lines obsession which is more a sign of OCD if I am to be absolutely honest. I chewed my pencils when I was thinking as a child, but I never defaced them or broke off erasers because I knew that the number 2 pencil I was holding cost my mom ten cents and that if I broke too many that it could add up to a ton of money.

    What Chandra describes is not really a gifted child, well in her own way maybe but not in the classic way.
    What she is describing is a OCD child with slightly higher than average intelligence which is typical of someone with OCD or something in that range of disabilities.
    Though anxiety, aggression, emotional distress, low tolerance to stimuli, excess energy, and hypersensitivity are some of the trademarks of a "gifted" child they also happen to overlap with OCD children as well as many other disorders.

    The symptoms she described could as easily be related to a variety of syndromes that coincide with slightly higher IQ's, jumping to the conclusion she is gifted after one or two tests may be a bit well presumptuous.

    Also factor in how the US educational system is decreasing in effectiveness and the knowledge it dispenses to our youth, I mean if you add that into the picture and the possibility that the mother read books filled with information Nya is really just a average child.
    What I mean concerning tests is getting a good score academic test created to find gifted children or slightly above average children by say a private school made for gifted children.

    That to me is not a sign of being gifted, since that test was created for the sole purpose of finding children to attend this so called "gifted" school which probably has a high cost or tuition to attend in the first place.

    I mean I was tested many times over my life by doctors, therapists, developmental specialists who suggested I attend a private school but I refused, MENSA members, NUMATS (Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search)which due to medical issues I could not accept an award from in person nor attend early college courses.
    I had to call the Dean and the woman who ran the tests at the time and tell her tearfully I could not attend due to medical problems, I insisted the next runner up get the scholarship as well because otherwise it would go to waste.

    Each and every time I was tested I excelled, that is how you are supposed to find out if a child is gifted not just based on early signs at a very young age. You have to watch them throughout their life, keep track of them, and yes encourage them but do not assume right away your child is "gifted".

    For a child to be truly gifted she/he does not just need to have emotional signs and fill in the lines or be a perfectionist, or any of the signs Charla described.

    What she/he needs to have is knowledge, she/he needs to have it stored in her/his mind to the point where she/he can explain things and understand them. The child in question does not need to be able to regurgitate information but to actually comprehend it, understand it's implications and consequences and how it affects things.

    Or in the case of a creative genius the child needs to be able to visualize, not color in lines perfectly but create new lines and new ideas. The child needs to understand that going outside the lines is good, that maybe there is a line that can be added and make the design or idea work better.

    I am going to use LEGOS as a example, because I really love LEGOS and always have and always will.

    LEGOS in my opinion are a great way to find a gifted kid, at least a creatively gifted one due to how you have two ways of using them.
    Conventional or as the box or book tells you to use them, in other words duplicating a existing model perfectly but not using any original touches.
    Then there is the Unconventional or creative way, where you make something brand new and know what it does and how it works.

    The child who duplicates the LEGO house on the box sadly is not gifted though their parents my think otherwise. It is the child who takes the LEGOS and creates a completely new structure, and can explain what it does and how it works and why he/she made it that shows the true signs of being gifted.

    For example, I made a multiple tier self sufficient home concept when I was six at daycare (and used all the LEGOS for this purpose earning me temporary ire from my peers).
    When asked what I had made I explained it in detail, including how the tier aquaduct would ferry water down and keep the plants hydrated along the way in a sort of hydroponics incline system. How the water would turn a wheel to generate power, and how solar panels could be set up on the roof to maximize energy intake.
    I also explained where the power meter would be set, how the internal electronics would be arranged to maximize the minimization of power usage, and why exactly the fireplace had a extra attachment for funneling heat to the stove among many other things.

    And of course I demanded my self sufficient concept be left as is till my parents picked me up, because I had to show them my newest creation and explain how it worked like any other kid would do for say a finger painting.

    That is the sort of thing a truly gifted child would do, a gifted child can also hold a conversation with adults or at least people a few grades above them and be able to properly interact verbally and comprehend what they are saying.

    These are the signs you should look for, not the emotional ones that could be a sign of anything not just "gifted" abilities in children. The term gifted is so overused now it is almost maddening, mainly because the fact of the matter is most people who claim their child is gifted just want their kid to be "special" or want their kid to be a brilliant Einstein even if they are not.
    And certain members of the community are not helping the matter, I know I am asking for hate for saying this but the truth of the matter is many so called gifted children are not gifted they are what used to be average.

    I would love to lengthen my post more on this topic but I have two very insistent members of the Felis genus demanding my attention and their morning feeding

    August 23, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • FuzzybDuck

      Tests can be misguided. I knew two of my children were gifted because of their passion and their strong needs to discover things. Child number two is the most creative child I have met. Child number three is most probably not gifted, and is certainly not academically gifted although she does say the most profound things at times.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • BiochemistMom

      @Kitty: What you are describing may qualify as "genius". That is yet another level. Nya, and many of the other kids described here, are indeed gifted – ie have above average intelligence/ability in one or more areas. My son has also been labeled gifted – in grade 2, he is doing grade 7-level math and reading at grade 5 levels. He gets it and enjoys it greatly, and any good parent would like to nurture that so that he lives life to his maximum potential. Having said that – my son is not doing college-level math; he is not a genius, just gifted. All kids have special talents / abilities – our role as parents are to figure them out & help them use and enjoy it – which is a pretty tall order. But, the rewards for a society that can do that will be great – we just have to figure out how.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  88. DMG

    The most annoying thing... listening to other parents talk about how "advanced" their kids are!

    August 23, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • Mommy of Many

      Another braggy mom of another "gifted" child. [Yawn.]

      I will say that the sensory issues she mentions are NOT just par for the course. She should perhaps spend less time bragging and more time looking to identify an occupational therapist to HELP her child. Wow.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  89. Ken

    Sounds more like autism to me. Chandra you are in for a rough ride.

    August 23, 2012 at 5:23 am |
    • Guest

      You're comment is very out of place. According to the report there is not sign of autism....Please before giving an opinion try to learn a little bit more....Pretty sure you have no idea how people with autism work

      August 23, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Anna

      I was thinking the same thing. My son has classic autism combined with an extremely high IQ. When he was 6 he was tested to read at a 12th grade level. He stopped drawing from the time he was 2 until he was 4 because the fine motor skills needed for what he wanted to draw weren't there and he wanted it to be perfect- now his artwork has been featured for its outstanding use of shading. The behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties all are symptoms of autism. Clothing issues are a HUGE sign.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:26 am |
  90. Barb

    Be very careful of that gifted label. My child was (and is) gifted, too.....Turns out he is a classic Asperger's. VERY smart, but also very socially awkward. I was advised to put him in a "gifted" school, but decided against it because I felt he needed to learn how to interact with ALL kinds of people, not just people like himself. I think the most important thing to do with "gifted" kids is to expose them to many things and let them explore their interests as much as possible. Be careful to not go on the ego trip of being told your kid is special. My son is now a successful young man but his younger years were a challenge because of the social issues, and I many times wished there was a magic way of making the awkwardness go away. Good Luck!!

    August 23, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  91. Nanosilver

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    August 23, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  92. Nanosilver

    Hypersensitivity and perfectionism can be autistic traits, also. The line between giftedness and high-functioning autism can be a very thin line, or blurred altogether.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  93. rhondajo3

    So now if my child's socks are irritating her, she is gifted??? OHMYGOSH, how low we have plummeted in our desperation to have gifted or hi IQ children.....OHMY!!!!

    August 23, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • Nanosilver

      My daughter is in honors science, math, and english; and she can't stand sock-seams. True story.

      But, not every child with irritating socks is gifted, I'm sure.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:03 am |
  94. Elizabeth

    Hyperlexia? Sensory sensitivities? OCD-like behavior?

    Why is this child not yet diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, exactly?

    August 23, 2012 at 4:42 am |
    • Nanosilver

      Agreed. Sounds just like me, and I have Asperger's.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  95. No

    Unfortunately, gifted doesn't mean destined for success. It's up to parents and society to work with these kids to teach them constructive use of their heightened ability to learn. Perfectionism may be an indicator of "giftedness" but is definitely a barrier to overcome. As the author pointed out, helping these kids out at an early age can help them understand that they're not different. Indeed, our school systems teach us how to integrate with society. Identifying both ends of the child mental spectrum is definitely important, but sadly, not well implemented in our school systems.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  96. ac

    Interesting article. I believe that the term "gifted" is loosely thrown around in the education system. I am a product of public school education and was in "gifted" classes since early elementary school. Being "gifted" does not necessarily translate into success, and success encompasses proactively dealing with failures instead of resorting to emotional outbursts.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • No

      RE: AC.
      I remember participating in some of the "gifted" math programs in late elementary school in the 90's. Basically, the teachers didn't know what to do with us, so we played a lot of cards and learned some BASIC computer programming pre-Internet. Looking back at that group, we were all AP scholars and none of us had girlfriends by the end of high school. I believe one is now a math professor, another a computer science prof and a couple are now electrical engineers. The math guy had it the worst, as he was a bit of a spazz - I'm sure he's learned to control that by now. Or, who knows, hopefully he's not the next Unabomber.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:59 am |
  97. Jon

    I was almost put in a special needs class for these exact reasons. Particularly, my work took forever because it had to be perfect and I had some emotional issues when I couldn't get something right. They found out in fourth grade that I was reading at a college level. Whoops.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • No

      Ha, reading playboy in fourth grade doesn't mean *college level*.

      Just kidding, I bet you have some interesting stories - in fact, I think I would rather read articles from contrasting points of view of their experience with the education systems of yesteryear. The message in this article is interesting, but the first sentence "my daughter, who is 5, was identified as gifted" unfortunately just sounds like another pre-school mom justifying their decision to go to private kindergarten.

      Oh, to be able to harness the energy expensed in blog posting rebuttals... that's like cold fusion, baby.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:10 am |
      • jomartin

        Just for the record, the school mentioned in the article is a public school.
        John Martin
        Schools of Thought editor

        August 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  98. Henry

    So, if your child throws temper tantrums, fusses over low priority things (god forbid the seam of a sock be over your toes), and sabotages the school supplies of other children – we call this gifted?

    That's odd.

    When I was in school, "gifted" meant you excelled academically and were often given more strenuous assignments or if your school had the resources, such kids were grouped together and teachers were brought in who specialized in coaching/teaching higher performance kids. Part of being labeled "AG" – Academically Gifted – meant also having the emotional maturity to handle the extra work. If you were smart but not emotionally mature, you didn't join the Smart Kids Club.

    The kid in this article sounds more like the Southern version of "gifted" - the term we were told was the nice word for "mentally retarded." You know, the kind of kid who does something stupid and the nearby moms all go "Bless her heart!" Which is really, "Bless her heart! She couldn't help herself, on account of that extra chromosome and all."

    August 23, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • Kathryn C

      Well, it certainly sounds like she's saying that gifted means throwing tantrums. But it isn't. A kid throwing a tantrum could just be a spoiled brat. But what Chandra (the writer) is saying is that with highly intelligent children, sometimes they are coupled with other behavioral or social problems which can lead to them throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store, but this also doesn't mean that every gifted child will throw tantrums.

      As a child, I was fairly intelligent, creative, and talented, as was my brother. If anything, my brother was the gifted one, but he never threw a tantrum or was a perfectionist, or defaced his pencils because they had to be just right. And I only spoke beyond what was normal for my age because of speech therapy. So, each child is different, just like everyone is different. And we have to be able to keep up with them and treat them a little differently.

      I think that Chandra is just saying to not trust first appearances. Don't just label your child gifted and not look any deeper. Don't put down on parents with difficult children when you've never been in that situation.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:01 am |
      • Let's be careful readers

        Nit-picky, I know: From the article, “Her …teacher, Brenda Natt, …cuts off all the erasers of her pencils” so that kids don’t struggle with trying to achieve perfection.
        Nya doesn’t cut the erasers

        August 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • No

      Wow, a classic logical fallacy!

      Some kids have temper tantrums. Gifted kids have temper tantrums. Are all kids that have temper tantrums gifted?

      August 23, 2012 at 4:04 am |
      • Ann

        No, but as the mother of a gifted child who has conferred with plenty of other parents with kids of the same age specifically on this topic, NONE of them have dealt with the severity, length and frequency of the tantrums we've dealt with. None except those with other identified gifted children. So while every child obviously has tantrums there is a difference in intensity and reasons behind the tantrums with gifted kids. Don't speak about something you don't understand please.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Sciguy73

      Careful Henry, your cluelessness is showing. You might want to read the story again. Try a little harder with the details this time.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  99. Steve

    Everybody thinks their child is gifted. You'll outgrow it when she becomes a teenager.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • reply to steve

      haha no doubt steve. this story reminds me of kids and parents of kids who think their child will be a model. there are plenty of "modeling schools" that will reinforce that belief and happily take your money. the Reverend mentioned sounds like she turned the author on to such a school (the Reverend's kids are, unfortunately, also not gifted any more than the average highly-curious baby/child since it's what they're built to do.) i think it just boils down to people (the parents) want to feel special, that their child is somehow unique. it's understandable. but the idea that the parent rebels at the notion that their child is simply special just like every other child is special is psychologically disturbing trait in the parent.

      One element that i didn't catch in the story: where's the father/husband? i'm not some radical conservative 1950's nuclear family type, but statistics show that a child absent a father has a much greater chance of drug abuse, crime and prison. Don't worry so much about "gifted" as that will all work out no matter what school they go to if a parent nurtures the child with love, maybe be more concerned with a teen girl that has no father figure to turn to when life starts to suck.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:32 am |
      • Rick

        Another white mom whose black babydaddy flew the coop.

        And yes, this kid doesn't sound "gifted," just strange.

        August 23, 2012 at 7:08 am |
      • kenkajin

        The girl is adopted. Can you not read?

        August 23, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Kristen

      Spoken by a true cretin. Those who are not quite above average intelligence have trouble understanding that some people (including children) excel beyond them and are more intelligent than they are. Welcome to reality.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • S Crow

      "Gifted" must be the new PC name for OCD, cause that is what this kid has. If you hear "perfectionist" with "gifted or special" from a parent, then the kid is OCD 99% of the time, and that is what this kid is and many comenters here too have kids with OCD. They mix OCD up with ADD and ADHD.......much different things. OCD is also mixed up with autism, again, two different things. It also seems that these parents ARE NOT getting the help from whoever they are talking to, and that scares me

      August 23, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  100. BEBC

    Oh, that's my daughter to a T. I never had her tested, but knew before she was 3 that she was as well, all the classic signs. I ended up homeschooling her partly cause the schools she went to in UK ,where we ended up moving before she was school age, didn't seem to understand her perfectionism and her emotional outbursts related to them. Partly cause she was such a target for bullying because she was so studious and rule abiding....and thought everyone should abide by the rules. I'm not sure I have been able to provide learning as good as a good private school would have, to bring out her best. though have always tried to give her challenging work. Science was always her main interest, but she now wants to do 3d graphics...I told her to go for both and/or combine them. But I think it has helped her deal with it better emotionally. She's 14 now, and is fairly ok. I watched her emotional outbursts get less and less over the years as i gradually tried to instill in her that it's ok for things to go wrong! But that it's ok to be frustrated as well. A good few more years until I know if it's all been enough :/

    August 23, 2012 at 3:12 am |
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