Gifted and Distractible Book Summary - Gifted and Distractible Book explained in key points
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Gifted and Distractible summary

Julie F. Skolnick

Understanding, Supporting, and Advocating for Your Twice Exceptional Child

4.1 (19 ratings)
20 mins
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    Gifted and Distractible
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    Understanding the twice exceptional child

    Have you ever wondered why your child excels at math yet melts down over mundane tasks? Do you feel your intelligent child is underperforming or withdrawing socially? You're not alone. There's confusion around twice exceptional (2e) kids, and even experts disagree on how to support them. Let's explore some key aspects of 2e children so you can better advocate for their needs.

    First, what does “gifted” really mean? It signifies having the capability to perform at a high level cognitively, creatively, academically, or artistically compared to peers. Gifted children make connections others miss, show intense curiosity about topics, or demonstrate advanced reasoning skills. But giftedness requires the right nurturing.

    Next, “distracted” refers to learning differences like ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, and sensory issues that make learning challenging. These differences or disabilities can affect children’s motivation, behavior, comprehension, skill development, and more. So it’s important to identify where and why a child is struggling.

    “Twice exceptional” refers to a child who is gifted and also has a learning difference, making their needs more complex. The magnitude of their strengths and weaknesses make them difficult to identify and serve. Understanding three experiences can provide insight.

    First, there’s asynchronous development. Gifted children often develop unevenly across the spectrum. They may be advanced in math but struggle with speech, fine motor skills, or social behaviors. Gifted children may also have splinter skills – skills they don’t generalize across other situations – that are highly advanced compared to their overall abilities.

    The second experience is perfectionism. 2e kids may fixate on flaws others don't notice. They often need help letting go and building self-esteem when things aren’t perfect. Perfectionism can be driven by a desire for control or fear of failure. Finding perspectives on perceived imperfections can help. Remember to focus on effort and growth, not outcomes.

    The third experience 2e children often have is overexcitability – whether it’s intellectual, emotional, imaginational, sensory, or psychomotor. This intense trait isn’t a deficit, but a sign of potential that requires nurturing. For example, a child with psychomotor overexcitability may struggle to sit still and choose to run around the room while listening to a teacher. It’s important to recognize that by running, this child is exercising a choice to cope with their seemingly conflicting needs to listen and move. While it may not be an appropriate choice for the classroom, recognizing the child’s attempt to cope will be more fruitful than just demanding that they sit down.

    Understanding how 2e children experience the world is crucial when it comes to advocacy. As your child’s advocate, it’s your job to defend, support, and plead on behalf of them. Great advocacy both proactively improves environments and persuades decision-makers to make changes through thoughtful explanations. But to create a path forward, you need to understand where your child stands. 

    In terms of academics, giftedness can be assessed through IQ and achievement testing, grades, and teacher observations. Learning differences can be evaluated through psychoeducational testing, developmental history, and specialist analysis. Since gifts can mask disabilities, and vice versa, comprehensive testing is vital to uncover the dual needs. Record observations at home, and partner with experts to gain a holistic view.

    Advocate for accommodations like assistive technology, modified assignments, or enrichment opportunities by giving teachers a comprehensive overview of your child’s strengths and needs. Share how aids help them focus, or how acceleration taps into their intellectual intensity. Collaborate on a supportive plan. Don’t be afraid to push for creative accommodations.

    Seek out 2e communities too. Connecting with those facing similar challenges provides validation. Mentors who’ve navigated 2e experiences can inspire you and show you what’s possible. And events for 2e families provide a safe space by allowing kids to just be themselves. Know that you’re not alone. Online forums, conferences, and support groups can help you build connections.

    Does this process sound overwhelming? Remember, you know your child best. Start with your own insights and observations, then find the expertise needed. It takes work, but helping your 2e child thrive is worth the effort. Patience and partnership will get you through.

    Now that you understand the complexities of your 2e child and some basic ways to be their advocate, it’s time to figure out what to do on a more granular level. In the next section, we’ll look at strategies and structures for yourself and your child to cultivate a cooperative, peaceful environment – so they can grow and thrive, and you can prevent burnout.

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    What is Gifted and Distractible about?

    Gifted and Distractible (2023) offers research-based strategies to support children who exhibit both giftedness and learning differences. The guide helps parents and teachers move beyond misconceptions that intellectual talent guarantees social and emotional success, and provides strength-based tools to nurture these remarkable yet often misunderstood kids.

    Gifted and Distractible Review

    Gifted and Distractible by Julie F. Skolnick (2021) delves into the world of gifted children with attention challenges, offering valuable insights and strategies for parents and educators. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges faced by gifted children with distractibility, offering practical advice for supporting their development.
    • Through real-life stories and expert guidance, the book offers valuable tools to help parents and educators nurture the strengths of these students.
    • With its engaging and relatable approach, the book ensures that readers won't find it boring, making it an essential resource for anyone working with gifted and distractible children.

    Who should read Gifted and Distractible?

    • Parents who want to see their gifted children thrive
    • Educators looking to support the gifted children in their care
    • Clinicians or other experts who work with 2e children

    About the Author

    Julie Skolnick is an advocate who guides parents, trains educators, and advises clinicians on supporting 2e (twice exceptional) children – those who are both gifted and have a learning difference like ADHD or autism. She created the 2 Days of 2e virtual conference, which brought together thought leaders and resources to help 2e kids thrive.

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    Gifted and Distractible FAQs 

    What is the main message of Gifted and Distractible?

    The main message of Gifted and Distractible is the unique challenges faced by gifted individuals with distractibility.

    How long does it take to read Gifted and Distractible?

    The reading time for Gifted and Distractible varies. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Gifted and Distractible a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Gifted and Distractible is a valuable read for understanding the complexities of gifted individuals and how distractibility impacts their lives.

    Who is the author of Gifted and Distractible?

    The author of Gifted and Distractible is Julie F. Skolnick.