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Gifted children

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Updated: 4/18/2007 7:12 am
When a child scores in the top two to five percent on national tests such as IQ or achievement tests, they're considered to be academically gifted. Gifts may also come in other forms, like an exceptional talent for art or music. But along with these obvious advantages, come special problems. Gifted children must be given work that's challenging, or they can become bored, disruptive, or even make bad grades. When their assignments are too easy, they may neglect doing the work at all. Advanced academic programs are important for another reason, too. If gifted children never have to exert themselves in school, they get used to coasting through classes, without developing true learning skills. Then, when greater effort is suddenly required in college or graduate school, they may feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You can help a gifted child by looking for programs that meet their needs. Encourage them, but don't push. Also, have regular meetings with their teachers, to see how they're coping, both emotionally and academically. While gifted children shouldn't be pressured, neither should they be held back. Allow them to advance at their own rate, even if that means completing two grades in one year.

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