On Giftedness, Organisational Challenges and a Wisewoman’s Words- (Blogs & #gtchat)…
Desperately Seeking Organisational Strategies and How the Gifted Blogging community Helped…
After last Fridays #gtchat on twitter, a chat that focuses on gifted issues, an interesting thing happened. The topic of blogging and bloggers was discussed. This attracted many participants that added to the conversation, contributed great links and explored how the blogging community could help each other advocate for gifted children and spread information. Reflecting on this, I have decided that I would try to make a point of visiting some of our blogging communities sites, and if I am able to relate to a particular subject or contribution by the author, by mentioning their post on my site, and also, perhaps adding information or thoughts on my own experience, thus hopefully forging connections and adding to the readership base.
The topic I had in mind was organisational skills, very much on my mind every September, as this is an issue which has been the cause of much heartache and misunderstanding for many parents at this time of year, and indeed been much a feature in our own lives and that of our children. In doing this, I came across some wonderful and sage advice by a Blogger called Aimee Yermish – de Vinci Learning Centre which was so easy to read and made so much sense that I just felt it was important to share. In reading her post she makes the sensible suggestions that less is more… in other words whatever organisational method you plan on using, the simpler it is, the least complex the more likely it is to work. Regardless of whether you are using a ‘paper’ method, such as diaries or post it’s, or an electronic one. She also makes the sensible suggestion that electronic methods may indeed be more attractive, and possibly be more successful with kids as they tend to try and hold onto them, and may possibly pay more attention to using them. Either way, for kids with organisational skills problems and their families (who may also suffer with similar traits), it is important to develop a system that can work with the least amount of things that can go wrong. She points out that one of the downfalls of using either method is laundry, and that neither paper, nor electronic devises tend to survive a washing machine to well, however, given the attachment that many of our young folk have to the electronic variety of possessions, it may also be more likely to survive.
This has made so much sense to me that, this fall, as my organizationally challenged child enters the most important year of highschool, where not keeping track could mean the difference between being successful and not… My money is on the electronics.. ;-D Will the investment be worth it? We think so.. Thankyou Aimee for bringing much joy to a young scholar. Here is a link to her blog/article: The portable brain..
Also thinking on this subject made me want to share something of my own thoughts on the perceptions that revolve around this issue, and I believe may be best expressed by the piece I wrote below:
‘On Organisational Challenges… ‘
An Excerpt from an article I wrote and published in ‘Learn’ 2004- The Irish Learning Support Teachers Journal)
Superior intelligence does not make a child immune to a learning disability. Some weaknesses that are frequently seen are: poor handwriting, poor spelling, lack of organisational ability (emphasis added) and difficulty in using systematic strategies for solving problems. (Kokot, 1999:58).
Many, but not all, of these children are organizationally challenged. This may be partially due to Visual Spatial thinking processes. Being focused on the big picture, they often frail to notice details. They seem to have a great deal of difficulty keeping all pieces of themselves (and their belongings) together. This can often cause friction and perplexity in school and for their educators. However it is important and worthwhile for these to note that too often a child may be considered lazy, unmotivated, oppositional or worse, when the truth is the child is incapable of maintaining organisation. Walking and writing requires certain types of neurological development, so does organisational ability. No amount of motivation or training will help until those occur (Rios, 2000:48). without accommodation, for many asynchronous children, this disability can cripple their attempts to function in a learning environment. It can mean the difference between never having your true potential realised, or going on to a fruitful and satisfying life, and possibly greatness. Leonardo Da Vinci had issues of this nature.
Imagine having worked out a lab experiment that is so difficult, it would take an adult to duplicate it, but failing your assignment because you could not find your lab report in your book bag, only to go home and have your mother find it in that same bag. Imagine sitting at your desk at the end of the day, while everyone else has packed his bag and is ready to go, you are surrounded by a sea of paper, books and writing implements. Pencils disappear, homework is lost, books are left behind. Not remembering which class goes with which books and the laughter, teasing and disapproval from others you are bound to bear on a daily and yearly basis. A painful and soul destroying experience…
Having a neurological deficiency treated as a moral or personal failing can have a devastating effect on a child (Rios, 2000:48)
Michael V. Rios (2000). Living with Contradictions, in Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and meeting the needs of the Twice-Exceptional Student- Edited by Kiesa Kay, Gilsum, Nl.H., Avocus Publishing
Kokot, S. (1999) Help Our Child is Gifted! Guidelines for Parents, SA Radford House Publications.
Some final thoughts and musings…….
The freeway of bringing-up-giftedkids has taken me to many destinations.. it has allowed me to.. voluntarily and involuntarily explore many side/and slip roads along the way… but I must retrace my steps here, because what I really meant to say was that becoming a parent is a little like being dropped into the middle of a greyhound bus station, with noise, lights and many many bus routes for the taking… each an adventure to be had, for that is what each child is.. an adventure waiting to happen, and to share with you..
Each childs journey will be different, and although they may at times travel for a period over the same road as another, their individual needs will generally send them and their parents down rather more scenic and interesting routes along the way…
One of our most ‘interesting’ side roads has been the one of organisational challenges, and one which is still a struggle today. Still, with newer and better understanding of these issues, and the availability these days of helpful technologies that are geared towards these types of difficulties.., these ‘Portable Brains, it certainly makes the future look a little more hopeful… and may be the key to a more pleasant ‘Journey…’ ;-D