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One second grader was a real problem child and about to be labeled
"special ed" (this was a few years ago!) One day I was subbing in that
room, and as I watched him coloring (when he should have been doing math)
it dawned on me that this kid's problem was not LD--he was gifted! His
total concentration, experimentation, decision making skills all pointed to
a mind that was looking for a lot more stimulation than a 2nd grade math
worksheet was providing. Well, as it turned out, the father (truck driver,
divorced) was also a gifted child whose mother had refused to let him have
any extra learning. Father and son moved to a larger school district that
had gifted resources available, the father went to college for a degree in
engineering. Happy ending.
A fourth grader never finished any project in the expected fashion--or
anywhere near it. Her responses were always highly unique. When I pointed
this out to the special ed staff, they learned to accept some of these, not
holding her to the "one right answer". she still needed extra help in some
areas, but her creativity blossomed in areas besides art.
The third story is not so happy. A highly disturbed junior high student
with multiple family problems and ADHD to boot was also a highly visually
oriented student and gifted in art as well as writing and many other
things. Because of his visual skills, I suggested that he would learn--and
be willing to concentrate better--if his teaching made allowance for this.
Deaf ears!--worksheets, more make-up worksheets, not allowed to go to art
class"because he didn't have his work done", etc. I cried ( in private)
for this kid more than a few times. Sorry I don't now how this one came