Think your child may be gifted? Many people have the wrong impression of gifted children, expecting them to excel at school, be model students with perfect social skills and become rocket scientists or brain surgeons. The reality is often very different to this (though of course some do indeed fit the stereotype) and many are bored at school and can demonstrate acting out behaviours with some becoming so frustrated that they may underachievement and behave in oppositional ways. Their brains race and often their hands cannot keep up so handwriting tends to be untidy, with details missed out and ideas not arranged logically. Melanie Hartgill finds out what it means to be gifted.
Although commonly spoken of as simply “autism” or “autistic,” it is important to note that this occurs on a continuum as is better described as “autistic spectrum disorder” (ASD). This is a multifaceted lifelong developmental disability affecting how a person communicates and relates to people around them. The continuum or spectrum is defined by deficiencies in social interaction, social communication and social imagination and involves a constricted, repetitive series of activities.
The current working definition of dyslexia proposes that it is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. There are noted difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. It occurs across the range of intellectual abilities and is a continuum, not a distinct category, with no clear cut-off points. Additional difficulties may be identified in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, concentration and personal organisation.
This diagnosis refers to a condition in which a person (child or adult) displays extreme levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is important to note that these symptoms can occur in varying combinations and form part of a multi-dimensional condition with the symptoms occurring on a continuum. There is no clear cut-off point between normal and abnormal, making diagnosis difficult. Research indicates that boys are more affected than girls and studies show that the incidence of AD/HD in school going children is around 6% - a number that is consistent between different countries, cultures and ethnic groups and has been steady for many years.