This is a continuation of Understanding Gifted Kids Parts 1 & 2.
The Stanford Binet Intelligence Assessment and recommendations made by the Psychologist has given me and my family enormous understanding of of how to deal with day to day situations with a gifted child. According to the assessors at CHIP Foundation, it was a missed opportunity to probe the mind of an inquisitive child when we dismissed and laughed off his remark when at 5am in the morning he came to our bedroom and said: "Mom, Dad, I think I want to be the Prime Minister of Australia" - wouldn't you laugh if you heard it too? For us, it was a funny statement to hear from a 3 years old. But we knew what triggered it because he watched with us the night before the great debate between John Hewson and Paul Keating who were vying for the Prime Minister's job at that time. With the two gentlemen disagreeing to agree, he must have thought the easy solution is for him to step in - again, wouldn't you laugh?
Over the eight months period that he attended kindergarten doing nothing, I felt the enormous task of finding how to help him.The social inter-action that he was not getting from the kinder environment, he was demanding it more from home. And I knew in my heart of hearts that if I did not do anything to help him, he would be miserable. No local schools however can help because he was not yet of entry school-age.
By this time, I have already joined the Parents for Gifted Children and through the network I got the break through that I needed badly. A school not far from home catered for gifted kids and I made contact with the school Principal. She was happy to interview and assess my child and bang, at 3 years and 10 months old, he became the youngest member of the school community. This however, was not an easy decision to make. As parents, we were worried of his physical stature - after all he is still a young child as compared to the 5 and 6 years old who started preparatory school that year. Our son paved the way to help us decide on his favor when he uttered: "Just let me try the big school and I will tell you if I am ready or not." And the rest is history. My apprehension of him getting bullied or being disadvantaged because his physical motor skills were still that of a 3-4 years old did not happen. Neither did the apprehension of some mothers that the class teacher could end up as a baby sitter. In actual fact, he became an instant assistant in the class helping his classmates learn how to read the alphabet , the words and the book. With Math's activities, he compensated his slowness of counting the beads with his tiny fingers by mentally solving them and putting the answer to the activity book. Indeed, he ended up finishing at the same time with the rest. He took pride in representing and being captain of his school's chess team and bringing home the bacon for at least 3 consecutive years before he finished primary school.
In high school at 10 years old and being in the Accelerated Learning Program, it meant that he was finishing high school at a much, much younger age. At this point, we really stepped in to make him realize that being in University where he does not have a driver's license yet or cannot join the drink session, he would disadvantaged himself. In addition the father noted that he has not challenged himself among his chronological age group and it was a worthwhile experience. It took us a while to convince him with his argument that why would he move back instead of move up when he never failed and therefore will not do it at the same school. He completed high school with flying colours and is now on the path of completing the Arts/Law degree in two years time. Through him and the second one who came after 5 years of the first, the journey of understanding the opposite spectrum of mind development was a privilege to experience.