Sensory Integration and "Out of Sync Children"
Does your student have trouble with penmanship?
How about spelling or in sounding out words? How about with the
way food tastes or feels? How about sensitivity with the way clothing
feels? Or has unusual sensitivity to bright lights? Loud sounds?
Sometimes these "twice exceptional" students have sensory
integration processing issues. Your student may be overcompensating
in one area to "hide" these issues. Remember that one
of the qualities you'll find with the gifted student is intense
perfectionism. If your student avoids certain tasks, it may be
because of a sensory integration issue. It's worth exploring.
"Dysfunction in Sensory Integration (DSI) is a problem in
processing sensations. DSI is a neurological disorder, manifested
by difficulty detecting, modulating, discriminating or integrating
sensation adaptively. DSI causes children to process sensation
from the environment or from their bodies in an inaccurate way,
resulting in "sensory seeking" or "sensory avoiding"
patterns or 'dyspraxia," a motor planning problem."
Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management by Susan
Out-Of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping With Sensory Integration
Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz, Larry B. Silver
Integration and the Child by A. Jean Ayres
Characteristics commonly seen in gifted children can easily be
mistaken as Asperger's Disorder by someone not familiar with the
asynchronous development and special needs of gifted youth.The
symptoms of Asperger's syndrome vary and can range from mild to
severe. Common symptoms include:
with social skills: Children with Asperger's syndrome generally
have difficulty interacting with others and often are awkward
in social situations. They generally do not make friends
or repetitive behaviors: Children with this condition may
develop odd, repetitive movements, such as hand wringing
or finger twisting.
preoccupations or rituals: A child with Asperger's syndrome
may develop rituals that he or she refuses to alter, such
as getting dressed in a specific order.
difficulties: People with Asperger's syndrome may not make
eye contact when speaking with someone. They may have trouble
using facial expressions and gestures, and understanding
body language. They also tend to have problems understanding
language in context.
range of interests: A child with Asperger's syndrome may
develop an intense, almost obsessive, interest in a few
areas, such as sports schedules, weather or maps.
problems: The movements of children with Asperger's syndrome
may seem clumsy or awkward.
or talented: Many children with Asperger's syndrome are
exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area,
such as music or math. (More)
of the above characteristics are also commonly seen in gifted
children and can easily be mistaken as Asperger's Disorder by
someone not familiar with the asynchronous development and special
needs of gifted youth. The unusual behaviors of many gifted children
do strike many who are not familiar with gifted characteristics
as a "qualitative impairment" in social interactions.
Although the gifted child's interactions may technically show
a "qualitative impairment," it is certainly of a different
nature and likely has different causes (e.g., thoughts or worries
by a gifted child about interacting) (Read
Our Gifted and Complex Minds: Intelligence, Asperger's Syndrome,
and Learning Disabilities at MIT By Brian G. R. Hughes
Read this Article.
Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by
Dr. Tony Attwood
to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome by
Liane Holliday Willey, Tony Attwood
is an Indigo Child?
come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act
have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are
surprised when others don't share that.
is not a big issue. They often tell the parents "who
have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without
explanation or choice).
simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in
line is difficult for them.
get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and
don't require creative thought.
often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in
school, which makes them seem like "system busters"
(nonconforming to any system).
seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there
are no others of like consciousness around them, they often
turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them.
School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait
till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
are not shy in letting you know what they need.
ADD & ADHD
and Giftedness: What Do We Really Know?
"Are gifted kids labeled as having ADHD instead of being
gifted? It's actually possible that the two conditions may coexist.
Recently, some researchers have expressed concern that children
who are gifted are mislabeled as ADHD, and that this mislabeling
has been getting out of hand. While there are cases of mistaken
diagnosis, no empirical data in the medical, educational, or psychological
literature confirms the extent of this concern..." (Continue
Reading this Article)
referring a gifted child for ADD/ADHD evaluation
"Parents and gifted educators are asked with increased frequency
to instruct gifted children to conform to a set of societal standards
of acceptable behavior and achievement -- to smooth the edges
of the square peg in order to fit into a "normal" hole.
Spontaneity, inquisitiveness, imagination, boundless enthusiasm,
and emotionality are being discouraged to create calmer, quieter,
more controlled environments in school. An extension of this trend
is reflected in an increase in referrals for medical evaluation
of gifted children as ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). There is no doubt that gifted
children can be ADD/ADHD. However, there are also gifted children
whose "inappropriate behavior" may be a result of being
highly gifted and/or intense..." (Continue
reading this article)
Symptoms (from CHADD)
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:
Typically, AD/HD symptoms arise in early childhood, unless associated
with some type of brain injury later in life. Some symptoms persist
into adulthood and may pose life-long challenges. Although the
official diagnostic criteria state that the onset of symptoms
must occur before age seven, leading researchers in the field
of AD/HD argue that criterion should be broadened to include onset
anytime during childhood.
Criteria for two primary subtypes are summarized as follows:
AD/HD predominately inattentive type: (AD/HD-I):
Fails to give
close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
Does not appear
follow through on instructions.
Avoids or dislikes
tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
Is easily distracted.
in daily activities.
AD/HD predominately hyperactive-impulsive type: (AD/HD-HI):
hands or feet or squirms in chair.
or climbs excessively.
engaging in activities quietly.
Acts as if
driven by a motor.
answers before questions have been completed.
waiting or taking turns.
or intrudes upon others.
More information at: CHADD
: Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder