Month: September 2013


Are these kids REALLY brilliant?

My boys are not prodigies.  Dylan, age 12, tested into the Gifted & Talented (GT) program in school.  That’s how we found out he was gifted – in addition to his insatiable curiosity – and also how we learned that he had ADHD.  We knew something was going on with Dylan when he was a toddler, but it took us until 4th grade to nail down exactly what was causing the discrepancy between his brain and his body.  Diagnosed with ADHD and Developmental Coordination Disorder, Dylan has been my source of incredible delight and absolute frustration for more than a decade.

We’re still figuring out Shane, who is 9.  Shane did not test into the GT program – which doesn’t mean he’s not gifted.  But it means that two years of therapy for his vision processing disorder did not fix everything.  Three weeks after he took the GT test, we found out he couldn’t see close-up very well.  So he got some glasses and, I’m convinced, he’d probably do much better on that test now.  But he also has dysgraphia – which is like dyslexia for handwriting – so seeing past the scrawling and misspelled words to the giftedness can be difficult.

Shane’s vision processing disorder mimicked dyslexia, so he had serious trouble learning to read.  After therapy, he has become a voracious reader.  We can’t get him to stop.  He spent the past week reading the first Harry Potter and finished it today – which is nothing unusual, except when you find out that Shane has read only comic books for the past two years.  Now he’s finished a 309-page chapter book in a week.  He’ll tell you it’s exactly 309 pages.  Shane has a bit of a numbers obsession, too.

Dylan wants to be a mechanical engineer.  When he’s not texting like a typical teenager, he is designing something – either building a catapult in the backyard out of rotting wood, or designing a system on paper to save the polar ice caps.  Shane, on the other hand, wants to be a magician or a photographer.  His creativity is so strong, he often has trouble with fairly simple tasks because he’s over-thinking them.  Dylan talks non-stop (when he’s not texting) and Shane rarely speaks.  They get along beautifully and I find them both endlessly fascinating.

There’s lots to tell.  Lots and lots and lots.  I hope I can keep up with all the stories in my head.

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