It explains so much.

Fitting in at school has never been easy for J. From kindergarten on, his teachers complained that he was bossy and controlling, that he didn't wait his turn to answer questions, that conflict resolution was a problem, that he wasn't able to get along with his peers and had almost no friends.

When he was in grade one, we arranged a meeting with his teacher and the principal. The teacher said that every day the class would split into small groups and each group would go to a different centre where they would do activities like reading or colouring or puzzles, etc. She complained that J was always telling the other children in his group what to do and how to do it.

Then the principal said that J "thinks on a higher level" than other children his age, that while the other kids were still trying to figure out what centre they were at, J already knew exactly what had to be done.

This was presented as a negative thing and I was thinking, ok, what exactly am I supposed to do about that? Punish him for being smart?

I have always tried to impress upon him the importance of letting other children figure things out for themselves, that it's ok for them to mistakes, that even though he knows how things should be done, he shouldn't boss them around. But with his personality that's never going to be easy for him.

I suggested at that meeting that perhaps he didn't have enough to do. I was told that that was definitely not the case.

His marks in school have never been spectacular, mostly 'B's, a couple of 'A's, even a 'C' now and then. He's lazy about his homework, often not bringing it home, and sometimes has to be pushed to complete projects. I've had more notes and phone calls from the school about him than about both of my girls combined.

So when the phone rang back at the end of March and the woman on the other end identified herself as a teacher (she was calling from home), I was not surprised when she said she was calling about J.

She said, "I love making phone calls like this!" And I thought, you sick woman. Then she said,

"[J] has been identified as a possible candidate for our gifted program and I'm hoping you'll give me permission to test him."

I was momentarily speechless. I've always known that he's intelligent. I've always thought that he wasn't being challenged enough in school. But I had never considered that he might be classed as gifted.

I gave my permission and over the next few days, he did a series of tests. A couple of weeks later, he did another series of tests. We met with the teachers and the principal today to find out the results.

And he is.

Starting next year for one full day per week, he'll be attending a special class with other gifted children in grades 4 to 6 from schools all over the county. His teachers think this will be a wonderful thing for him and I'm hoping that he will finally find the place where he fits in.

Posted by Ripley on May 12, 2006

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