The Gifted disabled student in the regular and the special classroom
Languages of publication
The term "special education" is used, in most cases, for the education of children with learning disabilities, emotional problems, behavioral difficulties, severe physical limitations, or difficulties related to low cognitive abilities. "Gifted education", on the other hand, is used for educating the more able, children with high learning ability or special talents, creative children or children who had achieved highly in school-related or any other area, such as chess, music, painting, etc. However, many gifted children belong to both categories. Some suffer from problems or irregularities unrelated to their giftedness, for example – learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD), or physical limitations, such as hearing loss, blindness, or paralysis. Some have to deal with issues directly or indirectly connected to their giftedness. For example: social acceptance has to do with conforming to the classroom norms, speaking about subjects considered age-appropriate, or being careful not to use "high level" vocabulary. A gifted child might find it difficult to participate in activities he or she has no interest in, not expressing feelings or ideas because they might seem odd to the peers, or thinking before using any rare or unconventional word or expression. A gifted child who is bored in the classroom might adopt behaviors such as abstention from activities, daydreaming or becoming the "classroom clown" and disturbing the teachers with voice-making, making jokes at others' expense or even at the teacher's. Such behaviors – not necessary a result of the child's giftedness but related to it – lead, in many cases, to labeling the child as "badly adjusted", "socially misfit", "isolated", or the like. In this article I intend to describe the social and the educational difficulties the gifted child has to deal with in the regular as well as in the gifted classroom and present techniques which might help overcoming them. I will present in detail four, all gifted with either learning disabilities or emotional problems, and the successful interventions they had gone through until reaching reasonable results.
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