Invisible Gifts, Invisible Handicaps

 
Far more gifted children suffer from learning disabilities than anyone realizes.  When gifts and handicaps exist in one individual, they often mask each other so that the child may appear "average" or an "underachiever."  Thorough diagnosis is necessary to detect major discrepancies between strengths and weaknesses.  In clinical assessments many gifted children have been found to have auditory sequential processing impairments.  This syndrome results in difficulties with phonics, spelling, rote memorization, timed tests, and handwriting.  Spatial strengths are often seen as a means of compensation.  Gifted programs need to become "handicapped accessible."  Specific suggestions are given to enable these instructional strategies to enable these children to be successful in regular classes and in the gifted program.

 

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