Advanced search

Difference betwey aen G&T and bright?

(50 Posts)
Tailtwister Mon 02-Sep-13 15:38:13

DS1 (5) has always appeared very bright, but I've never felt him to be gifted. However, DH thinks he is very 'different' and tbh I have to agree with him if you look at him in relation to his peers. Of course the variation is huge at this age.

DH had a look at a list common attributes of gifted children and DS fits them all apart from the early reading one. He's shown no interest in reading at all, but he is ahead of what you would expect.

The reason why I'm concerned is that my DB was gifted, but it wasn't recognised in school or at home particularly. He ended up with various issues mentally and socially and still bears the scars in his 40's. If DS is gifted (and in a way I'm hoping he isn't) I don't want the same thing happening to him.

So, how do we tell if he really is gifted and if so what (if anything) do we do about it?

lljkk Sat 16-Nov-13 18:35:57

I think I'm with Toots in the "Who cares what the difference is?" camp.

I am moderately skeptic of Ruf's work, but that's another story.

Am someone who did her best by getting well out of the American gifted kids programmes.

In UK G+T is mostly a performance measure for Ofsted.

FastLoris Fri 15-Nov-13 21:41:53

@ richmal -

*If a child is achieving above the majority of their pier group, I think it is impossible to say if it due to being gifted, bright or having had more education. Education can even increase IQ.
At the end of the day all that can be measured is academic ability, not how that ability came about.*

THIS. A thousand times this.

It would be far better if schools just focused on the necessity of meeting the educational level appropriate to each child, rather than indulging in superstitious mumbo-jumbo about how some of them are where they are because of some magic fairy dust in their genes and the others aren't.

metranilvavin Wed 25-Sep-13 18:24:02

Toots - the posts above pretty much answers your question. Being on the g&t list is not the same as being highly gifted - that's the difference between being in the top 10% and the top 2% or higher. The former can be easily catered for by schools, the latter less so.

And yes, when you get to a gifted child, things are measured that way. For example, if you have a child f 6 with a reading age of 11, they are going to find that a lot of their year 1 lessons aren't teaching them anything much. Which is why it matters - in the end it's a kind of special needs.

TootsFroots Wed 25-Sep-13 18:15:23

I don't really understand why people seem so keen to to be able to label their kids as gifted. I don't quite understand why it matters so much.
It may be nice if they are in the gifted and talented groups at school as they may get more focused attention but it doesn't actually 'mean' anything.
I would think a better description would be to describe a clever person by how clever they are in any area when compared with their peers or the general population.
If your child was in the top 1000 percentile for music or maths (or whatever) then that would actually mean something that people could understand.

thegamesafoot Wed 25-Sep-13 16:57:33

Here, in the uk, schools had to identify the top 10% in a class / year (now they don't have to but can if they want to) . So 3 out of 30 or 9 out of a 90 year in take would be classed as G&T and be given some sort of (very variable) provision.

In reality not all of those children would technically be G&T because it was all relative (depending on the cohort and the schools intake area). Whilst IQ has it's limitations it is at least normed and standardised.

Ruf (who has identified 5 levels of giftedness) comes from America which has a different school system to ours. There are gifted programmes, schools with gifted intake and lots and lots of testing from 4 years onwards as part of that process.

The point of understanding where a gifted child lies is quite simple. If your child is level 1 (using the Ruf criteria) then they are likely to remain easily and well catered for within state education. As you move up the levels then schools can find it harder (or simply fail) to provide appropriate stimulation.

Making a sweeping generalisation, a boy that is not challenged may start to misbehave, a girl is more likely (especially once reaching senior school) to hide her light under a bushel.

A level 5 child (profoundly gifted, genius level) is perhaps best off home educated, with a seriously accelerated programme leading to starting university much earlier than the norm. Certainly from what I've seen anecdotally children who do take their exams many years early are usually home educated.

Selective schools are likely to be full of level 1 and 2 children - that's what their screening is designed to do. They won't be full of level 3+ because there simply aren't that many of them and of course you get children with all levels of intelligence from families whatever their economic status.

Of course this is where there's an opportunity to veer off into a discussion about how much IQ is altered by the stimulation of children aged 0 - 5. It's clearly an issue because there is big business to be had in America where results at 4+ can make all the difference to the type of school you go to. Here it's more about having the money (although not exclusively, but most bursaries aren't available until 11+).

I'm not an expert, this is my understanding of these issues, from what I've read and to an extent my own experience.

momb Wed 25-Sep-13 15:51:00

All very interesting. I thought that schools defined children as gifted and talented in a subject if they were in need of additional help to maintain their interest because they were significantly ahead of their peers; a sort of SEN?
Hence of my two, the one who is doing well academically isn't gifted, but the one who bobs along academically but has whizzed precociously through her music grades gets G+T for that so that they can do more for her?
Isn't the categorisation just about giving all children the best possible opportunity?
What other reason could there be to label children in this way?

thegamesafoot Wed 25-Sep-13 15:28:33

Further to my earlier post, here's a current and classic thread:

Rather than posters engaging with the additional information (over and above the posters info that their 11 yr old has a reading age of 15), or asking for more information to help answer the posters questions, they expound that having a reading age 4 years above your chronological age is so not a sign of being gifted.

Oh the temerity of this parent to have thought that dc could be gifted based on this paltry and scant evidence - I mean only 4 years in advance of the chronological age - tsk!

It's full of the all the classic MN gifted thread sound bites:
Your dc's not gifted because my dc had a reading age 5, 8 even 10 years in advance of their chronological age;
Advanced reading is NOT a sign of giftedness, it just means you're good at reading;
Plenty of 11year olds read adult books;
My dc scored this at a younger age, they're not gifted just able;

and let's not forget the essential

My dd scored X and "she's no genius"

FWIW this is my response to these selected, and classic MN comments:

Advanced reading on it's own may not be an indicator of giftedness - neither is it an excluding factor - how about finding out more info before deciding?
Just because your dc is more gifted (further advanced) than mine doesn't mean my child isn't gifted.
Where is your evidence that plenty of 11 year olds read adult books - actually plenty, indeed most 11 year old are reading age appropriate material, others will be struggling with their reading and reading material below their chronological age.
Just because you don't think your child is gifted, and only feel comfortable labelling your child bright or able, doesn't mean that your child (and anyone else's child) doesn't meet the criteria for being gifted (for simplicity I'm going to say having an IQ of 120+).
Finally, it is true that few children would meet the criteria for being profoundly gifted (i.e. a genius). But hey, no one asked if their child was a freaking genius did they! And guess what, your child doesn't have to be a genius to be gifted (see simple criteria above).

Like I say, on MNs it sometimes seems like you can either be 5ft 6 (above average / bright) or less, or 6ft tall and above (a stand out, preferably weird, kooky genius).

Seriously - what's that about????

Climbs off soap box and goes off in search of a hard hat (ahem).

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 21-Sep-13 21:56:27

This is very interesting. I have a DS who appears to be very able in both maths and literacy although he is stronger in literacy - his teacher last year thought he had the best vocab of any yr 4 child she had ever met and she dotted his report with words like 'naturally talented' and 'gifted'. However, nobody has ever said he is on the G & T register and whilst I know he is top of the class for most things (he is the only one working at level 5 in literacy in his class now he is in Yr 5) I don't really think of his is G & T. He didn't read or write a word until he started school. He wasn't in the least bit interested although he was always a very good speaker. Also there are children who are just as able as him in the year although maybe not any that are as able in all subjects, I am not sure. I have only his word for that although he seems to know what is going on.

Now, reading this is does seem that you can be G &T without being advanced in reading and writing. I always assumed that that sort of gift would show itself early and almost without effort. I shall go and read some of the definitions.

Btw, how do people know their child's IQ? Not that I am thinking of getting DS tested but I am just interested in what lead to them being tested.

metranilvavin Wed 18-Sep-13 18:28:26

PiqueABoo. Ha ha ha ha ha. Yes, exactly.

PiqueABoo Wed 18-Sep-13 13:18:26

@ choccyp1g: "I say supposedly because he still acts pretty daft at home and doesn't stand out in the top sets for most schoolwork."


I'm not sure if the research has been published yet but a couple of months ago Professor Plomin, one of the world's better known behavioural geneticists, was waving around a correlation between IQ and GCSE results of 0.5 i.e. exams results aren't a brilliant indicator of IQ, and vice-versa.

choccyp1g Wed 18-Sep-13 12:30:33

A lot of those quizzes are self-fulfilling; anyone who already thinks their child is a genius is going to tick all the boxes.

Incidentally my boy was not reading till well into reception, and is now supposed to have one-in-a-thousand type IQ. I say supposedly because he still acts pretty daft at home and doesn't stand out in the top sets for most schoolwork.

PiqueABoo Wed 18-Sep-13 12:20:30


Is there any fundamental difference between these mountains of gifted twaddle and some 70s Cosmopolitan quiz e.g. "Are You An Extrovert? Take our quick quiz and find out now" "Score < 10: Mouse: You're often found hiding under chairs in the kitchen at parties, but don't worry blah..."

kitchendiner Wed 18-Sep-13 10:00:51

You also have your "creative thinker".

richmal Wed 18-Sep-13 08:26:30

I've just looked at the list of gifted vs. bright. I have a bright rather than gifted child. Dd is however advanced academically. So a bright child can learn just as much as a gifted child.

The "just knows" on the gifted list reminded me of Shirley Valentine saying, "of course someone told me; how else would I know?"
I really cannot take this list seriously.

itsonlysubterfuge Tue 17-Sep-13 21:21:18

I came across this website and thought that the comparison of gifted vs. bright was good, however this is without having personal experience.


sydlexic Sun 15-Sep-13 02:25:08

I have wondered about this. My DS was identified as Gifted in all subjects in primary school.

He is now in super selective grammar and they have said he is gifted in mathematics and languages and science. He isn't gifted in English but scores the same as a gifted person through hard work. Not sure what criteria they work to but obviously not just top percentage.

78bunion Mon 09-Sep-13 17:10:24

What should you do? Just ensure he has interesting work. if he is in a private school but it is not very academic perhaps consider schools like Westminster Under School, Haberdashers at 7+, Manchester Grammar - those types of schools packed at prep school level with very very bight children, not just an ordinary private prep school.

chillikate Mon 09-Sep-13 17:03:43

thegamesafoot - you are so very right, and I am glad you have not been flamed for pointing it out!!

If people come here for advice or support, whether their child in "just bright" or gifted, does it really matter as long as they get that advice and support??

A number of people in here took great pride in telling me my son was "just average" and we now know he is very able in many areas, but also has Dyslexia.

choccyp1g Mon 09-Sep-13 16:14:08

Another one here who is supposedly "off the scale" in CATS scores, but just top set average in attainment.

(and btw he has no social problems at all, and is quite sporty, I get fed up with the assumption that gifted = other problems)

Acinonyx Mon 09-Sep-13 14:43:18

Also have a dd testing at level 5 (by Cat percentiles) but it certainly doesn't show across the board otherwise.

wearingatinhat Mon 09-Sep-13 14:05:08

Mmm lljkk, agree DS tests at a level 5 and fits the profile in some ways to a 'T', but not at all in others. Children are individuals! They do not always perform in a certain way, at all times, just because their IQ indicates that they should.

Metranilvavin, totally agree......<wanders off to continue with the flash cards in the hope that DS fits the profile of a level 5, as described>

lljkk Mon 09-Sep-13 12:18:19

I loathe Ruf's work... she makes a living out of selling herself as a consultant, you know. The levels idea is okay and reasonable, but the emphasis on precocious development is profoundly wrong. I was tested at Level 5 but my under 4yo development profile puts me at Level 1. Rubbish.

Anyone else read the chapter in Freakanomics books about wrongness of identifying Giftedness too early?

Acinonyx Mon 09-Sep-13 09:35:15

grin thegamesafoot - very well-observed.

GooseyLoosey Mon 09-Sep-13 08:55:40

Not quite sure of the point you are making.

Do you want us to have grades of giftedness from 1-5? Why?

What is wrong with saying an able child is "bright"? It does not stop other children from also being bright even though they may not achieve quite the same things.

metranilvavin Mon 09-Sep-13 08:47:47

Ah but isn't the main reason for this the fact that on most g&t threads people will pile in to say, oh it's a phase and the rest will catch up, or to assume that they child is locked in a dark room and fed flash cards, so people feel that they have to apologise and not presume. Plus I think that, because of this, people only tend to ask when they have a problem.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now