Title: Case Study: A gifted child at risk
Author: Carlyn Saunders
Author's Purpose for Writing: to examine one GT child and the risk factors affecting his academic performance
Author's methodology: an annotated psychoeducational report on one child
Who is being studied: this is the study of one boy struggling to achieve at the levels indicated by his IQ and other test results
Over what length of time: 3 months
Data collected: interviews with grandparents, mother and stepfather
review of school records
Burks's Behavior Rating Scales, completed by parents, grandparents, teacher, and counselor
The Conners Rating Scales for Hyperactivity, completed by parents, grandparents, teacher and counselor
Diagnostic questionnaires completed by mother and grandparents
Wechsler Intelligence for Children
Wide Range Achievement Test
Recommendations for teachers and schools from this study include:
enriched school programs with challenge and control for students
accelerated academic work
organized and structured school setting
suport for parents in home situation
counseling to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, peer and family relationships, stress
This child was functioning at the 99th percentile of intelligence, despite problems with divorced parents, a dad in prison, and a step father with a potentially fatal illness
One interesting conclusion: if children are not identified as gifted and their families helped when they are young, bad situations can continue, IQ scores can suffer, and opportunities are lost.
"If it is not already apparent, it should be stressed that the interaction of factors can have a variety of cumulative negative effects. In time, Jason's IQ score itself would suffer because of obstacles to learning and information processing. If he had not been tested until several years later, it is quite conceivable that he would not have been identified as a gifted child, and more opportunities would have been lost. The very fact of identification often results in a different perception of a child by parents, teachers, and peers, who may have mixed reactions, some negative and some positive. Invariable, however, children's self-esteem is enhanced when they are given feedback that confirms their potential."
Teachers must know their students and push for appropriate testing.