Guest Author - Lorel Shea
High IQ Kids- Collected Insights, Information, and Personal Stories from the Experts is not a guidebook on how to raise a profoundly gifted child. It is, rather, a collection of deeply moving personal experiences from parents of highly to profoundly gifted children packaged together with professional observations from some of the world's foremost experts on these children. Children who are twice exceptional are given center stage, which is not surprising, as Kiesa Kay, the project's originator, is a well known champion of children who are both profoundly gifted and also learning disabled or challenged. Kay is co-editor of the book, along with Deborah Robson and Judy Fort Brenneman.
High IQ Kids is for both parents and for educators who may be searching for answers as to how to address the needs of a child who is “way out there” on the far right of the bell curve. Stories alternate between touching and humorous; informative and inspirational. Unfortunately, there is no single “right” way to raise and educate these enigmas. Highly gifted children are different both inside and out, and they tend to learn in a manner that is unusual; not just faster than the norm.
I particularly loved Annemarie Roeper's chapter on the SAI model of education. Roeper says, “Giftedness includes heart and soul and is not limited to intelligence and achievement.” I find her ideas on education and life for profoundly gifted kids to be very uplifting. She views gifted individuals holistically, and not just as a set of numbers on a test.
Carolyn K., founder of the number one online resource for and about gifted children, Hoagie's Gifted, outlines her family's struggles with school advocacy. Eldest child “Dolphin” is followed through the ups and downs of her public school career. As one with some insider information, I believe it would enhance the story to have included details of Dolphin's more recent success with early college.
“Normal Kids Don't Quack” by Cathy Marciniak is a hilarious look at life with high IQ children. Cathy muses, “My life is full of things that other parents can't relate to.” A baby who quacks, a seven year old who wonders if she should pick up her beanie babies in a, “sequential, chronological,or alphabetical” order... normal is a relative term, isn't it?
Annette Revel Sheeley and Linda Silverman collaborate on a chapter titled, “Defining the Few” which opens the book and sets the stage for later reading with a clear description of the various levels of giftedness. This entire book is based upon the “old” SBLM standards, so referenced IQ scores are on a scale that measures beyond two hundred. Sheeley and Silverman continue to recommend the Stanford Binet form L-M for children who have taken a more modern IQ test and scored 99th percentile on two or more subtests. These more commonly used tests, such as the Wechslers, have an upper limit of 160.
An excellent piece on homeschooling profoundly gifted children by Kathryn Finn might just nudge parents on the fence into giving it a try. Homeschooling has become a commonplace educational solution for gifted kids, and it offers many advantages.
There are many other notable contributors to High IQ Kids, including Dierdre Lovecky, Karen Rogers, Sally Reis, Miraca Gross, and Stephanie Tolan.