This project of assistance to gifted and talented children is being carried out with the endorsement and collaboration of members of Mensa Argentina. Creaidea seeks to generate an adequate environment for the development of these children, providing comfort and support as well as enriching experiences. Having their happiness as a first priority, we aim at the social integration and training of these young people so that they can in turn benefit society as a whole.
In order to try to explain problematic behavior and learning disorders in children, arguments such as lack of interest in school or in learning are often put forward. This kind of explanation can be applied only in some cases, for in many others, the origin of the problem is very different. We should not be surprised if these conducts are manifested by children with special abilities, those we often call “gifted” or “talented.” One of the main causes that originates rebelliousness in gifted children is the lack of understanding they get from their environment. Generally labeled as “problem kids,” these children often show themselves as either restless or passive and indifferent.
However, these attitudes are only tools they use to try and get attention, and thus obtain the desired change in their environment. Although the child is usually not conscious of this desire, he feels that certain situations cause him great anxiety.
Consequently, the main objective of Creaidea is to develop an adequate environment for the development of these children, providing the support and the experiences they need in order to achieve social integration and a good education to be able to generate benefits for the community in the future. However, faced with this grand objective, what must always prevail is the child’s happiness.
It is often assumed that gifted children will be able to “fend for themselves” in every area of their life only because their capabilities will “enable them to do so.” We are also faced with the limitations of our educational system, which is not prepared to cater for their special needs. Therefore, it is very likely that these children will feel discouraged and isolated instead of developing their interests and abilities, and in turn give them back to the community, which, incidentally, could very well benefit from their creative contribution.
We firmly believe that the detection of gifted and talented children is not an easy task, especially when they are in a process of low performance. This is why we will organize training courses for teachers and parents, for they are the ones who will help us in the first stage of detection.
Once the child is detected by his parents or teachers, they will be asked to perform an adequate follow-up. They will be guided to do so, they will be taught how to collect vital information for the evaluation of the child. Afterwards, the child will be invited together with his or her parents or teachers to take part in meetings with psychologists who specialize in gifted children. These interviews will allow the confirmation of the child’s gift.
During the first stage, we will carry out group activities which will allow children to be in direct contact with experience. In this way, they will have first hand information, certainly very valuable when evaluating in which direction they should develop their gifts.
Sciences and arts will be the areas in which children will develop their gifts to a greater extent, as they will be able to interact freely within them –let’s not forget that gifted children have the ability to relate apparently unrelated subjects.
Our intention is to accompany our children until they become mature teenagers. Then, they will be able to transcend through the winning of scholarships for further education.
After they have been in Creaidea for a few years, these children, who will have become useful teenagers, will also have the comfort of a group of friends.
Creaidea attempts to generate a set of guidelines so that parents, teachers and other people who work with children can detect the gifted child in the first instance. In this way, we can assist children according to their needs by incorporating them into a group of peers with similar characteristics so that they can interact and develop their talents.
Contrary to popular belief, these children can be found at all social levels.
Research into giftedness has been carried out for more than a hundred years in countries like the USA, Canada, France and Israel. Thanks to their studies, important breakthroughs in this area have been achieved.
At first, the concept of giftedness was reduced to the result of an intelligence test (IQ). Nowadays, the concept of giftedness comprises the interaction of several functions, including intuition. Giftedness is a highly complex process carried out by a competent intellect.
The usual stereotype presents the gifted child as a fragile, lonely individual, who is immersed in his or her own thoughts and hides behind a pile of books. This concept only visualizes one of the ways in which giftedness can be manifested in a child. But gifted children often hide and disguise their differences. This process is only a natural reaction to avoid attacks from the environment. If you were a cat in a kennel, wouldn’t you try and bark?
Gifted children are basically individuals with intellectual abilities which are above average. They are not only very intelligent (IQ above 140) but they also show:
People interested in giftedness usually ask themselves: How can we recognize a gifted child?
Used for a very long time, tests of intelligence and achievement were considered enough for the detection of gifted children. But in fact, these tests should only be considered as tools, complementary to the process of detection.
Gifted people express their gift all the time. Even when they are going through acute crises, with very low performance, they have a special perspective of things and unusual ways of expressing themselves.
For all these reasons, the detection is more than a test, it is a process that starts at home or at school and is then verified through interviews, analysis of their work and tests.
Here are some typical behaviors that give away the gifted child:
These crises usually occur when the child starts school. Gifted children start deploying all their abilities (we must not forget that, in general, they have high expectations of school), but they find themselves in an environment that forces them to make and repeat tasks they have already mastered. Moreover, they start receiving attacks from other children, which prevent them from identifying with them and having a sense of belonging.
This situation generates an imbalance between their intellectual development on one hand and the social and affective development on the other. This in turn produces a very high level of anxiety in the child, who will try to balance it out restraining the manifestation of their abilities. They can do this consciously, pretending they do not understand or know, or not –in this case it may appear as a child with intellectual deficiencies. Do you understand now why tests are not enough to detect a gifted child?
In Creaidea, we feel that the most important thing is to integrate gifted children in groups of peers with similar characteristics and interests. This in itself will give children a new frame of reference, which will increase their self-esteem. In this way, they can be helped not only to live with their gifts but to develop them. However, their happiness is our first priority.
We welcome the collaboration of anybody who feels identified with our project and who feels that to help talented and gifted children is a duty we owe to society.
Working with these children requires investing on them whatever one can offer, mainly time, to aid in their development. But we also need people who can offer training and funds.