Off the Scale! Educating a Profoundly Gifted Child
Author: Amanda Sarabi
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In a well-researched and informative book that is part memoir and part valuable advice for parents, Amanda Sarabi recounts her journey as the mother of Sherwyn, a lively and profoundly gifted child. As a toddler, Sherwyn measured ‘off the scale’ on IQ tests, and he was soon a media celebrity. Now six years old and at school, he continues to surprise, delight, and challenge his parents and teachers.
Amanda Sarabi is a trained teacher, and she discusses what she has learned about gifted children, both first-hand and in consultation with experts, in her search for answers about her son. Now she is using that information to help other parents of gifted children, as this kind of advice is frequently lacking in the UK. She answers questions such as: What does an IQ test tell you? What are the social and emotional needs of a gifted child? What is ‘normal’ development compared with ‘gifted’ development?
The author writes: “Most people believe that these profoundly gifted children do not need any help when it comes to education. They are expected to just get on with it and are counted as the lucky ones. But these children see the world differently; they learn differently, and their emotions are more intense than those of an average child. The idea of the book came to me when Sherwyn first appeared in the national news, but I didn’t write it until he was nearly five.”
For the U.S. version of this book, go to this page.
Dr. Peter Congdon, consultant educational psychologist, founder and director of the Gifted Children’s Information Centre at Solihull: “Gifted children come in all shapes and sizes. There are also degrees of intellectual giftedness. A child with an IQ of 130 will have different needs to one with an IQ of 150 or 160. Then there are gifted children who also suffer from disabilities. These are sometimes referred to as children of dual exceptionality. In writing this book, Amanda Sarabi has taken such points into consideration and has produced a useful and easily readable work. She not only focuses on the development of her own child but at the same time offers a balanced, detailed and informative guide on the subject of helping children of exceptional ability in general. The important lesson offered is that children of high ability—like all children—are individuals, and one approach to meeting their needs does not fit all. This work covers many areas, including stages of normal child development, the teaching of reading, acceleration or grade jumping, enrichment, homeschooling and the dangers of over-pressurising a young gifted child. The book contains warnings as well as practical suggestions for both parents and teachers.”
Naomi Stadlen, psychotherapist and author of What Mothers Do: Especially When It Looks Like Nothing: “This is a clear and thoughtful account of what it is like to be the mother of an exceptionally intelligent child.”
Lyn Kendall, Mensa Gifted Child Consultant: “Off the Scale! is an informative and instructive book for those parents who have just discovered they have a bright spark on their hands.”
- Chapter One: Signs of a Gifted Child
- Chapter Two: The Importance of IQ Testing
- Chapter Three: Social and Emotional Traits and Needs
- Chapter Four: Nurturing the Brain from Birth to Four Years Old
- Chapter Five: The Importance of Learning to Read
- Chapter Six: School versus Homeschooling
- Chapter Seven: To Skip or Not to Skip a Grade
- Chapter Eight: What It’s Like to Be a Parent of a Gifted Child
- Appendix A: Useful Websites
- Appendix B: Giftedness and Modern Society (an essay)
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