Is My Child Gifted? Interview With Dr Linda Silverman
As an education major, I was required to take only one class on learning disabilities and giftedness. 98% of the semester was spent studying learning disabilities and the other 2% spent on giftedness. I did not think much of it. Now, however, I’m very disappointed in this drastic imbalance. My husband is a gifted individual but did not know for sure until this year. Every teacher he ever had missed it. He is brilliant and I’ve always known it, but with an IQ of 130 there are unique blessings and challenges he faces daily.
Giftedness is genetic, so naturally when our son was 2 1/2 and teaching himself to read, I was a speechless. How was that possible? How could he be decoding these complex phonics concepts with little help? Soon afterwards we saw more and more signs of giftedness (understanding of complex engineering, etc). He is a very sensitive child and feels very passionately about most things. Without intellectual stimulation, he goes into meltdown mode. He is incredibly aware and emotionally sensitive and learns at an astounding rate. This presents its own joys and challenges.
In my search for guidance and help in my quest to give my son what he needs I happily stumbled upon The Gifted Development Center of Westminster, CO. Linda Silverman, Ph. D. founded the center and is a world renown expert on giftedness. Her work is legendary and her extensive writings on the subject of giftedness include 300 articles, chapters and books, including Counseling the Gifted and Talented, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner and Advanced Development: A Collection of Works on Gifted Adults. Her latest book is entitled Giftedness 101.
After pouring over The Gifted Learning Center’s website and getting in touch with the staff, I was incredibly impressed with the tools and testing they have to offer. So many gifted children are misunderstood, untested, emotionally intense and even socially pressured to “hide” their gifts. Dr Silverman and her staff change lives with their compassionate, incredibly well-informed testing approach. Families from around the world come to The Gifted Development Center for help and guidance.
Not long ago I was able to catch up with Dr Silverman over the phone. She was kind enough to answer all my questions and then some. Her passion for gifted people is incredibly evident and her understanding of the psychology of the gifted is second to none. I was so thrilled to speak with her and am thrilled to share most of our conversation with you in audio form. Listen to our conversation below (YouTube link).
“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!” – Dr Linda Silverman
If you’re looking for more information on giftedness, Dr Silverman’s latest book, Giftedness 101, is an incredible resource of information. Also, The Giftedness Development Center website offers some wonderful resources as well as contact information for the center for parents interested in testing or consultations.