A Sink Ronie

A Sink Ronie.  Asinkronie.  Asynchronous.  Asynchronous Learners.

Asynchronous is my new favorite word for gifted. Asynchronous Learner is, simply put, a child who develops in different things at different speeds and at varying abilities. For instance, a child who does Algebra at seven years old may lag over a year behind in handwriting. Where is that love button on Facebook when we need it? Asynchronous Learners. LOVE!

Such a simple change.  And I am ready to make it stick.

A word like asynchronous removes the image of elitism and replaces it with accuracy in definition. Asynchronous removes the anxiety-ridden expectations on both parents of gifted children and the gifted children themselves, and replaces them all with clearer understanding. Ultimately, asynchronous has the potential to remove the one-size-fits-all gifted child solution and replace it with the desperately needed individualized assessment which best fits each particular child.

Isn’t that what all of us have been asking for since we started this journey? Isn’t that what’s written on the sign you’re dangling over the freeway bridge?

I was most definitely asynchronous. I understood and remembered everything I heard, but couldn’t process my words to express age-appropriate emotions, needs, and responses. I could tap my pencil, my finger, my foot, my mind, all incessantly, but I couldn’t dribble a ball, play hopscotch, or keep the volleyball in the air. I could read anything, and did, but I couldn’t complete textbook reading and homework. I played with numbers in my head, but they did their own thing; and trust me when I say, they were not nice playmates and seldom listened to me. Still, I was just as gifted as any other gifted child.

So let me ask you parents: does your gifted or twice-exceptional child teeter between ages, totter between abilities, and stumble upon perfection sometimes and anxiety a lot of times?

It’s a double edged sword, snarling beast, use-our-best-imagination monster that is the gifted child’s needs. It breathes fire in the form of passion for something as often as it hides away in caves protecting its treasure from the world.

But we love our dragons, don’t we?

We want what’s best for them. We want to stand with parents of kids who are not gifted and feel accepted, understood, and maybe even commiserate with them about the issues, yes the issues, we have as parents of gifted children.  Yes, my children have been accelerated, treated, medicated, non-medicated, homeschooled, deschooled, unschooled, reschooled, old-schooled, and basically just loved and learned and hugged and appreciated. Just like them, just like you… I’ve tried it all to identify their needs and nurture their unique qualities. I have succeeded in some ways and of course I have missed the target altogether at other times.

Yet, schools are tasked with immediately and accurately determining their needs based upon scores and a few observations. A daunting task with very little budget provided to them.

Let’s start 2015 with something big, shall we?

Let’s start calling ourselves and our children Asynchronous Learners. Then, the rest of what you would say, the rest of your coffee chat, the moments you laugh about, cry about, and generally exhaust yourself thinking about… well, those moments can be told exactly as they would be anyway without that feeling that they stopped listening right after you said, “My child is gifted and….”

We have to make a change. I believe that. Children with unique needs at the other end of the spectrum have, in most cases though I’m sure it’s not perfect, been given the funding, attention, and specialized training they deserve to meet their needs. That’s all I ask the world for my child. And for yours.

Asynchronous Learners. Learners with areas of strength, areas of severe lack of strength, learning disabilities, need for acceleration, need for remedial support, and all the above. Learners who require a nod from the national education and special education budgets to boast public awareness, train specialists and individualize as needed, and fund each kid’s future the way so many others are funded.   How about this…. Let’s move forward in 2015 acknowledging our children’s very special needs rather than the special wants everyone on the outside seems to think we’re requesting.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. The opinion of a very lopsided, very profoundly gifted, and very prolific writer who was told she would never hold a pencil or form a cohesive thought.

So what says you?? Share, talk, redefine!

7 thoughts on “A Sink Ronie

    1. Amy,
      That is fantastic! As parents we have an opportunity to make the next generation so much more aware of their own amazing possibilities. I’m glad you are still discovering your own! Thank you for sharing!
      Warmly,
      IH

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  1. I was labeled as “gifted” in the 3rd grade and was put in a gifted program in 4th grade-6th grade. Obviously in my state-New Mexico-and school district it was a relatively new and undeveloped program in 1984-1986. I was taken out of Science and Social Studies to go to a room with a teacher who struggled with an alcohol addiction. During the 3 years there, I only remember working on one project which was a play that the boys regurgitated from Star Wars. At the time I felt elite and sometimes embarrassed to be separated from the other kids in my classes. In the 7th grade the school district retested me and then bright me and my mother in to tell us that I was no longer “gifted” as my Science scores were too low to be “gifted.” This of course was not surprising as I was taken out of Science for 3 grades. I felt like a failure to my mother that I no longer was “gifted.” Now I don’t know if I can totally blame the “gifted” experience for this but my ACT Science score also lacked. I’m not sure what my state/school had in mind by this program, maybe it was to level out the scores to the same as the other students our age? But the experiences of getting materials from my instructor’a car and the mountain of empty beer cans falling out onto the parking lot, can be remembered as something lacking in my educational experiences.

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    1. Dianna,
      Your story is sadly all too familiar for so many of us. While solutions seem so clear on paper, the truth is that a gifted child is just that – a child – and solving all of his or her problems, serving all of his or her needs, and truly helping him or her grow using a pull-out system or a one-size-fits-all solution is unlikely. As you so candidly point out with your story, the emotional toll and the truths you faced too early because of the responsibility placed upon your shoulders was too great. Thank you so much for sharing!
      Warmly,
      IH

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  2. I don’t know that we can train teachers how to be gifted enough ine moment to understand what a child or adult needs in a given moment but I think you must be an excellent parent to seek the most uplifting response. Hopefully in time the empathic thinkers will be as respected as other scientist.

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