Is Your Child Gifted or Just a Nutcase?
CBS Assignment America broke this story on July 27:
“Some people like baseball better than football,” Kyle says. In fact, he tells CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman in this week’s Assignment America that he likes vacuums better than “everything.”
Kyle’s mom, MaryLynn, says the fire’s been burning since before he could say “Hoover.”
Kyle Krichbaum is the kids full name, he is twelve and he loves vacuum cleaners.
Never mind this non-story was told four months ago, when the lad appeared on Leno.
KK got his first vacuum at age 1, dressed up as a Dirt Devil for Halloween at 2, and, as a former teacher recalls, was vacuuming during school recess at age 6. He didn’t go out for recess, instead he vacuumed the school .
He now has 165 vacuums and runs them at home 5 times a day. Every room in the house has vacuums, except for his sister Michelle who asks:
I’m just like why, why, why, why, why, why? I don’t understand
Seems like sister Michelle may be the only well adjusted person in the household.
But is Kyle a truly gifted child? What future does he face as perhaps the world’s foremost authorities on vacuum cleaners?
Here is just an inkling of what he may face, especially without a mom like this.
As several folks may have picked up, my oldest son is, clinically speaking, profoundly gifted, and on the high end of that spectrum.
I can’t figure out why she would qualify it with “clinically speaking.” Is that a way of saying he tests well but really he has as much sense as tree bark?
Here’s what Vacuum Kyle may face:
The needs of gifted students are largely ignored by educators and policy makers alike because of the mistaken belief that gifted education is only for wealthy, white children and that they can somehow get it on their own if their needs are ignored.
Wealthy? Yeah, they got enough for 165 vacuum cleaners, I sure hope they aren’t eating cat food.
White? OMG, this kid is sooooooo white.
So Mr. and Mrs. Krichbaum, precious Kyle may have to attend a private academy for the vacuum minded. I’m thinking Big Ass Fans of St. Oreck.
Gifted children are often distressed by television news.
A leading Australian expert on gifted children has warned parents about the effects of watching television news.
So my advice to the parents of Special K, keep the boy away from CBS Assignment American and ABC News – Australia. Only let the child watch Big Brother and Nancy Grace, nothing to scare kids there.
Hey, guess what? Advanced students are also intense. Like collecting vacuum cleaners, or tin foil, or fingernail clippings.
In case you haven’t already noticed, gifted children are intense. What I mean to say is, gifted children are INTENSE! A good day at school becomes, “the BEST day of my life;” something built out of LEGOs is “The MOST Incredible Creation” and cannot ever be disassembled; while an argument with one friend and, suddenly, “EVERYBODY hates me”!
MO–OOM! The kids all say my collection sucks. Well dear, that’s just what vacuums do. Just tell them you would rather hang with suckers than blowers.
Actually, Mom might have suggested that little Kyle might want to hang with kids that blow for a while.
One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child is to encourage them to develop a range of interest… Gifted children tend to be passionate and single-minded about their interests focusing their energy on the topics that absorb them, often to the exclusion of other activities…
So how do you tell if your child is gifted, or just a little out of step like Little Miss Sunshine at a pageant or like Lemoney Snicket?
Here’s a clue Mom and Dad. If your kid shows an total obsession with a mechanical devise that gathers dirt and makes roomba, roomba, noices while riding in the car, I’d check it out.
“I can’t figure out why she would qualify it with “clinically speaking.” Is that a way of saying he tests well but really he has as much sense as tree bark?”
Don’t you just love Google Alerts and technorati! That’s how I discovered that you’d written that query about what I’d written:
“As several folks may have picked up, my oldest son is, clinically speaking, profoundly gifted, and on the high end of that spectrum.”
Although I take responsibility for this:
“The needs of gifted students are largely ignored by educators and policy makers alike because of the mistaken belief that gifted education is only for wealthy, white children and that they can somehow get it on their own if their needs are ignored.”
since that’s part of the Q&A “A” part from Ann Sheldon of the OAGC.
Now – if you were wondering what I meant by clinically speaking, you could have just emailed me and asked. I would have been happy to tell you. But, like I said, who doesn’t love Google Alerts to track yourself – I know, very vain, huh?
So – what I meant in the sentence you excerpted is that according to clinical standards of what is considered to be profoundly gifted test results, my son fits in that range. Nothing magical, cynical, skeptical or dubious about it. Oh – and he has a lot more sense than tree bark (that kind of hurt, to read that someone would interpret something I said about my son as meaning that I think he has no sense beyond tree bark, but that’s okay – I know a story about how Barbara Bush, finding out that George her son had been picked up for a DUI in Maine, told her family that she sometimes wondered if George had anything between his ears. We all know how that’s turned out!
So – anyway – “a mom like this” – did you mean that in a good way, or that the poor kid is stuck with a mom who has no more sense than tree bark?
In any case – thanks for writing about gifted kids, though I’m really still not sure what you really wanted to say about the topic.
Blah, blah, blah.
This is one of the strangest things I have seen in a while, and I have seen some strange things.
There is only one word for Kyle – Weird.
If he carries on like that, with that freaky obsession, he is never going to make any friends or have a life.
In short – he is going to end up living in a vacuum.
Now you’re ranting on a topic that I probably know more about than you do. Heh heh!
You’re right about Kyle – he may not be gifted, he may just be compulsive/obsessive, you think? Although I knew a young boy who was as knowledgeable about toilets as Kyle is vaccums, and he was very gifted. Now he was an interesting kid.
Both my children had IQ’s >165 and are now well-adjusted, well-rounded young women, despite the fact Mom is missing a card or two from her deck.
Parading smart kids on tv to show off their “tricks” is a disservice to them. They already feel like freaks, so parents shouldn’t be encouraging the freak show.
And not only am I missing a couple cards, I don’t know how to spell vacuums. It was a typo-REALLY!
I also have a problem with parents reminding people that their kids are in gifted. ie: Bumper Stickers, blog mentions…
BTW: what happened to just being a smart kid?
And: I don’t worry about typos here.
Just being smart is not being gifted. Gifted kids don’t learn the same way normal kids do, their critical thinking is different, and they have emotions that indeed are more intense. I really hate the word “gifted” because it sounds elitist. They are “special needs” children, just like those at the other end of the spectrum.
You and I were probably “smart” kids in school. I didn’t speak in lengthy sentences at 18 months, read at the fifth grade level at age 3, and have discussions on Sundays with my parents about atheism and agnosticism at age 4. My daughters did. It was creepy. To this day, I still don’t know how they learned to read.
I never had a bumper sticker and never disclosed IQ until now, but I always feel I have to defend myself around you.
Prairie – I know exactly what you describe. And really ironically, today at the neighborhood pool, a mom who is an occupational therapist in our public school was telling me how the school is doing a new collaboration with special ed intervention staff and the gifted staff to get a better handle on which kids are both – you know, the sensory traumatized first grader who can do pre-algebra (that’s an extreme example but I bet you know what I mean).
Among parents, we talk all the time about the kids with the dual needs and I’m in what’s supposed to be an excellent district. But still, with resources being tight, just now they’re really, bona fide checking out what it means as far as serving the kids, if they have both an issue that would place them on an IEP AND be qualified as gifted.
I know how you feel about the label.
I know two men who were obsessed with vacuums when they were kids. They’re both gay.
Not saying the love of vacuums makes one gay, nor am I saying that loving vacuum cleaners makes one gifted.
I’m just saying.
Oh yeah, forgot to change my “dancer” title. That last one was me. Heehee