When you know that your child struggles in certain areas, when he excels in others, you celebrate. At the same time Liam was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, he was also identified as gifted. I strive not to be one of those moms… let’s just leave it at that. But being able to receive small group instruction from an additional teacher greatly benefited Liam’s overall growth in social skills, organization, and time management.
In first and second grade, Liam’s gifted teacher focused on teaching him problem solving through game play. Liam often had the opportunity to work with other kids while he was playing games such as Rush Hour.
He loved this game, as well as hearing ideas for how to solve more difficult levels from his peers.
She also focused on math, which was the area in which he needed enrichment. She would assign him short, low-stakes projects, for which he needed to learn time management skills, as well as how to organize the various components. He was young, so they weren’t stressful or “long term” until 3rd grade. Nevertheless, they taught him strategies for how to navigate the beginnings of future projects.
He also had to present his work at various times, which taught him how to look at his audience, think about what they knew about his topic and how to best communicate his information with them, and how to grow more comfortable with others.
While he only saw his teacher for small amounts of time each week, he really enjoyed meeting with older students and growing in extra-curricular ways. We are very grateful for all that she taught him and how she nurtured his curiosity.