The other day, my son demonstrated perfectly the conflict within him. He was playing Mine Craft on the computer, was watching YouTube Mine Craft tutorials on the iPad, and had propped up the iPhone so that he could record his own tutorials to download and “teach others the greatness of Mine Craft.” While this is all going on, he looks so grown up, I’m shocked at how quickly time is going by. He is intensely dedicated to find out all there is to know about this game and to enlighten others that haven’t yet transformed into “Lovers of Mine Craft.” Just when he looks way beyond his years, he says during his recording, “Oh…pay no attention to the sounds in the background. That’s just my mommy cooking dinner.” Smile…
This is what makes the twice-exceptional child so confusing. Yes…they are very bright and often seem more mature because their interests are not the same as their peers; however, socially and emotionally they may appear much younger. Their persistence and perfectionism serves them well most of the time, but it often fails them when they don’t have the skills to complete the project to their satisfactiion.
A perfect example of this is when my son wanted to make a robot at 4 years old. I said, “We can do that!” So I had him draw a picture of what he wanted it to look like and we set out collecting the needed materials. We found a large box, aluminum foil, glue, markers and tape. We cut holes so that his little head could stick out the top and the holes on the sides allowed for his arms to hang free. As an extra surprise, I had purchased “robot arms” at the neighborhood toy store that pinched open and closed. I knew he would think they were perfect. He put the aluminum-covered box over his head and held the “perfect” robot arms and then said, “So when do we make it REALLY work?” “What do you mean?” I asked. I was confused because I thought it looked great. “This is fine… but how do we put the electronics in so he really moves and lights up and does what I want him to do?”
Twice-exceptional children often have an extensive vocabulary. The challenging part is when they don’t have the social skills to match. Unfortunately, this “gift of words” is often used as a weapon toward others. It might be used in an attempt to negotiate his way out of an already agreed upon decision or in an effort to manipulate a playdate. Another aspect of the high vocab is that my TBP doesn’t always use his words when he should. He can be quite expressive on a good day, but on challenging days he can trade his words for impulsive reactions or a withdrawn demeanor.
My TBP is gaining so many skills. He is learning how to “use his power for good” and to make an effort to care about the children in his class (despite the fact that he doesn’t see himself as one of them). He continues to be a complicated child with uneven skills, sophisticated interests, and a great need for attention, but the improvements are a welcomed sign that all of the work & patience is making a difference! If you are in the middle of the TBP “storm”… I remember the stress, worries, and tears! Research and educate yourself and it gets better!
I have been reading your blog for the past few weeks. I have been learning a lot from your blog and it has opened my eyes to other parents who are dealing with a twice-exceptional child. Keep up the good work!
Anne, Thank you so much for your comment and support! I hope you continue to follow me as I share more stories, suggestions, and advice. I plan on doing a series of posts about twice-exceptional children and school soon. Thanks again!
I am getting great questions emailed to me! Thank you so much! Don’t forget to check out the “recipe” and “FAQs” tabs at the top of the home page!
Your son reminds me of mine when he was his age. By the way…Mine Craft is among my son’s favorite games right now.
He loves Minecraft but has already expressed that he is frustrated by the fact that “there is no point.” What other Internet games would you recommend that are strategic, fun, and very limited violence? Would love your thoughts! Blessings to you and yours!
realMyst is a tremendous exploration and puzzle game. It is real time exploration based on the computer games of myst. This one is optimized for the iPad.
School of Magic 3 is a text based game in which you must accumulate credits to spend on spells and such…to ultimately defeat opponents. On-line game for the iPad…free also. It is also one of my son’s favorites.
Virtual villagers 1 – 5 on the iPad. All may be played for free…however, the one time small price to purchase is worth it…as you will almost always ultimately fail without the capability to increase your village beyond the 9 or so villagers available with the free versions. Tremendously interesting…almost completely non-violent. You must concentrate on survival of the group. Very interesting…and it exercises problem solving. Another of my son’s favorites.
The Tribes on iPad. It is a resource management game. Free and very interesting.
The Island – Castaway. iPad and free. Problem solving, exploration, and resource gathering.
Island Tribe 1 – 2. Same as above. iPad.
Roads of Rome – Same as above.
Various Sim City and Tower building games. Resource management.
These are a few of my son’s favorite non-violent games. Although he also enjoys some games involving sword and magic play (with graphics).
realMyst may be a bit advanced for someone so young…however, you could make it a team effort to enjoy together.
I hope this helps.
What an amazing list! Thank you! You should consider posting this on your site. What a tremendous resource you have been to me and my readers! Thank you for your support and generosity!
Thank you….actually, I will be writing an article on my son’s favorite iPad apps…educational and recreational…soon.
Shiroi-you might want to connect with Igamemom.com. This site is very familiar with IPad games and such! Let me know when you post your list.
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