Giftedness 101

Giftendess 101A nod to our Colorado colleague, Dr. Rebecca Hutchins for recommending the book Giftedness 101 by Linda Kreger Silverman.  Dr. Silverman received her PhD in Educational Psychology and Special Education from USC and has a practice in Denver that specializes in helping gifted children.  If you take a look at her CV you’ll note that she lists 10 areas of research interest, one of which is the effects of vision therapy.  You may recall that Dr. Silverman presented an invited lecture on Diagnosing and treating visual perceptual issues in gifted children in Reno, NV, during our Annual Meeting in October, 2000.  You may also recall Dr. Silverman from her prior book, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner.

Dr Silverman continues to champion awareness of vision issues among psychologists due to her positive experiences in collaborating with optometric colleagues in Colorado such as Drs. Hutchins and Hellerstein.  On p. 183 she provides insights into likely visual problems revealed in comparative results in the subtests of the WISC-IV.  She asserts tracking problems can be easily corrected with 6 months of vision exercises and writes: “We have seen remarkable improvement and enjoyment of reading after vision therapy”. Dr. Silverman cites recent research supporting the effectiveness of this intervention in correcting convergence insufficiency and improving reading skills, and calls her colleagues to task for overlooking vision problems.  She finishes by noting that visual processing weakness need to be ruled out and visual remedies sought before diagnosing a child with a more serious Nonverbal Learning Disorder.



One thought on “Giftedness 101

  1. Dr. Silverman’s website was an immense help to me when trying to explain my son’s learning style to stick-by-the-sequence teachers: “My son will be frustrated and clueless until he gets enough pie pieces to understand the whole pie. Then he will be bored with subsequent pieces after mastery.”

    Sad to say, I was having the same problems in the vision therapy office (which terminated with my sudden vision loss). When explaining my 3D bowl to my therapist she responded with something like “You say you are at step 22 when you should be at step 3” on the VT road to binocularity. Perhaps she is right, but I am not interested in 20 steps because I’m not at all certain the folks that came up with the sequence are correct, especially for my visual-spatial head.

    I also wonder if there isn’t a strong correlation between visual-spatial brain “orientation” and strabismus … and which came first: the need to figure out space because of strabismus, or the strabismus because of the figuring out of space? Hmmm….

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