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LJP1.gif (11731 bytes)FEATURED PREVIEW | |  FROM LUCY JO PALLADINO, Ph.D.
DREAMERS, DISCOVERERS & DYNAMOS:
How to help the child who is bright, bored, and having problems in school
Published by Ballantine Books (copyright 1999)


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

PART I: YOUR CHILD’S INVENTIVE MIND
1. Does Your Child Have the Edison Trait?
2. Children Who Are Divergent-Thinking-Dominant
3. The Nature of Attention

PART II: EIGHT STEPS TO HELP YOUR EDISON-TRAIT CHILD
4. Step One: Believe In You Child
5. Step Two: Watch What You Say
6. Step Three: Build a Parent-and-Child Team
7. Step Four: Encourage Your Child’s Interests
8. Step Five: Teach Your Child Self-control
9. Step Six: Coach Your Child to Learn How to Achieve
10.Step Seven: Take Care of Yourself
11.Step Eight: Take Care of Your Family

PART III: A PARENT’S GUIDE TO RESOURCES
12. Your Edison-Trait Child at School
13. What Is ADD?
14. Professional Diagnosis, Testing, and Counseling
15. Medicating a Child Who Has ADD: A Personal Decision

PART IV: YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE
16. Edisonian Leaders of the Information Age


            
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From the Introduction

THE EDISON TRAIT
Thomas Alva Edison was a prolific inventor who, by the time he died, held 1,093 different patents. He was divergent thinking personified. Edison’s innovations ranged from sound recordings to business ventures. His work lit a path for many, both literally and figuratively.

Edison-trait children, like Edison, are naturally creative. They enjoy adventure and prefer new territory, especially when it comes to their own mental landscape. Like Edison, they are highly original, unconventional, and inventive. They are the mavericks, pioneers, and artists. Because they are disposed to divergent thinking, it is an uphill battle for them to concentrate on only one idea at a time. In view of this, their school years, like Edison’s, may be filled with pain and frustration.

CHILDREN WHO DON’T CONFORM EASILY

As a child, Thomas Edison was a misfit in the classroom. His mind was constantly wandering and he couldn’t sit still in his seat. He required personalized instruction. He needed to learn in his own way and at his own pace. Only then could he get himself on track, and turn his wild ideas and mischief into brilliance and scientific discovery.

Every year, educators report that they see more and more students who fit the Edison-trait profile. These children learn by doing, seldom by listening. They are at home on computer keyboards and probably know more about the equipment in the audio-visual department than most of the faculty do. They are never without questions and have a story for every occasion. During class time, some are reclusive and some monopolize their teachers’ attention. Often, they are a source of stress to others.

At home, they surprise, amaze, and incite their parents. They are spirited children who live life with a passion and determination for pursuing what they want. They have a talent for creating upheaval and for provoking parents to nag or burst at the seams with frustration. They have inquisitive, inventive, Edisonian minds.





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DREAMERS, DISCOVERERS, AND DYNAMOS

If these descriptions sound familiar, ask yourself these questions: Does your child come up with angles nobody else does – sometimes humorous, sometimes mind-boggling? Does he seem to live in his own personal world, where a quest for novelty and stimulation reign? Is he easily distracted from assigned tasks, but intensely focused on his own?

While Edison-trait children truly are one-of-a-kind people, their attributes do tend to fall into three different types. There is overlap and there are exceptions, but in general these types are: Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos. Here are some quick sketches. [Note: The full Chapter 1 gives more detailed profiles.]

  • Dreamers
    Some Edison-trait children daydream. They live in the sky with their heads in the clouds. They are imaginative and artful. Ideas and stories have personal meanings to them. They can become quite absorbed in "inner space." If your child can tell you what star date it is, but not the actual month, day, and year, he may be an Edison-trait Dreamer.
  • Discoverers
    Other Edison-trait children are doers. They must see what happens for themselves, so they "do" first, and ask questions later. They are insistent in their opinions and their inquisitive, adventuresome ways. They are passionate, spontaneous, and often dramatic and entertaining. Like Thomas Edison, they like to experiment, so they test to see how far they can go. They experiment with themselves, with others, and with the rules. If doing things his own way is paramount to your child he may be an Edison-trait Discoverer.
  • Dynamos
    Sometimes, Edison-trait children also have an inordinately high energy level. These are children who are constantly on the move. Sometimes they have an aggressive streak. Their impulsivity lands them in various kinds of trouble, which usually disturbs those around them more than it does them. They can be dauntless. They like power and speed and a personal challenge. If your child can’t pass up a race or a dare, he may be an Edison-trait Dynamo.
 

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