By the time a child moves to secondary school parents and teachers have a pretty fair idea of his or her academic potential. There are, however, some real surprises. A few bright children turn out to be high flyers – because they are called `late developers’. By the time the eleven plus examinations come along some children may have been allocated the dreaded `will possibly pass’ or the: `I am sorry, but it does not look as if it is going to happen’. With true late developers, however, a shake of the head can tell the whole story with any words.
Parents of very bright children may hear a range of remarks – and it possible that, at the time, they are all relevant.
“Yes, Mr. and Mrs. X. Some very bright children do face the problem of being able to finish work ahead of their classmates.”
“Please Miss. He is bored again and keeps annoying me.”
“Oh dear, you are day dreaming again. The rest of the class have already left the room. What on earth are you thinking about?”
“You son (daughter) simply does not finish work on time. The work is remarkably untidy. I am sure he/she is capable of more.”
“No, I do not think that it is a good idea for your child to go to senior school a year early. Missing a year will remove your child from his/her classmates. You could be building up social problems.”
“Yes, your child is very mature for his/her age, and we all think that your child is brilliant, but working with children a year ahead can be a real struggle. The older children in the class may be more than a year older – and much bigger than your child. This could cause problems.”
“We are doing the best we can. Your child is already doing extra maths classes.”
“We think your child is reaching his/ her full potential. Please, just be a little patient.”
Parents of late developers can just try to offer as much stimulation as possible at home. It may, however, be hard work trying to keep up with a myriad of changes of interest.