The Challenges of Being Gifted?

Updated on February 19, 2012
E.D. asks from Olympia, WA
21 answers

Hi All,
If you are a parent of a gifted child or if you are a gifted adult, I would love to hear about your experience. Have you faced any challenges that are caused by your child's/your own gifted brain? I am particularly interested in hearing about your adult experience of being gifted.

Thanks in advance. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

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answers from Dallas on

We prefer to stay away from the "gifted" label.

I see children and parents at the school where I substitute and I hate the persona they project toward the other students and teachers. Most are very arrogant. That is the last type of attitude I want to see my child project.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I'm with Jo in that I have some issues with the term "gifted." I have two kids in the "gifted" programs at their schools and they are very different. One takes it in stride and the other has let it go to his head. I am constantly telling my younger son that people are "gifted" or talented in a variety of ways and that just because he is smart and does well in school doesn't make him superior to the other kids who do not do as well as he does, but are talented in many other ways. I also have to tell him that working hard and getting along with others is/will be just as important (if not more important) to his long term success than his intelligence. I have also found that kids who have had things come easy to them in their earlier, younger years can often be in for a shock when they encounter challenges, difficulties or other people who also have had things come easy for them. My older son has adapted now that he is in high school, but when he was younger he would rebel against a challenge because he wasn't used to being challenged. I'm happy my kids have had these enrichment opportunities, but I wish we could change some terminology or some of the approaches in the "gifted" programs at school. Finally, in my experience kids labeled "gifted" sometimes rush through their work. I always did well in school, but I am not as "gifted" as my kids are so I can't tell you much about the adult experience.

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answers from St. Louis on

Well I hate the term gifted. :p

I hate that everyone has an idea what gifted should be and it colors how they treat you. I think that is why I hate stupid people and tease them from time to time. Of course stupid people defined as people who are of average intelligence but think they are gifted. They are the only people that will come up to me and say I need to talk over people more. Yeah, because I love having people hate me and not want to be around me.

My kids really haven't discussed it much. I think they are a bit like me, it is there but not obvious. My Andy, oh the Autism spectrum...ARGH! He just comes off strange in a very nerdy way. I am hoping by college the kids will appreciate how smart he is and perhaps get to know him as a person.

I wanted to add I never allowed my kids into any gifted programs. They always seemed to be the same way of teaching but just a grade or two ahead. This makes it just as boring but more homework. The thing I loved about college was my professors allowed me to take their projects and make them harder but harder in a way that made them interesting. I hated grade/high school but loved college!

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answers from New York on

I have a nephew who is/was gifted. I noticed when he was two he was musically gifted but his parents did not value that as much as his gifts in math. (he was doing long division at age 5.) He continued to excel in math and science. One thing I never understood were the things he refused to learn, a few, non essential things that did not come easily to him. Then I read "How Not to Talk to Your Kids" and I understand him a lot better. He is a young adult now and doing well.
I also think I may have done my very bright (not gifted) son a disservice and wish I had read the article when he was young.

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answers from Santa Fe on

Our son is labeled gifted (I dislike the term gifted) and has been put in the school's gifted and talented program which he LOVES. Challenges with him are he is EXTRA intense about everything. He is very reactive/has strong reactions. He is extra sensitive about things. He is crazy stubborn and extremely self assured/confident. He is wonderful and amazing but also he is so hard to parent. He makes life very difficult on a regular basis.

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answers from New York on

i think i am gifted, but i have no common sense :) that's about it.

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answers from Norfolk on

The biggest challenge we've had is keeping our son from getting bored in school.
We try not to let school limit what ever he wants to learn about.
Outside interests help keep him engaged with the boring drudgery of his homework.
He's got straight A's, is first chair clarinet in school band and is a 2nd Don black belt in taekwondo.
We recently received a letter from his principal which stated he's been selected by his teachers and peers as a student of character.
I grew up with a friend who was gifted, brilliant really, but he always resented that being smart meant people expected him to do something with it.
He never had the drive to do more than the bare minimum requirements in doing anything.
He's a postal worker now, and he gets by.
He's happy, but it seemed like it was somehow a waste.
Being gifted means you have potential.
Without nurturing that potential, and a drive to succeed, it won't go anywhere.
There are plenty of non gifted people who have plenty of drive - and they do well.
"Be all that you can be" - but some don't want to be much.

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answers from Nashville on

Everyone is gifted in their own way. Not everyone is smart or intelligent. That is based on circumstance, exposure and experience. I am blessed to be smart and capable of insight into things, however I am amazed at what another person less smart can do as well. I am talented and could do many things, but I can't do a lot of other things either. I am just smart enough to recognize who is more "gifted" in an area and learn from them.

The challenges I face are being classed, isolated, overly praised, people feeling less around me, jealousy, trying to be sociable when all I want to do is focus on my work and getting things done or to help!

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answers from Biloxi on

I was a "gifted" child. Went to a school specifically for "gifted" children. This was back in the 60/70s and entrance was based on an IQ test. For whatever they are worth :\

Anyhoo, what I found is that being labeled as gifted made those around me think I should excel to heights that I really had no interest in - I just wanted to be "normal". Not so much in elementary as we were all "gifted" - read that as a bunch of smart kids, studying things way beyond their grade level who could socialize really well with each other, but almost all who had transitional issues when entering high school. The result of my elementary education propelled my into the then equivalent of AP classes in high school - furthering the presumption of others that I thought I was special. Add to that a parent who saw more merit in my joining the debate team than the drama club (which was my preference), and Freshman year was a B***H. Teachers treated me differently because of the elementary school I went to (the girls from elementary who went to the same high school had the same experience with teachers) - they expected "more" from me. I still have no idea what the "more" was supposed to be.

I was lucky though, because I was, and am, a social person so I was able to transcend the "gifted" label and exited high school with a strong core of friends that liked me in spite of my oddities. Because I was, and remain, odd when compared to my peers. My thought processes are different, taking off on tangents to things seemingly unrelated from the conversation others are having; I retain random snippets of trivia and information; I have to read everything - I mean labels, news stories, cereal boxes, etc. - I don't digest visual media well. Which makes watching reruns great!

My son was tested for the gifted program in Elementary on three separate occasions, I was ambivalent about it. He did not do well on the testing. He told me "Mom, I don't want to be gifted - I don't want to do all the extra work and be in a different class from my friends" He, smart boy that he is, purposely tanked the tests. His Principal was bemused, and decided he was maybe smarter than all of us. LOL

Lately, I am in touch with a number of my Elementary classmates - FaceBook is a blessing and a curse, ha - and many of us have felt that we have not lived up to the label of "gifted" that was bestowed upon us in childhood. We are not world changers and wizards and presidents of companies. We are normal people, living our lives, with spouses, and children, and fairly average careers. What we do all have are very strong memories of childhood and what we have discovered is that we all march to a slightly different drummer. We are head shop owners, sports bloggers, grant writers, musicians, schizophrenics, under employed, over employed and unemployed, parents, perennially single, married, gay and straight. We are people who have thrived despite the label.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I love Riley's response.
I was tested and put into a 'gifted' program when I was beginning 6th grade. Same with my eldest brother (middle brother was not). This was in about 1980. Things are different today than they were then. I think it was pretty "novel" back then, at least in the small town where we lived. I enjoyed it. Not the labeling, but the actual instruction/class. We didn't go to a different school. We didn't take classes a grade or two above our current grade. What our school system had in place, was a parallel class that was taught by a teacher specializing in "giftedness".

The class that was different was the history/social studies class. Instead of going to the mainstream "regular" history class (World History, or whatever per grade) we went to a classroom of only other gifted students in our same grade to take that subject. The teacher treated us in a much more mature manner, had higher expectations, and challenged us in ways that were beyond what COULD have occurred in a "normal" classroom, because there were only about 12 of us in the class. We did photography projects, we did research and made our own magazines about periods of history, we wrote and delivered speeches, we took field trips to battlefields and wrote essays on what it was like for the folks that lived in those encampments/forts, etc. We did "normal" stuff, but to a deeper level. And we were held to a higher standard. We also did a LOT of "group" projects and because we had the same teacher for the class for several years in a row, she knew each of our strengths and weaknesses well, and organized us into groups so that our talents were matched appropriately, I think.

I consider myself an "average" gifted person. LOL I have a good friend (a year older) who was also in the program, who is profoundly gifted. And true to "type" she is sometimes terribly socially awkward. And physically awkward even. We were tested one-on-one by the tester with oral questioning, in addition to some written parts (that I don't remember specifically). I was never told my IQ, though they tested it. All of my "gifted" classmates generally tracked through all the other curriculum in the same courses with the same teachers also. 6 or 7 of my gifted classmates were in all of my other classes: the AP English, the AP Science, etc. so we never felt "singled out". I never felt different or special because of the "gifted class". But be sure, that all the teachers knew who would do well in their classes and who wouldn't, without a doubt.
My husband has a cousin who is profoundly gifted. He is an underachiever. He is also a little bit socially inept, and a lot conceited and refuses to conform to much of anything.

My husband and I have 2 kids. Our 13 yr old son is very intelligent, and has a brilliantly quick wit. He also is a little distractible, but probably not enough to consider ADD (never had him tested). He is smart, has earned a 2nd Dan in Tang Soo Do, and has had to be pushed every step of the way of most everything he has achieved after he learned to walk (early) on his own. He is sweet, but except for being outside and out and about in the world, lazy. :)
Our daughter, 10, has always been self-motivated to the extreme and excels at practically anything she has tried. When we left private schools and put them in public, I insisted she be tested for the "challenge program" because she complained daily that math was boring and too easy. (She'd been complaining about this since 1st grade). She is the child who begged me to buy summer bridge books for her so she could teach herself stuff. She begged me to teach her to read (which I did, when she was 3 1/2), and she then began reading whatever interested her (for a time it was her brother's science books). She still reads 2-3 books at a time. She plays piano (for church services). She does martial arts. She in-line skates. She turns on the Wii and does yoga and pilates. She insisted on learning cursive before her school taught it. She has had her brother teach her several of the "forms" for Tang Soo Do beyond where she is supposed to know yet (so in effect, is about 3 belts higher than what she actually has).
Every "event" that comes up, she wants to participate. She is normally fairly introverted, except when she is at home or around her closest friends.

The only real challenges I've encountered so far with her (outside the 'ordinary') is that she has a profound sense of fairness/justice, right/wrong and following the rules. I understand this is fairly common with "gifted" kids, too. This can be difficult to deal with sometimes, when she is at school for example, and something happens that she "correctly" deems unfair, like an entire class being punished for one child's misbehavior. In the younger grades, that sort of thing happens a lot, and it is hard for her to manage her emotions about being punished unfairly. She wet her pants in kindergarten one time (she was potty trained at 2) because she wasn't supposed to "interrupt when another child was reading" and she didn't want to break "the rule" by asking or getting up to go to the bathroom.
And much like her mother (me, lol) she does NOT share her inner emotions very well. She squelches them inside. That may or may not be at all related to her 'giftedness', but I think it stems from the desire to do all things well (perfectionism tendencies), which can lead us to not want to appear weak.

I have tried to always celebrate her hard work, and not just the getting of something right. Getting it right is easy for her. She knows she didn't WORK to get it right. When she struggles with something I am encouraged, because it means she is stretching beyond what comes naturally to her. She is expanding herself.

The "challenge" program she was in (when she was in brick and mortar) was an all day pull out program. One day per week, she went to a different school and stayed in the class with other challenge students all day. They did a little of everything (much like my own gifted class back in the day) and to a different level. They did a lot of "thinking" exercises. Logic puzzle type stuff. Not x + y = z. Lots of field trip opportunities not available to the "regular" classes (to museums, to art galleries, to Kennedy Space Center)...
While she never fell behind in her regular classes/subjects (she had all A's and a couple of 100s for her grades in those) she did mention a few times that she didn't like leaving her regular class. She felt like she missed some of what was going on (well, because she did). Not the academic material, but the fun stuff or the jokes or camaraderie.

I have tried since she was very young to keep her engaged and involved. And it isn't hard, since she wants to do everything. But in the early years, it was hard for me to keep others from complimenting how "smart" she was.

In the adult world... I am a SAHM. :) I don't run the most organized home, nor have the cleanest most germ-free environment here. But a bill is never lost nor late, and I am like the boy-scout motto: always prepared for anything.
I was a paralegal for a long while before we had kids. And I don't take well to "simple" explanations of just about anything.
I have a lot of tendencies that annoy my husband, but I don't think they are gifted-associated, lol. I cannot let an argument go, and I cannot let anything that can be explained, go without an explanation. I also cannot follow instructions without an explanation of WHY. Drives him nuts.

Do I think that being in a gifted program or being "gifted" made my life better, or worse? I don't really know. I don't know any other way to live. It is what it is. I found a mate who is intelligent, and kind, generous and honorable, and loyal (and sexy! lol). He appreciates my intellect and I appreciate his. I don't know that he is "gifted" or not; he was never tested, and who cares?

I think that people who know me, have high expectations of anything that I do and if I demur that I am not sure how well I can do something, I get lots of "pish posh---it'll come out perfect". At the same time, I think that people that don't know me, often underestimate me. And those can be emotionally nerve wracking places to be. I can get angry because people have low expectations, and then turn right around and feel intense pressure not to mess something up.
I have a hard time starting something new sometimes, (learning to sew for instance) because I start out wanting to do something really elaborate, and then get bogged down in the minutiae and it never gets off the ground. I didn't have much practice learning to learn.
And I have no tolerance for people missing "the obvious".

Gee, sorry I went on so long. I am also "gifted" with verbosity. :p
Now, to go figure out why my dryer's moisture sensor went out. :(

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answers from Tulsa on

If adults say Do x, but mean y, my daughter will do x because they said to do x.

Teach your child to say Yes maam and No sir, not explain why they answered yes or no. I always told my daughter no and explained why so she would make good choices later in life. Now she answer "No maam I do not understand that because last week you said x...." They sometimes think she is a smarta** but she is just thinking out loud.

Some adults, including teachers, think gifted means perfect or a mini adult. This private school is ticking me off. She has a 100% in math so why should she be tutored? Not living up to the potential. ARGGG

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answers from Washington DC on

When I was in school, we didn't have gifted programs. We were tracked -- the smart kids did one thing, the average kids did another thing, and the kids who struggled did another.
My sister who is much younger was tested as gifted. Truly gifted people are brilliant in one subject. My sister was bright... As Mom always said, "she is smart, she's not scary smart."
I did not allow either of my children to test for the GT program. They are both bright, hardworking kids. My daughter - the one out of all of her friends who was not in GT in Elementary and Middle School - is now tutoring the GT kids in Math. So much for gifted. As I said before, they are smart...
As many of the teachers I sub for and with will tell you, "The chances of getting a truly gifted child in your class are one in a million".

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answers from Minneapolis on

My parents got to hear at every school conference that I "wasn't working up to my potential". That was back in the 60s/70s in a very small (29 kids in my grade) rural school that had no special classes available for kids capable of more. I bored to tears in school, got mostly, but not all, As and had very few friends.

My daughter, now in 4th grade goes to a wonderful school with teachers who challenge each kid to their potential, that has pull-out classes for several subjects plus G&T without making a big deal about it, and I am so glad to watch her excel! The only challenges we've had with her uniquely developing brain is that she excelled in some subjects and lagged way behind in others. That has smoothed out now, except for spelling/writing which may end up being her area of learning disability (which most truly gifted kids have).

Her father and I are both well-educated and just expect her to make use of her intelligence and abilities but don't push her hard in any area. She is a great, well-adjusted, well-liked 9 year-old who will have many opportunities in life!

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answers from Atlanta on

My son is gifted in many areas of his being. And, yes he is finding it difficult because of his brilliance and talents other children make fun of him call him a nerd. He is very athletic as well and he has issues with the kids picking at him because he is so good at what he does there jealousy takes over. Because of these issues he comes home from school crying almost on a daily basis I have decided to home school this coming year he will be in the 4th grade. Nevertheless, I think it stems from me I had very similar issues as a child and do now as an adult I stay isolated a lot I keep very few people around me because others don't understand me. For years I really thought I was weird I mean who reads quantum mechanics book for fun and stuff about quantum entanglement WELL no one does. I love physics troubleshooting real issues not talking about Jersey shore and brittney spears. Hope this can help thanks for letting me vent WWWhhhhwww aaahhhh

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answers from Hickory on

I have a 14 year old daughter who is preparing now for high school and they've recommended all honors courses. She is very bright and well-rounded but I know in the last couple of years she felt like her friends were so lucky not to have near the homework and responsibilities that she had/has and also she felt like she was having to do double the work. I hope just starting high school and being in honors courses will not be too overwhelming. Her guidance counselor did advise that she take electives that don't have homework...good advice I thought.

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answers from Washington DC on

There are a lot of gifts. Because you are gifted in one area doesn't mean you are gifted in another. I could not be in the advanced math classes because I couldn't process it like my friends could. But put me in AP History? Or advanced English? Sure!

Gifted classes are usually limited - limited students, limited times, limited schedules. Doesn't always leave a lot of wiggle room for all the electives you want. Workload, like for an AP class, is usually much higher.

Gifted children are also prone to boredom if the material doesn't move. My very bright nephew aced summer school classes, but regular material was a snooze fest. Friend of mine failed 5th grade math b/c she was bored. And it doesn't mean that they're perfect, study well, or pay attention anyway. Sometimes gifted kids are lazy (because to a point it's easy As) and sometimes gifted kids get ulcers over every half a point. Our teachers said that it ran in cycles. Often high achievers pull each other down. Our HS social studies teacher called it the "crab effect" and if he ever called us "crabs" we knew a lecture was coming. Many gifted kids are book smart but not street smart and can be very literal. When an advanced student is smarter than the teacher and the teacher doesn't like it, there can be conflict. My SD had run ins with teachers who taught things like "Intro to Tech" for everybody and had no idea what they were doing. One even tried to fail her at the very end and we had to get the school to pull her test and re-grade it. She didn't like that SD is smarter than she is and challenged her.

I got a lot of "not living up to potential", even in college. I'd pull an A or B and with 18 credits, a job, and being in theatre, I was booked. We've told the sks that they should keep their grades up, but they should also live a little. See the world outside the library once in a while.

I think that gifted programs are good and beneficial when run right. They allow students to move at a faster pace. They give them challenges. They help them to work with their abilities and interests. One of our teachers said we could do a whole marking period on anything and we chose irony. She paused and said, "Okay, we'll start in 2 weeks" and it was one of the best projects. However, there are some programs where they are just building burn out and you have to watch and make sure your student balances high achievement with realistic expectations and real life. Friend of mine in HS did not get into several schools because his GPA wasn't enough. They wanted well rounded people and all he had was classwork. SD hasn't taken as many AP classes as her brother and that's fine. She has different limits and interests.

I tested into the gifted program in two states in 5th and 6th grades. K-4 was in a private school where there was no such program. In middle school, our class had a GT instructor come in a couple of times a week to do related but more advanced work with us (for example, we might do a project on Greece that involved mythology as part of our Reading/English class). I stayed on that track and did Honors and AP coursework through HS. I felt I benefited from the program I was offered, and would allow DD to be tested. I don't recall what SS may have been tested for but SD was in a supplemental work program called William and Mary when she was younger. Both sks did advanced work through HS and SS was accepted into an honors college and received an academic scholarship. None of us was ever in a strata to be removed from a school and attend somewhere else (as described in a recent article about a teenager who wanted to explore fusion: ).

If someone is telling you that your child is gifted, find out the parameters of what they are suggesting and make a choice based on what they can offer. I was overall happy in my GT and Honors classes. I was a nerd among nerds. I faced social challenges I would have faced even if I wasn't in GT, but at least when I was in those classes, I could be smart. It was praised and expected. I didn't always get that feeling from even CP classes.

If one day my DD decides her passion for dinosaurs exceeds what she can learn in school, we'll find her resources to explore that, too. Learning doesn't have to be limited to a classroom.

As with anybody, IMO, smart people need to learn that being smart doesn't mean they are better than everybody else or exempt from issues. Everyone is good at something and terrible at something.

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answers from San Francisco on

I was tested for and placed in a gifted program when I was in fourth grade. It meant that I had to take a bus to a different school. That school was in the wealthiest neighborhood; my neighborhood was very poor. While it was hard being at a different school (and being looked down on because I literally was from the "wrong side of the tracks") and while I did get teased for being "gifted" and I lost most of my neighborhood friends, going to that school saved my life. Because I was poor I would never have had the experiences that were available to me at the gifted program, like trips to the theater and science projects.

Of the kids from my neighborhood, I was one of only a few who went to college. (That includes the really talented boy who was much, much more academically talented that I ever was but who did not go into this program). Many of the kids I grew up with struggled in life, did not graduate, got involved in drugs and now as adults are struggling to make it. So for me, that program was well worth the sacrifices.

My eldest son is gifted (I do not know about my youngest). He is in a small private Catholic school that does not have a gifted program. He does struggle because he feels so different. He wants to talk about astronomy and cosmology or ancient Greece and his peers just are not that interested. Some kids think he is very strange. He is also bored in most subjects. We have him doing accelerated math at home and we work to supplement at home. He has also gotten involve in student government and that has really helped him.

The public schools here do test for giftedness, but the funding has been cut for any specialized programs, so that is not really an option. I will say that as a parent it is very difficult at times. While there are options for gifted children, many are very expensive, far beyond what we can afford. So, it is a challenge to provide my son with what he needs. There is an assumption that gifted kids don't really need the "extras" but research does show that these children can be at a higher risk for dropping out or falling into trouble because of feeling isolated and bored or even pressured to live up to an ideal. These are real concerns to be aware of.

I worked in gifted education before my current job and I have seen first hand the wonderful opportunities for gifted children, but I have also seen the not-so-lovely side of things, such as parents who drive their children to be "gifted" when they are not or parents who seem to think the mere fact that their child is gifted means that the world revolves not just around their child, but also themselves.

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answers from St. Louis on

I dislike the term "gifted" simply sets barriers where none need to be.

When used in conjunction with education, I have a little bit more tolerance for the word "accelerated". But not much.

Both my Sis & I tested "gifted" in grade school. In order to participate in the school district's program, we would have had to switch to another school. That meant giving up our privileges of walking to/from school & being with our friends. It meant that we would have to begin riding a bus, & our playtime would have been eaten up by the time difference. Between losing playtime + being responsible for additional homework, we made the choice to stay at our neighborhd grade school.

Did this decision harm us? I don't think so. It meant we were mainstreamed academically & that's not a crime. We began H.S. with Algebra & the "gifted" kids started a year ahead of us. I did make it thru College Algebra/Trig....& the "gifted" kids finished out with Calculus. Oh, well.

For me, I use my ability to retain/visualize without drawing attention to myself. From an early age on, I taught my sons to recognize their strengths & abilities ....& I think that's all that a parent needs to worry about.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My son has not tested gifted, but his close friend has. They opted to keep him out of any GATE programs....they are too afraid of the gifted label stigma.

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answers from Denver on

Hello, My second child was as happy as could be until he started first grade. By spring he would come home and sit in his room on the floor and cry. I watched as his twinkle in his eyes and the joy was sucked out of him. He used to make playground schedules that would arrange kids at different stations so they would get along and not fight all the time. He did not understand their behavior. He lay awake at night in bed contemplating things like if we slept standing up if there would be less pressure on the brain would we live longer. His teacher recommended we have him tested because "he was smart and bored" The school (speciaql needs person) tested him and he was 2 pts below getting gifted assistance. They had never tested a gifted child before. We were so frustrated that we packed up the kids and took them to Denver to the GIfted Development Center where he tested about 20 IQ pts higher than the school said he was. His younger brother was also tested and they put him in the gifted range too but suspected a learning disablitity. They were 7 and 5 at the time. The Gifted Development Center recommended a gifted school or homeschooling. (They said the most important thing to do was to keep them challenged, Boredom would lead to depression or bad behavior. They said to offer something they could always work to get better at. One did piano and one did flute. ) The gifted school in our area would not admit them because they only had open slots for "minorities". We landed up homeschooling and it was the absolute best thing I ever did. Both boys could progress at their own rate. We had more time together as a family and they developed our values and manners, etc. They maintained very high self esteem and had lots of homeschooled friends of all ages. My older of the two started college just turning 15, did great and loved it and is now 22 and working on his PhD at Mayo. His younger brother started college at 16 with a written language learning disablity and excelled. He is graduating from a community college and has chosen psychology as his area of study at a university. Both are happy, confident, well adjusted, and have lots of friends. I could not ask for more. It was a priviledge and joy to share the journey with them and perhaps the most important job I was ever called to do. If you have gifted children and are a stay at home mom, seriously consider homeschooling.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My brother and I are 'gifted', but we did not have 'gifted' programs back then. It basically meant we found school pretty easy and got more individual instruction from the good teachers. We each skipped a grade. I did not find being gifted to be a challenge. By the time I was in high school, a large percentage of the kids in my AP classes were of genius IQ (basically that is just the top 2% of the population). Same in college and professional school. It is just normal depending upon what career you pursue. I assume my son will test as gifted, but I don't know yet, he is only in kindergarten. Other than getting to learn more challenging material earlier, I don't see it as a big deal. I certainly see no downside to it. We both had plenty of friends, participated in extra curricular activities, had boyfriends/girlfriends etc.

I don't get the gifted is a 'disorder' or there is a 'gifted stigma'. Really? I never felt that as a child, my friends didn't feel that and I certainly wouldn't expect my son to feel that way.

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