How being gifted means being different

The Upside Down World

gifted childrenOver the last couple of years I have spent time off and on doing research into giftedness and living with unusually high intelligence.  It has been far more interesting and enlightening than I expected.  So I figured I would share some of what I have learned with y’all.  Today I will focus on some of the differences which tend to be characteristic of those with unusually high intelligence.  Tomorrow, I’ll get into why so many gifted people have a hard time recognizing themselves as gifted and why it is so important for them to understand their giftedness and teach their children to do the same.

First, the differences.  I always figured that high intelligence was just about how a person learns new information and skills.  What I have found out, however, is that high intelligence entails not just being able to learn new things quickly and easily, but affects a…

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The trouble with “overdiagnosis” rhetoric


There’s a common sentiment — one I shared before I knew anything about autism — that kids today get too many labels. How can such a huge percentage of kids have autism, ADHD, and so forth? Here’s today’s example article at Salon.

I’ve come to believe that there’s a real concern behind this sentiment, but it accepts too much of the status quo. The problem is not that we’re putting people on the wrong side of the line; the problem is that our bureaucracies insist on drawing a bright line where there isn’t one… and that people are so afraid of autism when they need not be.

If we look at real humans in all their dimensional richness, then we can estimate that they are at 10th or 90th or 99th percentile on “autistic traits,” as observed on some measure such as the ADOS. These tests (not 100% successfully)…

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High achieving students are better off in worse schools

Smarte barn

The Converstation: High achieving students are better off in worse schools

By Josephine Lethbridge

“There is an assumption that children perform better amongst highly achieving peers. High class achievement might be thought to indicate better teaching, or to induce academic competition between students. However, new research counters this common assumption.

Felix Weinhardt and Richard Murphy, from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics, analysed administrative data of over 2.3 million English schoolchildren. This data was used to assess how primary school rank affected later exam results. Pupils were compared on leaving primary school at KS2 (aged 11) and at secondary school KS3 (aged 14).

Imagine two primary school pupils of a the same ability. One is at the top of a class, whereas the other is in the middle, at a better performing school. The results find that the first student performs better at secondary…

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Is It Good to Be Gifted? Optimal IQ and the Flipside to Giftedness

Smarte barn Is It Good to Be Gifted? Optimal IQ and the Flipside to Giftedness

By: David Palmer, Ph.D

“Is it good to be a gifted? This may sound like a strange question – of course being gifted is good… isn’t it?

It’s true that kids who score higher on IQ tests will have an advantage academically. After all, these tests are designed to predict school success. The skills tapped by IQ tests, including memory, problem-solving, and language ability are also important for doing well on college placement tests and succeeding in a career. So there’s definitely an upside to being gifted. But how gifted do kids need to be to reap these benefits – and is there a flipside to having a high IQ?

It may seem reasonable to believe that the higher our IQ, the better off we are. Yet, it turns out that’s not necessarily true. Those with higher…

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Music, Lessons in Life and Gifted Education

I want my kid to fail, too! Being able to fail, big time, while young and surrounded by people who will comfort you and support you when you try and try again, that’s what really builds confidence and the resulting success!

Rochester SAGE - Supporting Advanced & Gifted Education

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.

Genuinely excellent education is not restricted to bringing individuals up to a preconceived standard of performance, to “norms”; rather it seeks to encourage each individual to develop standards for himself, to give him a clear perception of all that he might become as well as the opportunity to realize his personal vision. – Talent Development: An Investment in the Nation’s Future

The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference. – Aristotle

One of the most valuable things my daughters do is take piano lessons.  Oh, I don’t really care if they can play an instrument, although I do think that it would be cool if they could also learn drums and upright bass and form a jazz trio.  Nope, it is the non-musical lessons that they are learning that are the real value.

1) They learn to work at their own…

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