Disrespectful or Misunderstood? Gifted Students in the Classroom

Institute for Educational Advancement's Blog

By Lisa Hartwig

Lisa is the mother of 3 gifted children and lives outside of San Francisco.

Gifted Students in the ClassroomI can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a parent say, “My child is gifted but he’s not one of those disrespectful know-it-all kids.” These parents are referring to the gifted gold standard: a child who knows the answers but politely participates in all of the class discussions with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm. Everyone wants this poster child, but they are hard to find, mostly because the traits that make them gifted also make it difficult for them to behave like model students. Parents might try to mold their gifted kids into this ideal, but it comes at a cost.

I learned the price of my son’s struggle to become a model student during our recent college road trip. We were sitting in a lecture hall filled with eager parents and…

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Intelligence does make a difference

Intelligence does make a difference

I admit to feeling a bit “in your face, I told you so!” about this, but that is not the only reason why I’m sharing. The information is just plain interesting, and opens up for more research, and more knowledge.

What did Malcolm Gladwell actually say about the 10,000 hour rule?

The Hardest Science

A new paper out in Intelligence, from a group of authors led by David Hambrick, is getting a lot of press coverage for having “debunked” the 10,000-hour rule discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. The 10,000-hour rule is — well, actually, that’s the point of this post: Just what, exactly, is the 10,000-hour rule?

The debate in Intelligence is between Hambrick et al. and researcher K. Anders Ericsson, who studies deliberate practice and expert performance (and wrote a rejoinder to Hambrick et al. in the journal). But Malcolm Gladwell interpreted Ericsson’s work in a popular book and popularized the phrase “the 10,000-hour rule.” And most of the press coverage mentions Gladwell.

Moreover, Gladwell has been the subject of a lot of discussionlately about how he interprets research and presents his conclusions. The 10,000-hour rule has become a runaway meme — there’s even a Macklemore song about it. And if you google…

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Positive Disintegration

Positive Disintegration

This process I am going through can probably be called a Disintegration, and I sure hope that hindsight will reveal it as the kind of Positive Disintegration that Kazimierz Dabrowski created his theory about, and not just a part of a downward spiral without a happy ending!

The process definitely involves many of the overexcitabilities he describes, and even though I work hard to keep it together most of the time, a part of me always feels as if there is no ground underneath my feet.


Emotional Overexcitability
Being emotionally overexcitable quickly gets quite exhausting. People going through life without this peculiarity also experience exhausting emotions, of course, especially when living through heartbreak or grief, as we all do from time to time. But ever since I was a small child, I have picked up on many signals that my way of experiencing (or perhaps I ought to say my way of expressing) emotions was abnormal and unattractive. Other people just did not want to be loved that intensely, scrutinized to such a degree, or be around someone who deflated like a punctured balloon for every minor disappointment. I can relate to that, I find such displays of emotions in other people taxing, too, even when that other person is the one I am charged with guiding through life; my mini-me. Continue reading

Differential Brain Development with Low and High IQ in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

I still have to read it all, but it sure looks interesting.

Smarte barn

NCBI: Differential Brain Development with Low and High IQ in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Grainne M. McAlonan, Editor

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and intelligence (IQ) are both heritable phenotypes. Overlapping genetic effects have been suggested to influence both, with neuroimaging work suggesting similar overlap in terms of morphometric properties of the brain. Together, this evidence suggests that the brain changes characteristic of ADHD may vary as a function of IQ. This study investigated this hypothesis in a sample of 108 children with ADHD and 106 typically developing controls, who participated in a cross-sectional anatomical MRI study.

A subgroup of 64 children also participated in a diffusion tensor imaging scan. Brain volumes, local cortical thickness and average cerebral white matter microstructure were analyzed in relation to diagnostic group and IQ. Dimensional analyses investigated possible group differences in the relationship between anatomical measures and IQ. Second, the groups were split into above and below…

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The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness

The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness

sometimes being gifted effectively hides learning and mental health conditions. Giftedness may over-compensate for weaknesses, masking the weakness and sometimes the giftedness. Despite the seriousness of misdiagnosis, physicians are exposed to an alarmingly few articles in the pediatric medical literature about the complexities of giftedness, while many parents also hesitate in discussing giftedness with their doctors, some with the belief that giftedness plays no role in medical health.

Dr. James T. Webb, clinical psychologist, author, and founder of SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted), stated, “Unfortunately, extremely few psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, or other health care professionals receive any training about characteristics of gifted children and adults, particularly behaviors of bright, creative persons that can sometimes resemble or conceal disorders.”

So, while some gifted kids are erroneously labeled and medicated for mental health disorders they do not have, others are unrecognized for learning or mental disorders they do have.

Normal giftedness can be easily confused with a diagnosable mental disorder. Gifted kids may talk a lot, have high levels of energy, and be impulsive or inattentive or distractible in some settings — similar to symptoms of ADHD. It’s not unusual for gifted kids to struggle socially, have meltdowns over minor issues, or have unusual all-consuming interests — all pointing to an inappropriate diagnosis of autism.

What results is that the gifted frequently feel alone and alien in a world that doesn’t fully understand them.”