What happens when gifted children know they are smart, but society or schools tell them they are wrong? What happens when they sense they are different from their peers, but no one tells them why?
Whether their abilities are blatantly dismissed because of cultural, racial or gender stereotypes, or merely minimized due to ignorance on the part of the schools, gifted children historically have struggled to thrive under conditions that attempt to suppress them. Gifted children know they are different. They see how easily they grasp information, and learn more quickly than many of their peers. They sometimes become impatient with friends who don't get it. They often react to events with greater emotionality and sensitivity. They may not fit in, and feel lonely and estranged.
Without the proper nurturance and guidance, gifted children will flounder.
Unless identified early, offered a challenging education tailored to their needs, and allowed to flourish in a setting with like-minded peers, gifted children not only often fail to reach their potential, they may never understand the exceptional abilities they possess.
Who are typically overlooked?
The list is long and includes: children of color, the poor, ELL learners, gifted children with disabilities (twice-exceptional learners), girls lacking in confidence, rough-housing boys who just want to play, visual-spatial learners, children in schools lacking resources for gifted services, children in states where gifted services are not legally required. Essentially, any child can be overlooked. And in some situations, giftedness is minimized or ignored even when the schools recognize that a child is gifted.
When giftedness is denied, dismissed or ignored, negative outcomes, such as the following can occur:
1. They know they are different, but can't understand why.
Gifted children may feel confused about their differences. They recognize how easily they grasp ideas and information when compared with their peers, but don't have a context for understanding this. As a result, they are left to form their own conclusions about their giftedness. They may ascribe too much meaning to their abilities, or not give them any credibility. They may deny their giftedness, discount it, minimize it, distort it, exaggerate it, compartmentalize it, or feel guilty about it.
2. They may think there is something wrong with them.
Gifted children (and adults) are often highly sensitive and emotionally reactive, and have a heightened sense of fairness and justice. They are sometimes prone to overthinking, perfectionism, and existential depression, as they ponder the meaning of life. Without someone to help them appreciate that these are common experiences among the gifted, they may assume that they are unstable. And since they don't see their peers struggling with these same concerns, they may view themselves as social misfits and outliers who are not entitled to "normal" friendships and relationships.
3. They become chronically bored in school and learn to disrespect the system.
Gifted students whose abilities are never identified or challenged become bored and may assume traditional learning environments are a waste of time. They may become disrespectful toward authority and teachers whom they perceive as inadequate and ineffective. While some may passively withdraw, others become vocal about their dissatisfaction and cause trouble for themselves and others at school. Ultimately, they may develop chronic distrust for persons in positions of authority, as they have been disappointed too many times.
4. They fail to reach their potential, having missed out on the training, stimulation or challenge at critical points in their development.
Gifted children who are never challenged and who coast through school do not have an opportunity to hone their skills through meaningful learning and practice. Many children are never even identified as gifted, as a result of ignorance about "what giftedness looks like," lack of universal screening, or racial/cultural/gender stereotypes, creating an excellence gap for minority students. Some schools also maintain policies that prevent acceleration, ability grouping or truly differentiated instruction. Gifted students are held back when forced to endure repetitive, rote assignments instead of challenging learning options that would encourage their growth and development.
5. They assume that they never have to work hard.
Gifted students who are never challenged and who easily receive good grades often become complacent. They assume academics should come easily to them, and never develop study skills that are necessary for later success. Receiving a low grade may come as a shock, and they may steer clear of any difficult future tasks, rather than risk failure. Some become underachievers-under-the-radar, acquiring good grades and even awards, yet never pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone. Others may become selective underperformers, choosing to excel only in subjects that are meaningful, and give up trying in areas that do not interest them.
Obviously not all unidentified or unchallenged gifted children develop problems. However, efforts to improve gifted identification and helping gifted children understand what it means to be gifted are essential. Identification not only informs an educational plan aimed at enhancing their development, but can clear up confusion and misunderstanding about traits these children recognize but can't quite name. And providing gifted services tailored to their academic needs is critical to their educational growth as well as the development of resilience in the face of challenging tasks. It also offers reassurance that the adults in charge truly understand, and are making every attempt to help them thrive.
I grew up in a factory town with a factory school system that was geared to producing factory workers. There were no gifted students.ReplyDelete
Anonymous, I assume you are being sarcastic - your school system didn't identify gifted students, but I suspect there were a range of abilities among students in your school, including gifted students. Thanks for your comments.Delete
Not sarcastic, just not clear. No one was acknowledged as gifted.Delete
Although un-acknowledged, there may still have been gifted children.Delete
I think that's the point Anonymous is making :)Delete
Gail. I was just talking with a client about this very topic today. Most of her daughter's teachers were threatened by her intelligence. Thanks for writing about this.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Paula. Yes, it is really unfortunate when a child's teacher feels threatened by his/her student's abilities. When teachers start to receive more education about giftedness, some of these problems may dissipate. Thanks for your comments.Delete
Thank you for repeating the issues that face gifted children in our educational system. I fear public school will continue to overlook children who are gifted. Even for the identified students, public schools seem to produce more issues for gifted students than actually help them learn and develop into the intelligent, confident, and exceptional adults they could become with appropriate individualized gifted education.ReplyDelete
Beth, Thanks for your comments. While there are some good schools out there and certainly some great teachers, as a whole, most schools overlook the needs of gifted students. Hopefully, with more advocacy and information, we can all work to remedy this problem.Delete
I read a lot about gifted children, and I feel that this particular aspect of giftedness isn't explored as much as it should be. Many people just assume that if a child is gifted, they will get into the school gifted program or the parent can just talk to their teacher, and everything will work out. They'll be able to figure it out and get by. What about the young student who doesn't complete his work (because he is bored and recognizes it as busywork), and as a result, the teacher won't put him in the appropriate level math group or give him more challenging work? What about the teacher who doesn't acknowledge a gifted student is gifted because his behavior isn't 100% compliant in the classroom or simply because they don't understand giftedness? It falls to the parents to advocate, advocate, advocate, and even then, it is very difficult to change the system. This situation describes my son. Even though he was going to a highly-rated private school, by 1st grade, he was asking to be taken out of school. His teachers only gave me blank stares when I tried to talk about his unique learning style and his abilities. My son started hitting himself on the head, calling himself stupid, and causing self-injury, making himself bleed to feel alive. Next year, we are trying a very small school, with the promise that he will be able to accelerate at his own pace and have more choice in his learning. If it doesn't work out, I will homeschool him. With the rush toward Common Core, testing, and making sure learning is "rigorous", schools are more focused on students being compliant then being able to explore, love learning, and thrive.ReplyDelete
Wow, the situation with your son's school sounds like it had quite a negative effect on him. I hope that the next plan works out. If he continues to harm himself, though, I hope that you also consider some counseling to address these behaviors and the feelings underlying them. Good luck.Delete
To Anonymous (June 17) I too read a lot about gifted children realising that my younger is indeed one who was never acknowledged at his school but is in a successful career where he can use his talents.Delete
I also agree that with the testing (here in Australia it is called Naplan Testing) the pressure is on homogenisation of students rather than acknowledging difference.
Indeed, difference is seen as a burden rather than a blessing.
The idea that to expand one's talents would make them difficult to employ is rife in Australia. "too big for your boots" is often panned. Only sports stars are acknowledged as being talented.
With stories on here from various countries one wonders how the world will thrive ? Or is money the only driver these days?
My son (since identified as 2e) hit 1st grade in public school and ran into a teacher who didn't understand or appreciate his intelligence. She forced him to read books below his reading level because that was the level she expected from a 6-year-old. She chastised him openly in class when he wasn't getting work done, and his classmates started to bully him. We were told he didn't qualify for the gifted program because he wasn't behaving in class, and his learning differences make his full-scale IQ look average, anyway. We pulled him out of public school and put him into a small private school that appreciates difference and lets kids expand to their potential. I pray we can afford it straight through 8th grade because the very idea of sending him back to a public school system that not only doesn't understand him but made him feel like a pariah makes me ill.Delete
Anonymous (June 17), I hope your son finds what he needs in his new school placement. Our fallback plan is homeschooling as well, and I know many people in the 2e community who have gone that route because the obstacles to getting our kids what they need in public school are so great and so frustratingly hard to get past.
I always read how they suffer but never get a solution to it. I can say to almost everything you wrote yes regarding my 15 ear old son but the School is not seeing it and not prepare to help at all. He is already at his 4th School because we always hoped it well get better but it doesn´t. Living in Soth Africa it doen´t help at all because there are no Schools for such childrenReplyDelete
Gabi, I am not aware of the situation in South Africa, but am sorry that you are having such a difficult time finding a school that would be beneficial for your son. I hope that you find something soon.Delete
Thank you for your clear description of the special questions nearly every gifted has to answer - mainly without help.ReplyDelete
Working as a coach for gifted children and their parents as well as their teachers here in Germany I am glad to tell you about a program for gifted children aged 13 to 17 years that is tested right now:
Professor Tanja Baudson of the university of Duisburg-Essen hopes to establish the program "LOTUS". Gifted youngsters will meet three times discussing those special questions.
The group of 4-6 girls and boys talks with the help of a counselor about:
We as a group - Who am I?
Me and the other pupils - social connectios
What is it that I really want?
How can I become the person I want to be?
There is an evaluation running and the program will soon be published as a book.
Cornelia, Great to hear of the program that is starting. Sounds like it will be a great help to these children. Thanks for your comments.Delete
Dear Gail, I was browsing the Internet tonight for answers, because I am facing something I cannot address myself. I live in Croatia, Europe (right across Italy :) with my two sons (23 and 12). I was identified as gifted at an early age, my husband too and my two sons as well. The older one is aware of the challenges he faces and has developed certain personal techniques of how to deal with them. However, I am currently worried about the younger one who has been 'labeled' as genius after some testing that took place at his previous school - but does not show academic results that match the label. And thus he is not interesting to his teachers. He started his education as an all-A student actively engaged in sports. He is an extrovert. But than he was bullied (along with some other children) in his school. In the meanwhile his father and I divorced and we moved three times in one year. The bullying triggered the downward spiral. Although our victory was moral, in the end I had to transfer him to another school. In that situation, his only comment to the psychologist (which he repeated over and over again) was: "Such heavy, cumbersome words. Why do they (the bullies) utter such heavy words? Don't they now each word has a weight? Do I have to measure it for them? People should be careful with words. Heavy words fall hard on people." So we moved from the suburbs to the center of the capital. This school is much better, but he finds school in general immensely boring. When I ask him "How was it at school today?", I always get something like: "Incredibly boring", "Boredom will kill me one day", "I suffered", "That boredom borders with child molestation", "When I grow up, I will sue them, I will sue them all", "I survived, haven't I?" etc. He shows no interest whatsoever in any of the school subjects. Speaks fluently 3 languages, wants to learn couple of more this summer, excels at anything that has to do with computers, he is very interested in all kinds of art and discusses philosophical and political questions with the vocabulary of a well-educated grownup.ReplyDelete
Anon- this is the disaster of teachers - not being able to differentiate between Potential and Achievement. In the US, it is the difference between the SAT and the ACT - scholastic APTITUDE (what the teenager is apt to do in college) and school achievement (what the teenager has already accomplished). Why is this so important? Because we confuse giftedness with accomplishment. These are two fundamentally different items. We must have a national/international discussion about this.Delete
Will someone please tell me what happened in the late 90's when gifted education supposedly got "kicked out" of Special Education at some national conference?! I don't have a url (YET), but would be glad to be reached at email@example.com. Thanks!
Your son's quote on bullying is so profound. I am working intensively with a most-bullied segment of our society, parents of vaccine-injured children and vaccine safety activists. I would love to share your son's quote.Delete
Anonymous, yes, feel free to do so. He said that when he was 9 yo.Delete
Part 2. The problems: he has developed (in one year or so) social anxiety (although being an extrovert he has a reasonable number of friends). Also, he is extremely empathetic and somatizes his inner suffering as stomach pain. He talks often about injustice, gets angered at racists, chauvinists, follows world politics, the stock market (many of those under the influence of his older brother with whom he casually learns law) etc., talks about the planet, about human rights violation etc. Today he suddenly said: "Sometimes I cannot stand this noise...". "What noise?" I asked. "I cannot stop thinking about things. I think about how things around me came to being, how they are made, how they can be improved, I think about the stars, about the world, about the people... I am exhausted. And I don't know how to stop." My older son made him a meditation program, and I promised to design him a program for self-education, covering things for which he has laser-focus attention and interest (when he is interested in something he works on that for hours and hours; when he decides that something isn't worth his interest, there is little or nothing I can do to reverse the situation. But, my main problems in parenting this sometimes very strange child (he is soooo different temperamentally from my older son) are the following: how do I help him overcome social anxiety, how do I prevent him from becoming underachiever (he's on that pathway), how do I help him to stop think and worry so much about things he cannot control (I cannot even help myself because I experience the same tiresome questioning of everything and everyone every day)? And most important of all - since homeschooling is not a legal option in Croatia - how can I motivate him to engage in school - his grades are all A-s and B-s, but his teachers have no kind words, they are full of criticism and say that "he has it easy because of his intelligence, that he doesn't pay any attention, that most of the time he is daydreaming and drawing, drawing, drawing all over everything, school books, notebooks, random papers - sketches of strange inventions, aggressive cartoons depicting wars, invented logos for each of his classmates, hybrid monsters, historical scenes and I don't know what else... I am aware that he is very intense as a person, but I try to talk to the teachers - however, when I mention shyly that he has been identified as gifted (I mustn't mention 'genius') and that he should be helped, that he should be motivated, all I get is blank stares...ReplyDelete
Part 3 (and you can ban me after this): I do not mention my ex husband in this long overdue lamentation because he lives in another city and rarely shows interest in our two boys. I have no relatives in my vicinity, I cook everyday, paint, write, work on my PhD in cognitive neuroscience, and I work very hard as a translator and an interpreter to support them... I do not dare mention all of the other stuff I pack into my day... My energy level is high, but I need help with this... Any advice will be more than welcome... And one more thing: both my sons have these strange 'things': they are irritated by normal sounds that they hear as very loud, they don't like combining "illogical textures" of food, they are bothered by the tags on their close (I have to cut those out). And the empathy... I have to give something to every beggar in the street otherwise my younger one would "collapse" because of the sadness he feels. I can relate to this, I felt and very often still feel the same, but I have developed certain coping mechanisms. And being their pillar of strength, being the one who has to silence her own noise, to provide for everything and be strong, I am sometimes angry: Why are they soooooo sensitive? These reasonable, modest kids who sound so 'posh' to others: the light is not right, it's too cold, it's too hot, remove all labels from clothes, "can't stand this fabric against my skin", "what is this strange odor?", "I need my alone time", "It's too noisy" (mind you, they love both classical and metal music "because of the many hidden layers in the noise). I've grown to accept all these things and normal, but many people don't share my opinion... What do you make of all this? I would be most grateful for your response. Best, Gloria.ReplyDelete
Gloria, Thank you for openly sharing your son's situation. It is so sad that he has to struggle so much in his school. You clearly describe some of the overexcitabiilties, empathy, and disillusionment common to highly gifted children. I don't know enough about the school system in your country, but I hope that as he gets a little older, the classes will improve. I am concerned about his level of distress, though, and hope you can find some counseling for him to help him manage the overwhelming feelings he experiences. Good luckDelete
Dear Gail, thank you for your prompt answer. Yesterday I wrote without browsing through this site in its entirety. Now I see that you also provide counseling services. I would like very much to get some professional assistance but the school system here in Europe differs greatly from the one in the States and I do not know how I could apply your advice. I also found yesterday some great lectures on youtube about overexcitabilities and I now understand "why are they soooo sensitive" :) Thank you for your kind words and please continue to spread awareness about the special needs of gifted children. All the best...Delete
You are already taking your child's concerns seriously, which is incredibly important. Finding clothes without tags will help, as will getting soft clothes like fleece and cotton. Earphones may help with the external noise. Making sure he has quiet spaces and times may also help. But he probably does need to talk to a professional about the "internal noise", and I'd do that sooner rather than later.Delete
Regarding the noise, light, tags-- it sounds like your kids perhaps have some degree of sensory processing disorder. In the US at least, there are occupational therapists who can help. Good luck, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now.Delete
Amanda, thank you very much for your observation. I've taken it seriously into consideration. I must admit I wasn't even aware that such disorder existed. Although they are not ultra sensitive, I could not help but notice there was some degree of excessive sensitivity. So, I'm going to do some research in my country about potential therapists. Thank you very much once again for your comment. This is why we have to share experiences. No one has ALL the necessary information...Delete
Arlmom, he describes the 'internal noise' as racing thoughts which I assume has something to do with anxiety and stress. The older one walks around with earplugs, and since all young people do that - there is nothing strange with it.But in general, outside of home, they just endure whatever comes their way... They even say that they are 'stoics' :)) The culture is very "macho" and they both feel the need to act as tough guys. Being athletes, it is not very difficult for them to project the desired image, but I know how sensitive they actually are. Moreover, they are most definitely not the only ones. It is strange how they exhibit their sensitivity only at home and try so desperately to blend in when they're outside... And you are right, although our tempo is terrible, they have to make time for own peaceful part of the day, to center and to recover.Delete
I agree that there are signs of Sensory Processing Disorder. You're right that a therapist would be very helpful with this. In the meantime, I would suggest reading, "The Out of Sync Child". It is about children with Sensory Processing Disorder, and is extremely helpful. There are general sections and also a section for teachers and a section for parents. I hope this helps your and your boys. They are lucky to have a mother who cares so much and is willing to be a strong advocate.Delete
Unfortunately, I was that child. #3 haunts me to this very day-even after teaching in a classroom for more than 2 decades. There's SO much more education should be doing and it's still a struggle for me not to project that feeling onto my own children.ReplyDelete
Atlas, It is so hard when we experience reminders from our own childhoods. And so frustrating to see how little education is working in many places. Thank you for your comments.ReplyDelete
Gail - I used to be a member of NAGC about 15 years ago, but gave up when I moved to a different university and noticed that their interest in LGBTQ kids was almost zero. I know for a fact that LGBT and gifted go hand in hand, the former group being disproportionately the latter. Can you please point me to a group in the US that might be interested in no longer being "nice"? It's time that this entire field (gifted ed) be revisited, with new membership, new authors, new goals as we approach 2020, with a more "perfect" vision!ReplyDelete
Martin, Thanks for your comments. I agree that advocacy needs to take a more intensive approach. However, there are so many people out there who don't understand, and who see gifted advocates as whiners, whose children or students have it good because of their innate abilities. It seems like a fine line to walk sometimes. I have perceived the NAGC as fairly strong in their positions recently, particularly in terms of diversity, but am not sure what you might think. You could take a look at them again and see. Do you (or others) have any thoughts about how to be more forceful in advocating for gifted children?Delete
The description of not knowing how to work hard and develop study skills really hit home. As a child, I was so bored at school that it was like torture. I never really had to put forth effort to learn until college, and then I didn't know how to study. Finally, preparing for grad school, I learned how to budget my time (enough, anyway) and plan out projects. I went from a C student (except in "fun" subjects like photography and German) to an A student because all of a sudden everything was interesting and challenging. Another thing that helped was that finally in grad school I understood how chemistry, biology, physics, calculus fit together and saw the big picture. Trying to learn all these things as separate makes no sense for the way my brain works-- seeing the big picture and then filling in the details makes it so much easier to understand.ReplyDelete
Right now I'm struggling with how to deal with my son, who will be 4 in a few months. He is clearly highly intelligent, but stubborn and shows an unwillingness to do things any way but his own (my daughter is even more like this but is only 2 so I have some time). The public schools here are "good" but don't introduce gifted education until 3rd grade, and then it's very achievement-based, so if a kid isn't an easy, go-along and please the adults sort he may not be accepted (or allowed to apply) to the gifted program. I think we may have to home school but this will be a challenge because of our personalities.
Amanda, Thanks for your comments. Raising two gifted strong-willed children is not easy! Depending on what the legal requirements are for gifted services where you live, if you are in the U.S., you may have more rights than to just accept the gifted "program" that is offered in the third grade. Either way, advocating as much as possible for what your children need right from the start sounds like it will be in order. Or you could certainly consider homeschooling. Good luck.Delete
I have one with Anxiety who became an underachiever while in public school as his testing did not reveal giftedness because of his undiagnosed anxiety disorder. Once he was diagnosed, and we developed a 504, the school quickly realized how ineffective they were with regard to a child with this type of anxiety. They had limited options as to what to do to accommodate him.ReplyDelete
My youngest son is a Visual-Spatial learner who quickly wreaked havoc on the modern kindergarten classroom where movement is vehemently deterred, and sit-down busy work is the norm.
We homeschool now and my kids have never been happier.
Mandy, You describe such typical examples of how schools can be unresponsive to some gifted children's needs. So glad you were able to homeschool and that this was the right choice for your children.Delete
We have had the same issue with my son's elementary school. Despite all the "evidence" I presented them with (work examples, test scores, etc) we were told that there are no gifted programs for children until the third grade. No matter how much I advocate, they cite his need to be with his peer group and state that he is not mature enough to skip a grade. As much as he loves to play, he's miserable and has regressed since starting school. I wish educators were more informed on the needs of these children.ReplyDelete
Amber, Sorry you are also struggling with this problem with your son. It is so difficult when schools hod to a rigid structure like this. Good luck.Delete
I once observeda Montessori School as part of my college requirement. These children of all different ages were free to learn at their own pace. And I knew there were gifted students in the classroom setting just by observing. I asked the tethers many questions about this form of teaching. The answers amazed me. The gifted students were more challenged because they were recognized to need to be while the other children learning aT their own pace. But the fact was that every child had a better advantage to be challenged and never be board because that was part of the schools policy. That was in 1975. Don't know if these schools still exist today but all children played together outside and inside there and there was never a separation of classrooms where everyone sat studiously at a desk all day. They would be able to stand up and learn at their level. So not only was the challenge there for every student but the social environment was open to all.it was expensive to send a child to that program and never could send my children; but in school choices it would of been no 1 for me.ReplyDelete
These schools are still around, and are an option for many children. Every child is different and can thrive the best in an environment where their needs are challenged and supported. Thanks for your comments.Delete
Was in a weird situation. Considered as very intelligent since around 8 to 10 years old but treated simultaneously as stupid, never been encouraged into intellectual centre of interest.ReplyDelete
Well, tested at 19 years old and push out by a crying psychologist "with your results, you have just need to desire it enough hard, I had no time to Spill with people as you".
Not understand a word and words "gifted" or "HIQ" never been pronounced, pre-Internet period too, 1990 in French Belgium.
I pass by hazard, due to a dumb challenge Mensa's test, admitted first round with minimal score and despite I was too tired for the last part ...
I must live with it, skills partially damaged but mainly morale and self-confidence partially destroyed. Probably ego destroyed during childhood, feelings essentially stolen to environment too, empty shell mind sensation.
3 children, all gifted ... We try our best to do as they can develop their skills but with not too much pressure and letting them having a childhood (I was considered as stupid but a grade below 90% was considered as a shame despite student in the top three harder school of the country, nonsense situation).
Thanks for your comments. You describe lots of missed opportunities, misdiagnoses, and misunderstandings. It sounds like you're certainly trying to improve the situation with your children. Good luck.Delete
Montessori is wonderful. I went to a Montessori school as a young child and give it a lot of credit for my lifelong love of learning. However, in my area, private schools cost upward of $25k per year, per child.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this article. I can certainly recognise myself in all these points. I had to overcome point 4 especially. I thought most of my life that I was different and that it was a bad thing. Then aged 33 I sat the Mensa test and got invited to join. This simply opened my mind to who I was. From them things turned around. I got a post-graduate degree in my adopted language (not my mother tongue) and went to start my own business. This allowed me to understand the correlation between working hard and getting results. I'm even writing a book which has been a dream for 20 years and is now becoming a reality.ReplyDelete
So realising potential is possible, but I still wish gifted children didn't have to wait till they are middle aged to finally get the opportunity, and that's when they get it, many don't.
Awareness is missing throughout our society. Prejudices still run high against the intelligent community. Articles like yours Gail are invaluable.
Thank you, Seb. Your point about not realizing one's potential until being middle aged is a sad reality for many gifted people. I am glad you are finally discovering your potential, though. I appreciate your feedback.Delete
This has never been more true about me as a profoundly gifted child especially in a country that does not provide for gifted programs.ReplyDelete
I am a high school student. I know I am gifted as I have taken an IQ test when I was in primary school and I know I am different from others so I often feel very lonely. I have no idea how to find a good friend. People always jealous of my ability. People always tend to discriminate smart people. I always think my classmates are making use of my ability all the time so they try to be friend with me. I have nothing to talk to those so-called friends. I am regarded as a weird person actually but I usually try to act normal at school but I feel quite sad that nobody can understand me. However, I won't let anything stopping me from researching online about science and maths as I love it so much.ReplyDelete
Anonymous, I am sorry that you feel so alone. I hope that you can at least find a trusted adult to confide in and get some support, and perhaps some counseling to help you get through this difficult time. Good luck.Delete
I am 65 years old. I was placed into an enriched class at age 10, despite my working-class parents distrust of it. I only have now learned, while trying to locate discussions going on my province of Ontario in Canada in 1962/3, that that was a class for gifted students. This I have found very disturbing. My parents were not supportive of anything I did which cost money. I joined no classes, learned no sports, and was always isolated by my parents choices in a babysitter, alone always. Some kids I knew came to my home, but they never came back. There were no toys. My parents marriage went through a very bad patch when I was placed in that program. I was often thrown out of the home and told never to come back. I was no doubt a messed up kid. After three years in the program, I was thrown out of it. No one ever told me why. I suspect I was disruptive and a pain in the butt. I did not realize until well through high school that the kids in the classes I had been in were graduating from high school all together, and a year early. I regularly dumped high school classes, hating them, and all the boring people in them, and spent most of the time in my town's university library, most days. I never had friends. I have had years of therapy as an adult, and as I said, only just now have learned that I had been labelled "gifted" once. I seem to embody the gifted child frustrated by the world around me, always an independent thinker who was not liked, and who was always different. This has been an interesting development and I now have scads of research to do in a local university's education department library about how I got left behind. Happily, I have supported myself all my life, and am now retired. I have been researching my parents lives, and my own, using all original documents, to discover how I got to be the way I am, always being the "odd duck." MOST interesting. Cheers, AnonymusReplyDelete