People have wondered for a very long time, what it is that makes me so recognizably different from my peers, and that’s a question that can be answered with a number of responses, but all of them can associate back to one thing, giftedness. I am younger than most anyone I know who’s at a similar educational level, not to mention work experience, and I’m socially comfortable in most every situation I enter into. Note: this post is not intended to be self-centered as much as informative, I hope.
I’ve met hundreds of gifted kids in my life, been in rooms with thousands of them, and I’m even marrying one. Each one is completely different from any other, but we carry similar traits among the lot of us, though no trait is definitively universal, save for an IQ score (and even that has exceptions). The discrepancies in this are astounding though because it is such an incredibly broad category. I am social, artistic, language-oriented, well-spoken, organized, slightly OCD, hyper-sensitive, capable of multi-tasking, and I prefer both time spent alone and in large groups. I am gifted. There are also people in the world who are asocial, number-oriented, quiet, disorganized, dangerously OCD, insensitive, narrowly focused, and prefer to be wholly secluded from society. They could also be gifted.
I came across an article, if you can call it that, some time ago, where the author collected heaps of information on giftedness… common characteristics of a gifted person, quotes, etc., compiled them together, and rationalized as things that may set these people apart from the rest, and cause them to be misunderstood.
Wow, this guy may have a point. Gifted people are misunderstood constantly, especially as children. Why? Because as a society we seem to want to write it off as something else, because it is particularly difficult to deal with a gifted person, especially in traditional classrooms. Gifted kids are being diagnosed with ADD because they’re bored in class and cause trouble, being put in remedial courses because the work their being given in regular classes is too simple so they just don’t do it, being labeled as one terrible name or another because they’re either socially under- or over-developed, among so many other things.
Kids do not need more medication, things to do, or places to be. They need an opportunity to be kids, to experience the world they live in, and in a way that works for them. Whether gifted or not, kids have been thrust all to quickly into understanding the world around them as adults do, instead of being allowed to creatively picture it in the way they desire. Give a kid a break today, do something creative with them, and they just might surprise and inspire you.