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Has the term "gifted" been marginalized?


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I want to start of by saying that I in no way intend any criticism of anyone here. I ask because I am truly not wanting to remain ignorant of this subject any longer.

 

What exactly classifies one as a "gifted" student? To me the term gifted refers to someone who has a higher than average IQ and seems to excel in most things in life, and perhaps even has some areas of knowledge where that person seems almost genius. I have been privileged to know a few of these people in my life and they are, to say the least, inspiring.

 

I have heard of and talked to the parents of some children who have been labeled as gifted, but also have learning disabilities and social anxiety issues. It turns out they are just far above average (for their age group) at math, or spelling, or piano, etc. They are not (and I mean no disrespect at all) what I consider to be inspiring.

 

My oldest can play something on the piano by listening to it one time. I have a friend who's 10 year old is doing calculus. They are of average ability in all other academic aspects of their lives and do not possess any social anxieties. Are they gifted or just gifted in those particular skills?

 

Has the term gifted been marginalized? It seems everytime I talk to moms at the park or zoo at least a few of them tell me that their child is gifted. When I was in school it was very rare for someone to get labeled as gifted and when they were it was plainly obvious that they were indeed far above average. As I said before they were advanced in all academic areas, were socially adept, and usually excelled in most things.

 

So, help me understand this. Obviously my understanding of the term gifted has always been incorrect, or it has indeed come to mean something else over the last 20-25 years. What are the criteria, at present, for being considered gifted?

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I think part of the problem may be that your friends are determining giftedness by whether their kids qualify for the TAG or similar pull-out program at their public elementary schools. I am sure eligibility requirements differ, but around here, it just isn't that hard to qualify for TAG. I think the requirement is to score 90th percentile on a standardized test or some subset of a standardized test, or to get in on a teacher's recommendation.

 

Your interpretation of "gifted" is probably what others might consider "profoundly gifted," while your friends' definition of "gifted" is "pretty smart."

 

No definition, however, should exclude those who are otherwise gifted but are socially inept or have a learning disability.

 

Terri

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I think it has.

 

I went to the one of our nation's service academies. So you can say there were some pretty bright people there. The brightest of the bright. Some of the most "gifted". And you know what - there were really only a few of what I would call truly GIFTED. Those who walked into advance electrical engineering and just knew it. They didn't have to study. The GOT it. The first time. And they were funny. And athletic. And leaders. I firmly believe that all-around truly gifted people are rare.

 

But there were a few. And frankly, they were amazing.

 

The rest were really, really bright people. Hard workers. People who studied and worked and got it. Some it was easier, some harder, but they were all really capable and smart and good (or maybe gifted) in different areas. I would assume that most of us were considered "gifted" throughout school, but in hindsight I'd say most were smarter but maybe not really "gifted".

 

Who knows - maybe I was so used to the company I was keeping (or ridiculously bright and talented people) that to impress me it really takes a LOT. A ton.

 

I think what I learned the most at the Acadmey was not that I hoped my kids would be gifted, but that they would learn to WORK. Hard. I know so many kids who were at the top of my class who weren't the most gifted. Or the smartest. But they were so good at applying themselves that they rocked the rest. The knew how and when to study. They proofread. They wrote more than one draft. They did all the assigned reading - before class. So that's what I want for my kids - study habits, time management, applying themselves. Doing the best for God with what they've been given. I think that's the real key to success.

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Well - I think this is a case of a difference of semantics.

Gifted, in my experience, has been usually an IQ somewhere over 135, but not always, and basically show an ability to think creatively, lead well, or have some other high level of proficiency in a skill. Some of the people in my gifted classes when I was young were not the smartest kids in the class, but they were able to think in ways that the other kids didn't.

 

Anyway - beyond gifted would be genius. I do not think gifted kids are considered geniuses. Generally, a true genius still wouldn't fit in in a gifted class.

 

The reason they do not call "gifted" classes "high IQ" or "savant" classes, is because that is not what they are for. They are there to feed a child's higher ability in some field.

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What exactly classifies one as a "gifted" student? To me the term gifted refers to someone who has a higher than average IQ and seems to excel in most things in life, and perhaps even has some areas of knowledge where that person seems almost genius. I have been privileged to know a few of these people in my life and they are, to say the least, inspiring.

 

gifted = a much higher than average IQ

gifted ≠ automatically excelling

gifted ≠ inspiring

 

There are plenty of people who are inspiring but not gifted in the sense of a high IQ. There are also plenty of people with a high IQ who are not really all that inspiring, IME.

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gifted = a much higher than average IQ

gifted ≠ automatically excelling

gifted ≠ inspiring

 

There are plenty of people who are inspiring but not gifted in the sense of a high IQ. There are also plenty of people with a high IQ who are not really all that inspiring, IME.

 

:iagree:

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I think it has been marginalized to mean a school child that learns easier, quicker than others (in my part of the country) AND TESTS well. Anything other than that is dismissed in the schools around here. I do believe true high IQ can have learning disabilities that puts them even below their peers. I think it does include people who have that "knack" -like the child that can hear music once and play it perfectly - that is beyond academics. after all how many great musicans, artists, inventors were crappy in school/formal academics but are considered to be genius by everyone? And had horrible social lives because of their "quirks"?

 

I don't believe it relates to successful, excellent lives for every one. I think that may simply fall in the realm of over achiever.:) History shows many a tortured soul. I do believe that gifted is now applied because schools get additional funding. Thus it benefits them to label students as much as possible.

 

True gift is beyond an ability to learn easy. It's the ability to do what few can do even when given the time and attention to do it. It's the ability to go above the education and do something beyond what they have been trained. 3 year olds can be taught to read/write/ play the piano. It's the rare 3 year old that can teach themselves to read or sit down and copy the music they just heard. It's those who can simply get it while everyone is still :willy_nilly: and :svengo:. Those that can continue to do what is rare or what they have not been taught are what I consider to be gifted.

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The term gifted is very applicable in one sense: A child does not *become* gifted or work their way towards it, they were "gifted" with the talents/abilities that they have and parents simply help to nurture them (or not). So, that in and of itself is not "inspiring" to me, usually, although the individual person and what they DO with their gifts can be.

 

Although I like the term for that side of the coin, on the other I don't like that it has come to imply (for some or even many) that these people have been given a *greater* gift or even that they have a gift and others do not. The way the term can be thrown around so loosely, too, has not helped its continued acceptance, IMO.

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I have a dear friend I have known since we were 12. She is gifted - very high IQ, amazing thinker, leader, musician, highly sought after computer programmer... with many of the qualities listed above. But, she is also learning disabled - she is dyslexic and can't spell her way out of a box. I don't think the dyslexia makes her any less gifted.

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I have heard of and talked to the parents of some children who have been labeled as gifted, but also have learning disabilities and social anxiety issues. It turns out they are just far above average (for their age group) at math, or spelling, or piano, etc. They are not (and I mean no disrespect at all) what I consider to be inspiring.

 

 

 

My son is one of those gifted kids who also has dyslexia and ADHD. When he was younger, he was delayed in many areas. Testing confirmed this.

 

Fast forward 7 years. Testing now shows that his intellectual functioning is in the highly gifted range; he is also working a solid two years ahead of grade level across the board. He takes medication for his ADHD and needs some accommodations for testing and in other areas.

 

He has worked incredibly hard to get where he is today--a place where he is able to function academically on a level that approaches his intellectual ability. That he worked so hard and was able to progress so far to me is inspiring.

 

To me, being gifted is an internal thing. It's about how someone thinks and the connections they are able to make, and it may or may not be exhibited in a way that inspires others.

Edited by EKS
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I use the term as it relates to IQ, as well as to a certain thinking style. My son is considered gifted because he has an IQ above 135, but he also has a learning disabilty, a processing disorder, that makes it hard for him to do certain tasks. He can memorize spelling words the first time he sees them but has great difficulty copying them from a blackboard onto paper. He also processes verbal instructions slower, so there is sometimes a gap between what you tell him and his repsponse (I do the same thing.). But he thinks quickly and has an easy time learning otherwise. He also thinks differently, as do many "gifted" children. This can be a huge issue in a classroom setting. Teachers not used to this could get very bogged down dealing with questions that they never expected to be asked. Myself, I was also in a gifted class, and according to my IQ am either highly gifted or genius, depending on whose scale you use. It was very obvious this applied more to certain subject areas than others...I did well in math but always took longer to do it than the other gifted students. But I could read circles around anyone in the school..which was luckily encouraged and I had a special pass to use the school library twice a day. I was finishing my work and still reading 2 trixie belden books a day in 3rd grade. Had that not been recognized and encouraged I might have gone crazy.

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gifted = a much higher than average IQ

gifted ≠ automatically excelling

gifted ≠ inspiring

 

There are plenty of people who are inspiring but not gifted in the sense of a high IQ. There are also plenty of people with a high IQ who are not really all that inspiring, IME.

 

(Note - this post is not to be taken as a brag) I fall into this category. My IQ falls between 135 and 145, depending on which test you want to believe. ;) There is very little about my life that is inspiring. I'm a SAHM to special needs kids, married to a godly man who works in industry. No where in my 'real' life does it make a difference whatsoever that I'm gifted - most people in my life don't even know. Why would they?

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Has it been marginalized? Probably.

 

There are plenty of places to get an accurate idea of what "gifted" means. I think it really depends on where you go and who you are talking to. I hear many people who believe that all children are gifted in their own special way (which is true) and that all children are gifts (also true) but that does not mean that all children are "gifted".

 

There are a few different types of gifted... academically, creatively, socially etc. But mostly it will be about IQ, as it is something that can be measured with a decent amount of accuracy (not by a standardized test score BTW, but that can be an indicator). Then within that there are differing degrees of level of giftedness. Moderately gifted, highly gifted, profoundly gifted. There are few PG kids/people out there. Many more MG & HG.

 

Being any of these does not mean that you are inspiring, or get good grades. Many can't function well in certain situations that most people can. Then imagine how frustrating it would be to be extremely smart, yet be dyslexic or have some other LD.

 

Being gifted or having gifted children is not a walk in the park. It can be like a minefield. A person with a high IQ is going to have as many different needs as someone with a low IQ... just different ones.

 

I am the poster child for an under-achieving HG who was not given the right opportunities and challenges when younger, so barely made it out of high school. I knew how to read at 2. How do you find appropriate reading material for a 3 yo that can read at a middle school level? I was not trained or taught to do this... it just WAS. Now, I was obviously an early starter... but many taglets are late bloomers, and some kids get labeled early as gifted when they only learned some things before most kids do.

 

I don't know what I am rambling on about... :tongue_smilie:

 

Being gifted does not translate into being successful, or getting good grades or even being happy. It is just that the brain works a little differently than those with lower IQs. That's all. And within that gifted group and all its categories you still have the usual differences, personality, gender, family, type of learner, interests etc etc. It can be a nightmare. Homeschooling is becoming a much easier path for many families with gifted kids that fighting with a school system...

 

With all this being said.... I have 2 gifted kids. I do not know which level they are, or their IQ, and I doubt I will ever do formal testing unless it is somehow needed. How do I know? Trust me. They are. It is a real PITA. :D I can't get away with anything. Ugh.

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(Note - this post is not to be taken as a brag) I fall into this category. My IQ falls between 135 and 145, depending on which test you want to believe. ;) There is very little about my life that is inspiring. I'm a SAHM to special needs kids, married to a godly man who works in industry. No where in my 'real' life does it make a difference whatsoever that I'm gifted - most people in my life don't even know. Why would they?

 

:iagree:

 

My profoundly (academically) gifted husband has a blue-collar job and is an all around nice guy. He comes across as bright and competent, but no one would guess his IQ unless they knew him well.

 

I also have a very high IQ, but outside of a school setting it means very, very little.

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I don't believe the term is marginalized as much as it is coveted; thus motivating parents to use it liberally.

 

:iagree:

Everyone wants a special snowflake, people aren't content to have normal/average kids that do normal/average things. And if they can't be superior in brain function, then, by god, they better have some special malady. It irritates the crap out of me :glare: I had a friend who had a son who performed "normally"- C averages, nothing advanced, but nothing behind- and she dragged him around until she found someone who would label him with a learning disability.

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People throw around all kinds of labels that aren't necessarily helpful or even accurate. Legions of "professionals" exisit to sort us all out into these categories. It's my opinion that these labels are only marginally helpful and quite frequently entirely mistaken. The tests or barometers they use to measure us are incredibly crude.

 

I've decided to take my old, dead grandmothers advice and ..."do the best with what I've got..." despite any label I or my children may have.

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(Note - this post is not to be taken as a brag) I fall into this category. My IQ falls between 135 and 145, depending on which test you want to believe. ;) There is very little about my life that is inspiring. I'm a SAHM to special needs kids, married to a godly man who works in industry. No where in my 'real' life does it make a difference whatsoever that I'm gifted - most people in my life don't even know. Why would they?

 

 

Actually some people I have worked with have noticed...it can actually be embarrassing to be labeled as "the genius" or "the encyclopedia", even when it is said affectionately.

'

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:iagree:

Everyone wants a special snowflake, people aren't content to have normal/average kids that do normal/average things. And if they can't be superior in brain function, then, by god, they better have some special malady. It irritates the crap out of me :glare: I had a friend who had a son who performed "normally"- C averages, nothing advanced, but nothing behind- and she dragged him around until she found someone who would label him with a learning disability.

 

Everyone's kid IS a special snowflake. :D

 

However, if your kid does have a LD, a high IQ, a low IQ, allergy or disease you need to address it accordingly.

 

You might not have thought the kid had a problem, but maybe he did... or the parent just wanted the label to make things easier. Who cares? Some parents are complete freakin' idiots. Many kids are misdiagnosed in many areas. The school system needs boxes to shove kids in.

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I just covered this in my special education class. Yes, the term means the top 1 1/2 - 2 % of students, academically, based on IQ testing. It has also more recently been opened up in the school systems in most states to mean students who are gifted in other areas as well: creativity, leadership. Those are more difficult to define precisely.

 

I know many homeschoolers who use the term to refer to their child, when the child is not in the top 2% academically. They are using it in a more genericl way, rather than the clinical way, I would say.

 

I think a lot of people who covet the term don't understand that the reason it exists is that there are students who suffer in a regular education classroom. Testing and applying the label happened in order to give those students a chance to learn at their ability level, rather than withering away in a regular ed classroom with no help. Many truly gifted students have negative aspects to the trait, as well. Those who desire the term or mock the term often only see the benefits of having a gifted child, and don't understand that the term can be useful for parents who are pulling their hair out trying to help a child who doesn't fit the mold.

 

Gifted is not the same thing as genius. Gifted is not the same thing as accelerated or advanced.

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This is what Dr. Ben Carson has said in an interview. Dr. Carson grew up in the housing projects and was at the bottom of his class through most of his earlier schooling. Then something happened and he started applying himself to reading and studying and found out that he too could excel.

He went on to become Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and was the first surgeon in the world who successfully separated twins who were attached at the head.

 

His philosophy was not to say, "I leave this kind of work to the gifted," but he said to himself with a lot of hard work and God's help "I can do it."

 

I recently watched the movie, ironically titled: "Gifted Hands" and it was well done but it's different when you hear him speak in an interview, he is truly inspiring. He said: "Everyone with a brain is gifted."

 

Being gifted and lazy may amount to little. Being diligent and working hard may amount to much.

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Many truly gifted students have negative aspects to the trait, as well. Those who desire the term or mock the term often only see the benefits of having a gifted child, and don't understand that the term can be useful for parents who are pulling their hair out trying to help a child who doesn't fit the mold.

 

Gifted is not the same thing as genius. Gifted is not the same thing as accelerated or advanced.

:iagree:

 

While the term may be overused by some, it is useful for parents who seek to understand their children and meet their needs.

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If someone has an extremely high IQ or is considered to be highly gifted, is it typical for them to have some aspect of their life in which they are lacking or have trouble? (dyslexia, ADHD, social anxiety, behavioral issues, etc.) Are the gifted programs at ps set up to help these types of children?

 

And

 

To me, being gifted is an internal thing. It's about how someone thinks and the connections they are able to make, and it may or may not be exhibited in a way that inspires others.

 

There are plenty of people who are inspiring but not gifted in the sense of a high IQ. There are also plenty of people with a high IQ who are not really all that inspiring, IME.

 

These statements are very true. I think perhaps what I'm remembering about those people I mentioned being inspiring is that they were so good at EVERYTHING and everything came so easily to them. (Perhaps they had extremely high IQs, had extremely high EQs, and were over achievers?) They also were kind, considerate, loving, had high moral characters...basically I felt as if I should aspire to be more like them. However, I agree that a child who overcomes disadvantages to excel in, or exceed expectations in some aspect of his life should also inspire you; actually even more so.

 

 

And finally, so far what I'm getting is that people are using "gifted" in many, many different ways. So, it is difficult to know exactly what someone is telling you when they say their child (or they) are gifted.

I need to re-define my use of the term gifted, or maybe I just won't use the term at all anymore and speak using more specifics. Thank you all so far; you have given me lots to think about!

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I just covered this in my special education class. Yes, the term means the top 1 1/2 - 2 % of students, academically, based on IQ testing.

 

I must be confused. I thought IQ was a test for intelligence, not academic progress.

 

Many years ago I read a book called Geniuses Among Us, which gave a very interesting look into that phenomenon. It explained that most geniuses function primarily in one particular "domain" and may well be very average or below average in other areas. However, for their domain, it is similar to being a hard core addict. These kids don't have the option of not learning in that area. They crave it to an emotionally unbalanced degree. They begin to suffer physical symptoms if denied stimulation in the domain area. It is very much a double edged blessing/curse.

 

Regarding giftedness, I believe the word originally meant to have natural abilities beyond those of the average person. Hence, the gift part of the word. Nothing that a person worked for, just what I would call a God-given ability. The school system grabbed the word and began to apply it to children who achieved some high score in either academics or IQ, or both. I have never had a child in ps, so haven't looked into it.

 

I do know that I have met a number of normal, bright, curious children who have been placed in TAG programs because the teacher determined that they were capable of more advanced work in a subject that the rest of the class was able to handle. Are they truly gifted? Not necessarily. Are they geniuses? Definitely not.

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I honestly don't know much about the original meaning of "gifted," and I have a hard time understanding the difference between gifted and high IQ. I just wonder about the whole IQ thing as I do with all tests.

 

I don't have much to add to this thread except to say that I personally use the word "gifted" as meaning a literal gift or ability that I see people having.

 

I do think Nathan is gifted, though I have shied away from any formal testing. I never thought that a person had to gifted in all areas to be considered gifted. Almost anyone who meets Nathan knows he has something extra going on up there.

 

Am I concerned about getting him a label? No. Do I have a need for him to be labeled gifted? No He is what he is, and I plan to spend my years as his mom surrounding him with whatever fuels his passions.

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Well, all of our children are just like Dh and I...learning comes easy and we are highly motivated. Neither of us were every referred to as gifted but rather, this was what the top 10% of a graduating class was supposed to be like. Highly motivated and easy to acquire new academic or art oriented skills. People always referred to us as really smart but nobody would have ever used the word gifted because that was for geniuses. Maybe my musical ability got close, but I was no Mozart...there wasn't any prodigiousness.

 

I think that society has lowered it's expectations in so many areas that when highly motivated, easy learners come along, they stand out even more and so the term giftedness gets tossed around. My sister is a psychologist/social worker and says the term is used far too liberally.

 

Of my four children, one is truly gifted and in a couple of areas, almost prodigious. He has an IQ to match though Dh and I are not big fans of the IQ thing either. Ds was tested in a gamut of testing that we agreed to when he went through his SID issues. We was on the rather extreme end of high IQ. So, from that persective, I can honestly say that I meet a lot of kids whose parents and teachers refer to them as gifted but whom I would just classify as quick learners and mature for their age.

 

Plus, labeling a child as "gifted" gets the school more money. No joke, it is considered a form of special ed and so there is anywhere from $500.00-2000.00 per year more per pupil, it all depends on the state. Therefore, if a kid gets all A's or mostly all A's in our area, they are labeled gifted and the school gets extra funding even though we don't have any gifted programs and if they truly did have a REAL gifted program, many of these kids would struggle with the pace and the requirements.

 

Oh, and where my sister lives in Kentucky, gifted math class for fourth graders means that they being the year by learning their 4"s and 5's timestables and can use very limited multiplication in a story problem. I am not kidding, it's gifted math for 4th grade and no one has ever even done double digit multiplication!!! So, obviously, the term gifted really means nothing in that region.

 

Faith

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Let me start off by saying that I believe that each person has special gifts and a unique purpose in life.

 

This discussion always feels like that "homeschoolers are dysfunctional, unsocialized zealots" stereotype. Every time someone mentions the word gifted, there's a thousand people bringing up those weird stereotypes and blanket statements. It's like saying, "Those kids with dyslexia...they really bother me. I think the parents are just trying to get attention. They don't need some extra help, they just need Discipline!" :glare:

 

There are tons of articles about gifted kids on www.hoagiesgifted.org.

 

I think radiobrain explained it very well. It's not a popularity contest and it's not teachers picking kids who are doing well in class. Some of these kids have a really hard time in school.

 

For example, in our school district, you had to score in the 98th percentile on a specific test (which was kinda like an intelligence test), then you went through a series of interviews and three more rounds of testing. These tests were not "what is a verb" tests, they were like problem solving, creativity, etc. Oh, and there are also different categories gifted kids can fall into. Some kids are mathematically gifted, some are creatively gifted, etc. Some kids are only gifted in one category and then struggle in others.

 

Unfortunately, I view this as a giant curse and I never bring it up in real life with anyone. You're left wondering if you're doing everything you possibly can for your kid, you wonder if you're holding them back somehow, you wonder if you're not a competent-enough parent, you feel bad because other kids notice they're weird, people think you're locking them in a closet all day to memorize weird cr$p and then other parents get p&ssed off and offended if you try to talk about it. It's a ridiculous situation.

 

I actually have a theory from watching my daughter and her friend (who has Autism) that there's some kind of correlation in the brain between gifted kids and kids with Autism/Asperger's. I think they are related somehow and I just don't think there's been enough research in that arena. Like I said in another thread, I actually thought for a while that my daughter had Asperger's and my sister (a nurse) had to talk me out of that tree. :glare:

 

I don't ever want to have the gifted discussion ever again. :banghead:

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I must be confused. I thought IQ was a test for intelligence, not academic progress.

 

You're right. I should have said intelligence, not academics. I was looking for a way to differentiate between the original meaning, which was about intelligence, and the more modern term in public schools, which includes leadership and creativity (and sometimes other areas.)

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Plus, labeling a child as "gifted" gets the school more money. No joke, it is considered a form of special ed and so there is anywhere from $500.00-2000.00 per year more per pupil, it all depends on the state. Therefore, if a kid gets all A's or mostly all A's in our area, they are labeled gifted and the school gets extra funding even though we don't have any gifted programs and if they truly did have a REAL gifted program, many of these kids would struggle with the pace and the requirements.

 

Maybe there is a state or states that do this, but I have never heard of it. Gifted is not a protected class under federal special education law. Most funding for special education is mandated through IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which contains nothing about gifted students.

 

Dh's career is all about special education budgets, and he has never heard of extra money for gifted children.

 

Many school don't have a gifted program exactly because it is not federally mandated in the way other forms of special education are. Gifted education programs are more often a feel good pat on the head for parents with students with intellectual gifts.

 

ETA: Okay, I googled to see if I could find out more, and I found this article about a state granting schools money to help them identify and educate gifted students. It's $4 (and then $9 in subsequent years) per student.

Edited by angela in ohio
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I can speak to the painful part of being gifted. I was a terribly, painfully shy kid. I would worry all night that I might miss one question on a quiz, or that the teacher wouldn't LOVE my essay - to the point of loosing sleep. I would physically get ill before school, because I was terrified of getting a math question wrong. If I got less than perfect - I felt like a failure.

I also had horrible social skills. Not that I was mean, or bratty. I just couldn't figure out what to do to act 'normal" and the other kids could tell - and frequently I had no friends. It took me until 9th grade before I figured it out and now you'd never know - but it was a LARGE learning curve for me.

So - sure - high IQ can help with some things - but I think the main thing the gifted classes did for me was to get me with other kids who were weird - made me feel more normal for a while. I don't think the academics were all that big of a deal really - but to be in a class with other kids who were, out of synch I guess - helped a lot :)

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I was given a label as a child. Luckily for me, neither my parents nor I chose to use it and, it doesn't use me either. ;)

 

I think some people like labels. Some people even need labels. It makes them feel safe. It makes them feel a sense of belonging. It makes them feel secure. It may even make them feel superior.

 

Very often, it doesn't matter to these people if the labels they are using are correct in any way. It just matters that they have them.

Edited by Audrey
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Being gifted does not translate into being successful, or getting good grades or even being happy. It is just that the brain works a little differently than those with lower IQs. That's all. And within that gifted group and all its categories you still have the usual differences, personality, gender, family, type of learner, interests etc etc..

 

Thank you, Korin.

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I think the "gifted" label in its current incarnation is all but useless. The term refers to a specific IQ range, which varies depending on which test you go by, but there are so many out there that use it because they really, really want their kid to be gifted, or use it to refer to their two-year-old, that it doesn't really mean much any more.

 

I'm not saying there aren't children out there that fall into that IQ range, but in general, when I'm talking to a mother at the playground and she tells me that her 18 month old was just tested and is gifted, I tend to be a bit skeptical. I even heard one mother saying that she suspected her infant was a gifted child because his first teeth came in at four months.

 

And really, IQ is such a crap way to "measure" a person, that I think the whole thing is a crock, anyway. My IQ places me in the gifted range. I have borderline personality disorder, clinical depression, work a low-paying part-time job, and a host of other issues. So honestly, I don't even want to know if my dd is gifted. I'll be perfectly happy just to know her. :)

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:iagree:

Everyone wants a special snowflake, people aren't content to have normal/average kids that do normal/average things. And if they can't be superior in brain function, then, by god, they better have some special malady. It irritates the crap out of me :glare: I had a friend who had a son who performed "normally"- C averages, nothing advanced, but nothing behind- and she dragged him around until she found someone who would label him with a learning disability.

 

:iagree:

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I think the "gifted" label in its current incarnation is all but useless. The term refers to a specific IQ range, which varies depending on which test you go by, but there are so many out there that use it because they really, really want their kid to be gifted, or use it to refer to their two-year-old, that it doesn't really mean much any more.

 

I'm not saying there aren't children out there that fall into that IQ range, but in general, when I'm talking to a mother at the playground and she tells me that her 18 month old was just tested and is gifted, I tend to be a bit skeptical. I even heard one mother saying that she suspected her infant was a gifted child because his first teeth came in at four months.

 

And really, IQ is such a crap way to "measure" a person, that I think the whole thing is a crock, anyway. My IQ places me in the gifted range. I have borderline personality disorder, clinical depression, work a low-paying part-time job, and a host of other issues. So honestly, I don't even want to know if my dd is gifted. I'll be perfectly happy just to know her. :)

 

First of all, that middle part is totally Whacked!

 

 

I think that the actual term of "gifted" is the problem. It implies something else. It implies some sort of superiority. I wish there was a more precise word that explained it better. If people who are not "gifted" themselves or the parents of gifted kids knew the downsides that can come with that higher IQ, they might not be so quick to want to jump on board.

 

I have to get off this thing. ;)

 

good night!

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I think that the actual term of "gifted" is the problem. It implies something else. It implies some sort of superiority. I wish there was a more precise word that explained it better. If people who are not "gifted" themselves or the parents of gifted kids knew the downsides that can come with that higher IQ, they might not be so quick to want to jump on board.

 

 

 

This brings me back to my question...do people who have extremely high IQ or are considered truly highly gifted, typically always have some other area of their lives in which they are lacking or have problems? (dyslexia, ADHD, social anxiety, behavioral problems). Does one usually indicate the other? If so, why? Does the brain put so much into one area that it causes another area to be lacking?

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This brings me back to my question...do people who have extremely high IQ or are considered truly highly gifted, typically always have some other area of their lives in which they are lacking or have problems? (dyslexia, ADHD, social anxiety, behavioral problems). Does one usually indicate the other? If so, why? Does the brain put so much into one area that it causes another area to be lacking?

 

No. I know highly gifted people (in the high IQ sense) who are perfectly normal otherwise. I would even say that *most* of the people I know who fall in that category have no other "issues."

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This brings me back to my question...do people who have extremely high IQ or are considered truly highly gifted, typically always have some other area of their lives in which they are lacking or have problems? (dyslexia, ADHD, social anxiety, behavioral problems). Does one usually indicate the other? If so, why? Does the brain put so much into one area that it causes another area to be lacking?

 

I don't think it's a matter of, if you have one, you always have the other. "Giftedness" (and I really do despise that term) isn't a switch that's either flipped on or off. In general, however, the higher a person's IQ, the greater their chance of having some sort of mental illness. I don't know about learning disabilities. Perhaps when the brain compensates for having some parts that don't work correctly, there are parts that overcompensate and allow the person to do certain things very well.

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I don't think it's a matter of, if you have one, you always have the other. "Giftedness" (and I really do despise that term) isn't a switch that's either flipped on or off. In general, however, the higher a person's IQ, the greater their chance of having some sort of mental illness. I don't know about learning disabilities. Perhaps when the brain compensates for having some parts that don't work correctly, there are parts that overcompensate and allow the person to do certain things very well.

 

I have never heard the bolded before. Can you link me to something that talks more about that or just let me know where you read or heard it? Very interesting.

 

I have no idea what the public schools use nowadays to define "gifted", but I know when I was in school, I was part of some program for "gifted" kids. All I remember about is that a few of the kids in my class, including me, got pulled out of regular class a few times a week to do advanced math. I do have a higher than average IQ, but it doesn't mean much to me. I feel the same way as nestof3 in that I tend to use the word gifted in the literal sense, such as my oldest daughter is gifted with an ability to bond with and care for animals.

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Wow - interesting discussion.

 

I don't believe the term is marginalized as much as it is coveted; thus motivating parents to use it liberally.

 

:iagree: I don't particularly like the term gifted. Being gifted and having gifted children isn't always easy or fun. For myself, I never felt like I could really be myself at school. I always was sweating bullets trying to fit in so I wouldn't out myself as a freak. I was never IDed GT as a child. I just felt different and my mind just raced constantly. My oldest went to 2 years of elementary school and had a stomach ache almost every morning he went to school. I don't think he learned anything academically for 2 years. For that reason, having a label of some kind has been very helpful and liberating. It made me step back and fully understand my own childhood and gave me much more perspective about the intensity, emotions, extreme questioning, and needs of my own children. Ultimately, it led to homeschooling. Where it's ok for my 9 year old to do algebra and play legos all at the same time.

 

Every time someone mentions the word gifted, there's a thousand people bringing up those weird stereotypes and blanket statements. It's like saying, "Those kids with dyslexia...they really bother me. I think the parents are just trying to get attention. They don't need some extra help, they just need Discipline!" :glare:

 

I just love this quote. :001_smile: If gifted were called something like Hyper-cranial-ophia or some other technical term, we might not need to have so many of these discussions. Gifted kids and adults who do not have their social, intellectual, and emotional needs met are an at risk population much like anyone else and they do have unique needs. I was clinically depressed my entire elementary school career.

 

Gifted people may or may not be inspiring, high achievers. It's just a matter of how they think. I would say the 10 year old doing calc and the child that can play piano by ear are absolutely gifted, but just in different ways. There are types and degrees of giftedness.

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If gifted were called something like Hyper-cranial-ophia or some other technical term, we might not need to have so many of these discussions.

 

Honestly, I think people are people. If we called it something else, that term would be coveted and over-used. It's just like the term "mentally retarded" became an insult, as we discussed in the other recent thread. It's not about the term, it's about the assumption that higher IQ immediately equals "better" and lower IQ equals "worse." No matter what you call any level of intelligence, the underlying belief is there.

 

To the thread in general... gifted is an overused term, ASD is an overused term, and ADHD is an overused term, etc.. I just wish everyone would understand that one person using a term incorrectly doesn't negate the fact that others are using it correctly to describe a specific, different-than-typical aspect of their child, in an effort to have that child's needs met appropriately.

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Is this anecdotal?

 

Not sure where it came from. I've read it so many times that I suppose there's info somewhere that backs it up, though I don't have the internet right now (I'm actually at the laundromat) and I don't have time to go dig up a link. It's certainly true in my own experience, and among many of the people I know.

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To the thread in general... gifted is an overused term, ASD is an overused term, and ADHD is an overused term, etc.. I just wish everyone would understand that one person using a term incorrectly doesn't negate the fact that others are using it correctly to describe a specific, different-than-typical aspect of their child, in an effort to have that child's needs met appropriately.

 

It doesn't negate that fact, but it does make the label itself somewhat meaningless. If most of the kids in a gifted class are there because mommy and daddy threw a fit to get them in, and the teacher has to lower the academic standards to fit most of the class, the kids that are truly well above average still aren't going to get a suitable education. A child doesn't need labels to have his or her needs met. In my opinion, labels do more harm than good.

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A child doesn't need labels to have his or her needs met. In my opinion, labels do more harm than good.

 

Well - ok - I can see your point here. But truly, just because a label is overused doesn't mean it doesn't have a point.

I mean - knowing what my DS's LD's are has helped me enormously in teaching him; when my parents were told why I was weird and why I had no friends (neither had more than a 11th grade education) I finally was able to get into a class where I fit in better.

i have never pursued any sort of "gifted" testing with my kids - basically because there has never been a need. However, I was glad my older DS got into the advanced math and language arts classes, becuase even without any sort of label - that's where he needed to be.

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Well - ok - I can see your point here. But truly, just because a label is overused doesn't mean it doesn't have a point.

I mean - knowing what my DS's LD's are has helped me enormously in teaching him; when my parents were told why I was weird and why I had no friends (neither had more than a 11th grade education) I finally was able to get into a class where I fit in better.

i have never pursued any sort of "gifted" testing with my kids - basically because there has never been a need. However, I was glad my older DS got into the advanced math and language arts classes, becuase even without any sort of label - that's where he needed to be.

 

I guess, in my mind, there's a difference between a label and a medical diagnosis. Obviously, I have no problem with the use of the latter. Well, most of the time. ADHD has been so overdiagnosed that it's become more of a generic label for hyper kids than anything else. Not to say that there aren't ADHD kids with a legitmate medical need, because there are certainly many. But too many parents think that if a kid is hyper and can't study for six hours straight, there must be something wrong. Kids are supposed to be hyper and run around a lot. :)

 

I'd better stop before I go off on a rant and piss someone off, lol.

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A child doesn't need labels to have his or her needs met. In my opinion, labels do more harm than good.

 

This is definitely not entirely true. While the services available under the label "gifted" vary widely in their usefulness, some labels can be important to open doors to services not otherwise available to children whose parents have limited financial resources.

 

Special education services under IDEA (which does not include the category of gifted) can be extensive and expensive. Labels open doors to those services.

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