A Talent for Giftedness

Q. My child's teacher says that he is gifted. Isn't that just another way of saying he is talented?

A. Giftedness goes well beyond individual talent. It affects both ability as well as emotional/social interactions and many other aspects of daily living. The current definition of giftedness is "Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities." I encourage you to read more about giftedness here. It is a common misconception that gifted children learn the same as other children and will be the model student in the classroom. The truth is that without the proper understanding and learning environment, gifted children will often become bored, have behavior problems, struggle with social interactions with their classmates, and purposely fail classwork.  In fact, I recently read that when Thomas Edison was a boy, his teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything. I recommend that you discuss your child's development with your school's psychologist, enrichment teacher, or a local child psychologist to further understand what to expect.

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