I’m Not THAT Parent

I’m not THAT parent. Having a gifted child, an intellectually gifted child, does not make me THAT parent. There is no need to sound the alarm and send out a special snowflake alert. I have no delusions of my child being a special snowflake who needs more than his share of attention in school. And I’m also not part of the gifted epidemic. I do have a gifted child, but I am not that parent.

Having a gifted child is not at all what you think it is. I’m sorry, but you’ve got it all wrong.

Look, I know that there are some parents like that stereotypical parent. As a former public school teacher and a parent of three children—yes, all three are gifted, I’ve seen some of those parents who wear the my-child-is-in-the-gifted-program like a feather in their cap—a status symbol. But to make a sweeping generalization that all parents of gifted children are that pushy, crazy, bragging, flash-card-toting and hothousing parent is just wrong—very wrong.

I’ve read your comments on forums and on posts about gifted children, and your feelings towards parents of gifted children are unfortunately apparent: *

Holy cow, talk about zero self awareness. Crazy parent. 

Or,

She’s basically saying, please give my child the lion’s share of your attention.

And this one,

But I do agree, the whole “gifted” thing is obnoxious. The name alone is ridiculous. It’s like having a special class just for the “beautiful” or the “clever” children.

Here is a whole slew of comments that I’ve found online criticizing parents of gifted children:

LOL, I don’t call that the “gifted” epidemic. I call it the “baby angel snowflake” epidemic.

God, hear me *scream*. This kind of parent drives me nuts, and they are everywhere. Public, private, every kind of school. Somehow I have even ended up in spontaneous conversations at the vet and grocery store w/ people wanting to let me know that their child is gifted.

I know that this gifted obsession is a function of having a high concentration of well-educated, successful parents. Parents who focus every moment and dime on their child’s learning, including utilizing flash cards, tutors, and all kinds of educational systems from an early age (of COURSE a child reads early when someone takes the time to teach them). From it extends a self-centeredness and sense of entitlement.

MY CHILD IS SOOOO SPECIAL. I NEED SPECIAL RULES AND SPECIAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD!!!  Nope. No they’re not. There are tens of thousands of children just like yours. All across the country. But I’m glad that the extra special attention that mommy and daddy constantly give them will ensure that they grow up socially inept and completely incapable of functioning in society.

And then you even slam the children in your online comments.

Yeah, the “gifted” label is the label everyone wants. So what if the kid is bright or even “gifted”. He/she is an obnoxious brat with an attitude and unpleasant to be around, arrogant being a big fish in a small pond. No matter how “gifted,” there is one Einstein and even for the profoundly “gifted,” there is someone else “smarter” than you. Sheesh, “giftedness” is not a “gift” when paired with “annoying” and no clue on “playing well with others.” Overrated.

Many who judge and then publicly post online criticism of gifted children and their parents don’t have the real facts—they don’t understand. 

Many like you have fallen for the myths and the stereotypes of gifted children and their parents, and spewing your misunderstanding of giftedness online only proliferates the fallacies. The educational, medical, psychological and scientific facts about giftedness don’t back up what you believe, and the negative feelings you have towards gifted children and their parents are unfounded.1

Being gifted is who one is; it is not what one does nor is it what one’s parents do.

I’ll lay it all out on the table. Here are the facts: Gifted individuals are born gifted. It’s inherited. Giftedness is a real neurological difference one is born with—like hair color, tall stature, left-handedness, the shape of one’s nose, curly hair, artistic talent, or musical talent. Giftedness in human beings “creates an experience outside of the norm. Giftedness is who a person is, not what a person does. A person born gifted, is always gifted.” 2

A parent can’t grow a gifted child with flash cards, tutors or reading to them in utero. All the hothousing a parent can muster or hire out will not deliver a gifted child—a high-achieving or advanced child possibly, but not a child who will be clinically identified as gifted by his or her IQ and other identifying inborn traits which can only be determined by a trained professional utilizing specific testing. Gifted is a medical, educational and psychological label used  to identify individuals with an IQ above 130 along with other identifying characteristics such as unique emotional and social traits and needs.

Gifted children don’t come from pushy, successful and highly educated parents—they come from every corner of the world.

Giftedness exists outside of school and giftedness does not discriminate. Giftedness in children is not about academic achievement, or how smart you are, nor is it about getting into the gifted program at school. Giftedness is not a function of education. Giftedness is the neurological difference you were born with, the inherent way your brain functions—it is how you think and who you are.

Giftedness also exists outside of successful, well-educated and upper-middle class families. Children from impoverished, lower-socioeconomic and minority families are also born intellectually gifted, an inherited trait from their parents. Giftedness knows no social classification, nor does it have a cultural or ethnic bias.

After all, Leonardo da Vinci, a gifted genius of historical proportions, was born from an unwed peasant mother and because of the social caste he was born into, he was denied access to a formal education and was largely self-educated. I’m pretty sure Leonardo’s mother was not in a position to hothouse her son.

Gifted children and adults can have co-existing learning disabilities.

I also want to point out that giftedness is not the net-positive you believe it to be. Not all gifted children excel in every subject at school nor are all gifted children identified and accepted into the gifted programs at school—and remember, giftedness is not really just about school. It often happens that a child can have the IQ of Einstein yet have dyslexia or autism which can cause them to struggle in school. What a coincidence; historians have long believed Einstein to have had dyslexia and high-functioning autism. Einstein also struggled in school.

See? No net-positive here. Believe it or not, there are real downsides to being gifted beyond knowing the resentment others feel about your gifted children and yourself, and openly mock you.

Gifted children need gifted education.

Just as with a child who has a real talent for singing, the parent and possibly the school work to nurture that talent to make the most of the child’s exceptional musical ability. If your son showed a remarkable talent for tennis, would you not sign him up for tennis lessons and have him join the school’s tennis team to help him develop his exceptional ability?

As well, gifted children have intellectual talent, but many schools fail to nurture or develop this cognitive talent. That is why parents of gifted children advocate for an appropriate education for their child. It’s not because we want a special class for our special little snowflakes, but because it is our child’s right to have an education which meets his needs. Yet, all across the U. S. and the world, schools are failing to appropriately educate our gifted children, which is why we advocate for a better education for our children.

What if the tennis prodigy was your son?

Let’s go back to the tennis prodigy I mentioned previously, and let’s say he is your 13-year-old middle school son. He is better at tennis than nearly all of the high school students on the high school tennis team. His talent would be challenged and strengthened best by being on the high school tennis team, but the school won’t let him play with the high schoolers because they are older than your son, so your son’s talent languishes undeveloped on the middle school tennis team. He then becomes frustrated and is ready to give up tennis because he is tired of being taught the same tennis skills he mastered years ago. Would you be okay with that? Would you not continue to try to get him on the high school tennis team because that is what would be best for your son? And what would you say to parents who mocked you, rolled their eyes at you and accused you of wanting more for your special snowflake tennis player—all because you were trying to develop your son’s tennis talent and have it nurtured as it should be?

All parents want what is best for their child and they work to ensure their child has the tools they need to develop into happy, successful adults. If your child’s school was holding your child back unchallenged and preventing your child from developing his intellectual, athletic, artistic or musical talents, what would you do? What would you say to other parents who criticized you for asking for what they felt was the lion’s share of attention? Really, all you want is for the school to appropriately address your child’s needs.

Unfortunately, public schools have historically neglected the needs of gifted children. Standardized test scores have shown, year after year, that gifted children are showing the least year-to-year progress in school because they are being held back. It is not the lion’s share parents of gifted children are advocating for, we are only asking for our fair share of attention in school!

So again, I am not THAT parent just because I want my intellectually gifted child educated the way he needs to be. I don’t want more, I just want an equitable, fair and appropriate education for my child as does nearly all parents of gifted children. Doesn’t every child deserves to have an appropriate and equitable education?

*The quotes used were all found online and were either in response to an article about gifted children or a parent who said her child was gifted. They were quoted exactly as found online.

1.Excellent explanation of gifted in Wikipedia

2. Jade Rivera

 

For more information on the misunderstanding and miseducation of gifted children and the consequences of being a gifted child in a world which does not understand you, please check out these posts.

What About the Gifted Children Who Got Left Behind?

The poor neglected gifted child–Boston Globe

Gifted Children Stuck in the No Passing Zone

I Have a Gifted Kid and I Will No Longer Be Ashamed

America Hates Its Gifted Kids–Newsweek

For gifted children, being intelligent can have dark implications–Calgary Herald

32 Comments on “I’m Not THAT Parent

  1. Adding to the “tennis prodigy” analogy; How would the child/parent feel, if the child was told NOT to play his best tennis as he needed to give the other middle school children the chance to win (like being told to NOT always raise your hand to answer all the questions in class, as it is unfair to the others who don’t raise their hands). Or the tennis child should “help the others” on the team who don’t play as well. That he shouldn’t “show off”. That he shouldn’t hit his serves as hard as he can, because the other children can’t return them easily. NONE of this ever happens in sports. A 9th grader that plays tennis extremely well will make the varsity team and NO one will worry about his social skills or if he should be in the locker room with the older boys or if it is fair to the other or older students. The school and local papers will just be very excited and proud. A 9th grader that is academically able and ready for 12 grade classes is treated VERY differently.

    • Joan,

      So true! And as I was reading your extension to the tennis prodigy, which is absolutely right, I thought of the future of gifted kids. As adults, when we need a doctor or lawyer, we want the best, the brightest. How do we ensure that the most intellectually-able are nurtured and educated to become the best and brightest professionals we seek as adults? By telling them to hide their intelligence in school? To put their hands down because they ask too many questions? To not let anybody know how much you know or you will make others feel bad? THEN we tell them you can stop hiding and covering up your intelligence once you get to college. Then it is okay–and then maybe by then it is too late.

      Thanks for your tennis prodigy addition, Joan! It is so true, sadly.

      • The even sadder reality is that in today’s world, your doctor is more likely to have been some kind of athletic prodigy than he was an academic one and his parents were probably very similar to the stereotypes discussed in this post. I don’t understand why, but in America, for some reason, we won’t let athletes be athletes, smart kids be academics and creative kids be artists. In America we want the athletes to also be the academics. Why? This mindset has plagued American public education for decades.

        • You know, I had never thought about the athlete-to-doctor situation which makes sense, and I can think of some doctors who I have been to who would fit that bill.

          And I so wish I knew why, as Americans, we love and worship athleticism, but not intellectualism. Yet, in school, the focus is all on grades and test scores. How as adults can we expect our kids to understand our conflicting expectations–we want you to be athletic and excel in a sport, we want you to excel in school and make straight A’s, but we don’t want to support any other child who is smart or excelling in school because they have it made and offend those who aren’t, so our gifted kids learn to tone down the smarts. It is a damaging mindset for sure.

          Thank you, Jeremiah, for sharing your insights especially the athlete-to-doctor situation.

  2. All these people busily telling us that children need to be themselves… unless they are gifted, then they are told to not be themselves.

  3. I had another mother of a gifted child “identify” mine in the supermarket. She struck up a conversation with him (my one year old initiated, LOL) and ended up telling me her son was just like him at that age. She said she noticed from the look in his eyes. Talk about letting strangers know your kid is gifted 😀 Nice woman, she was.

    It is hurtful and downright aggravating when people make these assumptions, the moment they find out your kid is gifted. It is similar for very pretty young women – they are assumed to be arrogant. People attribute something negative when they are jealous, to even you out in their eyes.
    The saddest thing is, they do this because they deep down believe superior intelligence equates to superior parenting skills (and they resent the effort they think you put in, because they feel inadequate). And with regards to the kids themselves… they think superior intelligence means superior, period. Shame how people forget about character and morality.

    • Absolutely, Stefanie! It is a shame how they forget about character and morality. And I often think they also forget that a gifted child is just a child and he could also have a disability, a terminal illness, or even a volatile home environment. You said it well, “they think superior means superior, period”, but there is so much more to think about.

  4. Thank you! This was one of the best gifted articles I’ve read as a parent. Hit home in so many ways. I will be sharing this at our upcoming OAGC Parent Day! LOVE IT!

    • Thank you, Angela!

      I try not to be negative in my writing and advocacy, but as a parent of a gifted child, I feel as though we have all bent over backwards more than enough trying not to offend those who don’t understand our gifted children. This time, I had to say something about the nastiness that is leveled at parents who have gifted children. Thank you for letting me know you liked this and that it hit home for you!

  5. It is hard to be perceived as “that parent”. I feel like other parents are more prone to think “well good for you, your childs gifted- you win the prize and have it made”. When in reality they don’t get that there can be a whole slew of social / emotional needs, not to mention OE’s or twice identified. So no we did not win the prize, we need help too.

    • That is the truth and the message I wish more would believe –“so no we did not win the prize, we need help too.” That is the huge roadblock to the understanding of gifted children and their real social, emotional and educational needs.

      Thanks, Rebecca!

      • I completely agree. I have one of those twice exceptional kids. My son is gifted AND has adhd. He also just tested on a 7th grade math level at the beginning of 4th grade. Can you imagine how completely frustrated he is with class work focusing on decimals and homework focusing on reviewing multiplication facts when in reality he *should* be doing algebra? My son literally taught himself to add when he was 4. It was not something I did. He just understands numbers on an almost instinctual level. Now add adhd into the mix and guess what happens when he is under challeged? He does go to his TAG class for one day a week, but that didn’t even start until last year and he still spends 4 days a week being unchallenged. It’s an issue I have been advocating for since he was in kindergarten. It’s been a struggle. I’ve asked to have him moved up to the next grade (for math only) and been told no. I’ve asked for differentiated homework and been told no. I’ve asked for him to be in our schools math club and been told no (although on that one I have my suspicion that the math specialist handpicks club members and my son’s adhd is why he gets excluded. My suspicion is that she wants perfect little soldiers even if they can’t help win the math pentathelon rather than the kid who can be unfocused and disorganized but who could help win.). It’s so incredibly frustrating. I’m trying again this year. This year’s teacher so far has been more receptive. So I’m really hoping for better results.

        • Oh goodness, Stacie, I’m so sorry. Your story is just like way too many other gifted children’s story. You would think the school/teachers would know that when a child is bored, he WILL act out.

          Here is a post I wrote about acceleration along with links to the Belin-Blank Center’s most recent research on acceleration. Maybe there is some information in there which could help convince the school to accelerate your son.

          “Yes, My Gifted Child is a Know-It-All: A Case for Acceleration”

          Keep up the good work, Stacie! Your son is so lucky to have a mom who is on top of everything!

  6. And to build on your tennis analogy even more…We would never think to tell a prodigy tennis player that since (s)he plays at a level so much higher than the other members of the team, therefore you should go try out football. Yet, this is a common conversation when discussing the academic subject a gifted child excels in. It is infuriating to be discussing our desire to have our son challenged in math, just to be told that since his math is so strong we should focus on writing or his communication skills or his leadership skills. Let’s focus on those – YES! But not at the expense of challenging him in the subject he excels in and LOVES! Let’s work together to continue to nurture that interest.

    • This makes me mad–One of the cardinal rules of teaching we were all taught in college as preservice teachers was to focus on a student’s strengths because if you focus on his weak areas, he will lose his self-esteem and become unmotivated. Since when does anyone ignore any person’s talents, strengths or gifts? Gah!

      Infuriating, most definitely!

      Jennifer, keep advocating, keep fighting, and challenge the school on their misguided notion a child does not need to focus on his strengths!

  7. The one that is very upsetting for me is being called “the helicopter parent”, while advocating for my young child. And often by other parents of gifted children, makes me wonder if their children are really gifted or high achievers. If you are a parent of a child in the 1% population, you know it is a necessity. But you know Ceci, I am starting to like the title, make me want to create my own sticker that goes “Helicopter Mom of PG and Proud of it” 🙂

  8. Thank you for this! This is such a vital issue. Numerous studies have pointed to inherited giftedness, cutting across ethnic and socioeconomic lines.

    In Oregon, districts are mandated to “mine” the population looking for these kids and then service them accordingly. But naturally, there’s no money do so. Which is why I suspect much of the education community refuses to officially acknowledge inherited giftedness. Teachers will need to be trained properly, districts will have to rethink curriculum and age based classes. Education needs an overhaul, but I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon.

    • Education does need an overhaul, Melinda! A complete dismantling and redesign–a system where what a child learns is based on his achievement and aptitude and not his age. If every parent would raise their voice and contact their legislators, maybe we could make a noise loud enough they would do something about changing education. I am a determined optimist 🙂

  9. I have children on both ends. Our oldest daughter has many academic struggles but is a wonderful artist and singer. I have worked with her on reading and math her whole life. When I advocate for her and others (she also has spd and gad) like her, everyone wants a flag to carry. Our youngest daughter is gifted..did she benefit from the extra work we did with her older sister? Probably but that didn’t make her iq 135 … she learns differently and is not a high achiever unless she wants to be. If I advocate for her all of a sudden I am that parent ( the overbearing and arrogant chick who thinks her kid is special ) I am not arrogant nor is she..in fact she is often afraid to answer questions first and be in the spotlight. I don’t mention her giftedness and she doesn’t know her iq number. Thankfully the school we are in actually has a gifted class that starts in first grade and only allows teachers who have training in gifted education to lead those classes.

    • Kelly, I know exactly what you mean–I had the same issue. I had one gifted son who had early speech and language problems and it was a breeze getting the speech therapy he needed in public school. Advocating for my gifted/2E son was met with the “how dare you ask for more for a child who clearly has more going for him?” attitude.

      Sadly, our gifted kids, as they grow up, begin to understand all of this, and start to dumb down and hide their giftedness.

      So, I will keep advocating, stirring the pot, and bringing to light the inequities in education for our gifted children.

  10. This reminds me of something that happened when my middle child was in 3rd grade. I was volunteering with a group of moms and one of them started complaining about how bad her daughter felt every time the gifted kids left for their weekly class. It made her feel “stupid” therefore her mother thought there shouldn’t even be a gifted class. How dare her daughter’s self esteem be adversely affected? I told her that before she went on she should know that my children were all gifted and that it wasn’t just harder math. What I wish I’d said (because her daughter was a good singer and often got the lead in the school musicals) was that my daughter couldn’t sing well and it makes her feel bad, so the school should stop having musicals.

    • I know what you mean, Ann! One of my gifted sons is not very athletic and you know how society loves our athletes, so he feels pretty inadequate next to swimmers, runners, baseball players and soccer players. Can you imagine the uproar if I suggested we do away with sports because my son does poorly with sports?

  11. This is why we homeschool our son. He taught himself to read at age 3 1/2. I and my husband were also self-taught readers. We thought it was great…until he got to kindergarten, and they told him that it is nice he could read, but he needed to stop, to give the other kids a chance to figure it out. I naively believed they would challenge him more…nope. Just encouraged the idea of dumbing him down. Looking over his syllabus, I realized he would learn NOTHING NEW for almost the entire year. He started acting out at school, and they insisted he must have ADHD. Had him evaluated…nope, not adhd…he was reading at a 6th grade level, and doing 3rd grade math! His school was k-3. There was literally nothing his school could offer him academically for the next 3-4 years. So we brought him home, and he is doing great. I didnt have it in me to fight with the school for years. I admire those that have the perseverance to do it! I lack the patience. 🙂

    • It is often a long, difficult fight to get your gifted child the education they need, and it does take preparation, perseverance and patience. And sometimes a thick skin helps, too.

      We all make the best decisions we can for our kids and do what is feasible and doable for our family. So happy to hear homeschooling is working out for your son–there are so many advantages to homeschooling a gifted child especially being able to give your child the accelerated education he needs!

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  12. You American gurus are so weird.

    Here’s some stuff I looked up:

    ”“The U.S. Department of Education defines the academically gifted as “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.”

    “The UK Department for Children, Schools, and Families has a less verbose definition of gifted and talented students: “children and young people with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group (or with the potential to develop those abilities).””

    The UK definition seems more straightforward and less ideologically motivated. The US one, on the other hand, seems to imply gifted as an unusual breed of intellectual elite that can’t thrive under normal conditions, like some rare hothouse flower.

    What about students, children, or youth who give evidence of all that is described but do just fine in normal schooling? By definition, they would not be labeled gifted. The US definition requires that the kid be dysfunctional or inadequately functional under normal education conditions that all other kids are forced to endure. So, any kid who does fine in school therefore can’t be gifted. It’s that weird conflation of giftedness and abnormality.

    ”“Intensity is one of the many forms of neurodiversity that are misunderstood, not tolerated and aggravated by our culture. Unharnessed, emotional, intellectual and energetic intensity can feel overwhelming to people who are not intense.”

    Retardation and sociopathy are also some of the many forms of neurodiversity. I’m not sure intensity is any less understood than anything else.

    It’s like the intensely misbehaving gifted kid. Understanding quite likely isn’t the central problem. A kid screaming at you is overwhelming to most people, even if the kid genuinely was blessed and one understood this. It’s still just another annoying kid who is pushing a teacher to the edge of sanity and generally creating a disturbance for the entire class.

    So, all the normals are supposed to tolerate gifted people’s intensity and behaviors that would be labeled ”problematic” if the kid was not blessed, but gifted people shouldn’t be required to tolerate anyone else, especially not tolerate the social norms of normal people. Gotcha.

    “To the intense person, what seems like nothing to most people, for example, seeing a typo or mistake, can trigger such a strong emotional discomfort that it feels like being hit by a crashing wave.”

    It’s a two-way street. We don’t all live to serve the gifted in the hope that they will kindly rule over us as the future intellectual elite. To the normal person, what seems like neurodiversity to the gifted advocate, for example, a kid acting out, can trigger a strong emotional discomfort that it feels like these gifted advocates are just making excuses for massive social dysfunction and inappropriate behavior that is unfair to everyone else.

    Maybe disrespectful outbursts are a reaction to being chronically disrespected by others. Then again, maybe it’s the other way around. It is meaningless to say you aren’t tolerating such behavior when you implicitly condone it in trying to explain it away by saying the child shouldn’t take responsibility for his own behavior because it supposedly is the fault of everyone else.

    Being very smart and being sensitive. These are just correlations. That is not a reason to jump to conclusions about causal links, as if there is some deterministic mechanism at play, as if these behaviors that get any other kid labeled a brat, are just signs of blessed-ness in any kid with a score about 130. Both kids and parents still have to take responsibility or else suffer the consequences, like any other person.

    I don’t think gifted advocates are entirely wrong. I just think they are confused and misdirected. It’s not as if many of these so-called gifted kids don’t have problems and don’t need help. Their problems certainly don’t seem like they’d be solved with just academic interventions and admission into a blessed program putting kids like that in a gifted program would just turn it into an expensive babysitting service if kid wasn’t also getting psychological treatment.

    The ”gifted traits” are not unique to gifted people. Even if there is correlation between various psychological traits mentioned here, and high IQ, It is not a valid conclusion to say that high IQ and all this psychological baggage are automatic package deals shipped to your door with a gifted label on top. There is a wide diversity and spectrum of problems that are being jumbled together. Maybe the confusion comes from the fact that many of these parents don’t have normal kids and so have no clue what normal looks like. They assume every problem their child has is unique and must be connected to some mysterious severely gifted syndrome.

    It is entirely possible for a ”blessed” person to be an ”obnoxious bully” just like anyone else. Blessed people are no less prone to human vices than the masses. Even ”sensitivity” can be interpreted differently. You can interpret ”intensity” as caring about Kosovo or becoming a scientist. Or you can interpret it as Ted Bundy being really good at zeroing in on a target victim, and luring her in. They are both evidence of someone keen and aware. “Gifted” traits are not tied in with morality. I simply don’t understand why you gifted gurus are always claiming ”positive” people like Da Vinci and Einstein as your own, while not claiming equally gifted people like the Unabomber or Bernie Madoff. It’s bizarre.

  13. ”Giftedness also exists outside of successful, well-educated and upper-middle class families. Children from impoverished, lower-socioeconomic and minority families are also born intellectually gifted, an inherited trait from their parents. Giftedness knows no social classification, nor does it have a cultural or ethnic bias.

    After all, Leonardo da Vinci, a gifted genius of historical proportions, was born from an unwed peasant mother and because of the social caste he was born into, he was denied access to a formal education and was largely self-educated. I’m pretty sure Leonardo’s mother was not in a position to hothouse her son.”

    BS. You can pull out exceptional cases like DV, but the fact is that general trends show that the blessed live and are born in the privileged classes. They certainly are better off in the privileged classes.

    There is a lot of confusion about heritability. It doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

    For example, epigenetics are based on environmental influences from previous generations, and yet epigenetics are inseparable from genetics in the measures of heritability rates. This is because, in reality, environment and genetics can’t be separated. Genetics only express through environmental conditions, and ultimately genes are simply an extension of the environment via evolution.

    Results are determined by environments. There are many potentially ‘superior’ kids whose potential will never be manifested, realized, or even recognized because of the conditions they were born into. A single gene can manifest in polar opposite ways, depending on its relation to other genes, junk DNA, environment, and epigenetics.

    Much of human development happens in utero. On top of that, epigentics shows that the development of the parents, grandparents, and who knows how many generations back will shape and determine the development of a child. The generations of blacks who were enslaved might still be within the range of epigenetic influence of present generations, although the area of research is still too new for us to know the full implications and how far they extend.

    We aren’t just born with genetics. Our entire ancestry and environment shapes us before we even leave the womb.

    ““This is not a trivial point,” says Winner. “Because it indicates that, of the [possibly] millions of children who are born with the potential to propel themselves to mastery, only a tiny portion are ever given a chance, due to accidents of fate. Imagine if Taylor(prodigy) had been born as an Aborigine in the Outback in Western Australia. There would be no technology, no environment, no mentors, no cultural context that would have matched his interests and abilities.””

    Not just possibly. It is guaranteed that there are at least millions of such children. Humans have very little genetic diversity, among the least genetic diversity of all the higher intelligent social species. It is highly unlikely that genetics alone is the key difference that separates the intellectual elite from the average and below-average masses.

    Maybe most kids are actually gifted and no one knows it. Maybe if most kids had the most optimal environments that made them feel like they perfectly fit in, we would see entirely different results. Maybe ‘gifted’ is the normal condition or potential of all of humanity, and society simply suppresses this human reality. I’ve met few kids who didn’t at one time or another struggle to fit in or end up paying a price for conforming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *