To Whom It May Concern: Being Gifted Sucks Sometimes

To the parents who wish for their child to be gifted. To the teachers who think gifted children should easily excel in school. Or for that matter, to every person who believes being gifted is one of the most awesomest things anyone can hope to be:

Sorry, giftedness is not quite what you think it is.

Being gifted is hard. Growing up gifted can be a sad, lonely and adversity-ridden time. Being gifted sucks sometimes, maybe most of the time.


Hold on a minute. I know what you are thinking because I used to think that way, but hear me out. It’s not like I’m saying being successful sucks or being healthy sucks.

Look, you know that saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes? Yeah, that one. Well, you may or may not have the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of a parent with a gifted child, so to help you understand a bit about giftedness, here are five things which can make the life of a gifted child suck. And cause stress, grief and heartache for their parents.


1. BULLYING—Gifted children are different, often very different.

Yeah, yeah, every human is different and yada yada, but we all cling close to the normal range, right? Gifted children are often a bit further away from what society views as normal, typical or average. Gifted children’s thinking and reasoning is quite different from typical kids their age. Their emotional and social development can be at a different level than what is typical for their age. And you know what happens to kids who are different, maybe a bit too different?


One of the fundamental reasons victims of bullying are targeted by the bully is because of their differences. Differences can make one stand out and therefore more likely to become a victim. Gifted children are often the victims of bullying by peers, by adults, and often experience bullying from their teachers.


2. VERY SENSITIVE WITH DEEP EMOTIONS—Gifted children experience the world in unexpected, intense ways.

Many of us when we first hear the term gifted, we immediately think smart. Yes, above-average intelligence is associated with giftedness, but our intellect also incorporates emotional and social intelligence as well as thinking and reasoning skills. What does this have to do with how a gifted child experiences the world?

Well, gifted children can be super sensitive and exceptionally emotional. When a gifted 2nd grader has a major meltdown because she misspelled a word during the school’s spelling bee, many of us immediately think she is being a sore loser, but in reality, this gifted little girl is beating herself up for not being the perfect speller she believes others expect her to be. This spelling mistake seems benign enough to us—hey, it happens to all of us, but to her, she feels she is a complete failure and will never meet the expectations others have for her because she’s gifted. This little gifted 2nd-grade girl is unable to view this mistake as no big deal; to her, it truly feels like a clear indication she will be a failure for her entire life.


3. FEEL LIKE A FAILURE—Gifted children do not always excel in school.

Wait, what? Doesn’t gifted mean smart?  No, giftedness is not the same thing as consistently making good grades, being a high-achiever and receiving high scores in school. Giftedness is not the same as school-smart. A student who makes straight A’s across the board, is part of the gifted program, and then goes on to achieve perfect scores in both the ACT and SAT may not be gifted. Conversely, a profoundly gifted child may not make it into the gifted program at his school because his grades are not up to snuff.

Imagine being the parent of a gifted child who hears from his teachers, “well, if you are gifted, why aren’t you making all A’s?” Personally, I’ve walked in those shoes.

Gifted children don’t always excel in school because traditional schools are geared to educate to the middle, the normal, the average range. Too often, teachers don’t understand the traits of giftedness and therefore don’t address the learning needs of gifted students. Also, gifted students can and do have learning disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD and others. All in all, the typical, traditional school classroom is not really a good fit for gifted students, and with many of their educational needs not being met, it becomes difficult for them to excel.


4. FEW FRIENDS—Gifted children often have social struggles, finding it difficult to find like-minded peers.

I once took over recess duty for my then 1st grader’s teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. I enjoyed watching all these 6- and 7-year olds playing and interacting with each other. I probably had a smile on my face as I watched my then 6-year old enthusiastically elucidating the bathroom habits of astronauts in space to his classmates. As he proceeded to explain the effects of gravity on waste expulsion and removal in space, his classmates quickly lost interest and danced off to play more interesting activities. My smile faded into tears as my son stood there, puzzled as to why his classmates were not as fascinated with this topic as he was and then left him standing there alone. This was the first of many times my gifted kids came to realize their classmates and peers weren’t interested in the same things they were.

From my experience, and as the parent of adult gifted kids, this difficulty in finding like-minded peers can be a continuous, heart-breaking issue throughout their childhood. Some gifted children never find a true friend until they reach college.


5. PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET YOU—Gifted children are very often misunderstood.

This is when giftedness really, really sucks for the child and their parents. The multitude of stories I could share about this—and, many of those stories are in my book.

The time a neighbor, a father himself, yelled at my son for not sharing. My son was just 8-years old at the time, but because of his advanced verbal skills, he was thought of as being much older. My son didn’t want to share his skateboard because it was broken and he was afraid the other child would get hurt.

The time my son’s math teacher pulled him out in the hall, angrily raising his voice and telling my son he was tired of his crap. My son honestly believed he was put into remedial math at his new school and figured he might as well help the teacher teach since he knew all that was being taught. My son wasn’t being arrogant; he genuinely wanted to help and thought this was a better use of his time to relieve his boredom than just doodling or talking.

The time, at a conference with my son’s teachers to discuss his growing anxiety and disengagement from school, a teacher angrily snapped back at me, “Thirty percent of our students are gifted”, which was her very stern warning to me that being gifted was no excuse for anything but excelling in school.

The time my gifted child was not allowed into a high school gifted program because his writing scores were not high enough. The director told me that although they were specifically there to serve high-achieving and gifted students, they were not a gifted school per se.


Bullying. Very sensitive with deep emotions. Feel like a failure. Few friends. People just don’t get you. Yup, way too often, it truly sucks to be gifted.



Want more to chew on?

9 Things the World Must Understand About Gifted Children

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

My Child is Gifted: Do You Think I’m Bragging Now?


Get the whole, entire story here.

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling 


This post is part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum March Blog Hop. Click on the image below to find other terrific posts about the difficulties of being gifted.


60 Comments on “To Whom It May Concern: Being Gifted Sucks Sometimes

  1. I am really enjoying your blog! Thank you for all your blog entries…they are very helpful. I have a four-year-old son and in a nutshell, I am beginning to see convincing evidence after researching giftedness that he may indeed be gifted.

    We’ve been having behavioral issues with him for almost two years now, since I was pregnant with his 13-month-old brother. My husband and I have tried all the traditional disciplinary measures in an effort to corral the meltdowns (which have been almost daily) and have read the Strong-Willed Child book. I even thought he may struggle with ADHD or possibly. E autistic, but neither of those diagnoses seemed to match up with his personality. Exhausted, I, the self-proclaimed Google Queen, began to search the Internet relentlessly on how to manage his behavior. I stumbled upon the SENG website and watched a video by Dr James Webb explaining common attributes of gifted children, who were also commonly misdiagnosed with ADHD or Aspergers. I wept uncontrollably upon listening to Dr Webb speak…he was describing MY son to a T and I was absolutely guilt-ridden from the exasperated way I had reacted to his attempts to cope with his sensitivity to outside stimuli.

    So, I just started learning about giftedness mere months ago and I’m feeling a mixture of relief and overwhelm. Where do I go from here? Who do I see to get more clarity on family coping skills and also to get a test or diagnosis? He will be attending kindergarten next year and my husband and I are a little confused about where we should send him. Private soon is not in our budget and I’m hesitant to send him to traditional kindergarten because of his high activity level and propensity for boredom. We looked into a charter school inspired by the Waldorf method of education but we are unsure if that will be beneficial for him in the long run since they structure it for the children to learn in that style through 8th grade.

    I should mention that the thought of home schooling overwhelms me completely because I am pregnant with our third child and my son needs physical and mental stimulation the entire day. Honestly, I was looking forward to sending him to school to have a little break from his glorious intensity for a few hours!

    Thank you for any insight you can provide…apologies for the long comment!

    • My best advice is to read everything you can get your hands on about giftedness–knowledge is power. Learn from the experiences of others who have traveled this path you are embarking on. Check out my resources page for a comprehensive list of blogs, websites and other resources about giftedness and gifted children.

      Then, when challenged about what is best for your child, go with your gut because YOU know your child best!

      If you ever have any questions or concerns, both Gifted Homeschoolers Forum and the Crushing Tall Poppies Facebook page are places you can pose a question and get a plethora of advice!

      All the best on your journey! <3

      • Celi, thank you! I appreciate all of your hard work with your blog and providing these resources. You’re a Godsend! I’m looking forward to helping my son flourish into the best version of himself. Have a blessed weekend.

  2. If we’re really going to turn over the rocks of giftedness and see what lurks beneath, we need to talk about why gifted children are so vulnerable to eating disorders and gender dysphoria, and what to do about it. Do you have theories? I have some ideas that are controversial even by my standards.

      • With ED I’m talking about restricted diets with very limited ranges of food (anorexia may be a lot more complicated). I think this comes from the extremely hightened senses of gifted children so certain tastes and especially textures can be physically repulsive to them. And after having something so disgusting in their mouth, fear of new foods quickly follows.

        A couple of mistakes stick out in how people try to deal with this. While there is obvious concern for the child’s health, I have heard parents say they want to be normal and be able to go to restaurants and suchlike. It’s important to realise that this may never happen. The train to normal has been diverted over the Cassandra Crossing (yes I grew up watching some very obscure films). The other mistake is when trying other foods to start with junk food. The child may only have a limited adaptive capacity and if they can only tolerate a few extra foods, don’t waste it on pizza, burgers and sausages.

        The best solution I’ve found is to use a blender like the NutriBullet. You can load a perfectly balanced diet into one (my preference is the Precision Nutrition system, but I have my own recipes if anyone is interested). Texture is always reduced to the same thick liquid and so is no longer an issue (unless they hate thick liquids). Even if the taste remains unpleasant it can be drunk quickly through a straw, minimising contact time. A jug of liquidised food can disappear quicker than a single mouthful can be chewed. Some combinations are actually some of the best tastes you can imagine.

        Because of the extreme fear of trying new foods you may have to wait until an enthusiasm for making the attempt arises, or a favourite food is taken off the market or its manufacturing process is changed (thus making it inedible), or a food intolerance develops, making change unavoidable.

        The subject of transgender children is extremely complex and 4th Wave Now represents my position. I also appear in the comments (this is my first attempt at creating a link so I don’t know if it will work).

        Specifically about gifted transgender children, I think extremely high intelligence makes it very likely that a child will take one look at gender roles and think “this is bullshit”. They are usually misfits and may not know why. Because of the somatic aspects of giftedness they are likely to have physical symptoms and be uncomfortable in their bodies. Transgenderism specifically and cynically exploits this combination to push gifted children to think trans explains all their problems (either authorities push it on them or they find it themselves and self-diagnose). Gay, autistic and mentally ill children are also particularly vulnerable.

        Giftedness runs in families. Transition is sterilization. This is eugenics. They’re trying to get rid of us.

        • Yes, we’d love your recipes!

          The link does work and thank you for sharing that!

          I agree, the train to normalcy left the station, but we need to stress to our gifted children that striving for normal will lead to disappointment. They need to learn to become comfortable in their own skin, become self-advocating and proud–just like any person who is transgender, gay, disabled, overweight, marginalized for who they are, or otherwise not up to “normal” standards.

          Let’s keep this gifted conversation and advocacy continuous, loud and strong! Thanks for you input, DY!

          • You want recipies, then recipies you shall have!

            110-120g banana
            150g grapes
            heaped teaspoon oatbran
            20g cashews
            50g egg white (2-Chicks carton)
            100ml water

            130-140g tomatos
            20g spinich
            150g raspberries
            40g broccoli
            150g blackberries
            40g broccoli
            80g chicken or turkey
            20g pecans
            50g egg white
            100ml water

            100g mango
            80g blueberries
            3 plums
            10-12 cherries (pits removed)
            1.5 apples (peeled, cores and pips removed)
            2 kiwi fruit (peeled, also has hot, peppery taste)
            80g chicken or turkey
            20g walnuts
            50g egg whites
            100ml water

            2 pears
            20g ground almonds
            50g egg whites
            60ml water (tastes nicest so can be thicker and stronger)

            Blitz for 30 seconds and sieve for smooth consistancy. A dash of water and shake will rinse original container and recover a bit more mixture.

            To be eaten seperately:
            goats’ milk, 1.5 mugs at breakfast, 2 at dinner and tea, 1 at supper and .5 before bed (using 2 cartons a day).
            2 Dutch Crispbakes with each meal (not particularly healthy but something nice and crunchy to chew on to maintain sanity).

            According to current nutritional science, this is a near-perfect diet. It could do with a bit fewer fruits and more vegetables, but this is likely as close as you can get and it remain palatable (I tried potatoes, cauliflower and beetroot and it was not good).

          • Yay, DY! Thank you!
            And thanks so much for your input, insight and humor–I sincerely am grateful for all that you add to this blog! <3

          • I should also say the nuts are plain, not roasted or anything else. The chicken and turkey is breast meat, not barbecued or otherwise processed. It is quickly fried in butter 30 minutes before use and cooled down quickly in the freezer. All the ingredients have to be left in the fridge for some time beforehand (fruits that aren’t stored in the fridge go in at the start of the day they will be used) as these juices only taste good cold, at least for me.

          • Yes, raw. That way they’re not contaminated with salt or oil, they’re healthier and taste better. And bizzarely, the combination of cherries and walnuts taste more of walnuts than walnuts do on their own. Superwalnuts. It’s really strange. 🙂

          • I used the blender for my son too, esp. when he was younger and then we just continuously worked on the issues and now he does pretty well.

            Blender ideas in addition to the ones already shared:
            I would put greens (spinach or Kale) in with blueberries as that disguised the color and taste. Apple juice, bananas, etc would also be added.

            I used carrots with apples – juicing them and then use that straight or as a blender base. Sometimes a little lemon or lime or a touch of ginger for a fun twist, esp. in the summer.

            1/2 fresh carrot juice into yogurt drinks or 1/4 fresh green juices into a store bought yogurt drink was a good way to add veggies into a sweet, fruit dairy and have good probiotics. I used several different store bought organic yogurt drinks.

            Into fruit &/or yogurt smoothies
            Avocado makes smoothies thick and creamy and is loaded with good fat. Chocolate hides avocado well. Baked/Boiled Sweet Potatoes also go into smoothies for Vit A and make them creamy.

            Careful to soak the dark nuts and pour off the water as they have lots of dark tannins.

            Careful to not use too many egg whites without the yolks as they are made to go together and help balance each other out. You really might want to check out info about that.

            My son liked drinkable things or crunchy things only at first. And bread. I made lots of breads, including bread, muffins, pancakes and crackers with baked in veggies and baked in cheese for variety. Carrots, yellow and green summer squash, butternut squash and sweet potatoes and regular potatoes can all go into bread and still taste great. Feta and zucchini make great savory pancakes. High quality maple syrup even has some nutrients. I was concerned about too much wheat and wanted to increase his nutrient spectrum so I used a variety of grains, including oats, rye and kumut. Soaking grains in yogurt also got the breads off to a good start. I even found ways to incorporate meat into breads!

            Over time, we worked our way through this challenge and now he is has outgrown this. But it took years and I was not going to wait that long before he had is proper nutrition! Also, gave him a multivitamin that was for children and chewable (Hero brand).

  3. I was told I was highly gifted in grade school, but I’ve never really felt that way. In fact, there was a lot of just general knowledge that my peers knew about that I was totally ignorant of until my 30s… namely basic finance, anatomy, sexual relations, etc. I was expected by my parents and teachers to just know things intuitively, but the world always seemed very mysterious.

    One of the problems, as I see it, is that public schools don’t do IQ testing. If you don’t know a kid’s IQ, how do you know what you are dealing with? It seems ridiculous to me. And of course, there’s a huge difference between a kid with a 145 IQ who can do calculus when he’s 12, and a student with a 120 IQ, who yeah is a little brighter than the other kids, but is expected to be a superstar because he’s had this “gifted” label slapped on him.

    • Phil, you hit on an important, often overlooked point–not all giftedness is the same. Just like all people are different, just like autism affects people differently, just like many other genetic conditions, behaviors and illnesses can all be different, giftedness is not the same in all people.

      The problem in recognizing giftedness is that it is too very often measured against academic accomplishment. Some gifted people have phenomenal memories, or visual-spatial talents, or are creative thinkers. Not all gifted children excel in school. So your suggestion to have IQ testing done is a good idea, but unfortunately not likely to happen because of funding.

      Another idea is to train teachers better to recognize the not-so-well-known gifted behaviors in students, and to listen to parents who say their child might be gifted. Also, doctors/pediatricians should be more knowledgeable on recognizing giftedness.

      Your last point, to me, is the major crux of why gifted children are so misunderstood. Giftedness has become synonymous with academic achievement, and that is wrong. There are definitely differences between a 145 IQ and a 120 IQ as well as “types” of giftedness (mathematical, creative, artistic, musical, language).

      Thank you for sharing you experience and insights as a gifted individual!

      • A big AMEN to the idea that gidtedness is not synonymous with academic achievement. My son scored an IQ of what they deemed a 150+ due to test ceilings, but does not do well in school. It is so very hard to convince teachers that he isn’t just lazy, but struggles with things that are HARD for him (like paying attention to the lesson instead of the song he is composing in his head or finding the paper he was supposed to turn in) and at the same time struggles with how little he is challenged with content. He is only in 4th grade and I am already exhausted from constantly trying and failing to make his education work for him.

        • Oh Heather, I truly feel your pain. I went through the same with my youngest and I know EXACTLY how you feel. It isn’t easy raising and advocating for you gifted child who isn’t living up to the silly stereotype of the super high-achieving, well-behaved student. Ugh! All I can say is I know where you are coming from.

          Keep advocating. Keep “schooling” the educators on what giftedness can look like in school. Just remember, the facts are on your side!

          Stay strong, Heather! You’ve got this!

          • Thank you 💞. I need all the support I can get ☺.

    • “I was told I was highly gifted in grade school, but I’ve never really felt that way. In fact, there was a lot of just general knowledge that my peers knew about that I was totally ignorant of until my 30s… namely basic finance, anatomy, sexual relations, etc. I was expected by my parents and teachers to just know things intuitively, but the world always seemed very mysterious.”

      Modern America: land of secrets and hypocrisy.

      It truly is flabbergasting just how much vital knowledge is considered secret information, denied by everyone official, but passed down in whispers on playgrounds and gym locker rooms and fraternity halls and boardrooms. And of course if nobody cares to pass on these secrets to you, then you lack “common sense”, YOU are the DUMMY, and it’s YOUR damn fault for being such a DUMB NUUUUUUUUURD.

      Only an elitist society needs so many secrets, and only an elite that demeans knowledge and science needs to keep these kind of secrets to remain in power. Indeed, the very idea of science is spreading knowledge freely.

  4. Pingback: The Difficulties of Being Gifted GHF

  5. could you write a post on how to talk to teachers? my dad was a teacher in a small town, so my parents never could speak up very strongly when the librarian insisted that first graders pull books from a table of first grade books. the best my mom could do was get an exception for the highest reading group to pull second grade books.

    now I am grown up with a first grader of my own. our current problem is that he id expected to read to me the same leveled reader four days in a row. we don’t, and have been logging what we actually read instead. that seemed to work until the start of this quarter…now i am getting notes home directing me to log only the assigned books. the teacher also talked to my kid to tell him that he had to reread the assigned book every day.

    why am I engaged in what is esentially a power struggle with this teacher over what my son reads? (at this moment he prefers to read narnia. as long as he can do his homework, I don’t see the problem)

    • Frustrated is an apropos name. I’d be extremely frustrated, too. Holding kids back is a bad idea.

      First, I would ask to have your son’s reading level tested. Also, ask the teacher if she feels children should read books on their reading level, or on their grade/age level? Here’s an article I would print out and bring to the teacher, or send her the link: What If Michael Phelps Trained in a Kiddie Pool? It talks about holding gifted kids back and not challenging them in school.

      Sometimes forcing kids to read books that don’t interest them causes them to dislike reading. In schools, however, for documentation and testing purposes, all students must read the same reader. The teacher is required to use certain textbooks. Hopefully, you and your son’s teacher can work out some sort of compromise, but follow your gut–you know your child best.

      Best of luck and let me know if you need any other resources.

      • “There also should be ‘neurotypical studies’ where we can learn about them and they can learn what they are.”

        The Dalek and Cyberman episodes from Doctor Who would be a very good place to start.

      • Holding back kids is intellectual abuse, and needs to be legally prosecuted as such.

        What is Stephen Hawking was forced to read “age appropriate” material – i.e infantilized jingoistic political propaganda sugar-coated as “history”.

        It applies in the reverse, too.

        What if Stephen Hawking had some jock dumbo phys-ed teacher screaming and swearing and kicking him along a track?

        • I agree 100%! Many of us also use the analogy about a sports prodigy–if your child was a soccer prodigy, would you accept that he was forced to practice and play within his age group instead of an advanced group more appropriate to his skill level? The majority of parents would not accept their musically or athletically gifted child to be held back, why then do we do it with intellectually gifted children?

    • As a teacher (presently of the gifted, but have not always been), this is so bizarre to me and makes me angry! I’m 47, but I was lucky enough to have teachers who sent me to the class above for reading instruction or gave me more difficult work; I know it wasn’t like that for all gifted students. I’m incensed that this is still happening now. I was trained that there is a “sweet spot” range for students as far as reading goes — too difficult, and it’s hard to make progress because it’s so frustrating, and if books are too easy, learning is not taking place, and students are bored. That said, I’ve also read that for free reading (home reading should be this, in general, I think, until middle or high school and students are reading novels at home for homework), students should be allowed to read what they want to read, so they develop a love of reading, so even if something is too easy, but the student wants to read it because they love it so much, they should be allowed to do so. I’m so sorry this is happening. I would just put the reading book on there, sign it, and allow your son to read what makes sense for him!

    • My daughter had the opposite problem in the second grade. She was a very advanced reader and the kids had to check out books from the library that were their Accelerated Reading level. The other kids in the class were more on-level and “everyone” was reading Geronimo Stilton, a mouse sleuth, and talking about them at lunch. My daughter couldn’t check them out because they were below her reading level so she was being left out of the lunch-time conversation. The public library didn’t have the books. I could have bought the books for her but I suggested she have a talk with the teacher. She did, and the teacher presumably talked to the librarian as my daughter was soon happily bringing Geronimo Stilton books home to read. She was reading plenty of books at her level, it’s not like she was trying to get off easy, she just wanted to participate with the other kids.

      • Yea, I was going to say something like that as well. We don’t want to deprive gifted kids of the culture they could share with their age peers – they already behind the 8 ball with finding ways in to friendship.

        Also, it’s still possible to learn things from books that are simple to read – stories about sharing, being inclusive. Even simple stories can act as jumping off points for more advanced reading about a topic.

      • As a gifted teacher, this warms my heart. Many times we’re so focused on challenging students that we forget to just let them be kids. Kudos to you for giving your child the voice to speak up and the educators who listened.

  6. Very important information for gifted students, their parents, teachers, AND age peers. There is nothing special about gifted kids EXCEPT the curriculum designed for typical learners at a certain age level is never going to give kids who are gifted or advanced any opportunities to experience the exhilaration of working with hard to master content. When things come so easily to these kids from the time they start formal education, they come to believe they are ALWAYS expected to be easily competent. Too much of their energy goes into trying to prove that everything is easy because their experiences have trained them to avoid showing anyone they are working hard for fear they will be teased or even bullied when other kids notice these kids have to work really hard to master some content. In my view, every single student has a right to consistently experience new learning. After all, isn’t that what school is supposed to provide?

    • This comment confuses me. I thought we were all agreed that academic performance is only the tip of the very large and potentially cold and sharp gifted iceberg. We’re talking about crippling social rejection and serious emotional problems – a bigger chemistry textbook won’t fix that (trust me, I had a few). We are different in all sorts of ways, large and small. Two days ago I had to cut the label off new pyjamas ‘because I could feel it’. I’m 36 freaking years old!

      But this comment does convey the need for challenge without extolling the work ethic. A lot of ‘solutions’ to the problems of the gifted have a moral component that sound like the child should submit to external authority, and we all know how well that will go down. I would suggest that any solutions be opportunities to learn not conform. Instead of work ethic, think work capacity (the term actually comes from Russian weightlifting circles) and the value of being able to do more of what you like, want or need to do. If they need to learn to work in a group without taking over, teach them Crew Resource Management that airlines use to make the captain actually listen when the copilot is screaming they are about to crash into a mountain. If they are disorganised teach them the Vanguard Method, a system of organisation that makes doing the right thing, right first time, as quickly and efficiently as possible, second nature. I don’t think many gifted children would resist this kind of high-level knowledge.

      • Thank you for these excellent suggestions and for the over principle of teaching skills needed but at an advanced level to really engage and show practicality. Wonderful

        • One of the most common needs of gifted children is social skills. Now I’m wondering what the highest level of this would be (also imagining the backlash of jealous rage if the gifted started outperforming neurotypicals socially as well). What would be the best schools of psychology and communication systems for the child to learn? I lean towards the humanistic, but have also joked that they would do well to learn from con artists, undercover police, hostage negotiators and cult deprogrammers. The longer I think about it, the less it feels like a joke and more like necessary and good advice. Does anyone else have ideas on the best methods for teaching social skills? And does anyone else also find the idea of an eleven-year-old expert psychoanalyst both awesome and slightly unsettling (but is willing to stand by their principles and not let their discomfort hold a child back)?

  7. Yes to all these!

    I love the thought of all our kids getting together (magically the same age) to discuss astronaut bathroom habits. Wouldn’t they have had fun?

    My daughter’s doing an intensive Spanish course this week, in a class with 2 Russian men (one in his 60s, one in his 20s) and a Finnish woman (50s). I have no idea what they are all making of my 13 year old sitting there among them in her black emo clothes with her perfect Spanish accent and a scowl hiding her anxiety, but she’s probably no more out of place there than she was at school in England when she was 6!

    • Yes, our kids would have fun talking about all their out-of-the-ordinary interests with each other which is why gifted education is a necessity and not a luxury in public schools.

      Thank you, Lucinda!

  8. Celi, Great post. You highlight the many struggles gifted people face – especially those involving people who just don’t get it. So sorry your son had to endure so much of this!

  9. Wonderful post… thank you for voicing what so many have experienced and are afraid to share. I love your blog and your advocacy for gifted differences and needs. Thank you for everything you said! I am sending hugs to you and your sweet son.

  10. I think you hit all the gifted myths in this one post! Completely agree with all of this – and I’ll add, as a gifted adult, it doesn’t generally get much better either. Still a hard time finding friends, still encountering bullying (in a more subtle form) and still feeling like a failure at times. It’s hard!

  11. This isn’t even all of it. The sales pitch would read something like this:

    Be gifted and get the symptoms of every mental illness absolutely free!
    Anxiety, depression, ADD, OCD, BPD, PTSD, CPTSD!
    But wait, there’s more! Because these aren’t actually mental illnesses but fundamental aspects of your personality, they are COMPLETELY UNTREATABLE!
    Sign up today!

    (exaggerated for comic effect, no disrespect meant to people with mental health issues or whose suffering is caused by the actions of others) Seriously, does anybody know how much of this comes from being mistreated and how much just comes with the gifted package, no matter what?

    And that few friends/people don’t get you thing never ends. Last year I tried to find some like-minded people so I went looking for the biggest bunch of weirdos I could think of, namely the BDSM scene. I was vaguely tolerated at best. First time at a sex club was like the first day of school – nobody wanted to play with me then either. When somebody in a rubber pony suit thinks you’re strange, that’s rock bottom (slightly altered for comic effect and to protect the guilty).

    Damn this sounds way too whiny. I need to stop reading identity politics Tumblrs.

    • I agree, it isn’t all of it, but I tried to soften it a bit for those who don’t understand gifted. Thank you for adding to my list–yours are spot on, also! I love that you added your own wonderful snark and humor–love it!

      Thank you again!

      • Thanks, glad you liked it. Even posting to a gifted site I still got the fear of how people will react if I pull out the control rods and ramp up to full power. On the reactor theme, a joke:

        Gifted people break the Myers-Briggs personality types. They come out as RBMK – prone to meltdowns when run on low power.

        How are we supposed to relate to normal people? I’m considering creating an artificial personality that is some combination of anthropologist, therapist and undercover cop. Then they could tolerate me and I could get at the most interesting parts of them. Motivational interviewing will probably be involved.

        • Truly, you are humorously gifted. I’m going to have to pass on the idea of becoming a anthropologist, therapist and undercover cop to my 17-year old–he’s not sure what he wants to major in in college. That might be an option, right? 😉

          Keep riveting us with your humor, please!

          • I believe it’s called ‘integrated studies’ 🙂

            Makes me think of all those academic fields suffixed with ‘studies’ that came out of identity politics, has anyone got around to ‘neurodiversity studies’ yet? Nick Walker teaches a course on autism at California Institute of Integrated Studies but I don’t know any that do gifted outside gifted education courses. There also should be ‘neurotypical studies’ where we can learn about them and they can learn what they are – like how ‘whiteness studies’ works *vindictive grin*. (at least how I assume it works, identity politics is a much bigger deal in America than Britain so I’m getting most of this second hand)

    • I literally fell out laughing at this very VERY accurate convent!!!

      Thanks man! 😂😂😂

        • If you had corrected to ‘covenant’ it would sound like we were discussing very weighty matters. 🙂

          Got another way gifted can suck. When you decide to try psychedelics and your mind bats aside a powerful hallucinogen like it’s nothing. (legal note – in Britain ibogaine is unliscenced but not illegal)

          Do you have stories? Care to vent your spleen?

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