My view: The joys and challenges of raising a gifted child
Chandra Moseley and her daughter, Nya
August 23rd, 2012
02:07 AM ET

My view: The joys and challenges of raising a gifted child

By Chandra Moseley, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Chandra Moseley is a working, single mom. A resident of a Colorado city, she makes sure to expose her daughter to small-town living through weekly trips to the Rocky Mountains.

(CNN) – My daughter, who is 5, was identified last year as "gifted.” Well, I honestly had never properly understood what being "gifted" meant. I naively thought, "Oh, my baby is so advanced, she is just so smart!”

For those of you who are truly unaware of what being gifted means, let me help you understand.

Gifted students are defined by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) as those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains.

The part of the definition that’s missing - and what I so desperately needed to understand - is the social and behavioral issues that may come with giftedness.

For one thing, my daughter, Nya, is a perfectionist. She gets frustrated even if she only slightly draws outside of the lines. She also gets unnerved by certain loud noises (buzzing or toilets flushing) and even the seams on her socks.  I’ve had to turn her socks inside out because the seam on her toes irritated her so much. I thought she was just being fussy.  

I became aware of Nya’s giftedness through Rev. Regina Groff, a family member’s minister, who noticed the way Nya was coloring when she was just 2. Rev. Groff has gifted children of her own and recognized Nya's frustration each time she drew outside of the lines. That type of frustration and overexcelling is all part of the perfectionism characteristic of being gifted. Just that simple act of frustration revealed her giftedness at the right time that day.

Photos: Inside a 'genius school' in 1948

There are other characteristics of giftedness that for many, including my daughter, are telltale signs - excessive energy, unending curiosity, emotionally advanced, early and superior language skills or a need for perfectionism. Gifted children might have supersensitivities, and that’s what was going on with the loud noises and her socks.

Rev. Groff suggested getting Nya tested and recommended an early childhood education public preschool that has a program for gifted children. Her children attended the same school, and she could not say enough good things about it. I was in the process of trying to find, as many parents do, the "perfect preschool.” Thank God, I listened to her advice and pursued that specific school. I am a firm believer in the notion that God sends people into our lives to guide us, inspire us, lead us and teach us. Rev. Groff guided me that day into the right place my daughter needed to be, and Nya continues to guide me into the right place I need to be.

Nya, which means fulfilled wish, has always been extraordinarily special to me. She was a gift from the day she was born, delivered to me by another vessel. Nya is adopted. I sometimes have to remind myself of that because she couldn't possibly be any more like me. In what I thought could be only one miraculous event by her being born, she continues to produce miracles and forever enrich my life. She has not only taught me what unconditional love feels like - how to laugh until your belly aches, how to play like you are the silliest person in the room - but also how to be so aware that every challenging moment in your life exposes you, teaches you and prepares you for something to come.

I remember Nya’s first year of preschool. What could have been a 10 minute homework session (yes, homework in preschool) turned into an hour and a half of erasing and rewriting each word until in her mind it was perfect. Let me tell you, there were many pencils being thrown across the room (not by me), breakdowns, and crying (yes, some by me.)

What I didn't understand at the time was her constant quest for perfection.

Her amazing teacher, Brenda Natt, explained to me that it is all part of being gifted and that was the very reason Natt cuts off all the erasers of her pencils in her classroom. She understands that her students struggle with that issue and what she wanted them to understand was that it was OK if something isn't perfect sometimes.

The same teacher strongly advised me to enroll Nya in a gifted school to prevent her from getting lost in the loopholes of a typical school program - not only academically but also emotionally. She told me, "gifted kids are almost comparable to special needs children. While their IQs are high, they have behavioral aspects that need special attention and the right teachers with the right understanding to guide them."

After four years of questions - How can Nya go from 1 to 10 over something so simple? How can she be so sweet, compassionate, mellow and then completely lose her cool over not remembering the right words to a verse of a song? Why is she such a hothead? - all of this was finally making sense. If I only knew then what I know now.

What I have learned is not to deter Nya from finishing a project or even a simple task when she’s in the middle of it. Gifted children are not all on the same page; they all have very different levels of needs, some more than others.

It has been fascinating and amusing to talk to other moms in her class and compare how they react to certain situations in the same way. I am constantly learning and trying to gain knowledge on how to help Nya be the person she is destined to be, while she has helped me be the person we needed me to be.

One of the most important things now truly embedded in my thought process is the notion that we just don't know what a child may be struggling with or what a parent might be going through. Many of us have witnessed situations in stores or restaurants where a child is lashing out or just having a complete breakdown and we are so quick to assume or place judgment on that parent.

"They just don't know how to discipline!" "That child is a complete brat!" or even "That kid is completely out of control and that parent has no idea what they are doing!"

What I have realized is that parents are all on the same team. I really wish we would start doing less criticizing of each other and do more listening, learning, encouraging and supporting. Like my example in the store, maybe next time we see a child in that circumstance, we can evaluate that situation and maybe show support by a kind smile, a glance of understanding, a sweet distraction or maybe, for some, a sincere prayer.

That’s what it's all about, right? To learn from each other and grow with each other. To continue to become better for each other, our children and generations to come.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chandra Moseley.

soundoff (1,064 Responses)
  1. Sahari

    Very interesting topic, especially because of the response it generates. What I see when I consider the entire subject, is that the word 'gifted' is a value marker – like it or not. Those with 'gifted' children say "it's just how it is," and yet, I wonder if they would be okay with calling them "special needs" children – putting them in the same category as the population we now identify as such. It's the labeling that is offensive, all around the board, isn't it? If we did indeed take every child on his or her own, and stopped comparing them to so-called development markers, age-appropriate this or that, and simply loved and supported and stimulated each child according to their own, individual arc, what would our world look like? Not only would the children flourish, but so would we, for we wouldn't be coveting or judging each other, but celebrating the perfection in EVERYONE. Right now, there is a baseline agreement of what we consider normal, acceptable, better, worse, and it causes insecurity, jealousy, envy, and fear. We aren't asking the questions that will allow us to transcend the matrix of limits in which we currently, as a society, exist.

    August 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • john

      "if everyone is special, nobody is." -dash, from the incredibles.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • kwaters7

      The anger seen in these comments is terribly sad. Gifted children are special and should have special education to meet their unique needs. No one would argue that a child that falls to the far left of the bell curve with an IQ below 70 should be treated the same as their "typical peers". Why then is it so hard to see that a child that falls to the far right of the bell curve with an IQ above 130 should not be treated the same as their "typical peers?" As a psychologist that specializes in the unique needs of gifted children and their families I can assure you that being an outlier on either end of what is "typical" presents challenges, and both ends of the spectrum deserve respect and to be educated in the way that best meets their individual needs.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:30 am |
      • ramblinman

        Excellent points. It can be amazing how disparate the treatment can be between rich and poor, old and young, etc., and having extraordinary resources for some children just because they are looked upon as "special". Every child is special in some way. But we don't protect them or respect them, on average, as most people that I see tend to view their children as experimental subjects that they can "play God" over their lives.
        Children are defenseless, innocent, and helpless. We fail them as a society for we little to protect them, preferring to play god with their lives, ignoring any human rights they have and such things that a society can do to helpless individuals. I see too many people who should never have been allowed to have children in the first place.
        We would not hand over a helpless child to a known child murderer or other type of psychotic, yet as a society we do that every day by letting such people have children who are then treated horribly.
        We should sterilize everyone, only letting them have children after we have made sure that they can be trusted with such a vulnerable and defenseless human being to be under their complete and total power. Most people can barely handle themselves and only have truly vaague ideas on how to care and help a child to grow in a healthy and rational manner.
        But since we are not doing anything about corruption in our government, having such a policy in place would not be a good idea.
        Until we have an ethical government that could be trusted to do thing correctly and rationally, protecting children is going to have to be put on a back burner, because corruption poisons and ruins everything it touches.
        Yet nothing should be more important for us as a species than to protect and help all children, not just some gifted ones, but all children.
        Equal protection and education for children should be a goal for us. It's not. We must help everyone, not just a few..

        August 24, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  2. Nathan

    Life is a marathon, not a sprint. I can't believe any organization would identify a 5 year-old as gifted. What a terrible curse at such a young age, building labels and expectations. The writer of this article should stand back and look at this objectively, rather than falling into a narcissistic trap.

    August 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • mdonln

      Identifying a child as gifted is not a bad thing. In fact, in some cases labels are beneficial. As Nya's mom describes, her daughter has certain needs stemming from her giftedness that have to be addressed.

      Think of it this way: different plants have different needs in terms of the amount of sunlight they should get, how often they should be watered, which temperatures they can or cannot tolerate, etc. When we know what kind of plant we have, we can give it exactly what it needs to thrive. That works for kids too.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  3. SilentBoy741

    "For one thing, my daughter, Nya, is a perfectionist... She also gets unnerved by certain loud noises (buzzing or toilets flushing) and even the seams on her socks. I’ve had to turn her socks inside out because the seam on her toes irritated her so much. I thought she was just being fussy."

    Major news flash, Mom: You're kid's not gifted; she's "picky". According to what you've written, my cat is gifted.

    August 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Dog at

      How true....

      August 24, 2012 at 5:12 am |
  4. Steph

    Not every kid is a special snowflake. This one doesn't sound like a genius – it sounds like she has OCD. Smart kids are smart kids – stop trying to call them gifted or special or what have you. If they are smart, they'll do well, end of story. As the kid of an engineer and a mathematician, it was kind of assumed I'd do well academically (I ended up with a PhD in biomedical sciences) . . . there was no boasting or mommy wars or gold stars or being special.

    August 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Marcia

      A lot of what the author refers to in gifted childen(an unfortunate labeling in my opinion – as it suggests superiority or elitism which does not accurately describe what is really going on) is true – but unfortunately many parents of non- gifted labelled children entirely miss the point – because these above average strengths in certain areas are often coupled with quirky exceptionalities in other areas, which are extemely difficult for the child as well as the parent to cope with especially in an educational system. A gifted child can actually be at risk if not in the correct place for their learning differences. I have three "gifted" children and I can tell you it is no picnic raising them – as wonderful as they are there are daily challenges and the label of giftedness should be changed, to what I'm not sure, but it can imply other children are not gifted, and to this I know many parents of so-called non-gifted children take exception and rightly so – they do not understand the true nature of what is being described here and I feel the true spirit of the word gifted is that all children are gifted. It would be helpful to have a better label for sure to describe this particular exceptionality.

      One last point I have is the author says she had her child tested at five years old – I did not realize that there were gifted tests for such young children – in Canada they do not test children, I believe, until grade three as it would not present an inaccurate picture and would be a premature diagnosis that would not hold.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
      • SL

        You hit the nail on the head! The word "gifted" is an unfortunate one because every child has "gifts", but not every child has an IQ in the top percentile. And yes, there ARE tests out there to test IQ, even in 5 year olds. High IQ scores are no guarantee that your child will be particularly successful in later life, but they are a useful tool in helping your child in the right direction.

        It's very true that these children are at risk. At risk of dropping out of school due to boredom, but mostly at risk of not fulfilling their potential. She is right to put her child in with teachers that can handle these kids and peers that can challenge and relate to her child.

        The author is not bragging. She is just underlining a point that often with a higher IQ comes over-sensitivities that are sometimes difficult to handle. Tantrums, discomfort with labels/seams, etc. The more you read about or are exposed to these kids, you see a pattern. It's not uncommon, it's a fact.

        Another good point is that as a parent you can feel very isolated until you realize what's going on, why your child is so different (and not in all the "good" ways!). It can be comforting once you find others with the same quirks, good and bad.

        Most of these replies contain knee-jerk reactions. It's not "Mommy Wars" – it's just how it is.

        August 24, 2012 at 12:48 am |
      • Amy

        Schools do not test children until age 3, but that has little to do with being able to identify giftedness before that age and a lot to do with how education is provided and what's available to them. And truly...schools are not testing for giftedness, they're testing for accelerated learners, who those familiar with giftedness know are not the same things.

        August 24, 2012 at 3:55 am |
      • Amy

        Having a Ph.D does not equal a high I.Q. I think you are confusing kids who do well in school with those who have exceptionally high I.Q.'s. Being an obviously educated person, you might want to do some reading on the subject before you feel so free to voice an 'uneducated' opinion.

        August 24, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • Amy

      Having a Ph.D does not equal a high I.Q. I think you are confusing kids who do well in school with those who have exceptionally high I.Q.'s. Being an obviously educated person, you might want to do some reading on the subject before you feel so free to voice an 'uneducated' opinion.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:59 am |
      • Steph

        I *do* have a high IQ, actually. I didn't find that relevant to mention.

        My problem with the article is that the author provided no evidence that her child is "gifted" – rather, just that she has behavioral issues and abnormal compulsions. Smart children, children with high IQs, gifted children, early learners, etc etc etc . . . they demonstrate things other than unusual quirks, which are the only thing about which the author speaks.

        August 25, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  5. Kris

    This articles could have been written by me. The author knows exactly what she is talking about as this was exactly the way several experts have explained it to me and many other parents in our community. Thank you, Ms. Moseley, for having the courage to write about a subject that can be considered controversial by those that have never dealt with a child who is both very intelligent in some areas but at the same time deals with some big challenges in other areas. Others can comment all they want about something they know nothing about, but just know, Ms Moseley, that there are many, many others that are so relieved to know they are not alone in their frustrations.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • jack T

      i think the reason so many people on this board object is that people really don't like the idea that some kids just are smarter than others. we have invested our "educational system" with people who believe that self esteem is more important than learning actual school material. while as some have here written this will make everyone feel better, in the long run it short changes our society and the kids. say whatever you want about the term, but all the whining is nothing more than jealousy at the smart kids. whether we use the term gifted or not is irrelevant. our system caters to the lower end of the intelligence pool in school, leaving smarter kids on their own most of the time. to everyone complaining about the gifted kids/programs, would you favor extra classes for my kids to get better at sports, like yours? shouldn't EVERYONE make the sports team for SELF ESTEEM reasons?

      August 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  6. TheyallhaveAchance

    Wow those first couple of paragraphs describe how my daughter was exactly! She did need some special understanding and it took some thinking and creativity on my part as far as figuring out what was setting her off or just to plain old discipline(very rare if you understand what is setting them off). At two years old she was doing that all too common rebellion of the car seat. It took me a few screaming sessions to figure out what to do. I got her buckled in through the temper tantrum, I climbed into the driver seat(she's still crying). I calmly waited for her to calm down enough to get her attention(I always put her in the opposite side of the car, she didn't like me being out of her sight either). When I got her attention, I told her to watch me, then told her I had to wear straps too and put my seat belt on while she was watching me. She never had a temper tantrum over the car seat again. Just two years old. Then at five we were trying to get the kids in the habit of making their own beds before kindergarten started. She started refusing not long after we started. We had several go rounds about that too. I finally thought to just stop and ask her why she wouldn't make it, instead of just telling her she was going to make it. She told me very quickly it was because she couldn't do it like I did. My heart melted. So I explained to her I did not expect it to be like I did it. She really wasn’t accepting that. So, I told her she was too much smaller than me to reach and make it perfect like I could. She accepted that explanation really well and started fixing her bed again. Now if only I knew how to convince her to do it as a teenager. hahaha She was considered gifted by the schools when her third grade teacher decided to have her tested. Her prior teachers took notice of her too, so I have no idea why no one thought to test her before third grade. It doesn’t really matter, I've never pushed her to be anymore than she is. But always took her gift into consideration as she's grown. I've never asked any more out of her because of it. She starts college next week just as any average young adult will. I'm proud of her for who she is and don't even boast about her giftedness. But it is a part of her.

    August 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  7. Missouri comment

    I think there are lot of negative comments because it is hard to empathize with a parent who has a "gifted" child. it's likes trying to feel sympathy for a skinny lady who complains about how hard it is to be thin – nobody really wants to hear about it unless you are really skinny!

    August 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • mom who knows

      A far better analogy is society's reaction to a woman who complains that she "wants to gain weight". Boohoo, we say. Poor lady, she looks great but still she isn't happy. While everyone in society is trying hard to lose weight, she – who we see as just fine and perhaps "unfairly advantaged" – wants to gain weight. Society feels anger towards people who do not fit or follow society's stereotypes.

      A parent of a gifted child – who society feels also has an "unfair advantage" – is ridiculed when he/she complains about their child (or simply says how challenging it is to raise such a child). Society is thrown off-kilter when its self-imposed beliefs are turned inside out. Rather than being open-minded, society shuns ideas that don't fit pre-conceived beliefs.

      Better to save one's pre-conceived mindsets than welcome new information and truths. Isn't that always the way?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Missouri comment

        I have to respectfully disagree – I don't think it's that complicated. I just think there are a lot (not all) of parents who would like to have a gifted/highly intelligent child and to read a story about how hard it is to raise such a smart kid may bring up some bring up some jealous feelings ie. negative comments. I think it is just human nature.

        August 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  8. Trying to be reasonable

    I think some parents (including myself) need to relax – there is too much hovering and micro managing. I think that sometimes over involved parents can sometimes make their kids a little crazy – gifted or non-gifted. Hence needing intervention, etc. I also think that we as parents have access to so much information – that it makes up hypersensitive to whether or not we are making the right choices for our children. But when we agonize over every little decision about our kids and label them as gifted and special – we inadvertently put enormous pressure on them and take all the fun away from being just a kid.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  9. adopted USA

    We have a 11 years old boy who suppose to be gifted, he attends special classes with other gifted kids. First we were a little happy about it. He started reading at the age of two, by six he finished reading all the harry potter books. Then came the sad part. Only thing he finishes in school is math and it is two grade above math. and he loves to read But he is a big time procrastinator with everything else. He refuse to finish any writing, history & social study projects. He hardly ever finishes his home work on time. With science he does OK, not as good as math. He loves to play video game more than any thing else. although he taught himself how to play piano now he hardly plays it any more. Oh boy we wish we had just a normal kid!.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Once a teacher, Always a teacher

      If by "Adopted USA" you mean you are an immigrant who has adopted the US as your new home, welcome! You would do well to raise your child in both cultures so they can learn about not just their heritage but also about cultures beyond our borders – something too many people in the US believe doesn't even exist.

      That said, please forgive me for being very blunt if on the other hand English IS your native language. In that case I'd strongly suggest that you reach out to other parents who can help you with your spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. A gifted child who can't express him/herself clearly and correctly will always be at a disadvantage no matter how bright they are.

      Before the flames start, both my wife and I had immigrant parents whose English was less than perfect. I fully understand and empathize with anyone who has to struggle with English as a non-native tongue.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • adopted USA

        IJudgmental much! Of course it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that English is my second language, my name says it all. On the other hand you don’t have to declare you are teacher you, your mentality toward judging people would state the fact you are/were a teacher. (No so much to be proud off). My main objective was, someone will give me some tips how I could motivate my so called gifted kids to do all his school work beside mathematics & reading tons of books. You failed to mention one word toward my problems; all you did is judge me. Thanks but not really!

        August 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
      • Ruby

        Adopted USA: One thing you can do that will help is to ask your child why he is not interested in those subjects. Discuss it with him; it is something so many parents in your situation are not advised to do, and it will help. Then find ways to make the subject relevant so that he has a reason to take an interest. If you can show how these subjects help his area of greatest creativity and interest that will also help.
        Such children are far more interested in their creative expression and dealing with their overwhelming wonder at life than they are at following orders. So, not just saying learn this, but rather, this is good to learn because… do you see how this works?
        It may sound odd but it will help. I know, I was one of those gifted children (gifted older person now).

        August 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • adopted USA

      Thank you Ruby, my wife & I appreciate your input.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • SL

      Hi AdoptedUSA!

      If your health insurance covers it you could look into a full battery of learning and IQ tests through your doctor (usually performed by Psychologists or Speech and Language Pathologists). They not only test IQ, but can find out Processing Speed, Working Memory, Dysgraphia/Dyslexia, motor issues (problems holding pens) and sensory issues.

      If anything comes up as being an issue, this can be added to a 504 Plan or IEP at school. These are special accommodations that the teachers are aware of. It is not uncommon for a gifted child to struggle in some areas and benefit from a accommodations plan.

      Accommodations vary from child to child, but a popular one is the use of a special keyboard – such as an AlphaSmart – in school. These are sometimes even supplied by the district. There are MANY reasons for an otherwise smart child to be unable to finish a writing project. It could be perfectionism, that their thoughts move much faster than they are able to write, Dysgraphia, fine motor issues (hand cramps) or even ADHD (trouble planning/sequencing thoughts) – or a combination of a few! An evaluation could really help you advocate for your child.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  10. Louisa

    A long list of really annoying characteristics does not mean "gifted." A gifted child is much more likely to be an introverted kid who reads, writes, plays an instrument, and/or loves math and science to a degree that is clearly exceptional compared to his or her classmates and not merely above average. Often people think their kids are gifted when they are just precocious, and by the end of grade school the rest of the kid's class will have caught up to the point where they are actually pretty average kids. But if it makes the author happy to think of her difficult child as gifted, then whatever.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • John

      An you know this how?

      August 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • SL

      Louisa. There are standardized tests that measure IQ, administered by Doctors/Psychologists or sometimes the School District. I'm pretty certain that the author would have had her child tested before making such claims.

      However a high IQ is no guarantee of future success. Effort and determination play a huge part in that and they don't always go hand in hand with IQ. Perfectionism can be a blessing or a curse also. It can lead to perseverance or sometimes just giving up when one's expectations of oneself are too high. Even mental breakdowns!

      But generally, kids with a higher IQ do thrive in TAG programs as their teachers are familiar with the common challenges and quirks that they present, and the peers help keep their standards high rather than dropping down to fit in. There's also the social-emotional component to think of and that really depends on the individual child. Some kids with higher IQs would fit in anywhere, while others struggle. For many it's a relief to finally find likeminded friends.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:08 am |
  11. adopted USA

    We have a 11 years old boy who suppose to be gifted, he attends special classes with other gifted kids. First we were a little happy about it. He started reading at the age of two, by six he finished reading all the harry potter books. Then came the sad part. Only thing he finishes in school is math and it is two grade above math. But he is a big time prcastanator with everything else.

    August 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  12. Pat

    In my day we called this typed of child "special".

    August 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Sahari

      Very interesting topic, especially because of the response it generates. What I see when I consider the entire subject, is that the word 'gifted' is a value marker - like it or not. Those with 'gifted' children say "it's just how it is," and yet, I wonder if they would be okay with calling them "special needs" children - putting them in the same category as the population we now identify as such. It's the labeling that is offensive, all around the board, isn't it? If we did indeed take every child on his or her own, and stopped comparing them to so-called development markers, age-appropriate this or that, and simply loved and supported and stimulated each child according to their own, individual arc, what would our world look like? Not only would the children flourish, but so would we, for we wouldn't be coveting or judging each other, but celebrating the perfection in EVERYONE. Right now, there is a baseline agreement of what we consider normal, acceptable, better, worse, and it causes insecurity, jealousy, envy, and fear. We aren't asking the questions that will allow us to transcend the matrix of limits in which we currently, as a society, exist.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  13. Psych for Gifted Kids

    A lot of people here have used their personal experiences to suddenly become "experts" in this topic. I don't deny your experience, but don't deny this mother hers, either. Before assuming alternate diagnoses please do some research. It is scary, actually, the number of children who have been misdiagnosed with some disorder (ADD, OCD, autism, etc.) who may actually be gifted children (even scarier if they are medicated). That label of "gifted" is not a badge of honor nor does it make the gifted individual a better person. While I agree with some respondents that SOME parents or gifted kids appear to be braggarts when they use the term, I also would argue that some who are not gifted have an inaccurate perception that not being gifted is somehow inferior, which may explain some of the unnecessary and inappropriate slurs being posted. This mom was not saying her child was better than another by using the term gifted any more than a parent who says their child has cognitive delays implies that child is somehow a worse individual than others. "Gifted" is just a word that professionals attach to those with exceptional intelligence.

    As for whether or not the described behaviors are linked to giftedness, the answer is, "Sometimes." There are some gifted children who are perfectionists or experience what Dabrowski (a famous psychologist) called, "overexcitabilities." Sounds like this gifted little girl deals with those two things. There are some kids who are gifted that have issues with social relationships, although that is often a result of being surrounded by kids who are at a different developmental stage than they are. (I mean, really – K-12 schools are the only place in society where we require people to spend the majority of their day only with others who fall within the same 12 month age window. In every other case, we are surrounded by people with whom we have common purposes or interests, regardless of age.) There are some children who are gifted that get along just fine in every day society because they are typical in most aspects except their intelligence; they are the ones often viewed as "well-adjusted." SImilarly, there are kids who struggle with sensory issues or behavioral issues that are not gifted. We can't assume that all gifted kids will act the same any more than we can assume all kids with any other label will act the same – even if the label of "typical."

    For some gifted children, inclusion in a special school program is ESSENTIAL to their emotional and cognitive development. To the person who said wait to label until they are done with high school – 18 years is a long time to go without the kind of academic experiences necessary to continue developing. Most kids will have checked out by then, becoming those underachieving gifted kids so many people wanted to mention. For some, if the parents put a lot of pressure on the child or the school makes a gifted program MORE work rather than different learning experiences, being in the regular classroom might be better. We are able to acknowledge that some kids with learning disabilities need special classrooms while others can function in a regular classroom with some modifications. It is the same for gifted children. The bottom line is that every kids is unique and special (although not every child is gifted as professionals would define it). So, as this mom shared her individual experience, there is no need to criticize it or claim she is wrong simply because it doesn't match your own experiences or expectations.

    Medical diagnoses are provided by trained professionals to lay people based on a body of research involving a wide sample of people. Sure, a friend may hear us talk of symptoms and say, "it could be this or that," but we turn to our doctors to actually diagnose any issues. Similarly, before making generalizations about gifted children, their parents, or even the value of programs for them based on anecdotes, consider reviewing the body of research out there written by professionals – educational, clinical, and counseling psychologists – who are the experts on the topic. I recommend people visit SENG's website (www.sengifted.org), Davidson Academy's website, or read journals such as Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review, or Journal of Advanced Academics. Even broader professional journals have carried articles on the topics discussed. (And before anyone slams me – while I am a psychologist and educator, I am not promoting my own writing, websites, or publications here. I am a consumer of information from these sites, not a creator of them.)

    August 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • mom who knows

      Thank you so much for your voice of reason!

      August 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Pat

      If you can read your first paragraph again without thinking to yourself that you sound like a moron, then you may be "gifted" too.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
      • Ruby

        I have no idea what you just said, do you?

        August 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • ddm

      Nobody is gifted, nobody is special, normal is relative to the moment. If you can be yourself in your own moments you are revealing to others, who and what you are. Teach kids and exemplify the value of some basic form of being honest to yourself and then a label is not needed to buoy one's self-worth nor can a label draw you down. No matter the intent of the expressed label – they do nothing positive for anyone – except for the parents who seem to need their child labeled gifted or special in order to feel better about themselves. This is always a setup for both parent and child to feel the frustration of living in step to a label only to stumble like all people always do.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Momto4

      You have provided a well written, educated response on this topic. I was so surprised after reading the article to find so many people leaving hateful responses, for what reason? Jealousy? Or have we as a nation just become that bitter? I have 4 children, all of my children walked early and talked early. Of course I was the proud parent, every parent thinks their child is the brightest and the best that was every born. My two oldest children have always been place in advanced classes and done exceptionally well in school and on California State testing. My 3rd child was different and I often worried about her, extremely hyper and sensitive..quick to anger and unable to focus for long periods of time. She met all of her milestones earlier than the rest. She said her first words at 5 months old, stringing together 2 and 3 words at a time by 7 months and walking by 8 months old. She is also amazingly funny and quick witted, but the other issues just got to a point that I did not know where to turn, blaming myself and full of shame I talked with her pediatrician who diagnosed her with ADD and put her on medication. I noticed some changes but not many. Over this past summer we received a letter from the school district that my daughter had been identified as possibly being gifted and they wanted to test her. She tested and qualified for the gifted program. She has been place in a special school that our district has for these children that they identify as being gifted. She is only 7 years old and reads 271 words per minute, she is doing math at an almost 5th grade level. But like the girl in the article a loud toilet is like bombs going off in her head. She can't stand strings hanging from her clothes and she chews her hair obsessively. I have taken her off of all medication, because I no longer believe she has ADD, I no longer believe I failed as a parent. I believe she is gifted in ways some of us are not. And it doesn't make her any better than anyone else just a little different. My fourth child is in a lot of ways like my 7 year old and I wonder if I am headed down the same road with him. But that anyone would berate a parent with a gifted child with hateful comments and responses is to me much the same as responding to a parent with a special needs child with hateful comments. There is no sense in it and no need for it. It's petty and low.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Rick K.

      This person gets it! Thanks, hope i can write like that someday

      August 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • 22X Richer

      Nothing worse than a psych' student who actually thinks what they learn means anything to anybody.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • 22X Richer

      Nothing worse than a psych' student who actually thinks what they were taught actually means anything to anybody.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • Psych for Gifted Kids

        Actually, I have had a 20+ year career as an educator of gifted children, hold a PhD in educational psychology with clinical and school psychology experience, and am state licensed. Now, you are still free to hold the opinion that my learning or experience is useless and not worth reading. I respect your right to your own opinion. At least you can base such an opinion on factual information rather than false assumptions.

        August 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • SL

      Thanks Psych!

      I agree with everything you said, but you failed to add that there are definitely cases where a child can test in the top percentile for IQ and ALSO have an ADHD or Autism diagnosis. There is the whole realm of "2e" or "Twice Exceptional" to consider.

      Of course there is misdiagnoses of children thought to be ADHD but really only gifted, but you have to acknowledge that there one does not necessarily exclude the other.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:01 am |
      • Psych for Gifted Kids

        You are absolutely correct. I should have included that a child can both be gifted and have another special need, such as ADHD or Aspergers among others. I agree that, while they are often confused for each other and one does not necessarily mean the other is present, they can coexist within a person, as well. Ahh, the complexity of the human existence!

        August 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  14. mrdeepblue

    You know on a scale of 1/10 you just logged a perfect 11elevated to the 23th potency on moronity severus.

    August 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  15. 22X Richer

    If they're so darn "gifted" then you shouldn't have to do much at all as a parent.

    Everyone thinks their kid is gifted these days. Gifted used to mean some sort of prodigy or amazingly brilliant. Today it has been dumbed down to any kid who can do basic math in 6th grade or read an entire book by 7th grade.

    August 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • parent

      So typical of people who don't have a clue about giftedness, but I am not surprised because yes the public schools, from parent pressure, have dumbed everything down so every kid gets treated like a star. Giftedness is not about being better than other kids, it is about being different. We all seem to understand and accept when a kid who has a physical handicap (difference) or a learning disability (difference) gets special treatment at school. But when a kid is DIFFERENT intellectually or emotionally, we expect him to be able to handle school with no special accommodations. I am so tired of my academically advanced kid being expected to behave like a little adult in school. As soon as he needs extra attention or opportunities for modified curriculum, he is labeled a troublemaker. Gifted kids are often "more than" other kids in some way. And that is too much trouble for teachers and administrators. My kid was born and raised with a highly advanced mind. I am paying through the nose for private school for him because the public school is woefully ill-equipped to meet his needs. My tax dollars are going to a school that spends all its time on discipline problems instead of helping promising students develop their potential. Don't tell me it should be easy to raise a kid whose talents in the arts and reasoning exceed MINE AND YOURS.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • Student

        This is so spot on. I attended a prestigious private school, and many of my teachers treated me in the way you described. In kindergarten, i was called "nosy" because instead of reading the same crappy picture books, I would explore the classroom. Its a shame that so much of our (as a society) attention is focused on bringing the bottom up, instead of advancing all people.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      I was a so called "gifted" kid of the worst degree,My parents thought more in terms of "cursed". I burned down the Barn, almost killed my ALL family (just a few times), exploded my dad's shed, fixed my grandpa boat engine so good the propeller blew up and the boat caught fire( only a little )
      My mother would LOCK ALL KINDS OF CHEMICALS including Sugar, salt, soap, vinegar, and MILK.(yes Milk ) My dad bought a safe where he would keep the keys to the tool shed, car, and anything with an engine on it.
      trust me I am not an "exception", by the way that was all before my 7th birthday.
      Today I am a father of 4, BELIEVE ME I am so thankful my kid's are just what you would call "normal".

      the Problem is that NO ONE is asking the so called gifted kids what THEY think, it's so called "specialists" determining what this kids need.
      P.S.- My wife says I have Matured into a ripe 12 year old mental age ( I'm 47), and I am not allowed to bring ANYTHING from work home.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Ruby

        mrdeepblue: You have that exactly right; the problem (and solution) is that no one wants to ask the gifted child what they think – or want. Instead, they give them a lable and treat them accordingly.

        August 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
      • SL

        Thanks mrdeepblue!

        I believe you have what they call the "Edison Trait" :)

        August 24, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • jack T

      actually, its people like you who have forced our educational system to dumb down the system to make intellectually less advanced kids feel better. we teach to the bottom, other countries teach to the top. and we wonder why we are so far behind many other countries in terms of education of our kids. thanks 22X!

      August 24, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  16. mom who knows

    Everyone is unique and important, but not everyone is gifted. This is not a negative, just the way it is. People readily say "Look at that gifted athlete" or "Did you hear that gifted musician?" or even "Take a look at that sculpture by the gifted artist".
    Gifted academically...no, people feel offended to admit that there are people who excel at knowledge and learning and this type of creativity. Gifted people have minds that are wired differently than most people, and they experience the world in a different way. They are no better or worse than other people...they are simply differently wired for information and they deserve to be respected and accepted for who they are.

    Giftedness, often linked to high creativity, immense intensity, and over-excitabilities, cannot be better described than by Pearl S. Buck's remarkable poem:

    “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
    To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.
    Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him.
    He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” ― Pearl S. Buck

    August 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  17. Healthy To Go

    Gifted= The New Retarded.

    August 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      YOU = the OLD retarded

      August 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • JMS

      puts

      August 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • mrdeepblue

        lol :)

        August 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Pat

      That is what I was thinking when I read this article. My child was just tested and accepted into the gifted program, but he does exhibit any of these issues. If he whined about something like the "gifted" kid above, I would question his mental ability.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  18. pjusa

    We had new neighbors move in a while back. I was talking with them and asked each of them what they did for a living. The wife turned to me and said "I head up the Gifted and Talented program" in our school district. I looked right at her and said "But every child is gifted and talented in some way or another". That was the end of the the conversation. The pigeon-holing and catagorization of our children has gotten way out of hand.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • William

      Every child is unique in some way, that is true. Some children however excel academically at a much earlier age. I personally was a slow learner and was the average kid in school, but struggled to keep up. My son however is 7 and reading at a high school level. We need to challenge and keep the academically gifted children interested or they will check out and their talents wasted. How else are we going to get ahead as a country. Dumb all the smart kids down?

      August 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • mom who knows

      Everyone is unique and important, but not everyone is gifted. This is not a negative, just the way it is. People readily say "Look at that gifted athlete" or "Did you hear that gifted musician?" or even "Take a look at that sculpture by the gifted artist".
      Gifted academically...no, people feel offended to admit that there are people who excel at knowledge and learning and this type of creativity. Gifted people have minds that are wired differently than most people, and they experience the world in a different way. They are no better or worse than other people...they are simply differently wired for information and they deserve to be respected and accepted for who they are.

      Giftedness, often linked to high creativity, immense intensity, and over-excitabilities, cannot be better described than by Pearl S. Buck's remarkable poem:

      “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
      To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.
      Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him.
      He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” ― Pearl S. Buck

      August 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • mrdeepblue

        You made my day. I'm reading...

        August 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
      • William

        Well said! No one understands unless they experience a child that is gifted. It is a blessing and a curse.

        August 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • CSD

      That comment is one of the biggest misconceptions of talented and gifted. Talented and gifted is not about serving students who are just "talented and gifted" in some way as all students are unique and special. Talented and gifted is for students whom have a different learning system which requires them to have instruction delivered in a different way in order to meet their academic potential. Standard classroom instructional practices that are good for the majority of students do not work well for gifted students. This is not too different from the way most people understand special education for the learning disabled.

      Your comment about all children are talented and gifted in some way is true, but that is not what this is about. TAG students are students with exceptionally unique learning needs, like special Ed. for the learning disabled, in which they can only meet their potential with differentiated instruction.

      FYI. Many of history’s most noteworthy criminals were gifted people. These "gifted" lost faith in school and/or society in part because schools/communities failed to meet their unique needs. As the history teaches us, they became frustrated and alienated because the systems failed to respect their truly unique nature. When we fail to meet the needs of our most "intelligent", "talented", and "skilled" citizens we should not be surprised when horrific and highly sophisticated crimes take place.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • JaneK

      pjusa, You may think you shut her down with your comment, but she was probably just too polite to argue with you. NOT all children are gifted. Gifted is a measure with a clear definition, and not all children fall within the range. Yes, all children have preferences and potential in certain areas, but not all children are gifted. When people start these types of conversations with those who are professionals in the field, it may just be more polite to let them voice that view rather than debate the point. Some people just don't get it and think the term is a compliment rather than a scaled measure.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • dnfromge

      That was rather rude and unfriendly of you.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  19. Not Politically Correct

    Ok, I'll step up and take the hit for everyone who is thinking the same thing I am:

    In my day, a little kid with the characteristics described by the author would have been classified as retarded. It sounds like no one wanted to tell the mother the truth about her little black girl for fear of being called racist, so they used a new code word to mask the truth.I think "gifted" has replace "special" among the politically correct as the word of choice to describe kids who are below average in intelligence and emotional development. We are truly living in an Orewellian world, I think...dumb is smart, down is up, wrong is right, war is peace, freedom is slavery....and so it goes.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • William

      You are truly an idiot. It's unfortunate that people like you exist.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
      • Freddo

        Perhaps, William, you're the idiot for not questioning how this child became classified as "gifted" when nothing in this article would lead anyone to believe that she is.

        August 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      in YOUR day the Dinosaurs walked the 4 corners of the Earth...

      August 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Once a teacher, Always a teacher

      Please do us a favor. DO NOT REPRODUCE.

      August 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  20. William

    I have a child that is considered "gifted" and I both understand that struggles of parenting a gifted child, but I also understand the easiness and self indulgent satisfaction parents get by claiming that they are parenting a "gifted child". When we take our child to his gifted classes, there is a click'ish nature with the mothers. They all sit around and whine and belly ache in a very self indulgent way about how hard they have it raising their child. If your child is gifted, it is hard, but so is raising any child. Who know if these "gifted" children will grow up being any different then the rest of us.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Nidwalden

      Your comment is refreshing. I have frequent interaction with the parents and students in the Highly Capable program in my district. So many are insufferable with their conceit and clique.

      August 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • William

        I do understand, but still am happy these programs exist. My son was recorded with a 145 IQ and while all his piers excel with their personal lives because they have others to relate to, it is tough because if one has a child that is truly gifted it is almost a curse rather then a blessing because they really are different. People can call them retarded or whatever mean spirited names they want to use, trust me they don't understand what it is like and how far advanced some of these kids are.

        August 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  21. Vizier

    Welcome to the "exceptional" society, where a kid's brattiness is applauded and single motherhood is a triumph...

    August 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      you meant: " I'm just a dumb A S S that can't count to 4 or read past the headlines on Faux news, and I hate anyone or anything that seems to be better then me."
      there ya go, I fixed it for ya.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  22. Nick and Lynds

    Classifying a child with the characteristics described in article as "gifted" sounds to me like a watered down version of that "Indigo Child" rubbish that was circulating a few years back; it's just a feel good thing for a parent of a kid with problems and a justification for lazy parenting.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  23. Abundant Heart

    Let's face it. People are all different from one another. If we were the same, it would be totally boring. Of course brains work differently. Of course we all learn differently. Of course some people are good at math while others struggle. Of course some learn to ride a bike at age 2 while others don't pick it up until 12. Life is so full of abundant variety. Giftedness is a word that causes controversy because of our expereinces with the word. Everyone is NORMAL. Some people learn in ways that are not TYPICAL. Those people, however, are still NORMAL. Multiple learning styles, mulitple ways of reacting to the world, multiple ways of addressing the topic of teaching so many different kids of humans well. Learning is so variant, yet we want to encase a box around what is TYPICAL and call it NORMAL. I think the necessity of setting intention to give each person a chance to allow their light to shine wherever s/he does is what is important here. Does it not behoove us to support others in their journeys to being fully the humans they are to be? Our inner wisdom lets go of words that fill us with judgement. It benefits all of us support parents on their journeys to making their kids shine. ALL parents. Yep, some people have particular needs that are not typical. Do we judge someone who needs a wheelchair and ask their parents to stop bragging about that young person's needs? No. How does it benefit us to make a young person who has been doing 5th grade math at the age of three sit in a class of 7 year olds and work on information that is not challenging her/him? It just doesn't. Reaching beyond what is TYPICAL can be strange...scary...tough and...more work. But does it not benefit us to support minds that might be the next Steve Jobs, Einstein, Mozart, Van Gough? Lets move past the pettiness of semantics and focus on inspiring greatness...wherever and however it shows up.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • One of the Young Autistic Men

      I do not believe everyone is normal. There are people who would labeled me as normal, I am not normal. I was diagnosed with autism when I was young. Autistic children are one of those people who are not normal. During the first three years of education, every class was all special ed. I was in normal classes after my mother decided to hold me back in the second grade.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  24. Briann

    Bravo to Chandra and her pastor for finding the very best education for Nya! What you see on this messageboard is the misunderstanding and, sometimes, jealousy that people have for people with extraordinary potential. Either people think you are being elitist and snobby or they want to diagnose. Sensory Integration Disorder, our physician told us, is something they are not sure if it exists. It is one part of being gifted or whatever you want to call it. It is not a disorder or a pathology and it doesn't mean that your normal kid is not special! As the research indicates and all the anecdotal evidence here of somebody's gifted brother who didn't amount to much, being "gifted" in this capacity does not aumotmatically guarantee success. These kids, more than others, feel isolated and assembly line education is extremely detrimental. Likewise, it doesn't mean they should be doing college-level content - unless they want to be! We really need individualized education for more students but the gifted kids, especially, are not being reached. Articles like this can help educate more and more people that it's not a disorder. Michael Phelps was very unique, energetic, and irritating at times as a kid. And he was very very gifted! We need more information about these children.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Snotty Gifted Child

      most "gifted" children end up with ordinary lives and ordinary jobs...just saying...

      August 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Food Zealot

        This brings to mind a famous quote by C. Coolidge:

        “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

        August 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
      • mrdeepblue

        true, I have an ordinary job...pay at the end of the month 4 kids, a dog...but if you try to approach the fence of my work place, they shoot to kill. All tho there's this rumor they might warn you with a shot first. But it's just a rumor.

        August 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • Ruby

        Actually, no. Often with common jobs, but if you knew these people you would discover, uncommon lives.

        August 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Experienced firsthand

      Spot on Abundant Heart.I've seen "giftedness" firsthand in three out of four of my children, and my niece. Kids reading, writing, doing mathmatics at very young ages. Their ability to manipulate is astounding......They have unique needs, the same way as someone on the other end of the spectrum has. And yes, in my house, they tend to act more "naughty" than other kids. If you have a difficult time understanding what gifted is, ask your doctor the next time you are in to explain.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  25. Oh, Please!

    Political correctness has brought us to the brink if characteristics that once would have had a child classified as retarded, emotionally distrubed or just plain weird now lead to a classification of "gifted". Being a "perfectionist", throwing temper tantrums, social ackwardness and having hang-ups about one's socks now make a child a genius...seriously? Folks, there's no correlation between these qualities and giftedness, although it's possible that some gifted children have these; but gifted children can also be slobs, popular and well behaved. Sorry to all the parents of "gifted" children, but your kid is probably no more gifted than anyone else. We've just reached the point in our society where "feelings" are more important than the truth...that your kid is weird, a moron, a brat or all 3.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dory

      Please spend some time getting to know some of these families and some of these children before you spout off with your very hurtful language.
      Instead, imagine what it's like to be a child who is so excited to start kindergarten because you LOVE learning – and then find that the day is filled with learning a new letter (while you're already reading chapter books) and how to count to 10 (when you're already asking about how multiplication works). I've known students like this who expressed sucidal wishes because they were so bored and disappointed. At age 5!
      Can you relate to this? Can you imagine it?
      Please, don't judge it.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Oh, Please!

        Dory: I'm the decendant of a Nobel Prize winner in science and have many gifted people in my family. I just don't buy that a child is "gifted" based upon the qualities enumerated in this article. Don't you get it?

        August 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Oh, Please!

        That would be a Nobel Prize in Physics, to be exact.

        August 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
      • CommonSense

        Yep. I can relate. Was one of those kids. (at age 8 though.. I guess not as gifted as others ;-) ) I still have a hard time relating w/ "the rest of the world" because most people zone out whenever I talk to them about anything I find interesting. The things most people find interesting, I find quite boring and shallow. I care about things that are deeper to our existence.

        A lot of people I meet care about American Idle or The X Factor or whatever else. They just want to be entertained. I can't help but look @ them and see that "the lights are off and no one's home." (Yes, American Idol was misspelled on purpose)

        As for Oh Please! ........ your second posting highlights "perfectionism" (to be exact) :-p

        August 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  26. bmkinz1510

    I asked my mother if I was a gifted child. She said she certainly wouldn't have paid for me:-)

    August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  27. Wendy

    We know not all chldren are the same and all children are special. I have worked with autistic children and know kids with ADHD...and I am aware of the struggles these parents go through with their kids. My daughter is gifted and displays many of the same traits as in the article. She is disciplined and I try very hard to work with her on these behaviors so she can fit into society. I see so many comments that these kids are bratty or must not be disciplined, yet when I read these posts I notice that many of the comments are nastily written, as if the person writing it can't control their anger and is having a meltdown while expressing their frustration. Trust me, a parent who has a child that beats to a different drum than the other kids for whatever reason is not easy. My experience with others who judge my daughter is that they tend to be adults who need to learn to be in control of themselves more. They say what we don't like in others is really a reflection of ourselves.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Dory

      I really love your comment, Wendy. I care for my grown brother with Downs Syndrome while also raising two gifted daughters and teaching at a school for gifted students where we have twice exceptional students enrolled in our classes every year. I'm also often amazed at the negativity aimed at these students with special needs. No one is saying that we value them MORE than any other student! We're just asking that they don't be valued any LESS, either!

      August 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  28. Amazed

    I am amazed at all the negative comments on here. No one is saying any child is better than another. Kids learn & achieve at their own pace. Some just do it quicker than others. Does it really matter? Shouldn't the child being happy & learning be what we are worried about more than slandering people for talking about "gifted" issues? No one truly understands "gifted" issues unless you are the parent of child who is considered "gifted." Lets be adults here and try to support each other rather than slander. Let's think about supporting our kids no matter what range of the spectrum they are. They are our kids & they deserve nothing but our love & support.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Cella

    No comments from the actual children who were considered gifted. Let's just say part of the reason for acting out comes from the fact that no one really expects much, your peers seem like bumbling idiots and the rest of your life, you're surrounded by mediocrity. This is not a judgement, it's a fact. My mentor/last boss taught me that average excels. Intelligence never mattered because it's who you know, more so in the world as it exists today than ever before. If one is gifted, the best thing they can learn is how to keep that face from showing to the rest of the world, do 110% because gifted kids can't stand not going all out, (others see it as perfectionism, gifted kids see the rest of the world as half-a$$ing it all the time) but never let anyone on to the fact that you're on that level, they resent gifted kids for thinking they're better. Instead of resenting them, maybe they could try appreciating that the bar has been raised and live to that standard. But of course, I already know, this is too much to hope for. If you treat kids like kids, they will act and think like kids. http://www.ted.com/talks/adora_svitak.html

    August 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • AceRyder

      Cella, if you're gifted and not successful, you're probably really just neurotic, or strange, or self-righteous, or highly critical, of have some other personality deficiency and aren't really gifted at all.

      Trust me, the gifted succeed. Those who THINK they are gifted end up not succeeding and criticizing those around them, not realizing that they are just average complainers.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • Cella

        I would love to give you the win, but alas, I may have my own issues but I'm not sure if I know anyone who doesn't. What is normal? What is successful? I have succeeded in my mind in a sense, again, I admit I have my flaws, but I have my dream job against all odds and I love what I do. Not many people can say that, nowadays, to have a great job (with benefits) that they actually like waking up and going to. I count myself blessed every day, multiple times. I know how lucky I am. But this is despite the point. No child gives him/herself the moniker of "gifted". It is something they are, curious and inquisitive to a certain fault of society. It is our cultural hegemony to consider the quirky, bright, inquisitive, perfectionist child as the other. Don't believe me? Mass media forms those norms faster than you can say "Kardashian". In Friends, (that TV show, 90's-ish, some people watched it) anytime Ross would start talking about paleontology, his "friends" would fake falling asleep. In the Big Bang Theory, well, you know what, I don't even have to explain that one. There's a certain view that this society cultivates about that person, the "other". Other societies don't feel the same way, they're advancing currently at a level we never expected. There isn't a possibility that this might have to do with the societal view that is cultivated at large? When everyone started comparing grades on tests in school, the one with the highest grade had the most to fear from his/her peers. Eventually they start learning to deflect the conversation if they have any emotional intelligence whatsoever. If you haven't been there man, listen, hey, I seriously envy you. I didn't ask to be labeled, made the other. I liked learning and I was alienated for it. I'm a "geek", a "nerd", but the thing is, if you met me now, you wouldn't know this, because I've learned to control those "impulses", shall we say. I'm not saying I'm not strange, but then again, you know, I'm sure, from where you're coming from and the right that you feel in saying what you say that you're perfect. Good for you man. Really. But do you think the author would've written the article at all if there wasn't a need for allowing those kids we call "gifted" to be amongst each other? You know, since society at large is so wonderful for them to exist in as it is. Since it's so tolerant and understanding. Right.

        August 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • BS

      You sound more like a bitter person seeking an explanation for your failures in life than someone who is gifted; people like you (who think they're too smart to succeed because their mediocre colleagues are out to destroy them) are a dime a dozen in this world...sory to be the one to tell you that you're not special

      AceRyder: who are you trying to convince when you say that "the gifted succeed", the rest of us or yourself. Being gifted doesn't guaranty one success any more than any other human quality. There are plenty of "gifted" people in prison and living on the street.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • mskatfud

        A great work ethic is the greatest gift of all.

        There's a huge difference between being gifted, and being gifted with a work ethic. I'm successful because I have an excellent work ethic. My supposedly far more gifted brother, who was identified early and our mother catered to his every whim, is now, 30+ years later, a dismal failure. Yes, he excelled at all academics, at the piano, and at acquiring useful skillsets at an alarming rate. But all he really wanted to do was sit around, smoke pot, and have our mother hand him everything on a silver platter. When she passes, he'll be in for one rude awakening, since nobody else in the family is willing to bail him out of all his laziness issues. I expect him to start demanding ME to pick up where she left off. Not gonna happen.

        So don't spoil your "gifted" child. Make them work for it. Let them understand that being gifted is just a somewhat sharper edge, it's not the whole blade.Make them do the work and learn to make real efforts, and THAT will prove the worth of whatever gifts were bestowed.

        August 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • Ruby

        Good point. Gifted people are probably often successful since average people are so easily manipulated, but they may be succeeding at things other than what the usual norms value – leading revolutions, advancing the arts, masterminding crimes...

        August 24, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  30. S

    Just to clarify, NOT all children that are in the gifted and talented program have social and behavioral issues.
    Maybe this label/program's intentions and purpose have changed over the years, but it was not that way 15 years ago.
    Let's not put a stigma on yet another thing that is meant to be positive.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      from MY point of view? I only see ANOTHER mass standard, wherein the tomatoes get a slightly bigger box, but instead of 20 in a box now there are only 5 or 6.
      What this kids NEED is for people to teach them the right discipline and organization to back up their skills and then FEED their thirsty minds, not another downsized mass teaching program.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • Ruby

        Yes!

        August 24, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are correct. I would add that not all of those that exhibit such ‘fussy’ behaviors are gifted ether. Correlation does not equal causation.

      p.s. The last person one should be taking educational advice from is a person who bases their life not on facts but faith. Just FYI.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  31. TigerSwallowtail

    What I find most interesting about the comments is that a lot of people are all of a sudden experts on the matter of being gifted vs not being gifted. Some have even tried to suggest that it's not being gifted at all but a disorder such as aspergers because of similarities. Seriously do you guys really think that this mother didn't have other tests done to make sure she was developing normally? Also, just because one gifted child felt like he/she could never measure up doesn't mean all gifted children will have that same experience. The experience is driven by the parenting so maybe it was your parents that jacked you up and not the fact that you were called gifted.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Jes

      The author actually insinuates in the article, that her child's behavioral issues are directly connected with her daughter being "gifted"- this appears to be the reason for some of the different behavioral based comments.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What I find most interesting that these types of comments are surprising to you. Also that you seem to believe you know better than they do. Pot met kettle?

      August 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Dory

      I have two grown gifted daughters and teach in a school for the gifted. I'm always sad to see the negativity that can be directed at parents AND at these students for their learning differences. I have a brother with Downs Syndrome and our society would be appauled at discrimination toward him, but when my students need specialized programming because of their academic or social needs, we are accused of being elitist. And so many people assume that gifted students can't also have handicaps. OF COURSE there are gifted kids with asperger's and ADHD and autism and learning disabilities These twice exceptional students need support that is tailored to their needs as much as my brother needed that when he was in school.
      Sometimes I try to explain why special programs for gifted children are necessary this way:
      Imagine you are a parent of a perfectly wonderful "normal", "average" child who is entering 5th grade. What would you di if her teacher decided that she thought all students these days were coming unprepared to her class and decided that she would reteach the 3rd grade curriculum instead of the 5th grade curriculum this year. Would you allow that to happen for your child? Of course you wouldn't because she would be bored and wouldn't learn anything!
      Well, tha's what a regular classroom often feels like for a highly gifted student. Every school day. Every school year.
      These children need nurturing socially, emotionally, academically, and in everyway imaginable, just like every other child!
      Show some compassion and try to empathize. That's what I try to teach my gifted students every day, every year.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  32. mae

    Although not truly 'gifted', my daughter is a classic case of academic perfectionist. I relate so much to the struggles above. Homework had to be PERFECT. Grades had to be no less than 100%, preferably 108%. She perfected everything very easily and if not, a huge hissy was thrown. To force her to accept that not everything came easy and she would have to practice – I enrolled her in piano at age 7. Helped a lot to accept practicing. Best thing I did was meet with her middle school guidance counselor. We worked a lot on self-confidence and emphasize what you learned, not what your grade is. A junior in high school now, she's much better. She only crys over homework rarely, and she's content with her 4.08 GPA.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  33. Cheryl Smart

    I think the author's child may be gifted, but the behavioral indicators are that of a child who is not well-disciplined at home. Tolerating or worse, working around, her tantrums will not get her very far in life outside of school. Gifted or not, she needs to cultivate the tools necessary to deal with frustration and boredom. They are not always avoidable. As for being labeled "gifted," I was and I'm just fine. Not a Ph.D., happy in my work, have a successful marriage and one "gifted" girl of my own. It just gave me a chance to learn some things and have some experiences I wouldn't otherwise have had.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  34. RT

    Unless any of you have been "in her shoes", you have no right to mock. After 40+ years this gifted child still struggles with social situations and dealing with certain irritants like shirt tags and the sound of vacuum cleaners.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • mrdeepblue

      the vacuum cleaner is NOT a natural invention, that noise is just not natural !

      August 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • basketcase

      Last time I checked being bothered by a vacuum cleaner was a common trait among dogs, not "gifted" people.

      August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • mrdeepblue

        but hey ..you're just a basket case, so who listens to you?!

        August 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  35. Jes

    The "gifted" child sounds like she has Sensory Integration Disorder, a disorder in which both direct and environmental stimuli can cause behavioral changes in the child. It is not part of being "gifted". When I was in elementary school, we had a TAG program; Talented and Gifted. These kids were the ones that were genuinely interested perfectionism, finishing schoolwork, and connecting with higher learning. I was tested for enterance into the TAG program, and accepted based on the IQ criteria, standardized testing placement, and "my learning goals." I lasted 2 months in the program. I felt so uncomfortable being labeled, lauded and paraded by my parents and teachers. I had gone from being a kid who played house with her friends at recess, to a kid that stayed in at recess to play board games from different countries, because that is what my "peer group" was doing. I didn't (and don't) have any of those behavioral traits listed by the author, and most of the kids in the TAG class I was in, did not either. I am a mother of two little boys now, and I have had to remind myself to just let them grow in their own pace, and keep from labeling them. It is pretty cutthroat out there with all of the professional opinions, peer opinions, mothering advice and being exausted from raising a couple of kids. They are wild some days, and 'focused' on others. I feel like they are NORMAL, and that is the best label that anyone can give a child.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      Well said! Give kids a safe, encouraging environment and let them flourish at their own pace. You sound like an excellent Mom.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Parent of a similar child

      The thing that you are missing and most of the negative posts here are missing is that some children only display these behaviors at home. Our daughter is just like Nya, sensitive to loud noises and a perfectionist. However, she does not act out at school because she has above average social skills, just like the author indicated. She saves her frustration all day and lets it out at home where she feels safe. This is not bad parenting, this is providing a safe environment for a child to let out the frustration that was building all day. Would it be better that she feels safer at school instead of at home and acts out at school? Read the article again, you can't be gifted if your comprehension skills are this pathetic.

      August 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  36. justadad1

    Wow. There sure are a lot of angry, sad people online today. A Mom shares her story about her kid and up pop the brave souls hiding behind computers to lash out at her, re-diagnose her child and criticize her parenting. What is it about online comments that turns people into idiots? In any event, I for one thought this piece was interesting and thought provoking. It might even be helpful to similarly situated parents.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      Great comment justadad! Now back to your pilates class!

      August 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • justadad1

        Sadly, no pilates for me. Just back to work. Thanks for proving my point though.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Getrealcrazylady

        Oh, you're surfing the internet sites on parenting and posting comments while at work? Maybe you should consider pilates...thanks for proving MY point! :)

        August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Era

        So what you're saying is that working and exercising are unworthy activities? Because what I get out of this is that *you're* certainly not at pilates or taking a break from work to comment on this– so I assume you're just, what, sitting around at home feeling sorry for yourself and criticising the people who are thinking and discussing and working and exercising? Wow. You...uh, win?

        August 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  37. Rachael

    I was labelled "gifted" by several teachers from kindergarten on. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The label only isolates and gives a child unrealistic expectations. Enrich her outside of school.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • ProudMomma15

      A child can tell when they are treated differently by others and can feel isolated even without the label of "gifted." With or without a label, being able to explain to a child why they are seen as different can help ease anxieites, help them accept themselves for who they are and find others to relate to.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • JR

      II'm surprised that you were only "labeled" as gifted and do not understand what that is...first there are no expectations from gifted kids.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  38. mrdeepblue

    I see so many Opinions here that it's like watching a ping-pong match in high speed.
    They all picking at the peas, NOT at the meat.
    The truth is there are very good reasons why I had problems with school that no one addresses to this day, and they try and pass it expertly as : autism, boredom, difficulty concentrating and so on... this so called "EXPERTS" should perhaps consider planting potatoes as an alternative to their careers as "experts".
    MY CASE:
    Difficulty reading( in school only) , focusing on a subject in school. The moment I joined a school for “different” kids in Switzerland, I was told that the problem lay not with me but with the methods used, and they proceeded to introduce me to fast reading techniques that I use to this day. The speed reading techniques along with the fact that my thought process is based on images and colors, allows me to be completely focused and taking information at a comfortable speed where the brain has no “free” time to wonder, and therefore keeping the focus. THIS is a big issue ! But then comes the next problem I had in a so called normal school, I CANNOT be faster then the rest of the class. Therefore I would have to wait for the rest of the class to catch up, or start making paper airplanes, trowing paper missiles, falling asleep ( yes falling asleep) there you are in a chair, with NOTHING to do, being told by the teacher you either shut up or get sent out, not allowed to pursue the matter you just finished reading....BOREDOM & TORTURE. Not so in my “other” school, 5 kids to a teacher, 20 kids per class 4 teachers in the room
    I passed my admission University exams at 16, pretty old for my class actually, but hey I joined at 13.
    AM I MORE ITELIGENT THEN OTHERS? Hell NO, I'm the same as everyone, I'm totally social inept, (I've been known to say the wrong things at the most embarrassing moment)
    But the BIGGEST problem in a “normal” school, is that you are not “normal”, the others could not read at 6, I had read the great masters( Inclusive Balzac) before age 5, so what happens when I join school? I was almost diagnosed AUTIST, then Dyslexic, then I almost ended up with “special needs” children ...due to my lack of focus to B + A , and “Mary had a little lamb” I was SLOW ( sad really )
    next comes 2+2= ? , Imagine this, YOU as a grown up, being forced to RELEARN Kindergarten .
    It felt worse to me for I was A KID and could not express myself or my frustration, so I almost went ballistic, throwing fits, kicking stuff( and once the teacher , but I enjoyed that ) ( I was 6 ) it went as far as I would start showing “autistic” symptoms like rocking myself on the chair, knocking my head on the desk till I would bloody myself. TORTURE. Is what that was. But worse arises from situations like this, because I felt so much frustration I lost my social behavior and any notion of my place in society, then comes the teacher again with 2+2= ? and if I remember correctly(all tho my mama describes it best) I gave the answer as not only 4 but the square root and prime number sequence and at age 6 , I got me a “FREAK” label.

    THERE ARE NO GIFTED KIDS ! EVERY KID IS DIFFERENT AND UNIQUE ! But until society stops trying to fit them all like normalized tomatoes into a box this will go on FOREVER.
    Based on the premise that every thing in Nature is Unique, then so is every kid, therefore a system should be in place that all tho meant for the generality of kids, nevertheless allows for the differences in everyone of them. NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. But hey I'm all grow up, YOUR kids now (good luck with that)

    The scientific argument goes that kids should start learning languages at 4 to 5 years of age, because at that time the BRAIN is all wired up for that. But hey TEACHERS know best and psychologist too and shrinks and everyone makes a buck and life’s great.

    I'm rambling already, the pain and frustration of those times still haunts me.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  39. Maggie

    For three years my son's school has been on case to have tested and I told them. I told my son is happy, he loves his school and his friend just leave him alone. I told him I do not need a test to see that my son is brilliant.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  40. Sara

    The response to this article brings back memories! The subject is a Rorschach test for parents; they tend to get very defensive. My (now adult) son was a gifted child with particular needs due to that fact. Fortunately there was a public school in our city for these kids. It didn't mean he was "better" than your kid, but he was indisputably in a category that required a different approach than the usual public school. So what? I mentioned it as little as possible, to avoid having to deal with the inevitable reactions similar to those in this comment thread. Sheesh.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      I guess every school and teacher should tailor every class and lesson to your kid vs. YOU teaching your kid how to navigate through society. Let me guess, when your kid didn't do so well on something you blamed the teacher right?

      August 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • mrdeepblue

        ya know, it's scary to read what you write.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • Getrealcrazylady

        Mrs. Deep. Why?

        August 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  41. Naemo

    I barely made it through school. Every subject was a challenge for me. I spent hours on my homework and I almost never finished it. I spent half of my educational career in the principal's office. That was a lot more fun than my classes, in which I almost never paid attention because my teachers were so boring. I also wet the bed unitl I was 12 and had trouble learning to tie my shoes. The sound of my alarm clock going off still sends me into a rage. Everyone I know, including me, thinks I'm a stupid ne'er-do-well. Now, I realize that I'm actually "gifted". Thanks, CNN, for providing me with an excuse for my failures and mediocrity.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • JR

      nah, i think you fall in the looser category

      August 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • tomreeck

        Actually, that would be "loser," loser.

        August 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      Hilarious!

      August 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Naemo's mom

      Son, it's your mother...I told you when i'm at work do not use the computer...now clean up the basement!

      August 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  42. Susan Dale

    My daughter was tested gifted in 2nd grade...but I also told the school she was ADHD... but they didn't believe me. She was always a straight A student. I'm (mother) am dyslexic not bad just get in the road sometime. When my daughter got into middle they state dumbing her down. She was a A student in math top 5% in her class but because her comperhence was 1 1/2 behind and when her state test came back...and rate poor. (she don't test will,,,,reason that were not discover until 9th grade) They pull her out of Pre- Algebra and put her into math lab... and keep her there through 9th grade. And I keep tell them she is gifted she learns differently and I believer she ADHD. It was not until 9th grade when I had the money to have her brain tested for ADHD.. that I was able to prove I was right. So start January of her 9th grade year. She was still in math lab...and now 4 grades behind in comperhence and the school were ok with that. My husband and I got her on meds and started in a private tuttoring...From January to this Nov. we will have spent $10,000 on outside education. She has come along ways in making it easier for her the learn... The school systems need to start listening to the parents... but because I'm dyslexic that don't think I'm what my children had....She has a very smart brain that goes 24/7.
    She is still a A...student...

    August 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Ralph Malph

      They don't listen to you because you're inarticulate...and dyslexia is no excuse. I'm 50 years old, profoundly dyslexic, and still know how to write a basic sentence.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  43. ProudMomma15

    I find it interesting how so many people are put off by the "label" of "gifted" and are insensed by it feeling that the word is used to put "non-gifted" people down. Yet many of these same people are quick to use "labels" like "Autism" "Sensory Integration Disorder" "OCD" and "Asbergers" to describe a "gifted" child. When someone is different, there's always something WRONG with them. What is so wrong about viewing this difference in a positive light and not be seen as a DISORDER?! Everybody's brains functions differently. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. In a society that is supposed to encourage individuality, many seem very quick to make sure everyone is considered the same or broken, but not exceptional or an individual.

    And to the commenter who said the social/emotional/behavior problems of a gifted child is no where near those of a special needs child; Parents of gifted children have many of the same concerns you have with special needs children. Just because a child may have a high IQ, does not mean they will have a better chance of success in this world without, as the author of this article said, special attention and an understanding person to guide them. This is a stereotype that has left many gifted children to suffer from social/emotional problems alone. I have worked with gifted, autistic and cerebral palsey children and I've found they all could use patience, compassion, acceptance and understanding from their parents, teachers & caregivers to thrive. In all honesty, couldn't we all?

    August 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  44. Rene

    Calling a child 'gifted' is a form of child abuse. The child grows up thinking they must fulfill the label of gifted. This prevents them from trying hard enough to fail. They tend to play it safe in areas where they can safely succeed without appearing stupid. When they don't live up to the gifted label they face a lifetime of guilt and depression. Ask any adult that was labelled gifted and they will tell you a tale of woe. I was one such child. Even worse I was labelled a prodigy. It took me decades to get over the fact that I wasn't actually that good. Today I live within my limits.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • CincyFin

      Intersting insight....something i would have never thought of for sure.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  45. Anchorite

    She doesn't sound (merely) gifted, she sounds kind of Aspergers. I've known dozens of gifted kids, and none of them, not one, was that worried about such trivialities. They were the kids that ended up going into AP english, AP calculus, or getting internships at the federal laboratories in high school, one became valedictorian. Behaviorally, they were pretty normal, not even really conceited. I definitely think the teacher is wrong that the same thing that makes your child fixate on details is the same thing that makes her gifted.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • CincyFin

      I have a 14 year old diagnosed Aspergers and i thought this too.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  46. JR

    Most people are not going to understand what "gifted" means...gifted doesn't mean they're the top #1 in their class and often are not, because while the top#1 student is thinking about solving that math quiz, the gifted kid is going to be asking himself why the numbers exist, they sort of like think more outside the box, they also show different emotions for different scenarios, more mature emotions than most kids...you only need to look at the gifted testing they do on the kids to understand this, the test is usually to find which kids are thinking outside the box. or go to a gifted class to see what they teach...they teach them stuff like Greek mythology, kind of weird if you ask me for a Kindergarten student (my son)

    so just because a kid is smart in class doesn't mean he has the "gift" or if a kid is not gifted doesn't mean he's not special....all kids are special in their own way.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  47. CincyFin

    I go through the homework thing with my year old daughter as well. She will get all ticked off because she thinks she wrote a word too sloppy and will erase it and rewrite 47 times. She has other issues and definitely shows signs of being OCD. I understand where this woman is coming from and I myself have become a lot more tolerant and understanding of other children with behavior issues. Thanks for sharing

    August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • CincyFin

      *8 year old*

      August 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  48. AllKidsAreGifted

    "All kids are gifted, some open their gifts later than others" - this opened my eyes far and wide. Read it over and over if you are a parent of "gifted" child. I have two ordinary kids, who are as gifted as any other.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      I don't think all kids are gifted. Some are just ordinary and remain so their entire lives. The world is full of ordinary unmotivated people who are nothing special.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • d33pth1nk3r

        You seem to have an intensely hateful, pessimistic, cynical outlook on life that you sadly attempt to impose on other people. You probably frequently engage in schadenfreude and disdain people in general.

        August 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Amy

      All kids have 'gifts', but a child with an I of say, 160+, just has different needs than one with an IQ of 100. I can't understand what people get out of insisting there are no differences. Obviously, yes, there are.

      August 24, 2012 at 4:36 am |
      • Amy

        IQ

        August 24, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  49. sheila

    she's barely in kindergarten and they declare her gifted. I think its best to wait until high school before making such a grand declaration.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Once a teacher, Always a teacher

      Nonsense! !! Even though I didn't quite make the cut to be called "gifted" I already knew something was different by the time I reached kindergarten. There were a few of us who just "got things" sooner and more completely, who could see multiple alternatives, and had a higher level of curiosity. Fortunately the school and our parents encouraged us, because otherwise we were in danger of being bored out of our skulls. In fact, at one point in middle school a bunch of us STILL got into all sorts of troubles because we didn't have outlets for our abilities. If we'd been left to fend for ourselves I'm sure some of us would have escalated that creative mischief and done who knows what damage. Instead that gang of misfits now numbers two professors, a few mathematicians and physicists, an Air Force general and a world-class physician.

      August 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  50. Analystgirl

    My 'gifted' child was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was accelerating his development. Not such a gift after all.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  51. Concerned

    Oh yes, the struggles of having a gifted child... Seriously? Poor you. You are doing your child no favors by treating her as though she is just so special the rest of the world just doesn't understand. Guess what? The rest of the world couldn't care lless. I cannot believe how absolutely pretentious and conceited you sound. Everyone is proud of their child. It actually saddens me that a child would get that upset over coloring outside the lines. You may have made her that way by somehow letting her think that what she has done is not good enough. You should read some books on how to raise resilient children. Perfectionism like that will not allow your daughter to become a happy and fulfulled woman later on in life.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Darren

      Did you even read he article, you sound like an insensitive, illiterate clod.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      I couldn't agree more concerned. I don't know who you are but I think I might love you.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  52. Easy E

    Interesting article. Some good insight for some parents that might truly have gifted kids. not me, my boy is 2 and normal as can be. He wants to pick up every bug, draws outside the lines and loves to make raspberry noises. Normal.

    I do enjoy th ignorant a holes posting wicked comments ripping on the mom. How sad your lives must be to be so bitter and cruel. I hope you have fun crying your unloved face to bed every night. Boohoo daddy didn't hug me or I'm ugly so I need to be mean to others to feel good about me....pathetic.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  53. Justme

    The reality is, the world we live in is cruel and judgmental. How can so many people read an article, written by a mom simply sharing HER experience, jump to their own diagnosis and fill their post with ignorance. If we could all learn to love, support, and help other humans, the world would be a lot better place.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      I disagree...we already have way too much "Kumbayah" when it comes to holding parents accountable. Isn't it amazing that you need to be 16 and pass a test to drive a car but practically ANYONE can become a parent? The toughest job with the most responsibility. Weak spineless parenting is not helping our kids and certainly not setting them up for success in the real world. Every game is a tie and every kid is above average, yeah right. This Mom has a brat on her hands but is weakly explaining it away by saying her kid is "gifted".

      August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • ProudMomma15

      I totally agree, Justme! :-)

      August 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
      • Getrealcrazylady

        Let me guess, when your kid didn't do so well on something you blamed the teachers right??

        August 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  54. Steve

    Oh, THAT'S why my kid is a brat. She's GIFTED!

    August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Brett

      No you kid is just a tard like you.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Brett

      No your kid is just a tard like you.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  55. Dena

    From your description it sounds like she might have Sensory Integration Disorder. The sensitivity to light, sounds, sock seams are all familiar markers for those who are overly sensitive in some areas and perhaps not receiving enough sensory input in other areas. There are tips and tools for managing these sensory issues that could make her (and your) life much more pleasant and less overwhelming or frustrating. Try checking online for more info. I hope this helps.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • mom who knows

      While you are seeking info on Sensory Integration Disorder, read all you can about Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities – these overexcitabilities better explain the real-life situation for most gifted individuals, not sensory integration.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  56. Susan

    The term "gifted" is highly overused these days, as the numerous posts from parents with allegedly gifted children demonstrates; and, quite frankly, I'm not certain that being "gifted" is the blessing our society thinks it is. I've known "geniuses" who flunked out of school and struggle to support themselves with menial jobs while allegedly "average" kids have gotten great degrees and have successful careers and fulfilling lives. A good work ethic and motivation is a far better indicator of success than the classification as "gifted".

    August 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Zoey

      Gifted is a little different than just being smart. Try watching the Big Bank Theory to see what gifted when educated properly can do. Smart is just a little better than average, gifted is a whole lot more.
      It's important to educate our gifted children properly so that we have the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, doctors, engineers, etc. to lead our civilization into the future.
      An example of a truly gifted student is someone who can sleep in class and still ace the test. He doesn't even have to engage in class activities and he's got it. I know this because when my son was tested for gifted he tested at the retarded level in his listening skills but aced every other test that he was given. This is what gifted is.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Susan

        Yeah...I get what "gifted" means. I don't need to watch a TV show to learn it. I just don't happen to believe that being gifted isn't so common that every parent on here who says that they have a gifted child actually does. I can also tell you that being gifted does not translate into doing "great things" as society would understand that term. My brother was tested with an IQ of 170, could play any piece on the piano by ear after having heard it on a record, could master a physics exam in high school just by skimming the material immediately before the test and numerous other skills that would classify him as "gifted" in the honest sense of that word (not the ridiculous qualities that have been enumerated here as making one gifted). I have a slightly above average IQ on most standardized tests, yet I worked hard and graduated from Cal Tech and U Penn Medical School and have a successful medical practice. I stand by what I said in my first post.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Susan

        Sorry...a I accidently deleted a critical sentence during the edit of my previous post: my brother now drives a truck for a living.

        August 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • basketcase

        Zoey, what you're describing is different from the definition of "gifted" most people use these days. If people stuck to that kind of definition for gifted, there wouldn't be nearly as many people shouting about how "gifted" their kids are. To most people, "gifted" just means someone who is a bit smarter and thinks differently than the average person. The top 5-10% (at least) of every HS class in the country was probably called "gifted" at some point. What you're talking about would be better described as genius, a word that still carries a good bit of distinction (when seriously describing a person's mental abilities as a whole).

        August 23, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  57. BobZemko

    Most kids whose parents say are "gifted" usually aren't.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Very true

      August 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  58. Getrealcrazylady

    This is yet another example of a crazy Mom who can't face reality. Instead of dealing with the fact that her kid is a spoiled brat who can't act right, as well as facing her parenting shortcomings, she instead touts her as "gifted" and can now look at herself in the mirror. It's not about you Mom!!! "Hey everyone, you're all wrong about my kid not being able to control herself with no discipline and manners, the truth is she (and by proxy the Mom) is just better than everyone else. You all just don't understand." That poor kid is doomed because she has a weak and insecure Mom.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Aaron

      Sounds lke you need a hug cubby bear.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Getrealcrazylady

        :)

        August 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Anonymous2

      wow....

      August 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Getrealcrazylady

        Do you agree?

        August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  59. Father of a gifted autist

    You should consider getting your daughter evaluated for aspergers/autism. My son is gifted in ways that are astounding, yet was nonverbal until age 4. Outside of his communication delay, you just described him, almost exactly. The label is likely pointless....understanding the mindset is priceless.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  60. suthunyankee

    So is it better to simply beat the giftedness out of them ?

    August 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Darren

      Must be hard being fat.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  61. Barbara

    Gifted children are often quite the opposite. They don't have time to be bothered with those details because they have bigger thoughts to think. Often they are in school being unmotivated because school is boring leading to bad grades. For that reason they are often not even identified as gifted because hardworking, detail oriented high achievers fit more often the idea of gifted from the perspective of many teachers. I agree with many others that the behavior of this little girl while she might also be gifted is not equal to gifted and can easily come from another psychological disorder.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  62. Sam

    Lady, this is the United States in 2012, every parent gets told his or her child is "gifted" and "special"....welcome to the club.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  63. Mona

    Nearly 700 comments, most from the parents of gifted children. Statistically, what's the probability of so many? This is why so many people think the word gifted is overused.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Darren

      Crazy that an article hat is bout gifted children draws readers that have gifted children....sucks to be ungifted huh?

      August 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • Mona

        Yes thankfully didn't graduate as gifted child, just magna c laude, Some of us don't have to be told we are special we try to prove it.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  64. Christine

    I have 2 gifted children. One who as an 8th grader has already taken his SATs twice because he was not satisfied with his first score. My youngest child is "behavioral" difficult as the schools call it, but because he acts out in class he is often ignored and not pushed to do his best. We tried the ADHD medication as the doctors suggested but it just surpressed his ability to shine through school work. I have finally taken him off all medication and he has shined these last 6 months. School is still difficult because he does not behave as the teachers think is respectable. A huge struggle for us.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  65. I feel your pain....

    I have a gifted daughter who is now on the verge of 16! Talk about trying! There are days I want to just run away; but I can't. I have to be here to guide her in the right direction the best I can. I have had to deal with the perfectionism, and even a sock issue! When she was young, her socks had to be on with the seam perfectly straight across the toes or she could not stand it! Her curiosity has always been at an all time high. VERY detail oriented and you had best not leave out one detail in telling a story. Love her to death, but a "gifted" child is not easy.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Freddo

      What a horrible and stressful existence you must lead...quite honestly, I have a difficult time believing that someone who would write a ridiculous and self-serving post such as this has a "gifted" child. It goes to show that genes work in mysterious ways.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • betty shackelford

      My daughter was the same way about socks and panties and with her homework she would rewrite it a dozen times because she did not like the eraser marks on the paper. Very tough childhood with being a perfectionist. Be very careful she does not turn to drugs to ease the pressure. I went through that with my daughter for 7 years from 17-24. A very trying time in my life. get her a good counselor.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  66. A parent of two gifted kids

    Chandra, you have a lot of challenges to look forward to. My gifted (high analytical IQ) children are in college and a senior in high school now, and have been in specialized schools since grades two and three. Having identified early, you've done a great job of choosing the right school. Our daughter was losing interest in school before we were able to move her to a GATE school in Calgary, where the teachers are better equipped to deal with intellects well above grade level. The GATE school system there is run in conjunction with the U of Calgary, where they research the students and their teachers. Those kids can demand a lot of flexibility from the teachers, which often means throwing the curriculumn out the window. It wasn't a perfect system though. My kids really didn't learn basics like the times table and mental math, despite having math SAT's well into the top 1% of the population. It was socially challenging for them, and there was some lack of respect for authority, including some of their teachers. Hard to respect adults who don't think as clearly or creatively as their 10 year old friends. As teens, it was hard for them make friends, as they are definitely a nerdy group. I suggest you look into the FIRST Lego League for robotics teams near your home. FLL and FIRST high school robotics significantly helped my children find soical peers, and have strongly influenced my son's choice of a college and a career.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  67. EE

    This is great for parents who might be confused by behaviors that seem just weird or "fussy," as this mother mentioned. I was a gifted kid, and caused problems in kindergarten because I would finish my work quickly (hit or miss that I would follow the directions), and as I waited for the other kids to finish I would interrupt and annoy both them and the teachers. I was then sent to a GT school, where I was considered perfectly normal. I was encouraged, but not treated as special or better than any other kid. An environment where a child can be understood is crucial to allowing them to grow, and not to feel bad for being different. (As an additional note, I was not able to attend a GT high school and I was a horrible student. I got either As if the class was challenging or Fs if it was boring. I was either told I was stupid, or totally ignored by most teachers.)

    As great as that part of this article is, I don't think the main point is about "gifted" vs. "not." This is a mother who sought out an explanation for her daughter's different reactions to what seem like straightforward tasks. She has learned patience and understanding through the child she considers her biggest gift in life. Read the article- she let go of her ego to understand her daughter, and opened herself up to learning from her child, rather than enforcing rules for the sake of enforcing rules. So what if she has to wait for her kid to finish coloring before they go to the grocery store? I don't like leaving tasks unfinished either.

    She doesn't say that Nya has behavioral issues in public, she says because her own child has challenges with things other children think nothing of, she is more understanding of a temper tantrum in public. Isn't that something we could all be a little better about? We are so quick to judge without knowing what's going on. Some kids ARE brats, and some parents ARE awful, but we don't know that's the case based on a two minute interaction. Let's try harder to follow the Golden Rule. Nya could probably teach us how to do that!

    August 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • A parent of two gifted kids

      EE – I'm LoL at your description of disrupting class. That's exactly what my daughter did for grades one through three, before we were able to move her to the GT school. She did her classwork very quickly, then went to chat with each of the other students. Thankfully the GT school had a policy of taking younger siblings, so my son had a lot fewer issues.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  68. Wowza

    And the minister also had gifted child"ren"? Oh really?
    No offense, but what is this child's gift that makes her so special? I thought being a perfectionist was more of a mental disorder than anything. Gifted children, in my book, have some super exceptional ability. The rest maybe just have adoring parents with excess energy to dote. When did spaz, obsessed, close minded, and eccentric leave our vocabulary to be replaced by the words special and gifted?
    Really CNN?

    August 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  69. Truth In Print

    An absent black father? Ya don't say...

    August 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Justme

      maybe you should read the story before you judge....NOT an absent black father but a beautifully adopted child by a white woman! So much ignorance!!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • What??

      What are you implying? She adopted her daughter. Where does it say anything about an absent father let alone an absent Black father?? Could you be any more obvious with your ugliness?

      August 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Momsy

      Did you read? She is adopted. It doesn't say if the mom is married or single.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • basketcase

        Not that it really matters, but:
        "Editor’s note: Chandra Moseley is a working, single mom."

        August 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • J

      It just so happens that the article states that the mother adopted the little girl. Good for you for jumping to racist conclusions, though.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Ruby22

      Read the article: the little girl was adopted

      August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • turtle

      Read the story. the child is adopted!!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • CincyFin

      The child is adopted

      August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Any one home

      Did you not read that she was adopted? You are definitely not one of the gifted.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Reallythough

      What does that have to do with the article. Stick to the point and not ignorance. ya don't say.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  70. Michelle

    I understand that some behaviors can be brought out in a gifted child because they may be bored, or in this case frustrated when not achieving perfection. However, I do wonder where the line is, and at point that is not an excuse. At what point do you say I don't care how brilliant you are, your behavior is unacceptable. Bad behavior is bad behavior. My nephew exhibits many signs of being gifted, he hasn't been tested yet. It is frustrating to me that his bad behavior is excused for many reasons, one of which is "he is gifted".

    August 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  71. jmcooke3

    As a college student, I have come across my fair share of intelligent minds, in fact they are my friends. Perhaps they aren't straight A's but many are surprisingly perfectionists. I've watched these brilliant minds break down as the futilely tried to explain their differences to their family and friends. I caution parent who dwell on the terms ordinary. I've watched the failure of parents who said their kids were ordinary and unknowingly tried to force it destroys kids emotionally. The author seems like she is merely encouraging people to understand that each child requires a specificity that a label as "ordinary" cannot provide. People should not care about the terminology, merely the needs of their child, whether they are unconventional or not.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  72. HenryMiller

    To start with, the word isn't "gifted," it's "smart." Or "intelligent." But somehow it's become Politically Incorrect to acknowledge that some kids are smarter than others. That wouldn't be "fair," or something. The word "gifted" implies that the kid is just the passive recipient of that "gift."

    And obsessing about socks and the sound of a toilet flushing aren't even close to being hallmarks of intelligence–the whole point of this article seems to be that intelligence inevitably correlates with a corresponding mental deficiency of some sort. It's rather as if Ms Moseley is trying to apologise for having a smart kid.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  73. tumadre

    I am an educator and the parent of two gifted children. The brush the author points out is way too narrow. Those sensory issues could also be completely unrelated and an indicator of Sensory Integration disorder, along with her child being gifted.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Justme

      I think you are missing the point, this is ONE woman's story, not yours. This is HER experience, she is not trying to define yours.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • M OReilly

      That is exactly what I was thinking. Her daughter sounds exactly like my son. He's really smart, and he has Sensory Processing Disorder.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • GailD

      The article leans more toward OCD. I know the challenge of raising 3 gifted kids – now a teacher, a biotech research engineer and a sports medicine MD – not easy, always on your toes. They are always questioning and easily bored. It takes a lot of resourcefulness and energy to keep them on the right path to realizing their potential.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Getrealcrazylady

      I love how Moms crank out a kids or two and then suddenly and somehow become Clinical Psychologists.

      August 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  74. bwelter

    This is another label that is put on someone that doesn't need to be there – especially a kid. A kid whose behavior lends itself to be politely referred to by some educators as gifted is more likely seen as a pain in the butt by most everyone else in the real world. And, I've got more news; if we're truly preparing them to deal with life, we won't help them by setting them apart with a superlative label any more than we would by telling them they're stupid. If my kid gets ticked off for coloring outside of the lines, well I guess he/she has two choices a) practice to get better or b) find something he/she is better at doing. In either case, he'll have no other choice but to get over it. If my kid doesn't like the tag in his fruit of the looms, then by golly cut them off or get a different brand. If flushing the Mighty Ferguson makes my kid jump, well, I guess it's time to teach him/her something else; that the bathroom ain't no kitchen and he's liable to notice that it smells like crap-covered lilacs from time to time. In the majority of cases (not all, and I understand this), it's about that simple.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Wowza

      Right on.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Shay

      Awesome.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  75. Mom to a "gifted"

    I'm with Rae. Gifted is often code for Aspergers, particularly with girls, who are under-diagnosed. (Another frequent word is "quirky".) And a melt-down in an autism spectrum kid doesn't mean bad parenting. And yes, Aspergers often comes with OCD tendencies as well as anxiety, also particularly with girls, who tend to be less hyper-active. You tend to medicate and/or therapize the symptoms as they occur.

    I love the focus on the positive, but every staff member in these programs knows that the kids are there both to have a program that challenges them and which accommodates and hopefully helps them with their social issues, etc. As do the schools they may apply to afterwards.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  76. Kelly Flynt

    My kiddos are quite similar. Both have tested into what they call "highly capable" in our area. However, at an even earlier age, my son was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. We have to cut all the tags out of his clothes, seamless socks, and he can't tolerate mixed texture foods or being around strong odors. I had never connected the two, but perhaps gifted kids are more prone to sensory issues. However, consider talking to a physical/occupational therapist about the sensory issues because there are things you can do to help your child better acclimate to sensory inputs. With my daughter, I recognized the signs much earlier and knew what to do.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  77. mom who knows

    Parenting gifted kids requires much effort in many cases as gifted children are often "MORE" – more intense, more highs and lows, more sensitivities..simply more developmental issues associated with being "different minds" that it makes them more prone to being completely misunderstood by the public.

    Funny, how no one ever hesitate to use the label "gifted" when speaking about a pro-basketball player or American Idol star or Picasso-like artist, yet academic giftedness is ridiculed and cast aside as bragging and nonsense, or these kids are labeled as troubled or unsociable or nerdish or geeky or Aspie.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Justme

      totally agree....our society is too quick to label and judge!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Love My Gifted Girl

      I couldn't agree with you more! My oldest was tested has Highly Gifted but if I am to talk about her academic strenghts it is like I am insulting other parent or their kids. However I get to hear how great little Billy is at swinging a bat. The truth is everyone has their own strengths it is just said that in our society it is okay to rave on a person's physical talents but academic talents are seen as taboo. News flash "smarts" will get you further then throwing a ball especially if you are a girl! Not much room in the professional world of sports for women. It is sad that so many people get so defensive and go straight to insulting the child(ren).

      August 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  78. Rick K.

    It is of great importance that the gifted are identified at a young age. Without an understanding of giftedness and the emotional intensities and other eccentricities that often accompany a gifted level of intelligence and potential, these children are at risk for being misdiagnosed, pathologized and/or medicated, all of which can have devastating consequences. Some gifted child are born into situations that deny them the resources, opportunity and mentorship necessary to identify their gifts and talents, much less develop them, when you add in the complex inner worlds of the gifted, their emotional intensities, the incredible amount of information that is readily accessible to them, and the potential for twice exceptionality (when the child is gifted in one area but disabled in another), the situation gets extraordinarily complicated, for both the child and for those tasked with helping them learn and grow.

    Being too smart for your own good applies with a lot of these kids, they’ve been blessed with a curse, and fairly often they need a little help learning to cope with their intensities. Identifying them and offering assistance and support to them and their families is the first step in their long and arduous process of personal growth and development.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  79. New Gawker

    Nothing she described about her child is gifted, the child is merely a royal pain and seems to suffer from OCD.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Justme

      Ignorant!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  80. CAMD

    Nya's perfectionism and her heightened sensitivity to stimuli are not part of being gifted. For an interesting discussion of these traits, see "The Anxious Mind" in the NY Times Magazine 10/4/2009.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  81. Sheldon

    Some of these comments remind me of Toddlers and Tiaras. TLC should make the Gifted children edition. Have all the gifted children and their mothers compete against each other for gifted supremacy.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  82. Colleen

    That does just sound like gifted that sounds a lot like Asperger's syndrome... I would know being a proud my of one. He is gifted and troubled at the same time.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  83. Tammy Graham

    Good article, until I got to the part... "gifted kids are almost comparable to special needs children. While their IQs are high, they have behavioral aspects that need special attention and the right teachers with the right understanding to guide them."

    Really? The comparison is not even close. When you have a true special needs child, you worry for their future every day...if they will ever live on their own, if the therapy is working, if you are making the right choices, etc. It tears apart families and friendships. And many times you are isolated by society if your child has high anxiety and extreme behavioral issues. I get the point that the teacher is trying to make, but it is an ignorant comparison.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Justme

      She was not minimizing your struggles, just making a simple comparison. Do be so quick to get offended.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • Tammy Graham

        My point is, special needs kids are "almost like" gifted children at all. It is a bad comparison. And, don't tell me how to feel or what to think.

        August 24, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  84. judeamorris

    I have been the parent of two gifted kids and the grandparent of another. I was also a career educator who specialized in teaching both high achievers and kids in need of remediation and special resources. Yes, gifted kids come with a set of behaviors and needs that may seem surprising to their average parents, but to focus on a child's "giftedness" is to do the child as much a disservice as to focus on a disabled child's "handicap." Children need to be challenged academically, but they also need to learn to deal with the world. That means providing outlets for temper tantrums, providing was of dealing with perfectionistic tendencies that end in tears and displays of temper instead of excusing it with the "giftedness" label. ALL children, regardless of IQ have challenges academically and behaviorally. It's up to parents to deal with them and provide their children to live a good life DESPITE their challenges. I would advise this mother to get over the gifted label and teach her child how to function.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Emma

      Well said!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • jeg

      It seems to me that this parent is doing that. By recognizing the source of the social behaviors, you can devise methods of mitigating them. Having a teacher who understands the perfectionist tendencies, and the fact that they aren't always a good thing (hence taking away all erasers so that the kids are forced to live with their own imperfections), seems a good way of helping these kids function in the real world.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Alice

      Well said. She seems to think the "gifted" label means her daughter never needs to learn to behave herself. Although, honestly, the child sounds more like one of my siblings, with OCD and sensory issues – these have absolutely nothing to do with IQ. Whereas my brother had a high IQ, was advanced intellectually, without any of these behavioral problems that she seems to claim are the burden of the brilliant. And they both had to learn to deal with the noise the toilet made, regardless. But I guess everyone wants to think their child is a special, special snowflake.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  85. Anne

    Gifted? I have a 13-year boy of my own who was "gifted" in the same way as her child and behaved the same way. At the age of 2 my boy got another diagnosis – AUTISM. Take it easy, mom!

    August 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  86. Ponderinglife

    I'm sorry to see so many negative judgmental comments toward the author! As a school counselor I can verify that what she says is correct. Gifted kids need people who understand them. They often have extreme sensory sensitivities, for example the author mentions her daughters reaction to the discomfort the seams of her socks caused and her difficulty with loud noises. Sometimes the sensory sensitivity will be olfactory and they won't be able to tolerate being around particular smells. Gifted kids often struggle to fit in if they are in an educational setting that doesn't allow differences. They deal with a lot of frustration and do sometimes struggle to relate to their peers. With a teacher who understands them they can thrive. There is plenty of research out there to back this all up. I commend the author for education herself while her daughter is still young, and for her efforts to educate others. She isn't bragging about her daughter's giftedness. There are many aspects of being gifted that are not fun for either the child or the parents.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  87. eric

    ok I'm in medical school, and my parents didn't do any of this rediculous crap..... It seems like the mom is more invested in her child being "gifted" (jesus can she use that word any more?) than her child is. Parents do all these things to prove to themselves that their child is special.... but they cant accept that if their child is really special it will become known whether you do anything or not

    August 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • tumadre

      Eric, your lack of spelling and grammar ablities indicate you are most likely not in medical school. At least not one with a physical location, perhaps one online? Why not just state your opinion instead of start off with an obvious lie?

      August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • guest

        LOL, I'm a physician and knew many people in medical school with poor grammar and spelling skills. I was surprised to find that some people can be so academically successful without being able to use the English language very well, but I've definitely seen many people who can't spell worth a darn but are otherwise very intelligent and successful! So I wouldn't assume Eric is lying.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  88. Rae

    I know this is not what any parent (or person, really) wants to hear, but a lot of times gifted children (particularly the ones with social and emotional difficulties) are high-functioning autistics. They only started diagnosing it back in '94 – early enough that, even though I was still a child, my parents still believed it was "junk science".

    I wasn't diagnosed as a high-functioning autistic (and bipolar) until I was 18 years old because my parents had refused to allow me to see any specialists or doctors who could diagnose me. The signs were there; they just thought I was socially inept and that I would grow out of it. I always felt that, even though I was brilliant (wrote my first book at age 13, was writing complex, multiple-part sheet music even before that), something was wrong with me. Now, I don't say that to diminish how awesome being gifted is; it's something I would never trade for ANYTHING. But I didn't know how to make friends or communicate with people for years because I didn't know anything was wrong with how I approached them.

    I just thought everyone hated me.

    I had no idea that I wasn't following social rules or norms; to me, there was no such thing. You just did the right thing and got the right answer and everyone thought just like me. Instead of going to school dances (even though I was a member of the choir presidency and on the dance team), I would just sit in my basement and write books/music/etc, thinking (as many called me) that I was nothing more than a social outcast.

    With my diagnosis, I was able to understand why I felt and thought certain ways. Now, I am able to use my disorders to secure jobs above my age/education range (I'm still an undergrad – turns out being bipolar can send you to bed for months at a time and set you back in school) and actually examine the strengths and weaknesses each disorder gives me, then work on the ones that could hurt me and others and use the strengths to help other people.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • bek

      I agree with Rae. Our son is 22 and in college; was diagnosed as autistic (later Asperger's) in kindergarten. He went through a tantrum stage, a perfectionist stage, and a stage where he had to finish one thing before starting another. At least this mother is aware and willing to work with her daughter.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  89. Guest

    ANd, yes, that was a typo on "public"

    August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  90. Guest

    Sounds like her daughter is OCD. And yes, a child lashing out or having a complete meltdown in publick probably does lack discipline and proper parenting or,at the very least, is a spoiled brat.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Wendy

      You obviously don't have a gifted child

      August 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Justme

      It is probably an accurate assumption that you don't have children!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Pranay

      Till a year back I used to feel the same about my elder son – that we are raising a spoilt brat who doesn't know social norms. Then our younger son was diagnosed to be on autism spectrum. In helping our younger son, I better understood who my elder son is. You certainly wouldn't understand the author till you have taken care of such a kid.

      August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  91. milwexler

    wouldn't it be a perfect world if each child would be treated as though they are gifted. the worlds problems would be solved in no time!

    August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  92. realist

    Hey Chondra, where's the baby's daddy? Your daughter isn't really all that gifted...she might be smart..but she is in actually just ocd.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Ponderinglife

      She adopted her daughter. Why are you asking where the "daddy" is?

      August 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  93. cubbybounds

    all kids are gifted......it's the parents that are screwed up

    August 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  94. Judy

    In my view every child is born "gifted" not just a select few. It is the challenge of parents/guardians/teachers to recognize this in good and bad times and to provide the constant attention and guidance to develop their "gift"..

    August 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Emma

      Bravo!

      August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  95. Tigermomofthree

    Goodness – just let your child be a child. I think we all looking for our children to be so special – that we are micro managing all aspects of their lives to ensure success and that they are truly revered as different from the rest. ALL children have their own unique personalities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. But when you define your child as gifted and then express concern for dealing with her quirks – it is somehow saying that she is more special then other children that have the same tendencies, but not considered gifted. I have two sons – one is gifted (IQ of 156) and the other is average intelligence. One is in the gifted program – the other isn't. Both have their behavioral challenges and we try to deal with them individually. But at the end of the day – they are kids – relax!!! Let them enjoy their childhood without the labels and pressure of being special and gifted. Because at the end of the day – it's not your life – it is theirs.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  96. Just Say'n

    My son never cared about coloring outside the line, his shoe strings or his socks. And he was never tested for "Giftedness".

    Yet he is in LEAP/Advanced classes in his middle school with A average. He is the starting PG for his AAU basketball team, plays the piano and saxaphone and plays golf.

    I will never have him tested for "GIFTEDNESS". He is just a kid loving what he does. He is what he is and he and are very happy with that.

    But who know how he will turnout... out one knows.
    Let kids be kids and quit prodding them to be something they're not.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • just sayn

      your an idiot and stop trying to blog about your kid, no one cares

      August 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • realist

        my, my, my...defensive, aren't you?

        Fact is her little girl is only truly special in her own eyes. She isn't gifted anymore than anyone else's. She is just ocd.

        Chondra is a foolish wannabe.

        August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • Just Say'n

        hhhmmmm ...... seems to me you care.

        Thank you for your post.
        Have a great day.

        August 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • just sayn

        waa, why is it your kid isn't in the article than hotshot....mebe she's not as special as you think. have a fantastical day.

        August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  97. Gifted?

    How many times does the author use the word "gifted"? Seems to me that too many parents want to boast about their "gifted" kids. Give it a rest. You can have a gifted child and not have to go around boasting about it, or the converse, moan about the challenge of your "gifted" children.

    Its just another battlefield of the Mommy Wars

    August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  98. Amy Gilliam

    I tested into Gifted in Kindergarten, and continued in the program through high school, when I started taking 100% AP courses because Gifted was no longer offered. I don't think about it very often anymore, having moved on to engineering school and being petrified of every class I take, but this blog actually made my jaw drop.

    I am a perfectionist and always have been, through and through, to the point of torturing myself over tiny details of everything I do. It is a double-edged sword, affording me what are probably by most people's standards pretty good outcomes, but also constantly whittling away at my self-esteem and instilling in me tremendous self-doubt. It never before occurred to me that this tendency might have been one of the side effects of that "Gifted" label plastered on me the second I entered school.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  99. DD

    Tests don't tell you anything except what you're looking for. ALL children are gifted in some way. Your challenge as a parent is to help your child discover what it is.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Peter

      To DD: I share your compassion that all children are unique, special, and should be loved. But we are all different. Some are academically gifted and others are not. No one is saying that to be mean or divisive. It's just that we must recognize these differences in order to truly understand ourselves and each other.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  100. voradtralundir

    You again? Your ability to distinguish between those two words indicates a seriously flawed vocabulary. Seek counseling... or at the very least step away from the computer when you decide to expound on a topic that you have little comprehension of. Oh sorry. I meant to say your ignorance is showing, and your Narcissism compels you to share it.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
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