All four of us in this family are gifted. Monkey Boy was identified in early primary school and put in a gifted unit. Kids ranged from Grades 4 to 7.  Some 8 year olds were doing university level maths.  He called it the freak show class.  I wasn't identified until i was well into adulthood.  Then it made sense why I found school so boring and never fitted in with the other kids. Why I did everything the hard way and why I could never choose what to study at Uni. I wanted to do everything.  F-Man was pretty obviously an advanced kid from babyhood when he "asked" me what all his toys were called at around 8 months.  E-Boo is creatively gifted. She has the ability to make up complex stories, discuss abstract concepts and talks like a small adult.  It's interesting in our house. And noisy in our heads.

When the neutotypicals hear about gifted kids, the number one reaction is that the kid has got it easy and can pursue whatever career path they like. They wont have to try hard to learn, and they will be hugely advanced in everything they do.  They also respond that labelling a child "gifted" is elitist bullshit and is an attempt by parents to make their child seem better than others.  Third, it is asserted that every child is gifted.

These people I call idiots ignorant bad words.

Giftedness, like Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, is a neurologically different "operating system".  The brain is wired and formed completely differently to the neurotypical brain. There are greater connections to they amygdala, which is the fear centre of the brain. Everything that comes onto the gifted person's brain is first processed by the "fight or flight" section.  How's that for "having it easy"? 

Gifted people can excel in one area or several, but it is usual for there to be asynchronous development in different areas. For example, F-man is gifted in the logical, sequential domain and in literacy.  He has a 30 point drop down to verbal expression and finding relationships between things.  That he has difficulty in that area comes as no surprise given he has Aspergers.

Gifted people are perfectionists. So much so that they cannot cope with the possibility of being wrong, which causes extreme anxiety and low self-esteem.  They find it hard to do easy work, to focus on learning the basics in any area and consilidating knowledge. They often want to go on to harder and harder work.  They become bored quickly in school if the teacher is not skilled in dealing with gifted children. Even then, they may struggle in a structured classroom setting.  Giftedness can appear a lot like ADHD, as their brains are  full of so many ideas and they are unable to process them fast enough. They can have so many areas of interest that it becomes impossible to choose between them.  It is easy to become frozen with indecision as to which career or study path to take.

Sure, it's a picnic.


Hoagies A crazy name, and the website was built in 1997 (gah!) but it contains a wealth of information about every aspect of giftedness. It's one of THE go-to sites.

SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) Their Mission Statement says "SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually." They run online seminars, have a resource library full of free articles and a bookstore with some fantastic publications.

Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented Links to the G&T Associations in each state. Articles on Twice Exceptional kids (gifted+learning difficulty, including autism).  Check out their Useful Links page. They are, as they say, really useful.