It is time to talk about what giftedness really looks like in action. – Dr. Suzy Thompson
I fell through the cracks of the schoolhouse floorboard. I went to a 4A public school. I was identified above “average” but below the gifted class. I sat in class for years bored out of my mind and mastering the art of daydreaming my way through high school. Once I got tired of living in my head to survive excruciating boredom during the school day, I decided to just go ahead and leave school. I started skipping class. I started missing days. The idea of going to school felt like a jail sentence to me, and there was definitely no way I was going to be identified as a gifted student with the behavior I was displaying. I got an attitude and started acting out. I decided that everyone was stupid. I decided that it would be better for me to just get a GED and get out of there, start college, and live a productive life. My parents decided I needed a high school diploma and attitude change. Two worlds colliding in the most unharmonious fashion. Yet, looking back, I realize that the bulk of my behavior issues came from the excruciating boredom. All the times I would sit in class and think to myself, “Oh my gosh, quit asking questions people! Why can’t you just get this? Why are we going over this AGAIN???” I was miserable and thought that high school was just a waste of time.
Maybe you have a kid who expresses similar things to you about his/her peers. Maybe you see where your kid isn’t being challenged enough at school. If you know that your child is bright and can answer yes to four or more of these questions, then you may have a gifted child on your hands.
Are you sure your child is ADHD and not just bored in school? Do you feel like your child’s social life is missing something? Do you notice that your child has an adult sense of humor and has since a very young age? Do you feel like people just do not understand him/her ? Do he/she have issues with authority? Does your child not necessarily know all the answers but asks the most interesting questions? Have you noticed that your child is drawn to novel things, people, places? Have you noticed how passionate your child can be? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder if my kid is bipolar” with his/her emotional highs and lows? Does your teen have a better reason for not doing something than you have for asking him/her to do it? Has he/she ever mastered something (a sport, hobby, musical instrument, etc..) and then just quit because he/she got bored with it? Does your child have peculiar likes/dislikes when it comes to food or clothing textures? Have you ever noticed if your child’s grades were a reflection of his/her attitude toward his/her teacher moreso than his/her actual intellectual ability? Is your child more likely to ask the most interesting questions moreso than know all the answers? Is your child extremely passionate? Does your child have a tendency to want justice and fairness at all times? Has your child ever spit something out of his/her mouth bot because it tasted bad but because of texture? Did your child hit puberty early or late?
Have you answered yes to any of these questions?