Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Anyway I wanted to echo unusualsuspect's sentiment that cliches abound about how to spot a gifted child, how "they" behave, and how to support "them". We are human and we want to make things simple and easy, so we produce checklists and questionnaires and prescriptive readings. However, because they have to be so general, there isn't enough context, and it's very difficult to apply them in a useful way.
The trouble is that in many cases giftedness defies all attempts to pin it down into non-flexible structures. It is essentially dynamic, and no matter how much we wish it was reducible to understandable things, it's basically something we have to deal with as a unique and ever-changing whole, arising differently in each individual from moment to moment. That's why it's so challenging and fascinating for me to work with the gifted population.
The trouble is that gifted people, and their parents and partners and bosses, often cling on to these definitions because that's the way the whole world seems to work. Very few gifted people have ever had the opportunity to be fully themselves safely, to express all of their personality, to speak about things that are incomprehensible to most. When that opportunity does arise, it can be very threatening to all involved!
So it becomes a matter of choice - how far are you willing to go? How much do you want to know? How much can you take? This is a calibration gifted people make all the time, on various levels of awareness, for self-protection. My hope is that the world will eventually begin to make space for everyone to be as unique and wonderful as they like, and the "laundry lists" of gifted characteristics and behaviours and support strategies will become artefacts of a less enlightened time.
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