Gifted? Let’s talk about it.
Let’s talk about the g-word: gifted. It’s an uncomfortable word, is it not? The word gift implies that the child has been given something extra, that they have a leg up over other children. It leaves out the concept of giftedness as asynchrony, which I believe is the key to changing the public’s understanding of this population. In my humble opinion, gifted is not the best descriptor for this population. But, like it or not, gifted is the label that we have. It is what it is, folks.
For the longest time, we didn’t use the g-word for the reasons I just mentioned. It’s uncomfortable. You worry that you are going to make others feel badly. You worry that folks will think you hothouse. You feel like you can’t complain about it- ever. I mean, really, who complains about a gift? So, for too long, Schizz and I would talk about the g-word in the safety of our home. We’d whisper, “Could he be? Is it possible? What does it mean?” and we’d read and read and read, trying to understand.
But here’s the thing: if we all sit around not talking about it, we are doing a huge disservice to these gifted children. Sure, it might be uncomfortable at first, but the more you talk about giftedness the easier it will be for you, and the better it will be for them. Talking about giftedness increases the general public’s understanding and understanding leads to change. We need to talk about gifted and twice-exceptional children.
We’ve come a long way since those early days. I can’t believe all that has happened around here in the space of a year. Schizz and I talk about giftedness now. We talk about it with family, friends, and members of our community. And, do you know what? When we started talking about it, those who had met Leo were not surprised. They already knew. And, when I talk about it online, other parents are relieved. They see themselves in our story. I’ve met so many parents, educators, and advocates in the online gifted community, and they are talking about it, too.
Our son is gifted and twice-exceptional, and I’m talking about it.
I’m talking about how challenging it can be to parent a profoundly gifted child, and how sometimes you experience profoundly gifted guilt.
I’m talking about why we decided to test Leo for giftedness, and how this decision impacted our journey.
I’m talking about giftedness in terms of asynchronous development, and how our son is out-of-sync because he is many ages at once.
I’m talking about how my son is exceptionally sensitive. I’m talking about this a lot, because this is an important characteristic of giftedness.
I’m talking about Leo’s perfectionism and fear of failure, both of which are common among this population.
I’m talking about hothousing and how I’m not doing it. I’m not the one doing the pushing in this relationship, folks.
I’m talking about what it is like to raise a twice-exceptional child.
I’m talking about how he was born this way.
I’m talking about my son’s love of books. I’m going to talk about how important our library card has been on this journey. I’m not bragging when I talk about this, these books are our ticket to survival.
I’m talking about how our experience homeschooling is different from our experience in the public school.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do you have trouble saying the g-word? Share here!
This post was part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February 2015 Blog Hop, How do YOU say, “Gifted”? Please click the image below to keep on hoppin’!
Communication leads to community, that is,
to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.
~ Rollo May
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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