This week, I watched RISE: The Extraordinary Journey of the Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted. This hour-long documentary, which features twelve exceptionally and profoundly gifted individuals ranging in age from children to young adults, was produced by the Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted.
In this age of reality shows, many of which I believe to be potentially damaging to our nation’s youth, RISE was a refreshing dose of genuine reality. In this film you will not find exploitation, continuation of long-held stereotypes, voyeuristic competition- none of that. Rise is real, folks.
In this film, twelve children, teens, and young adults speak candidly about their unique and diverse experiences as exceptionally and profoundly gifted individuals. The film includes the parents of these young people, as well as educators and administrators who work with the gifted. In addition, the film weaves in feedback from the Daimon Institute on the importance of a multifaceted approach to understanding and fostering giftedness.
I sat on my couch, completely mesmerized and often tearful. I was touched by the honesty contained in the film. Giftedness is not simple, it’s not elite, and it’s certainly not all sunshine and roses. When it came time for the credits to roll, I found myself still wanting, wishing for more. We need more documentaries like Rise, folks.
What will you garner from watching Rise? Where do I even begin? Rise dispels many of the myths of giftedness. The film is an honest look at this misunderstood and vulnerable population at the far right of the curve. Through thoughtful commentary, viewers will see that giftedness is not clearly defined, but instead encompasses a broad spectrum of diverse individuals, all of whom experience this world differently. These individuals are as different from each other as they are from the norm, making the “gifted” label a tricky one. Viewers will see that being exceptionally or profoundly gifted is not about the IQ score itself- that’s just a number. What is important to understand is that these individuals are extremely different from the “norm” and, as such, they have unique needs which must be met in order for them to reach their true potential. Gifted individuals have special needs, folks. If served appropriately, these individuals are capable of greatness; however, if their needs are not met they are a population at-risk.
Rise is genuine reality. I was touched by the film, as I saw our little world contained therein. I wish more people understood giftedness, and I wish our society valued these young people. They have such amazing potential; they have the potential to change our world for the better. These individuals can reach their potential if we just let them, if instead of holding them back, as our society tends to do, we simply meet them where they are and help them to shine. I urge anyone who wishes to learn more about the full spectrum of giftedness to choose this film over any “genius” reality shows you may happen upon during the evening hours. Rise would make for an excellent educational tool and would be a perfect professional development opportunity.
So, tell me, have you seen this film? Can you recommend any other resources for dispelling gifted myths? Share your thoughts and resources here!
This post was part of the Gifted in REEL Life Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop. Please click the image below to keep on hoppin’!
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
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