The Mind of Gifted Children

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him…
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”
-Pearl Buck-

I love this by Pearl Buck it actually speaks volumes. I’ve been thinking about Gifted Children yet again. Here’s a chunk from one of my labours of love, which has everything to do with trying to understand and nothing to do with my creative writing.

What is this place? Why can’t anyone understand me? Why do they treat me like a baby or even worse? If only I could find someone who thinks like me. These kids are all acting silly. I feel trapped and I can’t get out, I feel like exploding why can’t they see?

The feeling of being inside out and outside in is common to gifted children. The Asynchronous Development means that they are out of sync with their age peers hence the reason for feeling out-of-place in their environment. Asynchronous Development is the disparity amidst physical and mental development. In simple terms they are ahead of their age peers in intellect but not always ahead emotionally. Gifted children process a magnitude of information at a much more rapid pace than children the same age and can intellectually comprehend abstract ideas. This abstraction gives them the ability to problem solve. There is a downside to this in that they might not be able to deal emotionally with those abstract ideas and this can provoke concerns about life, death, god and world issues. “Because of their intellectual complexity a gifted child can imagine a vast range of life scenarios that are unthinkable to the average child. They can do and feel with great intensity the emotions that are attached to each scenario and this can lead to them being overwhelmed by anxiety and fear”(Sword, 2003).

Why did my mummy leave me here, I feel so sad and upset. I cry and cry but she doesn’t come for me. There is no one to talk here except the teachers and even they don’t spend too much time with me. When will my mummy come for me? I’ll just sit here by the window and wait for her. I can’t help but cry, looking out the window and hoping she may come early for me. My teachers tell me that I should play with some of the other children.

In many observations one can see that gifted children’s sense of separation from their parent or primary care giver is extreme. It comes back to stimulation and their thirst for knowledge about the world around them. Usually the parent or adult carer is the person that fills that void of unanswered questions. In an environment where they have to associate with age peers they feel helpless that they have no access to adult knowledge or what they perceive as a higher form of information.

Anyone want more??


4 comments on “The Mind of Gifted Children

  1. I have 2 gifted nieces, now 18 and 14 (one EG, one PG). I suspect my son is at some point on the gifted scale but have chosen not to have him tested at this point, as it hasn’t been necessary. It makes me uncomfortable to say that I think he’s gifted – he’s not what you traditionally think of eg highly skilled in maths etc. He is above average in his maths and reading age, but is an absolute whiz on computers – he’s out there atm chatting away on Skype with kids 3-4 years older than him while playing on a Minecraft server he set up himself (he’s just turned 9). His hand-writing is below age level, yet he can write stories that are way above his peers. I’ve done a lot of reading and he ticks so many of the boxes.

    We chose to homeschool so that he wouldn’t have the pressure to fit in the boxes of what level he should be based on age. Its been a very good decision for us.

    I take it you have a gifted child(ren)?

    PS. Sorry I missed you on FB – I had FB open but was doing some paid work – eeek 🙂

    • Oh my Kez, we have a carbon copy. Mine is turning ten this Saturday and yes he is into computers but not so much the games. It’s more about the operating system with him. We had the Windows/Apple debate for a couple of years. Which is better. His 8th birthday cake was a Windows logo.

      I know what you mean about fitting him in the box. I’m so tired with the schools and the teachers and the rest of it. We moved schools thinking it would be better and he went backwards. It’s taken a whole year to try and bring him back up. The handwriting my God….the stories I could tell you Kez. Challenging!

      Now there’s a book. Maybe we could write one of those?

      Thanks for reading my drivel and commenting.

  2. It wasn’t drivel – I know where you’re coming from. My sister tried so many schools with my eldest niece – Montessori, Steiner, private, public. To no avail. My niece was so anxious and scratching herself until she bled (at age 7) because she was so unhappy. I think she was about 10 when my sister started homeschooling her. The good news is that she is now 18, and half-way through a double degree in Science and Journalism (and making the Deans List!), and a lovely young lady. My youngest niece’s thing is ballet – she’s just been accepted into the Australian Ballet School as a full-time student for next year. Can you tell I’m proud of them??!

    But then I have another friend whose child is way off the scale (he was taking the world atlas to bed and memorising country names at about 2!), and he is fitting in quite happily at his little local primary school. They’ve got a great teacher and principal and that makes the difference. Not sure what will happen when he needs to be extended even further than he currently is though..

    So if you ever want to chat, feel free to email me or pm me through facebook.

  3. Thanks Kez,

    Will do, especially on the day’s that I’m being challenged. Maybe we can compare notes. At the moment our interest is in building a fully fledged solar panel go cart and why is it they only hassle mum?

    I had a friend at the previous school that had a boy way off the scale. Taught himself to read and was reading science magazines. So yes it all sounds familiar and I’m constantly amazed.

    They do tend to outgrow the school and the classroom. I can see why you home school. There are some private schools that offer gifted programs and enrichment programs but we’ve been through those and it’s been fruitless. Current school says if the child is not at the top of the class then he can’t go into the enrichment program. Obviously their idea of what gifted is and what gifted does is completely divergent to mine.

    I could go on and on but I’ll stop here. Leave something for next time I suppose. lol.

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