Do you grow out of giftedness?

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Sprite was looking at the clothes in her wardrobe with a puzzled expression on her face.

As well as her dresses, skirts, shorts and tee shirts she has a full set of De Bono’s Six Action Shoes and several other pairs of shoes she hopes to be able to wear some day including Chindogu gift shoes and a pair of impractical high-heeled shoes which were a Christmas gift which demonstrated the giver’s lack of understanding of Sprite’s needs.

“For homework we have to write an essay titled Can a leopard change his spots?” she said.

“I asked Columbus Cheetah and he said no because a leopard’s spots are part of who he is. The leopard cannot change his spots like I change my clothes. But then I thought maybe a leopard’s spots might grow and change shape as the leopard grows.”

“Then I started to think about how people grow and change and whether you are a different person if you wear different clothes.
You know how some people say ‘Clothes maketh the man’.
And you know how some people say ‘It’s not really me’ when they look at themselves in the mirror when they are trying on clothes”

“I do like my new blue pinafore” she said. “But it is much more frilly and fancy than the shorts and skirts and tee shirts I used to wear.
So I wondered ‘Am I a different person if I wear different clothes’?”

“And Columbus Cheetah said I was not a different person. I was the same person inside with different clothes on the outside. It might make me feel different and even behave differently but I would still be the same person.”

“So then I started to think about growing and changing” she said “which is a bit hard to do when you always depict me as being the same age, whatever that is. https://spritessite.wordpress.com/about-2/
Columbus Cheetah said it did not matter that you always drew me the same age; because giftedness is asynchronous development and I am probably many ages at one time anyway. He said that, for example, I could be primary school age and think like a teenager and behave emotionally sometimes like a teenager and sometimes like a toddler.”

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“And that made me think about when people say ‘she is just going through a phase – she will grow out of it’.
And then I wondered if being gifted  is just a stage in life – like being a teenager; and do you grow out of it?”

“Well,” I said “I believe that you do not grow out of being a gifted person.”

I reminded Sprite that I had talked about Gifted Grown Ups in a post on this blog at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/gifted-grown-ups/  as part of another GHF Blog Hop http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-grown-ups/

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And we were talking about this topic on #gtchat on Twitter recently.
“Giftedness Across the Lifespan: Do Gifted Children = Gifted Adults?”:

The questions that we discussed were,
1) How does the ‘achievement vs wiring’ debate impact this discussion?
2) Why is it important to recognize that giftedness exists throughout the lifespan?
3) How do unresolved childhood issues affect responses to social interactions for gifted adults?
4) What personality traits affect giftedness across the lifespan?
5) What changes in adolescence affect the nurturing of giftedness?
6) What can individuals do to cultivate their own giftedness as they grow older?
You can read the Storify transcript of the session at https://storify.com/gtchatmod/giftedness-across-the-lifespan#publicize
and a blog post about it on the GT Chat blog at
https://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/giftedness-across-the-lifespan-do-gifted-children-gifted-adults/

This post is one stop on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April Blog Hop Gifted at Different Ages and Stages.
To continue hopping see http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-ages-stages/

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Gifted Grown Ups

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There was an argument in progress in front of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October Blog Hop sign.
“You go on the blog hop – you are the gifted one!”
“No, you go! The tweetlets inherited their giftedness from you!”
The usually lovey-dovey Twitter Bird couple, Tweet and Retweet,   were debating about who should go on the blog hop and neither of them were prepared to acknowledge their own giftedness.

It is so often the way!
People seem happy to acknowledge their children’s giftedness and to advocate for their needs to be met; while not recognizing, acknowledging or affirming their own giftedness and needs.

In fact a strange thing happened at the meeting I had to discuss Dr Ed Needs’ recommendations with Sprite’s teacher.

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I had been very concerned about the meeting because I remembered previous meetings and attempts to advocate for suitable provisions for Sprite’s education
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/the-meeting/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/de-bonos-6-action-shoes-9-one-size-shoe-cover-system/

I had gathered lots of information to take to the meeting including the results of Sprite’s testing and Dr Ed Needs recommendations

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And I had been mentally rehearsing the conversation.

The conversation always went well in my mind until we inevitably came to the point where the teacher would say with a hint of a sneer in her voice
“So how do you know about all this? Are you a gifted person too?”
And I would mentally try out different possible replies.
I felt that I needed to affirm my own giftedness as my work is based in helping people to recognize and affirm giftedness and seek the provisions, supports and resources they need for their children and themselves.

But what if affirming my giftedness just confirmed to her that I was the crazy, over sensitive, perfectionist cheetah mama lady with no obvious giftedness and no formal qualifications who just thought the sun shone out of her precious child?

All I do would be able to do would be to show her Gagne’s DMGT innate giftedness to fully developed talents road diagram.

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I could tell her that, because of a combination of circumstances and some bad choices, I had not completed my journey across the path; although I was and still am gifted and that I just wanted the most suitable opportunities to be available for others.
And also that giftedness is not always synonymous with achievement

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I would show her again the Columbus Group definition of giftedness and talk to her about the myths surrounding giftedness and Columbus Cheetah’s myth busting efforts  and I would give her the One Page to Tell information sheet  emphasizing the particular needs of the gifted and the possible causes of underachievement.

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But, as I said, a strange thing happened at the meeting.
We were not very far into the discussion (nowhere near the point where my authority to speak on such matters would be challenged) when the teacher said
“I have been doing some PD on gifted and 2E students and I have been reading a lot.
I have learned a lot about myself in the process.”

It is so often the way!
I have seen teachers leave the room in tears at gifted conferences when they realised that the speaker was describing not only their students but also the teachers themselves.

“I realize now,” she continued, “that I was a gifted child and I never had any special provisions made for me.
I know more now about the modifications needed for teaching gifted and 2E students.
Sprite is very fortunate to have you advocating for her”

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October Blog Hop: Gifted Grown Ups.
Please join us on the hop and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/gifted-grown-ups/

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