Are Gifted Children Reclusive?

Children, who are gifted, typically have a fondness for learning, process information rapidly, have a good memory, and often can concentrate for a long duration with an overly intense focus. 

Even though gifted children may appear socially mature, they might feel lonely or have trouble interacting with their peers. Your child may think they have very little in common with their classmates and may start displaying reclusive tendencies. 

Identifying a Gifted Child:

Formally identifying a gifted child is a critical issue for schools, as social factors and parameters like IQ tests are at play. What is valued in society will have an impact on whether a student is characterized as gifted or not. Unfortunately, they may end up being evaluated through a very narrow prism of guidelines.  

Are gifted children more reclusive than other children?

In the decades gone by, gifted students exhibiting social adjustment issues would be labeled as ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’. Until the early part of the 21st century, the idea of being gifted was evaluated only from an educational standpoint. 

According to an article published online by Michigan State University, gifted children are as well adjusted as any other student group. No research has shed light on them being any more vulnerable or flawed than their peers. 

Some Myths About Gifted Children:

Myth #1: They are a natural at everything

Gifted children may not necessarily be proficient in all subjects. Your gifted daughter may be a whiz at math but struggle in her language classes. 

Unrealistic expectations heaped on them can also become a source of frustration for the gifted child.

Myth #2: They can thrive without much assistance

While learning independently may be one of the hallmarks of a gifted child, categorizing them as self-learners can have a detrimental effect. As mentioned above, a gifted child need not be good at all tasks, and a child may even struggle with motivation if they do not like a particular subject.  

Myth #3: Advancing gifted students is not ideal

The main argument against advancing a gifted student to higher grade levels is the assumed negative impact on social development, leading to social awkwardness. For any gifted child, academic peer relationships can be more important than age peer relations and this makes them gravitate towards adults rather than socializing with kids their own age.  

Myth #4: All gifted children score good grades

Gifted children can grasp academic concepts with ease. When they begin their formal education journey, they often get top scores on their report cards. Over time these scores may dip, leaving teachers and parents alike confounded. A gifted child may rebel against norms and conventions that dictate standard measures of academic success.

Myth #5: They can be role models for average students

A common misconception is that pairing a gifted child with peers who are not as gifted will help the group taste academic success. In reality, this can be an arrangement that makes it stressful for all involved. For the gifted child, the foundation is already in place and to share the knowledge with their average peers may appear cumbersome, and for the average student to play catch-up can be quite an endeavor and may also be disheartening. 

Conclusion:

Some theories in child development estimate that anywhere between 20 to 40 per cent of gifted individuals have learning disabilities such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or some other neurological disorder. Other theories state that attributing controversial disorders like ADHD to talented individuals arises from misguided tendencies to categorize it as a disease. 

In fact, as per the views shared here, educating gifted children should move beyond academics and instead focus on the enrichment of their lives and support for authenticity, morality and being a good individual. 

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