If you’re looking for the usual bacon, library videos & insanity of Friday around here they’ll be back next week. Every once in a while a Friday needs to cover some out of scope topic and today is one of them. Yesterday I unexpectedly won a prize for the second October in a row. Last year was this amazing graphics and blog makeover, which I am still so thankful for.
This year I won the Emotional Intensity Giveaway. I think I’m more thankful about this because we need the information in the book Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students right now.
Our son is gifted. Our current education system, focused on No Child Left Behind when so many are, often does not provide gifted students with adequate resources since they tend to do great on standardized tests. Other assumptions include that we parents are pushing him, that we are snooty elitists, or otherwise have lives to be envied because surely we don’t have any problems at all by having a really smart kid because the gifted don’t need help.
Nothing could be further from the truth. A quick rundown of the myths & realities about the gifted are over here, and in addition to those realities our son also has several learning difficulties including a puzzling processing delay that is not related to autism, ADHD or anything else the psychologists can clearly identify yet. Having two standard deviations up from the norm does not exclude other areas for the same person going down two. Both at the same time is often referred to as being twice exceptional. We have been exhausted and overwhelmed trying to best support our son’s needs in both directions and fight prevalent misinformation, misdiagnoses and misunderstandings for years. I can’t imagine where we’d be without help.
I’m writing this not just because I won a book but to bring awareness of resources such as such as Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), which has a great resource library of free articles and some audio recordings; and Hoagie’s, which is the Yahoo directory of all things gifted. SENG was founded in response to a very bright, talented teen committing suicide in 1981. One thing I have heard nothing in the media about Tyler Clementi’s suicide is if he was supported well as an obviously gifted teen over the years. No one can ever point to a single thing that ’causes’ suicide (it’s about pain), and there were several obvious factors at once for Tyler, but I can say that the expressions of ‘he didn’t seem depressed’ makes sense to me: Some highly gifted teens can mask even severe depression. The emotional highs and lows for gifted (and especially teen gifted) are quite sudden and don’t really follow a path that is obvious or even logical to others.
I know. I was identified as gifted and lived through those highs & lows myself along with masking depression as a teen, and now am watching our son go through highs & lows on an even more intense level than I did. Thankfully depression has not entered the equation and he is incredibly enthusiastic about everything in life. I’m keeping an open communication channel and eye out to watch for even subtle changes in the future though. He is even smarter than I am.