Posts Tagged ‘profoundly gifted’

A reply to a parent on Salon

March 29, 2014

Salon just published the thoughts of a parent of a profoundly gifted child asking for advice on how to deal with raising a child so far above average. See here for the article.

Here are my thoughts on “How do you give a kid a normal childhood, when his brain is so advanced?”:

You don’t try. He’s not a "normal" child so pretending he is or "not telling him" or "force him to be normal" will make his life worse.

He has gifts. Those should be encouraged. If he really is in the "profoundly gifted" category (about 1 out of every 3 million people – around the 180 IQ level) he will never really fit in so get used to it. He’ll have to get used to it no matter what you do. Recognize his talents and encourage them. Show pride in those talents to counteract all the misery he’ll have for not being "normal"

Realize that the latest studies show that social acceptance tends to drop 1.7% for females and 2.7% for males for every IQ point over 90 (yes, we as a society really do measure popularity on how closely you relate to a low-average IQ) so at a 180 IQ he’ll have had 1/11th the friends as a "normal", 1/11th the positive social relationships. When he gets older he’ll be 1/11th as likely to get dates, 1/11th as likely to have a girlfriend, 1/11th as likely to get invited to parties, etc.

That’s the reality of profoundly gifted people in this society. Pretending there’s a way for him to be treated as "normal" is not only useless but is damaging since you won’t have dealt with the emotional scars left by being so different from the ideal of "normal".

If he is bored in school, work with the school to get him moved up a grade every few years as needed. The argument that "he needs to be in his age group for social acceptance" is complete bull. He will NOT get social acceptance in any age group he’s in so you might as well accept that and stop trying to "fit in" and move to "encourage the extraordinary".

btw: I’m also in that "profoundly gifted" one in 3 million group so this is based on my own expriences.


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