Gifted Children – Types (Part 2)


the ways we’re unique

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Cartoons re. Gifted kids


CATEGORIES of ‘Gifted & Talented’
One way of identifying the G&Ts is Dr Ruf’s’ Estimates of Levels of Gifted CHART (w/ info), using IQs as an indicator.

All gifted children are not affected by their special abilities in the same way.
Giftedness can be identified on the differences in intellectual abilities, talents, or interests  – rather than in terms of behavior, emotions or needs.
EXP of categories : artistically gifted, creatively gifted, intellectually gifted, learning disabled gifted….

Annemarie Roeper, 1982 noted that emotions cannot be treated separately from intellectual awareness or physical development – they intertwine & influence each other. She proposed 5 types of gifted children based strictly on the ways they cope with emotions
child/adult, perfectionist, self-critic, winner-of-the-competition, & well-integrated.
She focused on how the gifted experience & express feelings, & the coping styles they develop.

🤓 However, the following overall distinctions were proposed by George Betts Maureen Neihart (1988).

TYPE I: The Successful – 90%
They are the traditional understanding of gifted children: they’re good at school – academically high achiever, becoming perfectionists,  tend to be structured thinkers & usually have a high self-concept.

Generally well-adjusted goal-setters, they do well on the SAT/ACT & score high on IQ tests. After figuring out what “sells” at home & at school, these kids conform to the rules, are obedient in class, do homework without a lot of prompting, & get good grades.

They’ve learned the system – keen to earn approval from all adults, so are usually well liked & included in social groups. Being dependent on the system to function, they lack autonomy, & so are less imaginative & creative – but they can perform music or produce art projects, without showing much interest in composition or abstract thinking.
Unfortunately, these children might face jealousy from some peers from being “teacher’s pet.”

• At home = they need independence, freedom of choice, time for personal interests, & opportunity for risk-taking experiences.  However, if they’re in an ‘average’ environment, gradually some Type Is will become bored, & then use the system to get by with as little effort as possible. They’ll go through the motions & end up coasting or under-achieving in both grade school & college.

Gifted young adults who may underachieve in college & later adulthood come from this group. They haven’t acquired skills, concepts or attitudes needed for life-long learning. They’re well adjusted to society, but not well prepared for the ever-changing challenges of life.

Type II: The Challenging
Challenging & creative students are generally the opposite of the “successful” ones. Many school systems fail to identify these kids as special, even though they’re ‘divergently gifted’ (multi-talented), therefore highly creative.

They may have extraordinary creative gifts as graphic & fine artists, composers, fashion designers, photographers,  writers …. But it’s this very disposition that put them at odds with a traditional school system.

As non-conformists, & can come across as obstinate, tactless, or sarcastic – which doesn’t go over well with the adults.
Not being ‘seen’, they become rebellious – questioning authority & the system, challenging teachers in class. They’re impatient, too direct & competitive, often leading to conflict.

🗯 Frustrated because school doesn’t acknowledge their natural talents & acquired skills, they struggle with low self-esteem. This group is at risk of dropping out & getting involved in unhealthy activities, such as drugs & delinquency.

• At home = they need acceptance, understanding & advocacy from parents. Also family activities & examples of positive behavior
• Socially = some may find themselves excluded as ‘weird’, while others will earn peer approval & friendship because of their creativity & sense of humor

NOTE: Gifted children types I & VI (Successful & Autonomous) are usually easy to recognize and deal with. Their achievements cannot go unnoticed.
BUT the other four types (Challenging, Under-grounders, Double-labeled & Dropouts) require special attention. They should be recognized as early as possible, so parents can find out what’s needed to help these children thrive.

NEXT: Gifted Children Learning styles 3 & 4

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