The Myth of the Gifted Child

Girl, White, Fun, Kid, Literature, Elementary, Gifted Child, Student, Reading, StudyYou may have heard parents talking about their children being identified as “gifted” and wondered, “What does that mean? Is my child gifted?” According to Michigan State University, gifted children are described as “those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude… or competence… in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).” Essentially, students who are recognized as “gifted” show a lot of potential and talent in certain areas, and they find certain things a lot easier than their average peers.

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Gifted Children and Programs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current conversation about the concept of a gifted child?

In recent years, people have begun to debate the existence of gifted students. Many believe that there is no such thing as gifted students—only students who value (or whose parents value) their education very highly, which leads to positive and above-average outcomes.  This article discusses this critical viewpoint a bit more.

On the other hand, others feel invested in the concept of being gifted. If this applies to you, we have a lot of resources for parents of children identified as gifted! Try reading about how enrichment benefits gifted children, how to know if your gifted child should skip a grade, or how to recognize when your gifted child needs a challenge!

Does it matter if giftedness is real or not?

Your child is special no matter what. Yet, being identified as gifted or not will determine much more than you think in terms of students’ grade school education. The concept of gifted students is ingrained in many school districts. In fact, many schools offer special classes that are only available to gifted students. Teachers and administrative professionals design these classes to enrich gifted students beyond the average state-level curriculum requirements. Sounds great, right? [pullquote align=”right”]In truth, all students have tremendous potential and should receive enrichment to succeed in school.[/pullquote]

Well, the downside is this: when students are not identified as gifted, they are not allowed to take these gifted enrichment classes alongside their peers. Unfortunately, their academic careers may suffer as a result. In truth, all students have tremendous potential and should receive enrichment to succeed in school. Sometimes, these enrichment classes and programs draw out these exceptional talents and skills that had been dormant!

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How can I help my child succeed whether I have a gifted child or a child not identified as gifted?

Don’t worry about whether your child is “gifted” or “not gifted.” Instead, you should consider how to provide your child with the proper enrichment that will allow his or her unique skills and talents to shine! This is where educational enrichment programs like A Grade Ahead come in.

What can an enrichment program do?

Here, we firmly believe that all students are talented in their own ways! We see all the extraordinary potential to succeed in whatever they may wish to do. We have seen students with above-average IQs, below-average IQs, and everything in between flourish with our curriculum. We’ve seen students at the top of the class and the bottom of the class succeed in our small-class environment. In our programs, those identified as “gifted” and those not identified are both given a chance to shine and realize their full potential.

All of these students benefit amazingly from the enrichment that we provide at our academies. Although we wish that schools would provide these exploratory enrichment opportunities to all students, that is just not something that happens today. Some parents have to seek alternative options in the best interest of their children.

So… What’s the answer?

Enrichment programs cultivate problem-solving skills, communication skills, memory improvement, advanced vocabulary, reading comprehension skills, abstract thinking, concentration practice, and curiosity. Do these things sound familiar? That’s right, these skills are many of the items listed in the article about giftedness, which really goes to show that many of the talents that set students apart can be learned if they are placed in a positive environment for learning! 

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Ultimately, don’t risk your child’s potential going unrecognized! We can guarantee that your student has special abilities waiting to come out, too. Join an enrichment academy today to see your child flourish like never before.

We want to know – what experiences have you had with giftedness? Do you think it could all be a myth?

Author: Morgan Leopold, Curriculum Writer and Teacher at A Grade Ahead

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