The Many Faces of Gifted

gtchat 01122016 Many Faces of Gifted


The many faces of giftedness often look quite different depending on the characteristics used and who is making the judgement. Early on in the discussion, Jen Merrill, author and blogger at Laughing at Chaos,  pointed out appropriately so that we shouldn’t be looking at ‘types’ of giftedness but rather differences in ‘wiring’ or ‘strengths’ among gifted children.

Although arguments have been made for and against labeling gifted children, we considered the consequences which occur when children are mislabeled or not identified at all. Gifted children often ‘feel different’ from their age-peers and when not identified or mislabeled, they can feel confused. They may be placed in an inappropriate educational setting, miss valuable opportunities, or receive a medical misdiagnosis. According to Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, “At worst, [it] could result in depression, despair, isolation; always feeling there is something wrong with them,”

What do we risk by equating ‘gifted’ only with high academic achievement? Many gifted children never achieve academically as their areas of strength may lay elsewhere. Talents outside the academic realm may never be realized if only academic achievement is considered. As Jeremy Bond expressed, “We risk getting it spectacularly wrong. Our most gifted leaders weren’t correlated with school “achievement” (whatever that is).”

Intellectual giftedness can get overlooked as well when considering twice-exceptional students and those from culturally different or diverse populations. Disabilities can be more visible and obstruct the viewpoint of adults responsible for identification. Too many educational professionals lack the necessary expertise in cultural differences & diverse populations. As #gtchat adviser, Krissy Venosdale, told us, “I honestly can’t think of a field in education where there is more bias, preconceived notions, misunderstandings than gifted.”

Highly gifted children are at particular risk for medical misdiagnosis that fails to recognize giftedness. Many areas such as ADHD share characteristics with giftedness making diagnosis difficult. Most medical professionals have had little to no training about gifted characteristics. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at  1 AM (1.00) in the UK,  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found atStorify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Many Faces of Giftedness: Lifting the Masks (Amazon)

The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness via @MarianneKuz

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts &Talents: Development, Relationships, School (Amazon)

Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children & Adults

Trading Beyond the Mark: Supporting the Genius of Disobedient Thought

The Faces of Gifted: A Resource for Educators & Parents

The Varied Faces of Gifted/Talented Students (pdf)

Many Faces of Gifted (PPT pdf) by Dr James T Webb

Revised Profiles of the Talented & Gifted 2010 (pdf) by Betts and Neihart

Changing Our View of Gifted Learners

GT Chat: Labels: Good, Bad, or Simply Wrong

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 3

Hoagies’ Gifted: Testing and Assessment

Cybraryman: Twice-Exceptional Children

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children (downloadable guide)

SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative: Reducing the Risk of Medical Misdiagnosis

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop: Discovering the Depth and Breadth of Giftedness

Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop: Ages & Stages of Giftedness


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic Courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Posted on January 20, 2016, in Asynchronous Development, Emotional intensity, Existential Depression, gifted, gifted and talented, gifted education, Mental Health, Multicultural, Multipotentiality, Social Emotional, Twice-exceptional and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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