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Giftedness Across the Lifespan: Do Gifted Children = Gifted Adults?

Giftedness Across the Lifespan

Our chat started with these sage words of advice from Jerry Blumengarten, “Giftedness does not disappear when one becomes an adult. You have to come to terms with yourself and the abilities you possess.”

In recent years, the criteria for defining giftedness has been rather contentious. However, for our discussion, it was soon realized that how giftedness is defined impacts how people view its continuance across the lifespan and whether or not it fades upon entry into adulthood. When society sees giftedness only as achievement, only those who continually achieve are recognized as gifted. Giftedness as a different way of thinking and viewing the world was more often seen as developing over one’s lifetime.

Most felt that it was important to recognize that giftedness was an ongoing process for many different reasons. Lack of awareness makes it difficult for gifted individuals to understand why they don’t “fit in”. Understanding the characteristics of giftedness helps one find peers and find satisfaction in the workplace. Many valuable contributions of gifted individuals may be lost to society due to impostor syndrome. Sensitivities may be misdiagnosed as mental health issues. Lisa Lauffer also pointed out, “It comes into play when becoming a parent. Understanding yourself as a person and parent [helps you to] understand your kids.”

Unresolved childhood issues can affect responses to social interactions for gifted adults. They can lead to troubled peer relations with friends, co-workers, spouses. Children who are never identified as gifted, but are … may be unaware of how intensities affect their lives.

What personality traits affect giftedness across the lifespan? Persistence, ambition, and intellectual energy are all personality traits that can affect giftedness. Adult giftedness is seen in complex analytical thinking, advanced empathy, quirky sense of humor, and perfectionism. (Prober) Gifted adults have multiple sensitivities, meticulous attention to detail and precision, and divergent thinking. (Webb, et al 2005) Krissy Venosdale expressed it this way, ” [It’s] being different than the norm … If you’re lucky, you learn to embrace that.” A transcript of our chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:


Life-span Giftedness

Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Stephanie Tolan (Free download)

Giftedness Across a Lifespan

Optimum Intelligence: My Experience as a Too Gifted Adult via Hoagies Gifted

Gifted Children: What Happens When They Grow Up? (Part 1)

Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up? (Part 2)

Gifted Children: Nurturing Genius

Can I Just be Not Gifted for a Little Bit?

I Really Can See You Finding Hidden Giftedness in Middle School Kids Who Otherwise Could Be Lost

Coming Out Gifted (pdf) by Lisa Erickson, MS, LMHC

The Gifted Identity Formation Model by Andrew Mahoney

Counseling Gifted Adults – A Case Study by Paula Prober via SENG

Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Amazon)

Life with Intensity: Gifted Kids become Gifted Adults by Mona Chicks

How Do We Begin to Talk about the “Gifted Lifetime?” by Pamela Price

The ‘Other’ Gifted Adult

Yes, but Where’s the Tree

Gifted for Life by Amy Harrington

Making the Choice to Manage Intensity

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Grown Ups by Jo Freitag

Embracing Gifted Me

Dealing with the Disads The Reality of Being a Gifted Adult

Gifted Grown Ups Blog Hop Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Gifted is not a label…it’s a Lifestyle

Albert Einstein Hero of Giftedness (pdf)

Appreciate Eccentricities & Embrace Quirks

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging Across the Lifespan (Upcoming book from Great Potential Press)


Graphic courtesy of Pixabay. CC0 Public Domain

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