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Transitioning to Adulthood ~ A Bumpy Ride for Gifted Kids

Every child is an individual and every child has needs. It’s no different for children identified as gifted or twice-exceptional.  But … how do we identify social-emotional needs of gifted children without pathologizing them?  Many GT kids are well-adjusted with minimal need for intervention, but others do have specific needs. Although clearly a point of contention among professionals, identifying the social-emotional needs of gifted children does not need to rise to the level of believing they are psychologically abnormal or unhealthy.

Those characteristics of giftedness that influence a child’s life do not suddenly disappear as they become adults; they grow right along with them. Childhood anxiety, asynchronous development, perfectionism, and more can manifest in adulthood. Gifted adults may have difficulty maintaining peer relationships due to a high level of internal drive (Webb), continued maturation differences well into their 20s, and existential depression.

Educators can guide gifted students as they endeavor to confront their ‘multipotentiality’ (Kerr) and bring focus into their lives regarding the direction they take in their academic careers. They can be extremely influential in the life of a gifted student by simply recognizing the nature of their needs and seeking professional development in how to meet those needs.

From the earliest years, gifted students recognize that they do not share the same concerns or abilities of their age-peers and the internal conflicts created because of this can affect their eventual transitioning into adulthood. Asynchronous development can be both positive and negative. Social-emotional needs and peer relations are most affected. Its effects are more pronounced in younger children and tend to lessen as they enter adulthood.

What challenges do twice-exceptional students face in transitioning to adulthood? Societal appreciation of what the ‘spectrum’ looks like is evolving. It is recognized as a ‘range’ of individual traits and abilities. There is growing acceptance that ability is not ‘all or nothing’; challenges exist and are variable.  The biggest challenge for twice-exceptional students is recognition that they exist and the second is the willingness of adults in their lives to learn about what it means and how to best help these kids to experience fulfillment in life.

Parents can help ease their gifted child’s transition into adulthood. The best strategies start with the premise that parents are trying to do their best and most sources of advice don’t generally apply to their child. Parents today benefit from the existence of organizations such as SENG, IEA, NAGC and the Texas Association for the  Gifted and Talented who provide parents with strategies for meeting the needs of their gifted children. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Mexico’s Youngest Psychologist, Aspiring to Ease Gifted Students’ Transition to Adulthood

Young, Gifted and Likely to Suffer for It

Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up (book)

How Being a Gifted Kid Affects You as an Adult

Gifted Children: What Happens When They Grow Up?

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

Asynchronous Transitioning to Adulthood

To Be a Gifted Adolescent (pdf)

Assertive or Arrogant? Why Gifted Teens Sometimes Get a Bad Rap

Transitioning from College to Work and Young Adulthood for the Twice-Exceptional Individual

Multipotentiality: Issues and Considerations for Career Planning

Mind Matters Podcast: Transitioning to Adulthood

The Gifted Kids Workbook (book)

Gifted Grownups: Young MC

Discovering the Gifted Ex-Child (Tolan)

Understanding the Gifted Self: If Only I Had Known

Gifted Children and Adults — Why Are They So Misunderstood?

Looking for an Adventure? Try Parenting a Gifted Kid

If Gifted = Asynchronous Development, then Gifted/Special Needs = Asynchrony Squared

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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Embracing Multipotentiality in Gifted Students

gtchat 10112018 Multipotential

The textbook definition of multipotentiality is: an educational/psychological term referring to the ability and preference, particularly of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity; to excel in 2 or more different fields. A multipotentialite does not need to be an expert in any one field and may like to study diverse subjects. They are often referred to as a Jack-of-all-trades or Renaissance person.

Being a multipotentialite means having the potential to pursue many different passions and   be successful at many or all of them. They have a wide variety of career choices and the ability change from one to another if they wish.

Is there a downside to multipotentiality? A multipotentialite often finds it difficult to choose a single career or when they do; stick with it. Often they are never challenged until college when studies become difficult. It can lead to high stress levels, overscheduling, confusion and depression.

One can embrace their own multipotentiality by seeking inspiration from peers and  from mentors who can help a multipotentialite focus on their passions. Investigation, researching ideas, and trying things out can all help a multipotentialite gain a career focus.

How can parents guide their child’s response to being a multipotentialite? They can expose children throughout their lives to opportunities to work with peers, mentors and professionals. Parents can tune into their child’s passions and look for ways to help them explore ideas and potential careers.

Multipotentialites should embrace the philosophy of ‘variety is the spice of life’; it is no longer necessary to remain in a single career throughout one’s life. It’s acceptable to hold multiple part-time positions that blend passions. They should remain adaptable and be ready to change course when opportunities arise. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Refuse to be Boxed In: Embrace Your Multipotentiality

From Identification to Ivy League: Nurturing Multiple Interests and Multi-Potentiality in Gifted Students

Career Counseling for Gifted Students: Literature Review & Critique (pdf)

Multipotentiality Among the Intellectually Gifted: “It Was Never There and Already It’s Vanishing” (pdf)

Gifted Adrift? Career Counseling of the Gifted and Talented

A World of Possibilities: Career Development for Gifted Students

If You Still Don’t Believe You’re Gifted

Multipotentiality: Are You Overwhelmed By Your Too Muchness?

Let’s Get Real about Gifted Kids

What is a Multi-Potential?

Identity, Purpose, and Happiness: Helping High-Achieving Adolescents Find All Three

Counseling Concerns of Gifted and Talented Adolescents: Implications for School Counselors

Multipotentiality: When High Ability Leads to Too Many Options

When I Grow Up: Multipotentiality and Gifted Youth

Good at Too Many Things?

Cybraryman’s Multipotentiality Page

Multipotentiality Resources

Multipotentiality: When High Ability Leads to Too Many Options

Multipotentiality – Do You Have Too Many Tabs Open?

Image courtesy of Flickr  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Multipotentiality – Do You Have Too Many Tabs Open?

Multipotentiality

 

“Do you have too many tabs open?” proved to be a rhetorical question during this week’s chat on Twitter. For many the answer was “yes” and defining multipotentiality was much easier than living with it. Many definitions were offered – from having the potential to pursue many different passions and succeed to “the risk of becoming a pretty good generalist at the risk of specialization” (Amy Harrington). To another participant (Denise @ddigiova) multipotentiality meant, “Never [being] bored. Always learning. Always growing. Diverse experiences and relationships.”

“Ultimately [multipotentials] have to make a choice – what is most meaningful, fits with one’s values.” ~ Dr. Gail Post 

Although gifted people may not be good at everything, they are often good at many things. It was quickly noted that the benefits are often the drawbacks as well. So many paths can cause high stress levels, overscheduling, confusion and depression. Multipotential persons often find it difficult to choose a career or when they do; sticking with it. For gifted students who display multipotentiality, they often are never challenged until college when studies become difficult.

Finding focus is an important facet of dealing with multipotentiality. Lisa B. of Canada suggested that, “Perhaps it’s best to focus on one passion at a time, but move through different passions in the different seasons of life.” Seeking inspiration from peers and mentors can help a multipotential person focus on their passions. Dr. Gail Post stated, “Ultimately [multipotentials] have to make a choice – what is most meaningful, fits with one’s values.”

Advice for parents: “Emphasize the importance of continually learning and taking on new challenges; not settling because they’ve been labeled as ‘smart’.” ~ Amy Williams

Finally, the discussion turned to guiding a multipotential child. Parents should attempt to tune into their child’s passions and look for ways to help them explore ideas and potential careers. They can also expose children throughout their lives to opportunities to work with peers, mentors, and professionals. Amy Williams summed it up this way, “Emphasize the importance of continually learning and taking on new challenges; not settling because they’ve been labeled as ‘smart’.” For a more in-depth review of this chat, see the transcript 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 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Multipotentiality: When High Ability Leads to Too Many Options from Lisa Rivero

Counseling Gifted Adults – A Case Study by Paula Prober

Multipotentiality Among the Intellectually Gifted: “It Was Never There & Already It’s Vanishing” (pdf)

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense & Creative Adolescents (Amazon)

Good at Too Many Things? from Byrdseed Gifted

Experience of Giftedness: Eight Great Gripes Six Years Later from Davidson Gifted

Multipotentiality: Multiple Talents, Multiple Challenges by Douglas Eby

Multipotentiality Resources from Douglas Eby

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius (Amazon)

Developing Multiple Talents – The Personal Side of Creative Expression by Douglas Eby

Refuse to Choose! A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love (Amazon)

Multipotentiality: Issues & Considerations for Career Planning from Duke TIP

Career Development in Gifted Students & Multipotentiality (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Multipotentiality Page

The Perils of Multipotentiality

Multipotentiality

Are You A Multipotentialite*? from Paula Prober

On Crystals, Psychosynthesis & Unearthing Your Multipotentiality

Many Cloaks in the Closet by Jen Merrill

A Multi-Talent’s Growth with Dr. Edith Johnston

A Myriad of Ideas: Personal Development for Multi-Talented Individuals (book) by Dr. Edith Johnston

Are Multipotentialites the Innovators of the Future?

9 Ways to Explain Your Multipotentiality to Non-Mulitpotentialites

Why David Bowie is a Prime Example of Multipotentiality

Multipotentiality: It’s a Thing

Forever at a Crossroads: A Tale of Multipotentiality

A Multi-Talent’s Growth with Dr. Edith Johnston

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

 

Dr. Edith Johnston joined #gtchat to discuss her work and philosophy on ‘multi-talents’; those individuals with high abilities in several areas. Dr. Johnston’s focus is with those who are not expressing at their desired or needed level. It was noted that multi-talents often feel they are different, but don’t always know why. In response to these feelings, they may hide their talents.

Perfectionism, Imposter Syndrome, self-medication, dropping out, hiding are all possible consequences for multi-talents who do not understand their own feelings. They often do not ‘learn how to learn’ and this can create conflicts in their adult lives. Dr. Johnston’s advice includes: set mastery as the goal, not perfection; challenge oneself to gain more skill and expand your talent;  and increase self-awareness. A full transcript may be found on this blog.

Links:

Dr. Johnston’s website, “How to in Life

Dr. Johnston at An Intense Life from @chrstinef

Gifted for Life from @SoniaDabboussi

My Gifted Life

Kulpers & Van Kempen (Supporting Extra Intelligent People & Their Environment)

Dr. Johnston’s blog

Multi-talents MIA | Beyond Mediocrity (Audio Program) by Dr. Edith Johnston

A Myriad of Ideas: Personal Development for Multi-Talented Individuals (book) by Dr. Edith Johnston

Discovering the Intensity of Brilliance | A Mandala Journey (book) by Dr. Edith Johnston

Cybraryman’s Multiple Intelligences – Multipotentiality Page

Multiple Intelligences in Education

Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligence 

Multipotentiality from @thethinkteacher

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