Highly Gifted Children

Peter entered kindergarten literally able to read anything. Unfortunately, his parents did not understand that he was still a five-year-old emotionally and let him read books like Frankenstein and Dracula. Since he was still at such a literal stage of his life, he believed that the stories were true and was very frightened by them. Peter was also a “walking encyclopedia.” He seemed to remember every fact he ever read. Peter had no intellectual peers in kindergarten. He skipped first grade. He had no intellectual peers in second grade. It was not until he was in high school that Peter found anyone even close to an intellectual peer.

Can you imagine how difficult this was for Peter and his family? He had no one with whom he could relate, and the students in his classes really wanted nothing to do with him. They found him to be a real oddity.

There are gifted individuals and there are highly (or even extremely or profoundly) gifted individuals. Peter was certainly in the upper ranks of this continuum. While it may be a challenge to address the needs of gifted students, it is a much greater hurdle to address the needs of the highly gifted. These children may be particularly vulnerable because of their uniqueness. It is extremely difficult for schools to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of these kids.
These children are often found as a result of extremely high scores on an individually scored IQ tests, generally above the 145 IQ range. Others may be prodigies in areas such as math, science, language or the arts. Profoundly gifted children can score in excess of 170 IQ.

There are resources that are available to parents and teachers of these students. A comprehensive list can be found at Hoagies’Gifted Education Page: Highly,Exceptionally, and Profoundly Gifted.

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