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"The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it."

                   - Francois de la Rochefoucauld

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
        - Bertrand Russell

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Over 60% of gifted people are introverted compared with 30% of the general
population. Over 75% of highly gifted people are introverted. (The percentage of
introverts seems to increase with IQ (Silverman).)  Introversion
correlates with introspection, reflection, the ability to inhibit
aggression, deep sensitivity, moral development, high academic achievement,
scholarly contributions, leadership in academic and aesthetic fields in
adult life, and smoother passage through mid-life; however, it is very likely
to be misunderstood and "corrected" in children.

(Researchers using PET scans examined 18 healthy individuals. They found that
introverts showed more activity in the frontal lobes of their brain and the
anterior or front thalamus. These are areas of the brain which take on
internal processing, such as remembering, problem solving and planning.
Extroverts on the other hand exhibit more activity in the anterior cingulate
gyrus, temporal lobes and posterior thalamus. These are areas that are
thought to be more involved in sensory processing such as listening,
watching or driving. [American Journal of Psychiatry.])

Other sources generally cite IQ scores and their labels something like:
85-99 Lower normal
100-114 Upper normal
115-129 Bright
130-144 Gifted
145-159 Highly gifted
160-above Profoundly gifted

  Common Problems of the Gifted

1) Since so much comes easily to them, they may never acquire the self-discipline necessary to use their gifts to the fullest.  A gifted child who drifts in school unrecognized will work chronically below her capacity and receive daily practice in habits of idleness and daydreaming.

2) Gifted people are typically capable of so many different kinds of success that they have trouble confining themselves to a reasonable number of pursuits.  Some of them are lost to usefulness through spreading their available time and energy over such a wide array of projects that nothing can be finished or done well.

3) Gifted people have trouble learning to suffer fools gladly, or at all.  Failure to learn how to tolerate in a reasonable fashion the foolishness of others leads to bitterness, disillusionment and misanthropy.

4) Gifted people tend to become isolated from the rest of humanity.  Gifted children strive to play with other children but their efforts are defeated by the fact that other children do not share their interests, their vocabulary or their desire to organize activities.  As a result, forms of solitary play develop, and these may explain the fact that many highly intelligent adults are shy, ungregarious and even misanthropic and uncomfortable in ordinary social interaction.

5) Gifted people, detecting the illogical conduct of those in charge of their affairs, may turn rebellious against all authority and develop negativism to a conspicuous degree.  Negative individuals abound in every high IQ society.  (*Note - I'm not sure this is all bad, but then, I'm a cynic.)

[When you are want to criticize your leaders (politicians, bosses, cultural icons), keep in mind that there is a direct ratio between the intelligence of the leader and that of the led.  A leadership pattern will not form, or it will break up, when a discrepancy of more than approximately 30 points of IQ comes to exist between the leader and the led.]

A Study of 241 Profoundly Gifted Children Found:
by the Associate Professor of Gifted Studies at the University of St. Thomas

  • There was no difference in the mean IQ for boys and girls.
  • Mothers tended to be older than the norm -- with a mean age at the child's birth of 30.8.
  • 90% were described by their parents as "sensitive."
  • 91% of the children showed early language development but only 60% showed early motor skills.
  • 94% were very alert as infants.
  • 94% had a long attention span as infants or toddlers.
  • The mean age at which the children could sight read was before age 4.
  • 99.4% learned rapidly.
  • 99.4% had an extensive vocabulary.
  • 99.3% had an excellent memory.
  • 93.5% had compassion for others.
  • 88.3% were perfectionistic.
  • 83% liked to concentrate on one activity at a time.

 Characteristics of a Gifted Child

- Verbal fluency
- An acute sensitivity and empathy for others
- Heightened perceptual skills
- A dislike of routine
- Introversion (often)
- An imaginative, fantasy-creating mind
- A broad and changing spectrum of interests
- A preference for complex ideas and/or tasks that provide challenge
- An unusual ability to see relationships
- A curious, investigative mind, full of questions
- A strong interest in problem-solving and a desire to develop structures
- An openness to new ideas and experiences
- A tendency toward individualism
- A strong need to be self-directed, independent

Other Tidbits:

  • Highly intelligent children are superior to average children in their resistance to temptation. (Hartshorne and May.)
  • The child who tests above 130 IQ is typically large and strong for his or her age, healthier than average and contributes far less than his quota to juvenile misbehavior. (Healy and Bonner.)  Perhaps the stereotype about gifted children being smaller than their peers came from the fact that they tend to skip grades.  By middle childhood, from 7-12 years of age, gifted children tended to be 2.5 centimeters taller than their peers, on average.  (Calgary Herald, 1992).
  • Bright children are more likely to be nearsighted.
  • Children up to about 140 IQ tolerate the ordinary school routine quite well, achieving excellent marks without serious effort.  But above this status, children become increasingly bored.  Children at or above 180 IQ are likely to regard school with indifference or positive distaste, for they find nothing interesting to do there. (Hollingsworth.)
  • Gifted girls are far less interested in traditional girls' play than unselected girls are.
  • Children who test very high tend strongly to work out forms of solitary, intellectual play. (Hollingsworth.)
  • Gifted children tend to fail to be interested in "custard-pie" entertainment, cutsie, childish movies or amusement parks, for example.
  • Intelligent children are, on the whole, more easily disciplined than children generally are, with a few exceptions. Because he learns everything quickly, the highly intelligent child is especially quick to discover what forms of conduct on his part bring him satisfactions.
  • Those who test above 180 IQ are characterized by a strong desire for personal privacy.
  • The really difficult problems of adjustment to life and to people come to those who test above 170 IQ.
  • The more intelligent a person is, the less often can he or she find a truly congenial companion.
  • Studies of child prodigies have shown that a large proportion of them were first-born or only children or in some other "special" position in the family, perhaps a late last child.
  • Highly intelligent people are often very frustrated by the irrationality around them.  Said Jeff Ward of Mega:  "a fair number of [high IQ people] are reclusive or even misanthropic, with a common thread of frustration."
  • What is normal for the gifted is most often labeled as neurosis in the general population. (Azpeitia and Rocamora.)

A Declaration of the Educational Rights of the Gifted Child*
(*from the December, 1995 Mensa Bulletin)

  • It is the right of a gifted child to engage in appropriate educational experiences even when other children of that grade level or age are unable to profit from the experience.
  • It is the right of a gifted child to be grouped and interact with other gifted children for some part of their learning experience so that they may be understood, engaged and challenged.
  • It is the right of a gifted child to be taught rather than used as a tutor or a teaching assistant for the major part of the school day.
  • It is the right of a gifted child to be presented with new, advanced and challenging ideas and concepts regardless of the materials and resources that have been designated for the age group or grade level in which the child was placed.
  • It it the right of the gifted child to learn faster than age peers and to have that pace of learning respected and provided for.
  • It is the right of a gifted child to think in alternative ways, produce diverse products, and bring intuition and innovation to the learning experience.
  • It is the right of the gifted child to question generalizations, offer alternative solutions and value complex and profound levels of thought.
  • It is the right of a gifted child to pursue interests that are beyond the ability of his or her age peers, are outside of the grade level curriculum, or involve areas as yet unexplored or unknown.

A Word or Two about TELEVISION:

"A survey once found that gifted children (truly gifted* as opposed to public school definitions) watch an average of less than 5 hours of television a week during their preschool years.  Compare that with a national average of twenty-five hours a week (beginning around the second birthday), and you can begin to appreciate what a drain on the brain the idiot-box truly is." - John Rosemond
For more about tv, go to my daughter Sydney's Education page:

Go to the Prometheus Society

"Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence." - Henrik Tikkanen

"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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