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Gifted kids post-schooling

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Most of the discussion here is about schooling and giftedness. I am wondering what is known about giftedness in the wider community post-schooling. I don't know if my kids are bright or gifted, identification of giftedness doesn't worry me at the moment. They are academically talented as evidenced by their grades. That's by the by.

What happens to gifted kids in the workforce/community? Is their giftedness translating to extra success/pay/job satisfaction etc.

Are we worrying too excessively about our kids and meeting their needs as gifted students, when things might end up equalizing in the real world? Is there any long term study I could refer to?

Thanks
post #2 of 34
A lot of it depends on how their gifts are treated:



"At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late '80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. "These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice ... in developing and maintaining social relationships," Gross has written. "A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression." By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends."


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...3653-3,00.html
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
"At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late '80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. "These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice ... in developing and maintaining social relationships," Gross has written. "A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression." By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends."


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...3653-3,00.html
Interesting, off to the read the article and see what I can find for mildly/moderately gifted.
post #4 of 34
i dont have any official links or articles.

but i have personal experience. and that is what interests me. not statistics.

childhood is the foundation to adulthood. most of childhood - 6 hours a day for about what 175 days a year is spent in the classroom. so if you spend half a year for twelve years of your life miserable, how do you think that's going to affect adulthood - and their ability to keep jobs and be successful. some children can go thru horrendous beginnings and come out on top, be successful. many cant.

we ourselves as adults have such a hard time when we have to work at a job we hate. what do you think that does to children.

THAT is why i focus so much on school and my dd's emotional wellbeing. adulthood is what she is going to make it. i am giving her tools right now to make it as an adult. school contributes a huge deal as a tool now. its not the only thing, but it is a major player.

a lot of what is written about gifted children does not apply to my dd because she is an 'adult' trapped in a child's body with an adult intellect to understand things yet with a child's emotional level to accept it. so in a sense being gifted makes life difficult for her which she has felt since she was 3 and she called herself an 'alien' fully comprehending what she meant by alien.

so even if there are statistics out there and studies - i think it really applies to individual personalities and even if someone says 99.99% of gifted kids are successful, the 0.01% might apply to my dd.

though of course the gifted 'realm' itself is huge and extremely varied.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
I don't know if my kids are bright or gifted,

Are we worrying too excessively about our kids and meeting their needs as gifted students,

Also I wanted to ask -- exactly whose kids are you referring to ("worrying too excessively about our kids") if not your own?

Are you really asking if other people worry too much about meeting their children's needs?



post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
we ourselves as adults have such a hard time when we have to work at a job we hate. what do you think that does to children.
This is almost exactly what a friend said to me when I was considering a grade skip for my son. She looked at me and said "Jolly, what would you do if you came to work every day and were bored out of your mind. You never got to do anything new and work completely failed to be mentally stimulating." I gave some random answer about it depending on how much my family needed my salary and if I thought I could find something better. She called me on it. She said "You know you'd be looking for a new job. You wouldn't be able to take it. Your son doesn't have the option of finding something else on his own. You need to find it for him."

She's right.

Sorry to go off topic. It just struck me as a very true statement.

But it does relate tangentially to the OP question. We all want to use our brains and do something we enjoy in life if we are young or adults. Does that mean that all gifted kids grow into highly successful adults? No. Though I feel we should be careful on how we define success. Do many of them have the ability to become highly successful adults? Yes. As do many non gifted children.

I guess I will be happy if my kids grow into basically happy adults. I think the odds of that are better if I support them now. If they meet some arbitrary definition of success I don't care quite as much about.

I guess I'm trying to say that I don't try and accommodate my child's intellect now because I want them to be successful. I do it because I want them to be happy. I hope that by laying the ground work for that happiness now it can carry them into adulthood no matter what they choose to do with their lives.
post #7 of 34
You know, Johns Hopkins has an ongoing study of outcomes for highly gifted children. It's been going on a long time - I got tracked in sometime in the late 1980s and I still get survey questions from them on a regular basis - so they have plenty of data on gifted adults.

Their general home page is at
http://cty.jhu.edu/set/index.html

But anyways, there is already a good deal of published research to have come out of this study and it's all compiled and broken down by topic at

http://cty.jhu.edu/research/biblio.html
post #8 of 34
A&A-I infer general 'we' and our general kids from that. So me worrying about my kids, you worrying about your kids, person C worrying about their kids etc.

Thanks for the links.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bits and bobs View Post
A&A-I mean general 'we' and our general kids.
Well, my specific kid came home crying from Kindergarten because it was so mind-numbingly boring.

So no, to answer your question, I do not worry "excessively" about meeting her needs. I worry just the right amount.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
She called me on it. She said "You know you'd be looking for a new job. You wouldn't be able to take it. Your son doesn't have the option of finding something else on his own. You need to find it for him."

She's right.

Sorry to go off topic. It just struck me as a very true statement.
Thank you for this idea. I need to hold on to it and put it in my "Mom" toolbox.

It is true.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
I guess I will be happy if my kids grow into basically happy adults. I think the odds of that are better if I support them now. If they meet some arbitrary definition of success I don't care quite as much about.
DITTO here. whether she flips hamburgers at McD's to save rainforests, or becomes a CEO, or whatever i want her to have peace of mind and authenticity about the choices she makes. if she chooses boredom i want her to do it because she chooses to, not because she has to.

all i can do now is to help her find who SHE is - so she is confident in her own self and confident of what she wants. so that when life gets her down she can get up on her feet, wipe her tears and meet life headon.

in a poem recently at school she wrote 'i am strong and helpful'. i love that she sees herself that way. she just didnt write it in one of her moments. it is what she seriously thinks who she is. THAT is the confidence i want to see as an adult. THAT is what is going to make her successful. and in my experience school contributes a great deal to this place.
post #12 of 34
I came across this article the other day that really resonated with me:

http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10495.aspx

It does seem to pertain to MG adults, not just HG+ as they used Mensa members as the subjects. Some, certainly, may be HG+, but MG (98th percentile) is the minimum criterion to be a member and I imagine that many members are right there.
post #13 of 34
"What Do Accelerated Students Contribute to Society?
The myth says that students who skip will rarely fit into society, but the reality
shows that those very students tend to lead American society to greater heights.
Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the Civil Rights Movement and the
recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, graduated from high school at 15. The poet,
T. S. Eliot, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature, was accelerated.
U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor graduated from high school
at 16. When great leaders reach society early, everyone benefits . . . acceleration is
not just an issue for one isolated gifted child, underchallenged in the classroom. It’s
about many thousands of children and the future of America."



www.nationdeceived.org
post #14 of 34
Anecdotal stories here. But when you become a mathematician you tend to run into more than a few absolutely brilliant people...

Quite a few of my gifted friends are successful academicians. Full math professors at major universities. Most are happily married too.

I also have friends (and now students) who work for NSA, Wall Street, Microsoft, and Google.

A friend of mine though was the poster child for the burned out gifty--he dropped out of college, he has few friends, his marriage failed and he is working temp jobs as a handyman.
post #15 of 34
I recently heard a talk by Dr. Ed Amend and he mentioned that overall the research shows that gifted kids and adults are no more likely to suffer from emotional/social issues than the general population. It is still an important factor as they can suffer these issues for different reasons and perhaps deal with them in different ways.
post #16 of 34
To me "gifted" is only useful as an educational label to get educational services. All kids should have access to an appropriate education with the opportunity to work at their instructional level and learn how to study and learn. Gifted kids may need accommodations in order for this to happen.

After school, "giftedness" is irrelevant because you don't need others to make accommodations for giftedness. You can choose your path as far as further education, your career, your marriage, whatever, and no one needs or wants to see your IQ score. What matters then is what you do and what you achieve. Hopefully that appropriate education will have prepared one to meet whatever their own goals might be.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou View Post
After school, "giftedness" is irrelevant because you don't need others to make accommodations for giftedness. You can choose your path as far as further education, your career, your marriage, whatever, and no one needs or wants to see your IQ score. What matters then is what you do and what you achieve. Hopefully that appropriate education will have prepared one to meet whatever their own goals might be.
I totally agree with this, but it sounded like the OP was interested in hearing about what happens to gifted children after they grow up, and whether the various sorts of educational accommodation they get in childhood make a difference to their ultimate levels of achievement and social adjustment.

That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.
see but i disagree. you CANNOT choose accommodations for education. whether gifted or not. its not an easy decision for a parent either. i know family who skipped the wrong child.

its almost like in many cases - not all - an 'unhappy' education = messed up adulthood. again its not as simplistic as that.

some kids make it to 'success'. some dont. can we take the chance while 'making accommodations'? we cant predict.

for many as i look back into generations into my family, school was just tolerated because they had lots of support and love during after school. they 'made' it. there were others who had the same after school support but could not handle 6 hours of 'boredom'.

which is why i ask can we make such a decision based on statistics or studies?

plus truly has any 'true' study been done of this kind? did anyone have that much money to follow a child from childhood to adulthood (now that i know a little more about the kinds of research corporations like supporting). one can make generalizations based upon conjectures and lives of famous people.

and ultimately it comes at a cost. einstein died an extremely unhappy man. so would you say he was successful? i think he really questioned his own success.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dessismama View Post
Anecdotal stories here. But when you become a mathematician you tend to run into more than a few absolutely brilliant people...

Quite a few of my gifted friends are successful academicians. Full math professors at major universities. Most are happily married too.

I also have friends (and now students) who work for NSA, Wall Street, Microsoft, and Google.

A friend of mine though was the poster child for the burned out gifty--he dropped out of college, he has few friends, his marriage failed and he is working temp jobs as a handyman.


I'm a scientist in academia and, yeah, I've seen that first hand. Pretty much all my friends from grad school were former gifted kids, the vast majority of which had some pretty extensive accommodations growing up (the most went to special schools). I think DH was the only one he didn't have special accommodations (although he started early) and to this day he has self-confidence issues (despite being pretty successful).

I'd say many of my co-workers are happy. Not everyone but we're talking about vastly different personalities varying from person to person. Some are happily married with kids, there are others that are the perpetual bachelor, some have dealt with depression, some seem very well-adjusted and content with their lives. It's hard to distinguish between accommodations/personality/family environment (e.g. I have one friend who DID have accommodations growing up but has very significant religious difference to his family and suffers from that).

That being said... I have a number of family members who are underachieving adults (both my parents are included there). I have an uncle, for instance, who is clearly very, very intelligent (scored a perfect score on the ACT without studying) and is a bartender. Not that there's anything wrong with that but I get the impression from him, that he is not happy with his life and lonely. None of them had any accommodations.

Granted, this it totally anecdotal...
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
I totally agree with this, but it sounded like the OP was interested in hearing about what happens to gifted children after they grow up, and whether the various sorts of educational accommodation they get in childhood make a difference to their ultimate levels of achievement and social adjustment.

That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.
Ultimately each parent is the best judge of what is needed by his/her child. The original question strikes me as anti-elitist, or something.
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