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Mildly gifted most likely to be underachievers - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post

While I appreciate the fact that statistically an IQ of 160 is as far from "normal" as an IQ of 40 is, I don't really think it is an appropriate comparison. I have worked with children at both ends of the normal distribution, and the kids with an IQ of 40 really do struggle more and stand out more. Perhaps because they stand out more, people are forced to accommodate them better. Maybe it is because i have always lived in college towns with a high concentration of people in the two standard deviations above the mean range, but it is possible to "pass" as bright without your peers picking up on just where you are functioning.
Yes, this is true, but the odds of any one of us encountering a person with either an IQ of 180 or 20 is slim- those people are far and few between- fewer than 1 in 100,000 people have an IQ above 165, and I imagine it's the same for those with IQs below 35.

And yeah, you're totally right- people with very low IQs do stand out a lot more than "equally" gifted kids. Low IQ isn't just impacting their ability to learn, but physiological stuff, too. As a species, we have a preference for intelligence as well, so while a super-genius may be off-putting, we still have admiration for someone who is profoundly gifted, whereas many people have almost a repulsion for those with serious disabilities. I guess I just mean that the gap is just as wide, and imagining what it's like in the middle is going to be harder and harder the farther you are from average.

Height might be a better analogy. Someone who is 7' tall will stick out just as someone who is 4', but the shorter person will have a harder go of life, from struggling to get around to being patronized or mocked. We value height, so we may stare at the tall person, we don't have the same reaction when we see a very short person. ("We" is used generally, of course.)
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
fewer than 1 in 100,000 people have an IQ above 165, and I imagine it's the same for those with IQs below 35.
Actually, the normal curve is not quite normal. there is a small blip at the bottom of it because very very low IQ is usually caused by a genetic disorder, a birth injury or some other illness/event, and those things occur more often than 1:100,000. (not that you really test at that point/level, but I trust you get my drift).

My city has a school population about 5,000 children. Every year, we have a classroom of approximately 8-10 kids at elementary, 8-10 at middle school and 8-10 at high school who are at that level of functioning.

Because of our close proximity to a top ranked research university, I suspect we have more than one child every 20 years at the level of 165, but I doubt it is 1:166 like it is for the kids at the other end of the curve.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
Actually, the normal curve is not quite normal. there is a small blip at the bottom of it because very very low IQ is usually caused by a genetic disorder, a birth injury or some other illness/event, and those things occur more often than 1:100,000. (not that you really test at that point/level, but I trust you get my drift).

My city has a school population about 5,000 children. Every year, we have a classroom of approximately 8-10 kids at elementary, 8-10 at middle school and 8-10 at high school who are at that level of functioning.

Because of our close proximity to a top ranked research university, I suspect we have more than one child every 20 years at the level of 165, but I doubt it is 1:166 like it is for the kids at the other end of the curve.
Oh neat, thanks. Totally makes sense.

I wonder if there's more potential for substantial variability in the lower scores, as the Milwaukee Project seemed to show. (Not that this is related to this particular discussion, though!)
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
Actually, the normal curve is not quite normal. there is a small blip at the bottom of it because very very low IQ is usually caused by a genetic disorder, a birth injury or some other illness/event, and those things occur more often than 1:100,000. (not that you really test at that point/level, but I trust you get my drift).
There's actually a blip at the top as well, though nobody really knows why. I've heard it referred to as a "trimodal" distribution. Hoagies' puts it this way:
Quote:
2. How many highly gifted children are there?

No one really knows. Although many researchers have made estimates, and test norms indicate the statistically rare incidence of children in this population, the actual numbers of such children may well be greater than the statistical norms imply. Webb, Meckstroth, and Tolan (1982) state that one child in about 2,000 has an IQ above 150 on the Stanford-Binet Form L-M; one child in a half-million has an IQ above 170. Hollingworth (1942) estimated one child in a million has an IQ above 180. But Robinson's research (1981) suggests that there may actually be more than six times as many children above 164 IQ than statistics would predict. Lewis Terman (1925), who designed the original Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, discovered many more children testing above 170 IQ than predicted; Dunlap (1967) discovered the same thing in his clinical work as a school psychologist in the Midwest. In several areas of the United States, including Los Angeles, northern New England, Alaska, Ohio, and Colorado, Many more children have been discovered in this IQ range than should statistically be there. We don't know how many highly gifted children exist in the population, but apparently there are more-possibly six to ten times as many more-than previously thought.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Height might be a better analogy. Someone who is 7' tall will stick out just as someone who is 4', but the shorter person will have a harder go of life, from struggling to get around to being patronized or mocked. We value height, so we may stare at the tall person, we don't have the same reaction when we see a very short person. ("We" is used generally, of course.)
True. But the taller person will have a nearly impossible time finding clothes that will fit, whereas the shorter person can at least wear children's sizes. If you're talking about finding an appropriate educational fit, I think this analogy holds up. In general, though, I don't think comparing is very helpful. People at opposite ends of the curve have very different issues.
post #26 of 31
People have such different lives and experiences that I think it's hard to really profile them based on IQ ranges.
post #27 of 31
This study's conclusions confirm my personal experience. I am moderately gifted, and I was not grade skipped despite the school's recommendation. There were no other provisions for "smart" kids back then. My parents assumed that my intelligence would translate into high achievement if they nagged and criticized me enough, but as we now know, many gifted kids are highly sensitive as well, and this method backfired. I did fine through college simply because the work was always easy enough, but when it came time to finish a dissertation, I collapsed. I had never internalized a work ethic or motivation, and I felt like a failure. There are other factors at work, but I do think I missed a lot of things I could have had growing up, which I am trying my best to provide for my daughter.
What brings me to this board from time to time is the recognition that many of you are also gifted parents trying to figure out how to make the best possible experience for your kids. Because my daughter is adopted (and there is no biological reason to expect my kid would be so bright), I also struggle with the feeling that her moderately giftedness is really just projection on my part, and that's hard. I even postpone getting her tested because I fear that she will "fail" and reveal that my expectations have been wrong, despite the obvious signs of her giftedness both in terms of achievement and personality. Competitiveness among American parents, which has taken an insidious closet form--there now is a tendency to downplay our kids' abilities out of some scruple about not wanting to brag--doesn't help much, either.
post #28 of 31
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This comment really stands out to me and I'd like it if you could expand upon it. In the literature it is accepted that it only the exceptionally gifted who have social difficulties
Ironically, some research shows that the exceptionally gifted (girls in particular) are actually quite good in social situations. I guess it depends on what you mean by "social difficulties." Yes, they may have more difficulties in finding true peers but many manuever very well in any social setting, end up quite popular and well-liked.... no social akwardness at all.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
"The category of mildly gifted students, however, could be labeled as a problematic category. Within this category, we found the highest percentage of underachievers and also the highest percentage of students whose school career was unsuccessful."
This doesn't surprise be at all. My kids are in the upper levels of giftedness and they've been given a highly personalized education because they very obviously need it. They partake in the gifted program but they also get a lot more accomodation on top of that. For almost all the other GATE kids in our district, they just get the program and it's not enough to make the regular classroom a real challenge for them. These MG kids are smart enough that the work is easy but not pounding down the door for more challenge.

Success is worked for. It depends on the ability to push yourself outside your comfort zone from time to time. You have to know how to learn and be confident that you have the tools to take on something that is a little beyond your reach. Being smart just isn't enough. Unfortunately, many smart kids are never really expected to work outside their comfort zone in any area. HG/EG/PG kids are usually pretty easy to spot and the disparity in what they are given and what they CAN do is wide. MG kids, it's sometimes hard to tell if they are really working and doing well or if they are skating and doing well. Then they get to high school and college where the material requires some study and they fall apart.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
Ironically, some research shows that the exceptionally gifted (girls in particular) are actually quite good in social situations. I guess it depends on what you mean by "social difficulties." Yes, they may have more difficulties in finding true peers but many manuever very well in any social setting, end up quite popular and well-liked.... no social awkardness at all.
I think it really depends. I mean, if you asked anyone now they would all say I am extremely skilled socially, and very charismatic. In fact, when I was having trouble with my school-aged peers I had plenty of friends outside of school that were older than me, and I interacted very well with the staff members at my school. However, where I lived and during that time in my life, my minor differences were not accepted by my peers. I don't think I was a rarity either... I see it a lot now when I am teaching, especially with boys (which research shows is the opposite... usually girls "dumb" themselves down). I know anecdotal evidence doesn't hold up at all against statistical evidence, but in the end, anecdotal evidence is still evidence. I don't want people thinking that unpopular kids are just unpopular due to lack of social skills. Many of them feel right at home conversing with adults and are much better at it than their peers.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised that there is evidence that exceptionally gifted girls, or even some people in general, learn how to expertly maneuver well in social settings. I am sure many of them end up naturally studying it and learning what responses and body language gets them the best response.

I guess in general I think we have to take a lot of this research with a grain of salt. I mean, gifted children are so diverse in intelligence, personality, and many of learning disabilities paired with giftedness. As a result, some are going to be like me (underachieve to fit in), and some aren't. Some won't be capable of doing that for whatever reason. Some profoundly gifted people won't have any social skills, and some will be so beyond charismatic we won't know what hit us. I think as parents and educators (as I know I am not the only one on this board), we have to be accepting of the different experiences the gifted have as well as their common attributes.
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxi View Post
I guess in general I think we have to take a lot of this research with a grain of salt. I mean, gifted children are so diverse in intelligence, personality, and many of learning disabilities paired with giftedness. As a result, some are going to be like me (underachieve to fit in), and some aren't. Some won't be capable of doing that for whatever reason. Some profoundly gifted people won't have any social skills, and some will be so beyond charismatic we won't know what hit us. I think as parents and educators (as I know I am not the only one on this board), we have to be accepting of the different experiences the gifted have as well as their common attributes.
you said it!

I often remember this idea that when looking at these sorts of groupings, there is usually more diversity *within* a group than the difference of the average between groups. Also, being academically gifted, or having a particular IQ is really and truly only one part of who someone is. Of course, I get that the extreme outliers may be a special case.

That said, I think there may be some structural aspects of our mainstream education system that are very demotivating.
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