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#61 of 73 Old 05-22-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
Ever hear of Myers-Briggs. Statistically Ts (thinkers) do better on IQ tests, but are by definition less empathic than Fs (feelers).
it's been a while since I looked at Myers-Briggs, so someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it just say which of two traits is stronger in a single person, without relating how well a person does on that trait compared to others?

So wouldn't some one who has the capablity to be both very logical and very empathic, but is slightly more logical, score the same as someone who isn't very logical or empathic, but is slighly more logical?

I know several people who are good at both (the doctor who did my DD's neuro-psych eval for example) and, sadly, several people who are good at neither (my mother!).

I think that raising a gifted children to believe that can't also be empathic because they are just so darn smart does them a tremendous disservice. I could isolate them socially, limit their success in life, and limit what they can contribute to humanity.

Obviously empathy comes more naturally to some children than to others, but there is NO excuse for not working to help ALL children, no matter how high their IQs, develop it.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#62 of 73 Old 05-22-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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As the mama to an extremely logical thinker who also exhibits extremely high emotional OEs, let me just say that they do exist.

DD is a textbook rational, logical, analytical thinker. Her favorite activities are to collect data, observe, and draw conclusions. She is constantly evaluating everything from a purely logical perspective--almost to a fault. She's not a fan of fiction because she knows it doesn't make sense. She is constantly searching for reasonable explanations for everything in her world. She has been like this since an infant when she has always observed absolutely everything and everyone around her--studying us like an anthropologist!

Also since infancy, she has exhibited extremely strong empathy towards others. She would get noticeably upset and concerned if we were even in a restaurant and another baby would cry..she would point to the baby and comment as she got older. We had to reassure her that the baby's parents were helping. She has always had an extremely strong sense of rules and fairness. (We used to joke when she was an infant that she would be the one to keep her friends in line as they got older... that has definitely come to fruition and we are constantly reminding her to just keep track of herself, not her job to police her friends, etc.) She has also long exhibited varying levels of anxiety, all of which is very consistent with emotional OEs. One of the reasons she doesn't like fiction is because she empathizes with the characters to such a degree that she becomes emotional distraught.

Personally, I think the two personality traits go together quite well. Because she is such a keen observer, she reads people's emotions extremely well.

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#63 of 73 Old 05-22-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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Let me just make it clear that I'm generalizing and that people are very complex and you will find many exceptions to every trend in psychology.

Something I have noticed is that people who are logical thinkers with regards to more people oriented sciences and disciplines such as anthropologists, psychologists or biologists are often more empathetic than those who are logical thinkers with regards to the impersonal sciences and disciplines. I wonder if the latter group has [some] of the genes for autism spectrum disorders, but not enough of them to actually have the disorder or even a subclinical case. Some of these people want to feel, but actually have trouble doing so.

And yes of course, you can have any interest or personality and have a high IQ, but statistically certain personalities and types of occupations have the highest average IQ comparatively. These types of statistics can be informative. Engineering majors have the highest IQs on average and are also very logical thinkers who prefer to think about non-personal topics...They are also the occupation most likely to have autism in their family and/or autistic kids and one of the symptoms of autism is lack of empathy.
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#64 of 73 Old 05-22-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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And yes of course, you can have any interest or personality and have a high IQ, but statistically certain personalities and types of occupations have the highest average IQ comparatively. These types of statistics can be informative. Engineering majors have the highest IQs on average and are also very logical thinkers who prefer to think about non-personal topics...They are also the most likely to have autism in their family and/or autistic kids and one of the symptoms of autism is lack of empathy.
In my experience, engineers think quite a bit about personal topics-- do you have research to support the assertion that they prefer non-personal topics? The "engineer" personality type (INT in Myers-Briggs terminology) might be thoughtless due to a lack of empathy or something else, but is rarely nasty or manipulative, IME. There is a relationship between high IQ and autism, but, last I read, the experts had not yet fleshed out what causes relationship. Your post suggests to me that you would consider sterotypical engineers to belong on the most mild end of the Aspergers-autism spectrum, and I don't think that's accurate. As an engineer, from an engineering family, I strongly dislike when people pathologize the engineer personality type. I understand that it makes some people uncomfortable, but that doesn't make it dysfunctional.

What leads you to say that people in the hard sciences can't feel? Are you a counselor? If so, please consider that engineers are not going to seek out counseling unless they absolutely need it, and so you shouldn't consider the engineers you see in counseling as representative of the profession as a whole.

FWIW, I think successful manipulation requires a certain amount of empathy. If you don't understand other people, you aren't going to be able to push their buttons.
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#65 of 73 Old 05-22-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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OP...I get that you feel for this family. I really do - and I admire your heart and community mindedness.

Despite this, the primary repsonsibility as mothers is to our own children. Until such time as the child has learned more self control I would abandon play dates.

Maybe you will be able to maintain the friendship with the parents (you can be an ear while they vent and not judge them) while this is sorted out...and maybe you won't...but your kids have to come first.

I will say that the few times I have not protected my kids from people who acted in abusive ways I have felt horrible.

FWIW - I do not think gifted kids are more likely to be mean that others, although they might be verbally better at it when they are mean.

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#66 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
Engineering majors have the highest IQs on average and are also very logical thinkers who prefer to think about non-personal topics...They are also the occupation most likely to have autism in their family and/or autistic kids and one of the symptoms of autism is lack of empathy.
I'll bite.

My DH is brilliant engineer and an executive in an aerospace firm, and we have a child on the spectrum.

If he lacked empathy, he would be a horrid husband and a rotton father.

And life would be different for MANY of the people under him. He's the person who signs off when some needs an alternate work schedule because they are in cancer treatment. He arranged for a man to adjust his schedule without having is pay docked because his wife left him and took his kids across country (and he had no vacation time left). He figured out a solution for a woman who wanted to pump at work, but worked in a airplane hanger with no facitilies and this issue had never come up before. None of this is his primary job -- he's an engineer who gets planes done on time and on budget, but that involves working with many people and knowing personal details of their lives.

So yes, he has a IQ and his primary strength is with things not people, but neither his personal life nor his professional life would work well if he lack empathy.

I find the notion that some gifted children are just too smart to be empathic absurd, but the social problems that some gifted kids have make more sense to me if their mothers believe this.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#67 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post
yup, i found that link last night when i was looking up "asynchronous development." i sent it to both her parents and her mom and i discussed it a bit today.

one of the links i looked at said that the higher the IQ, the more uneven the development is likely to be.
btw, I love Wendall Berry, too

It might also be a developmental stage she is going through as a 6 year-old.

"Six-year olds have to be right. The early self is fragile when it begins to recognize the perspective of others. Six doesn't accept criticism or blame with composure. Instead, he argues or even lies to avoid blame. He also hates losing and will blatantly cheat, or change the rules, to win in a competition. "

http://childparenting.about.com/od/c...roldhome_2.htm

My six year-old, who is a very sweet, easy going boy, for the most part, tends to be more explosive these days then he was before. He is typically a passive playmate, and if he doesn't like what is going on he'll just go off and do his own thing. But he tends to get angry with me more often these days.

I would try to have her parents talk to her about how she can't be mean to your kids. Have a zero tolerance policy: first time she is mean/abusive to your kids, she goes home. Period. And you have to follow through.

It sounds like she is dealing with some heavy stuff, and there certainly has to be consequences for her behavior. But you don't have to completely abandon her--it sounds like you are very close to her family, and it would probably be really sad if she lost you and your kids. But I would be firm about letting her know that she can't be aggressive/mean *at all*. And really pay attention to the kids playing--first time she goes home. I think that this might help her develop more positive social skills, and also send the message to your kids that they won't be abused by her, and that she can't get away with it.

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#68 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I find the notion that some gifted children are just too smart to be empathic absurd, but the social problems that some gifted kids have make more sense to me if their mothers believe this.
I know that you aren't blaming the mothers for the kids social problems, and I don't think that anyone here is saying that it is okay for a child to be mean to other children, gifted or not.

But that doesn't mean that there are not gifted children who do struggle socially, and it doesn't mean that it is because they are bad children, or that it is the result of poor parenting.

....edited to comply with mdc , please read article from link"sas bossy, opinionated, controlling, and self-centered.

The article goes on to discuss how some HG children act the same way as the "unpopular" children "lacked the idea of reciprocity in relationships when peers were already starting to manage relationships more mutually. Many exhibited inappropriate social skills for their age such as substituting monologues for conversations, interrupting peers, insistence of their own agenda versus going along with a group goal or sharing ideas with another, asking irrelevant and fact-oriented questions, and wanting everyone else to observe the exact rules they have decided are th right ones. They also often needed to win, and had little idea of sharing time, attention or materials."
from: http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10129.aspx

I don't think that *all* of these children in the literature behave this way because their mothers thought that it was okay to not be empathetic. And they are *children,* not small adults.

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#69 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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One more thing...

I wanted to point out that autistic children and adults do NOT lack empathy. They just have a different way of processing/exhibiting it. Often children and adults on the spectrum are hyper-emotional-- so much so that they are overwhelmed by their feelings, and neuro-typical people don't understand that the experience of emotions can be different. It doesn't mean that they don't empathize.


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#70 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

The article goes on to discuss how some HG children act the same way as the "unpopular" children "lacked the idea of reciprocity in relationships when peers were already starting to manage relationships more mutually. Many exhibited inappropriate social skills for their age such as substituting monologues for conversations, interrupting peers, insistence of their own agenda versus going along with a group goal or sharing ideas with another, asking irrelevant and fact-oriented questions, and wanting everyone else to observe the exact rules they have decided are the right ones. They also often needed to win, and had little idea of sharing time, attention or materials."
from: http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10129.aspx
It sounds to me like the HG kids are unpopular because they are 'systematizers' as coined by this article which links systematizing to autism, a more male brain, and having a very high intelligence/extreme giftedness.

"The Cambridge scholar identifies empathy as "the drive to identify another person's emotions and thoughts, and to respond to them with an appropriate emotion." At the core of his thesis, he postulates that the natural wiring of the human brain tends either toward a capacity for empathy or toward one for understanding systems. He labels them E-type and S-type brains.

"We find," he explains, "that women on average tend to score in this light blue area, so their empathy is better than average. But their systematizing is not as strong as their empathy." Moving a finger across the frame, he continues: "Now here. Men on average are in the pink range -- they're interested in how things work, in systems, and less interested in talking about, say, emotional problems."

The final point of the demonstration, and the book's clincher, is that autism represents nothing less (or more) than an "extreme version" of the male brain. As Mr. Baron-Cohen tells it, it's almost like an exaggerated guy thing, a disorder in which autists tend to be more male than most men."

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1097453/posts
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#71 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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Many exhibited inappropriate social skills for their age such as substituting monologues for conversations, interrupting peers, insistence of their own agenda versus going along with a group goal or sharing ideas with another, asking irrelevant and fact-oriented questions, and wanting everyone else to observe the exact rules they have decided are the right ones. They also often needed to win, and had little idea of sharing time, attention or materials."
These are skills that come natrally to some kids, but can be taught to others.

Some of these are skills they work on in social skills classes for kids with high functioning autism/aspergers.

My point is that gifted kids can learn social skills. It's odd to me that any one would agrue with that.

The other thing, living with a child with autism and being other other kids with autism, is that they aren't mean. The lack of empathy isn't a "mean" thing -- it is that they are so wrapped up in their internal world that they have trouble getting out of it, which is completely different than meanness. The kids I know with autism/aspergers' are really sweet once you get inside their shell. They are often the child in the family who can give the pet meds and find cruelty shocking.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#72 of 73 Old 05-23-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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Many exhibited inappropriate social skills for their age such as substituting monologues for conversations, interrupting peers, insistence of their own agenda versus going along with a group goal or sharing ideas with another, asking irrelevant and fact-oriented questions, and wanting everyone else to observe the exact rules they have decided are the right ones. They also often needed to win, and had little idea of sharing time, attention or materials."
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The lack of empathy isn't a "mean" thing -- it is that they are so wrapped up in their internal world that they have trouble getting out of it, which is completely different than meanness.
My older DD has a lot of these attributes. She is not mean at all, but socially she is not adept and the above really captures why. For her it's a combination of anxiety and just a lack of being able to see how the conversation feels to the other person. I'm not sure how giftedness contributes to it, although the therapist does say that she often sees this with gifted kids. FWIW, her therapist has recommended a social skills class that will work explicitly on these types of skills. She will be starting that in the fall.

So I used to think that with time she would "get it", but I've realized that she really does need hands on, explicit instruction on these basic social conventions. She might eventually get it with time, but it has become a real problem in third grade and I'm not willing to wait anymore.

New WOHM to DD8 and DD3
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#73 of 73 Old 05-24-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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My point is that gifted kids can learn social skills. It's odd to me that any one would agrue with that.
I didn't pick up that anyone would argue with this, I completely agree.

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