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#31 of 55 Old 05-25-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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We were just watching this video of Big Bang Theory and it seemed timely to the discussion.

Sheldon's profoundly gifted (started uni in gr6, completed PhD at 17, IQ is 186 I think), and has Asperger's. The producers deny this, but he has many, many of the hallmarks of Asperger's (although I don't know if there was a speech issue, so it might be PDD ). Last week's episode looked back to when the two main characters first met, and you can really see Sheldon's social progress from having no friends to having 4.

In this episode, he's just been fired from the university after telling his new boss that it must be nice to be meeting a real scientist (Sheldon). He's on "sabbatical" and not doing well. There are good examples here of not reading social cues, not "code switching" (ensuring that you are communicating effectively to your listener) and not being mutual in your conversation or ensuring that your topic is on point for your partner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isnDJ...eature=related

ETA: I'm in the camp that does not believe this kind of social deficit is related to giftedness necessarily, but is as or more likely to be a function of personality. I just think this is a dramatic illustration of the types of behaviours we've been discussing.

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#32 of 55 Old 05-25-2010, 10:55 PM
 
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Connieculkins - I think that the definition you are using as "respect" is the definition I would use for the word "tolerance". However, I don't particularly like the word tolerance when applied to any group of people because of the divisive/condescending nature of it.

I have personally observed the Sheldon-esqe social deficit in many people. Two family members and one particular dinner at a scientific convention come to mind. None of them quite to the same extreme, but the brilliance making things akward thing I think can be very real. My experience puts it more with guys than girls, but again that is just my experience. Anyway, the one night at the developmental biology conference we had a beautiful dinner - 5 courses and fine wine - and my table was full of people who talked about their pet project with worms (or bacteria or newts...) ad nauseum and in intricate detail. I suppose it was sort of appropriate, but really my one colleague was so relieved when I brought the conversation around to boating and other summer activities. It was a fine dinner and potentially good for networking, but we were all peons at our table anyway...

Ok, that was I guess just a long way for me to say that I have witnessed a number of stereotypically socially mal-adjusted brilliant people. I don't think that all gfited people have a hard time socially, but I do think that there are enough people who fit the stereotype that it wouldn't disappear even if hollywood gave it up.

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#33 of 55 Old 05-26-2010, 07:26 AM
 
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I read somewhere (one of Linda Silverman's checklists, I think???) that a higher % of gifted people identify themselves as introverts. This could be fueling the "gifted = asocial" stereotype.
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#34 of 55 Old 05-26-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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As for children with more serious disabilities, these kids are not my children's peers as they are not part of the same societal group. The children with severe autism for example are in a completely different school. Kids with milder disabilities who they see on a regular basis are their peers.
Hmm. In my dc's full-time gifted classes, there have been students on the autism spectrum. Some needed a full-time educational assistant. I realize that people define giftedness differently (and, btw, I've been a little unhappy recently with the subtext of several recent threads lately that seem to debate that definition). I just wanted to point out that for many, serious disability including autism, doesn't preclude giftedness. These students are certainly in my dc's peer groups.

Regarding the OP, my dc attended a gifted program with an enrolment of about 180 students. I've observed about 10 years of gifted programming now. I've seen a huge range of personality types, including the stereotypical "nerd" and "geek". For every Sheldon (whom I adore), there's a Rory Gilmore too - pretty, personable, social, and fashionable (to continue the television references).
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#35 of 55 Old 05-26-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I'm a parent to a gifted child and was a gifted child myself. I see other parents getting way too hung up on their child's "giftedness" and trying to micromanage every aspect of their education. I concentrated on the stereotype, it is there for a reason. We focused on the social and physical awkwardness from age 2 and pretty much let the gifted program at school take over from there. I ended up with an athletic, popular child who is high achieving in school. This year I asked for the school to consider letting her skip a grade in math but I have asked for very little else. I wouldn't choose a career as a gifted teacher for any $$ in the world...the parents would drive me crazy.
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#36 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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This year I asked for the school to consider letting her skip a grade in math but I have asked for very little else. I wouldn't choose a career as a gifted teacher for any $$ in the world...the parents would drive me crazy.
From what I've seen the parents of gifted children are just really proud and want their children's unique needs met. Sometimes the parents can be overly impressed with their own kids, believing them to be more likable and talented than they may actually be. But that's just the effect of love and self-love, all very normal in wealthy western society.
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#37 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Connieculkins - I think that the definition you are using as "respect" is the definition I would use for the word "tolerance". However, I don't particularly like the word tolerance when applied to any group of people because of the divisive/condescending nature of it.

Tjej
Exactly and this version of respect is more of the popular usage of it so when you tell your gifted kid to 'respect' the non-gifties you are really sending a clear message from your subconscious about what you really think of them and it is condescending.

And since I don't particularly like this version of 'respect' I probably wouldn't tell my kids to 'respect' those with severe disabilities either. In my eastern heritage we see people who have severe disabilities as having taken on a much more challenging life to develop spiritually and this is no easy feat. Most spiritual entities would not choose such a difficult life. As for being in the same peer group, the reality is that they are not, even when grown ups try to force this to happen in more liberal communities. The children may even be in the same school, but they don't choose to 'hang out' socially. That's just what the kids choose.
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#38 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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I say this in new posts and just had to say that I think some of it comes from teachers. When I was in my education classes the subject of this came up and the professor advocated having the children stay in and work on things during recess because she didn't believe they would be socially advanced enough to enjoy recess with the other children. She highlighted some of the programs in our area that do just that with elementary school children. I think that this is a flaw with the program really. If they are all having a hard time with socializing then they need to be taught how from the moment that this is recognized, even if the only people they socialize with are people from their pull out class they should still be given the chance to learn those skills during recess. I don't believe that the stereotype is really accurate or has to be true, my brother was very gifted and entered into the dual enrollment program to go to college and high school when he was in ninth grade, but he was also a lot more social adept than I was and never lacked for friends.
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#39 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Exactly and this version of respect is more of the popular usage of it so when you tell your gifted kid to 'respect' the non-gifties you are really sending a clear message from your subconscious about what you really think of them and it is condescending.
This is not the popular usage in my neck of the woods, or even an accepted alternate usage. Maybe that it the message you send your son when you use the word "respect," but it certainly not what the word means to me. To me, respect is the absolute foundation for civil relationships. Without respect, a healthy relationship of any kind cannot exist.
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#40 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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When I was in my education classes the subject of this came up and the professor advocated having the children stay in and work on things during recess because she didn't believe they would be socially advanced enough to enjoy recess with the other children.

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#41 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Exactly and this version of respect is more of the popular usage of it so when you tell your gifted kid to 'respect' the non-gifties you are really sending a clear message from your subconscious about what you really think of them and it is condescending.
I disagree. I do not see your definition of respect in the world I run around in. I talk with my kids about respect quite often - just this morning I was encouraging my DS to respect my DD's space and let her play by herself on a little tabletop (she's 4, he's 2), and then later I have encouraged my DD to respect my DS by leaving the crayon box open for him when he asked. I do not have the same negative associations with the word respect that you do. I had to chew on what you had said before for a while to figure out why it rubbed me so raw/ the wrong way, and it was precisely because of the way you were defining/using it. I do not, in my conscious or subconscious, associate put-downs with the word respect. I come from things with a view of inherent equal value before God, so that may be why my view and any affect of culture on my view may be different from yours. I don't buy into varying values of individuals based on money or smarts or looks - but I also don't think I am particularly unique in this belief system (I think that plenty of people who do not espouse the same beliefs in God have a similar definition of respect as I do).

About the teaching - What a terrible way to help kids with trouble socializing - taking them away from the opportunity to practice it.

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#42 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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. I come from things with a view of inherent equal value before God, so that may be why my view and any affect of culture on my view may be different from yours. I don't buy into varying values of individuals based on money or smarts or looks - but I also don't think I am particularly unique in this belief system (I think that plenty of people who do not espouse the same beliefs in God have a similar definition of respect as I do).

Tjej
No, you're not unique in this and if we were to take a poll we would probably find that almost everybody agreed that we are all equal spiritually. But almost every culture around the world is set up in such a way that people are treated very unequally and so there is a major mismatch between what people supposedly believe and what actually happens. And as people we need to be realistic about this and ask ourselves why there are so many people who have a moral superiority about them yet we still have plenty of inequality. Even in gifted programs you have all the 'nice' parents who claim that we need to work on including more minorities and those from lower socio-economic groups, but somehow I feel that there is emptiness and a placating of their liberal guilt in those words. I don't want to harp too much on the word 'respect', but language is powerful and we do have to be mindful of how our words can work against the very values that we have. Even in your examples, you only used the word respect because you were trying to avert inconsiderate behavior. But the presumption of inconsiderate behavior between two parties is what needs to be eliminated. I think it is necessary if we really want disparate groups to get along and treat one another equally to not presume that they wouldn't. There is nothing wrong with respecting others, but having to treat others as intelligent too is taking this to a higher level and maybe people don't really want to have to do that.
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#43 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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There is nothing wrong with respecting others, but having to treat others as intelligent too is taking this to a higher level and maybe people don't really want to have to do that.
I would still like to know what you mean by this.
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#44 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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And as people we need to be realistic about this and ask ourselves why there are so many people who have a moral superiority about them yet we still have plenty of inequality. Even in gifted programs you have all the 'nice' parents who claim that we need to work on including more minorities and those from lower socio-economic groups, but somehow I feel that there is emptiness and a placating of their liberal guilt in those words.
Though it may not have much to do with the opening post, I'm curious as to why you think a liberal political view affects gifted programs. Do you think entry should be based strictly on scores, without the goal of racial and/or economic diversity? Do you think such goals are motivated only by "liberal guilt"? Is the stereoptypical gifted person of a certain race or economic class?

Your definition of respect seems to equate "respect" with a thinking that the other person or view is somehow "lesser than," but this is not the definition used in common parlance. Being respectful is not equivalent to being condescending. In order to "respect" someone, you do not have to be "right," with the other person being "wrong."
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#45 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Exactly and this version of respect is more of the popular usage of it so when you tell your gifted kid to 'respect' the non-gifties you are really sending a clear message from your subconscious about what you really think of them and it is condescending.

And since I don't particularly like this version of 'respect' I probably wouldn't tell my kids to 'respect' those with severe disabilities either. In my eastern heritage we see people who have severe disabilities as having taken on a much more challenging life to develop spiritually and this is no easy feat. Most spiritual entities would not choose such a difficult life. As for being in the same peer group, the reality is that they are not, even when grown ups try to force this to happen in more liberal communities. The children may even be in the same school, but they don't choose to 'hang out' socially. That's just what the kids choose.
I think I now understand part of the gap in the way "respect" is being looked at. I think it is a cultural/linguistics issue. I have some perspective on this from my chinese-canadian DH.

What has generally been translated as "respect" from Asian languages is a concept that is closure to devoted-obidience. When MIL uses the word respect and talks about respect for elders, she really means that DH needs to do what she says, act how she wants, and think the same way she does.

Generally when european-americans or african-americans talk about "respect" they simply are talking about viewing others as people of value, seeing that the other person view point is valid, seeing that the other person is worthy of fair treatment, and so forth. We usually talk about showing respect for those that are different from us, b/c all those things a pretty much automatic if the other person looks/thinks/acts/etc just like we do. It is only when the other person is somehow different (be it race, religion, age, socio-economic status, political view point, fashion sense, etc) that respect becomes a necessary element to get along with that other person.

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#46 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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On another note: this thread actually inspired me to look up one of the most classic "nerdy" guys from my elementary and high school (which was a selective school for gifted kids). The one who pops to mind when I think of the "gifted stereotype". The one with the poor social skills, terrible fashion (and with a mom who was very similar), who was a strange and withdrawn all through school, is now a head honcho at, lets just say, an extremely well known internet company (who knows, maybe he has kids and reads this forum, don't want to put too much identifying info in there).

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#47 of 55 Old 05-27-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Um. Well, I think that you and I must be using the word "respect" to mean different things, if you don't think it is something one should have for one's peers.

What exactly do you mean when you say that ND kids (as distinguished from special needs kids) are intelligent people? It sounds as though you are denying that there is a difference between ND and gifted people. As I said, I believe that intelligence is a spectrum, and it makes no sense to me to think of it as an absolute, that you either are or are not intelligent.

It makes perfect sense to me to treat all people as equals. It makes perfect sense to me to treat one's peers (however they are defined) as one's peers. But it does not make sense to treat people who are not the same as though they are the same. If you are a naturally fast walker, and you have a friend who is a slower walker, you either slow down when you walk together, or you ride your bikes instead.
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I think I now understand part of the gap in the way "respect" is being looked at. I think it is a cultural/linguistics issue. I have some perspective on this from my chinese-canadian DH.

What has generally been translated as "respect" from Asian languages is a concept that is closure to devoted-obidience. When MIL uses the word respect and talks about respect for elders, she really means that DH needs to do what she says, act how she wants, and think the same way she does.

Generally when european-americans or african-americans talk about "respect" they simply are talking about viewing others as people of value, seeing that the other person view point is valid, seeing that the other person is worthy of fair treatment, and so forth. We usually talk about showing respect for those that are different from us, b/c all those things a pretty much automatic if the other person looks/thinks/acts/etc just like we do. It is only when the other person is somehow different (be it race, religion, age, socio-economic status, political view point, fashion sense, etc) that respect becomes a necessary element to get along with that other person.
I just wanted to add this about the definition of "respect" - from a social science point of view "respect" is equated with "social distancing." You see this a lot in Eastern cultures, Native American cultures and Western cultures too - at least in formalized settings. You can kind of understand it as a duty of individuals to pay attention to the social asymmetries of differing social roles. So, there may be lots of rules about respecting elders, in-laws, someone of different gender, class, etc., but you really wouldn't be socialized to "respect" your friends in this sense. It is a much more formal, traditional use of the word that we've gotten away from in the U.S.

In pop American culture in the past 30+years the word "respect" can almost be defined as seeing an inherent value in someone or even something. i.e. I remind my dd to respect people's spaces or even her toys.
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#48 of 55 Old 05-28-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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Though it may not have much to do with the opening post, I'm curious as to why you think a liberal political view affects gifted programs. Do you think entry should be based strictly on scores, without the goal of racial and/or economic diversity? Do you think such goals are motivated only by "liberal guilt"? Is the stereoptypical gifted person of a certain race or economic class?
These are good questions for discussion, maybe on another thread. I don't want to go way off topic.
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#49 of 55 Old 05-28-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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On another note: this thread actually inspired me to look up one of the most classic "nerdy" guys from my elementary and high school (which was a selective school for gifted kids). The one who pops to mind when I think of the "gifted stereotype". The one with the poor social skills, terrible fashion (and with a mom who was very similar), who was a strange and withdrawn all through school, is now a head honcho at, lets just say, an extremely well known internet company (who knows, maybe he has kids and reads this forum, don't want to put too much identifying info in there).
It looked like it all worked out for him. You know I was talking about social skills among the gifted with a friend once and she believed, at least in her personal experience, that there is an inverse relationship between intellectualism and social skills. She said that for her, as her social skills have increased her IQ has decreased somewhat. But she had no regret about this because she was much happier as a more average social being than a lonely gifted being.

The other poster who said that introversion is linked to higher IQs is right and the higher the IQ, the higher the likelihood of introversion. Maybe an effort to become more extroverted could actually change the brain's way of operating and could decrease some gifted traits. I could see how it could be possible.

Does anyone recall the Terman study of highly gifted youths? I remember reading that none of the kids who qualified for the program actually ended up being great intellectuals. They became professionals such as doctors and engineers, but didn't make any ground breaking discoveries. And one of the reasons for this is that they didn't have the creativity aspect and at least some of them hinted that they 'chose' to lead a more regular life, to be socially normal, have a happy family and so forth. And of course, they still had their high IQ, but it seems that in choosing to be more 'socially acceptable' they sacrificed some of their potential.

So with regards to the Terman kids, they had every right to live their lives they way they wanted and needed to, but I think it should give us pause when we make huge attempts to get smart kids to try and fit in. Are we somehow killing some of their giftedness when we do so?
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#50 of 55 Old 05-28-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Exactly and this version of respect is more of the popular usage of it so when you tell your gifted kid to 'respect' the non-gifties you are really sending a clear message from your subconscious about what you really think of them and it is condescending.

And since I don't particularly like this version of 'respect' I probably wouldn't tell my kids to 'respect' those with severe disabilities either. In my eastern heritage we see people who have severe disabilities as having taken on a much more challenging life to develop spiritually and this is no easy feat. Most spiritual entities would not choose such a difficult life. As for being in the same peer group, the reality is that they are not, even when grown ups try to force this to happen in more liberal communities. The children may even be in the same school, but they don't choose to 'hang out' socially. That's just what the kids choose.

This is unbelievably offensive. I can't tell if you sincerely believe what you are writing, or you are just clueless., or if you are trying to incite debate. The fact that anyone responds to this type of remark, including me, is more respect than your ideas deserve.
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#51 of 55 Old 05-28-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I think it should give us pause when we make huge attempts to get smart kids to try and fit in. Are we somehow killing some of their giftedness when we do so?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#52 of 55 Old 05-28-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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This is unbelievably offensive. I can't tell if you sincerely believe what you are writing, or you are just clueless., or if you are trying to incite debate. The fact that anyone responds to this type of remark, including me, is more respect than your ideas deserve.
There's been a distinctly trollish vibe on this forum for a while now. I am trying to ignore and hoping that people looking for genuine feedback and/or support aren't scared off.

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#53 of 55 Old 05-29-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Does anyone recall the Terman study of highly gifted youths? I remember reading that none of the kids who qualified for the program actually ended up being great intellectuals. They became professionals such as doctors and engineers, but didn't make any ground breaking discoveries. And one of the reasons for this is that they didn't have the creativity aspect and at least some of them hinted that they 'chose' to lead a more regular life, to be socially normal, have a happy family and so forth. And of course, they still had their high IQ, but it seems that in choosing to be more 'socially acceptable' they sacrificed some of their potential.

So with regards to the Terman kids, they had every right to live their lives they way they wanted and needed to, but I think it should give us pause when we make huge attempts to get smart kids to try and fit in. Are we somehow killing some of their giftedness when we do so?
It could be a side-effect of Terman cooking his sample. Terman specifically wanted to prove that gifted people were well adjusted and happy and healthy. He rejected children for the study who were quirky. He made sure his starting sample was socially well adjusted. He probably ended up with a sample who placed a high emphasis on social conformity, instead of creativity and a willingness to step outside social bounds to innovate.

Terman's data is interesting on an anecdotal basis, but useless to generalize from.
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#54 of 55 Old 05-31-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Havent read all the posts. Here's my 2 cents.

Im going with the notion expressed earlier, that a child whose academic needs are not being met, is going to find refuge in things that
a)might make them seem different
b)will take also protect them from the urgency of fitting in. If they re invested emotionally in some subject, then they care less about fitting in with their peers
c)it takes the energy required to fit in with their peers. Lets face it, it takes a certain amount of energy to follow fashion, buy it, wear it etc. You have to care enough to invest that energy.

A non gifted child doesn’t have that refuge. They cant go home and play their piano sonata, and continue composing their opera, they don’t get to write their 4 part epic novel, they don’t get to be inspired by investigating mathematical theorems.

All they’ve got in is commercial/family/peer culture immediately avaiable to them(these may be the same or not ) (well, they might have other refuges too, im generalizing here for the sake of argument)

Their need to fit in is more immediate, more intense. So they make the effort.

They might actually feel the need to pass the ‘virginity’ test ( we had that at age 12, which required boys poking your private parts)

Gifted kids are more likely to be able to see the bigger picture, and not feel such an urgent need to succumb to peer pressure.

On the other hand, I am not saying peer pressure or culture is bad. It doesn’t have to be. It is what it is.

A gifted person is just more likely to do their own thing for this reason. They will be the same way as adults, regardless of temperament.

On the other hand, they might get a lot out of fitting in, and put their effort there.

Im just saying , on the whole, they have a way out, so they are more likely to stand out or be deemed ‘weird’.

Theres also a higher proportion of the aspies on the gifted category, and they don’t have the social skills because of a medical condition. anyway. So that contributes to the stereotype.

Social skilles are important, and a gifted person might be gifted in that area too. So it doesn’t have to be either or. Its just a pattern that I think is behind the stereotype.

Also, I think when a gifted persons emotional needs are met, then they are more likely to fit in. This is true for anyone. You put in the effort, where you get the reward.
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#55 of 55 Old 06-01-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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This is interesting. Around pg9 there's a study comparing gifted gr3s to their peers. The book is 2004
http://books.google.com/books?id=B1V...page&q&f=false

Social/emotional issues, underachievement, and counseling of gifted...

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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