Mildly gifted most likely to be underachievers - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 07-26-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...20~frm=abslink

"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 study appears to contradict what I have read regarding gifted kids, that it is the highly gifted who are most at risk for underachieving. If the results of this study are in fact true, that it is the mildly gifted who have the most trouble living up their potential, I wonder why that would be. Is this group comprised of children who are more highly gifted, but who have learning disabilities? Do these kids have problems finding the right peer group; are they somewhere in between the smarties and the regular kids?
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#2 of 31 Old 07-26-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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I still need to read the article so I will probably be back to post more once I finish it.

But based on what I read, I would wonder if these aren't the kids who are "falling between the cracks" So kids who either just miss the cutoff for gifted services but still aren't adequately challenged in the general classroom, or kids whose advanced skills don't stand out to such a degree that they get refereed for services even though they may qualify for them.

They may also be the kids who get just enough out of the regular classroom to not be completely miserable in that setting and therefore find no internal or external drive to make changes to the situation.

Off to read the article - never mind I don't have access to the full text. I'll have to see if I can get access through the local college library later.

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#3 of 31 Old 07-26-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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fascinating.

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#4 of 31 Old 07-26-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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I can't access the full article. I wonder if the study reflects some change that has been occurring in the schools. Possibly these days highly gifted students are more likely to be appropriately educated in schools, but mildly and moderately gifted students are being ignored.

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#5 of 31 Old 07-26-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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I just skimmed the study and several important factors stand out:

1. The study was conducted in the Netherlands, which has a very different educational system than the US. In the Netherlands, children are 'tracked' into different types of schools (academic, general ed, vocational) at the age of 12, based on grades and teacher recommendations.

2. The mildly gifted kids were more likely to be recommended for general ed vs. academic ed, which might show that more of them were mismatched in terms of their academic needs.

3. The purpose of the study was to see if highly gifted kids were more likely than others to have academic or social issues. The results were that they were not.

4. The mildly gifted kids were somewhat more likely to have problems (e.g., underachieve in test scores) than the more gifted kids, but the difference wasn't huge.

"In the literature, extensive lists can be found of problems of highly gifted
students, which are partly school related, like disliking school, underachievement, social isolation, and bad study habits. In this study, it was analyzed to which degree these problems are manifest within the category of highly and moderately gifted students, both belonging to the top 2.5% of the IQ distribution. The extent to which these problems occurred was compared to the extent of these problems within two adjacent categories of giftedness, the mildly gifted and the aboveaverage
intelligent students. The analyses show a consistent picture. Not any of
them reveal that these categories of gifted students have specific problems.
However, if one giftedness category should be labeled as a particular problematic category on the basis of the analyses in this study, the category of the mildly gifted would be the most eligible. (p. 567, bolding and italics mine)

I read this article to say that there's more of a mismatch between ability and educational placement for the mildly gifted kids than for the moderately and highly gifted kids.

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#6 of 31 Old 07-29-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I haven't had a chance to read the article, but I am going to soon. I don't doubt the truth of it. I am mildly gifted, nothing cool and exciting and super smart, but enough that I didn't fit in with my peers until I learned to dumb myself down. I was diagnosed as gifted outside of the school setting, but was never officially "diagnosed" in school. I performed very well on any test I was given, and any assignment I chose to do, but most of it was super boring. I hated doing homework when it was just doing the same stuff over again, so my school marks were never perfect because I rarely handed stuff in.

That was my experience. As a beginning teacher, I am seeing this A LOT. Students aren't referred for testing unless they are getting 100% on everything and behave well. I have been in schools where there were maybe 3 students identified as gifted out of 300. That doesn't make sense, especially if you are including the mildly gifted.

I think it will get better slowly. I think that if differentiated learning/project-based learning catches on and is implemented properly, mildly gifted kids will be challenged enough. However, we have a long way to go!
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#7 of 31 Old 07-29-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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I have a friend from high school that I think was gifted, but he just didn't bother paying attention or doing anything in class. He ended up in all the "slow" classes which just exacerbated things. I think he dropped out of school in 11th grade or something. It was really sad

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#8 of 31 Old 07-29-2010, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Proxi View Post
I haven't had a chance to read the article, but I am going to soon. I don't doubt the truth of it. I am mildly gifted, nothing cool and exciting and super smart, but enough that I didn't fit in with my peers until I learned to dumb myself down. I was diagnosed as gifted outside of the school setting, but was never officially "diagnosed" in school. I performed very well on any test I was given, and any assignment I chose to do, but most of it was super boring. I hated doing homework when it was just doing the same stuff over again, so my school marks were never perfect because I rarely handed stuff in.
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.
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#9 of 31 Old 07-29-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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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.
I was the same way as Proxi. I actually just missed the cutoff for gifted services by one point (according to my parents). I did participate in some talent search opportunities outside of school but once again usually found myself barely below cutoffs.

I didn't understand why my classmates grasped things so slowly, it was painful to do group work or wait for my classmates. So normally I just tuned out and daydreamed.

The work was easy. But I quickly figured out that I didn't need to put any extra work into learning the material and usually satisfied myself with Bs and absolutely no work on my part instead of moderate or minimal work for As. I rarely handed assignments in and spent the last weeks of every semester handing in the minimum amount of make up work that the teacher absolutely insisted upon.

I understood the materials so there was no one real interested in motivating me or getting me up to classroom base knowledge. I didn't qualify for advanced classes or gifted enrichment so there just wasn't a whole lot for the teachers to do with me.

Once I got to high school I found that I often didn't have the prerequisites for advance classes I wanted to take. (so only the gifted kids took algebra in 8th grade I didn't qualify for the 8th grade class so there was no way to make it to Calculus by my senior without taking a summer college algebra class, which I did, instead of precalc.) So usually, I muddled along in the non-advanced classroom and read a book during classtime, or daydreamed when I was told I couldn't have my book.

Plus I often didn't think of myself as that smart. I wasn't gifted. So when the gifted kids took AP history I decided that it sounded like too much work because I wasn't sure I belonged there. Though the history teacher in the class I did take was horrified that I didn't take the AP class while he watched me ace his class with an obvious lack of effort (he even spoke to me and tried to get me to let him have me moved to the harder class). I, honestly thought it would be too hard, because I obviously wasn't as smart as those kids and I heard many of them complain of the difficulty of the class.

I got lots of lectures from teachers about "working up to my full potential" and plenty of notes to my parents about the same. But that was less than inspiring to say the least.

I coasted, and read and daydreamed my way through school. I'm undeniably very bright. But my grades have never reflected that and I'm on the lazy side. If that's because of a lack of challenge growing up or just my innate personality type I couldn't say.

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#10 of 31 Old 07-29-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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Hey JollyGG. Couldn't have said it better. ;-)
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#11 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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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.
I don't know if I can explain in short form, but I will do my best! When I was in elementary, things were okay. By the time grade six rolled around, things weren't so good. I distinctly remember when I had scored very high on a standardized test and during assembly they announced it and call me up to the front as a congratulations. Why do I remember that? Because afterward, I was teased so mercilessly that I didn't want to go to school again. In grade seven, things were so bad that my parents drove me to school and picked me up, and asked the school to keep me in at recess so I could read in the library rather than deal with my peers outside at recess. I am not saying this was just horrible kids, and it wasn't my fault. I definitely played a hand in it. Other kids were talking about the Simpsons and lip gloss... I wanted to discuss world religion and I think I was going through a world geography phase during that time as well. Possibly a bit of science fiction as well. At first it was okay, I had friends outside of school (all 3-4 years older than me who I had met through out of school clubs and the neighborhood), but then it just got to be too much and I realized I had to change. I tried to start talking about stuff that interested the other kids but it was too late.

I changed schools after grade seven, and basically changed a lot of my personality. I was still a bit "odd" but in my new school it was more eccentric rather than anything else. I knew never to share my test and assignment marks with anyone else. I was fairly popular, and I didn't drop out of school, but I was definitely an underachiever. Would I go back and change things? No. I will never be a super-extrovert, but I would never wish to go back to being a complete outcast eight hours a day, most days of the week.

Yup, couldn't keep it short lol! Sorry about that!
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#12 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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I was considered gifted in elementary school and high school, and now at 41 I'd say mildly gifted applies to me. I have some gifts. But I was also just gifted enough to be bored by 90% of school but not gifted enough to be sent on to junior college--like my sister, who did her last two years of high school at a community college because the high school recognized they had nothing left to teach her! I did much better once I got to college and could follow my own interests. I am very successful in my field now, and had a good college career, but I think in high school I was considered an underachiever, I went to a good liberal arts college but not ivy league and not for free like my sister, who I really think is brilliant.
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#13 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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People say the gifted label can cause underachievement, but I actually think not getting the label when a student could have it (such as the posters above) is more likely to cause underachievement. I was actually 'kicked out' of a gifted program because of one test score and to the other students' surprise and even that of my teachers I was never admitted back in. So like JollyGG I eventually lost interest in excelling. Over the years teachers would announce that I made the best grade in the class or that I made the best grade on a math final out of all the classes and I was always so indifferent. I was told by my elementary school counselor that I didn't have a gifted IQ, but if I did well in school it was because I was a good hard worker. I knew that I really wasn't working very hard at all, but it was assumed that I was because nothing else could explain why I regularly beat out the 'gifted kids'. For some years I did put in some effort to at least finish my classwork well and get in my homework, I think in an effort to prove to myself that I was actually smart. But eventually I lost interest in a lot of that routine work that was only challenging because it required endless repetition. In high school, teachers would tell me to take the advanced version, but I had zero self-esteem by that time. I got back some motivation in college, but I never seemed to get 'on track'. I know my kids have high IQs and both my parents, but I only have a bright IQ with a bunch of gifted traits (sensitivities, curiosity, strong drive for self study)?

I did have a best friend in early elementary school whose IQ was around mine and who also just missed the cut-off. I grew up in one of the most educated areas in the country so there was a lot of genetic competition I guess. Well in fourth grade she moved to Florida and the school there immediately put her in a gifted school where she remained until graduation. She ended up much more successful academically than me and just a lot more confident in general.
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#14 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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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.
I think any child is capable of having social issues (particularly in the American public school system...). When they talk about EG/PG kids, I think they mean exceptional/profound social issues- like the inability to relate to their peers. "Dumbing" yourself down, while not good for the kid being forced to do it, is actually a socially-acceptable social tool that EG/PG kids simply aren't capable of doing.

Like, if your IQ is 180, dumbing yourself down to seem average is just as easy as a kid with an IQ of 20 trying to appear average- it just ain't happening. The margin is just too great to even conceptualize what it's like to be average, whereas a kid with an IQ of 120 or 80 can more easily find ways to appear more typical.

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#15 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think any child is capable of having social issues (particularly in the American public school system...). When they talk about EG/PG kids, I think they mean exceptional/profound social issues- like the inability to relate to their peers. "Dumbing" yourself down, while not good for the kid being forced to do it, is actually a socially-acceptable social tool that EG/PG kids simply aren't capable of doing.

Like, if your IQ is 180, dumbing yourself down to seem average is just as easy as a kid with an IQ of 20 trying to appear average- it just ain't happening. The margin is just too great to even conceptualize what it's like to be average, whereas a kid with an IQ of 120 or 80 can more easily find ways to appear more typical.
Acting 'dumber' is just that, acting, and I think this has more to do with acting ability than anything else. Some kids might refuse to 'act dumber' because they need authenticity, real friendship with equals, cannot act because of ASD or are just bad at acting. I think a lot of social skills classes are basically acting classes.
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#16 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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Acting 'dumber' is just that, acting, and I think this has more to do with acting ability than anything else. Some kids might refuse to 'act dumber' because they need authenticity, real friendship with equals, cannot act because of ASD or are just bad at acting. I think a lot of social skills classes are basically acting classes.
Maybe.

The difference between EG/PG kids and average kids (heck, even moderately gifted kids) is so tremendously profound that no amount of "acting" is ever going to make them fit in with their age-based peers. It's asking the impossible of them.

I mean, ask an adult to hang out with a bunch of 5-year-olds while wearing a magical "preschooler suit" to look the same physically and fit in. We'll never, ever be able to do it, no matter how smart we are, because we just have no understanding of how to pretend to be a 5-year-old convincingly, and anything we come up with will only alienate the kids or make them laugh. I'm a fairly talented actress, and I still couldn't get a bunch of 5-year-olds to believe I'm one of them.

To me, that's how it is for radically gifted kids. Yeah, you look 5, but the level you're on is so different that it's understandable that you can't figure out how to be like them. No matter how hard you try, the other kids see your otherness, and it spooks them. The EG/PG kid is always aware of their square-pegness, as are the other kids.

Just-barely and moderately gifted kids have a smaller gulf between them and "regular" kids, so it's a lot easier to figure out the nuances to fit in. That's more like asking a 7-year-old to fit in with a bunch of 5-year-olds. There'll be some struggles at first, but quickly, the 5-year-olds will be able to play with that child very happily as a peer, and will default to assigning leadership roles to the older child. Eventually you'll see the play of the 5-year-olds mature a little, and may see the 7-year-old resorting to more immature behavior, but they'll end up getting along just fine.

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#17 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Like, if your IQ is 180, dumbing yourself down to seem average is just as easy as a kid with an IQ of 20 trying to appear average- it just ain't happening. The margin is just too great to even conceptualize what it's like to be average, whereas a kid with an IQ of 120 or 80 can more easily find ways to appear more typical.
I disagree. The brighter and more social savvy someone is, the easier it is to appear *typical.* My DH does it quite well. He's brilliant but can talk to any body. He's an executive in an aerospace firm but can talk to shop floor workers as easily as customers, engineers, other execs, etc.

It's a special kind of gift and one that can be developed. Bill Clinton has it, but Hillary does not!

People who can fit themselves to who they are talking to are more likely to be successful than those who can't. One could argue that they have a better chance of bringing their gifts to the world because they are more adept at interacting with other humans.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#18 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I disagree. The brighter and more social savvy someone is, the easier it is to appear *typical.* My DH does it quite well. He's brilliant but can talk to any body. He's an executive in an aerospace firm but can talk to shop floor workers as easily as customers, engineers, other execs, etc.

It's a special kind of gift and one that can be developed. Bill Clinton has it, but Hillary does not!

People who can fit themselves to who they are talking to are more likely to be successful than those who can't. One could argue that they have a better chance of bringing their gifts to the world because they are more adept at interacting with other humans.
Well yeah, but that's like the brighter and more artistic you are, the better art you'll make. One can be tremendously charming and charismatic while still not possessing good social skills, which do need to be learned. It's just that most people learn social skills naturally as they grow, while some need to be directly taught how to relate. This is true for people of all abilities.

Bill Clinton isn't profoundly gifted. His IQ is roughly in the 130s. Hillary is in the 140s. Bill Gates? 160. Bobby Fischer? 180+. (Source.) (Cox used the SB, making them MG, MG, EG, and PG, respectively.) [/URL] Obviously this anec-data isn't significant, but I used those 4 to illustrate 4 well-known people with above-average IQs, and put them on a scale of social savvy, from most to least.

It's also a different ballpark entirely when discussing social ability in gifted kids. As I said above, IMO, a EG/PG kid sticks out far and beyond his/her age-based peers. By adulthood, you don't see the same struggles, as they've learned some sort of coping mechanism and/or figured out social nuances. Kids are still learning, so you'll see much greater differences in how the same EG/PG person behaves and is responded to at 3, 8, 15, and 35.

I mean, personally, I don't struggle with social stuff at all anymore. Not because I'm super-awesome at it, but because I taught myself not to care. My husband, who is also terribly bright, is now a very, very successful salesman, the same man who as a child struggled daily to "fit in," and was tormented and alienated at every turn.

Regardless the study in the OP didn't examine exceptionally or profoundly gifted kids, just gifted, moderately-, and highly-gifted kids, and found no social issues with those subsets.

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#19 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I agree. i don't think it has anything to do with IQ. My IQ tested very high as a child (I didn't realize just how high it really was until I was teaching special ed and really figured out what it meant to be that many standard deviations above the mean).

Perhaps it was because I was typical in my family (lots of nerdy brainiacs on both sides of the extended family) and perhaps it is because I went to elementary school at the public school that served the graduate student housing and the young professors at an Ivy League institution, but I actually have very good social skills, and very quickly learned how to navigate social situations appropriately.

I am watching my 4 year old son struggle now with social skills--he appears to be on the same trajectory as i was as a child, but is much more extroverted than i was, so it is harder for him since I was happy to observe and talk to the adults, and he really wants to be in the mix.

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.
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#20 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Well yeah, but that's like the brighter and more artistic you are, the better art you'll make. One can be tremendously charming and charismatic while still not possessing good social skills, which do need to be learned. It's just that most people learn social skills naturally as they grow, while some need to be directly taught how to relate. This is true for people of all abilities.


I have plenty of examples in my DH's family of brilliant people who were blessed with social savvy and have used the combination to go far in the business world.

Then there are others like me who might understand how to be savvy but is somewhat crippled with social anxiety stemming from a brain that goes a mile a minute. It takes a lot for me to just enjoy a conversation with someone and not be thinking about all the angles like it is some chess game. I then come across as uncomfortable and unengaged.

hmmmm. I would say everyone out there who believes they underacheived has a list of excuses. It is only those with high IQs or people who think they have high IQs that blame their intelligence which seems so backward.

I, myself have no regrets academically, but I do have issues with my parents and how they parented me in regards to my intelligence. They never ever ever advocated for me. My parents were just absent when it came to my academic life. I can't even say that they were unimpressed, because it was like they were just clueless. I was the firstborn of many, and they just took me for granted. I even went to a top 25 school and there were like, 'eh'. I was left overcoming a lot and doing things for myself.

Oh, and I would consider myself mildly gifted, with some very strong sub-gifts. Up until highschool I was way under the radar, despite scoring 99s on every single standardized test. I remember bringing all of them to my mom at the end of the years. I got a "hmm, that's good." as if it were a spelling test.
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#21 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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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.)

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#22 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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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.
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#23 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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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!)

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#24 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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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:
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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.
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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.
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#26 of 31 Old 07-30-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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People have such different lives and experiences that I think it's hard to really profile them based on IQ ranges.
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#27 of 31 Old 07-31-2010, 06:11 AM
 
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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.
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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.

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#29 of 31 Old 07-31-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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"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.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#30 of 31 Old 08-02-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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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.
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