Do gifted children grow to be gifted adults? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This question has crossed my mind many times. Just curious what the take is on this. There's no "gifted adults" program at the workplace like there is for children in schools.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:27 PM
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Honestly, I don't think I entirely understand the question....But yes, for the most part, gifted children become gifted adults. How that actually plays out in thier lives, however, varies greatly based on personal preferences/values as well as the opportunities that they had as youngsters and continue to have as adults. Some professions may have a tendency to attract a higher number of "gifties" than others (doctors, professors, researchers, etc), but you'll find gifties in ALL walks of life, socio-economic classes, and workplaces performing a vast array of duties and services. Some satisfied by their work, others not. I think a lot has to do with how their giftedness was treated during their school years and whether it was recognized/acknowledged and then further encouraged. Come check out the gifted adults tribe

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Old 12-20-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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Interesting question. Barring results from an IQ test, how would a gifted adult be defined? Maybe a continued desire to learn and stretch your mind?

EVC: I totally agree and in fact just wrote a post related to this in the "Toys for the Gifted Baby" thread.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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Depends on the parents supporting/nuturing that gift.

My parents discouraged all my ideas and had they been supportive/encouraging I could have had alot more potential.

At 13 I was at my peak but then I caught on that I was treated differently at home. My sibblings would be rewarded for getting 60s and I would be expected to have 100% in all subjects and take care of the house since I was the oldest. They never showed any feelings of being proud or acknowleged any of my volunteer work. They discouraged me from joining music/sports so they never came to any of my games, presentations or award ceremonies where I received numerous volunteer and academic awards. So at 16 (my last year in high school) till 19 when I left home - I rebelled. My siblings were paid to brush their teeth, got a bike or prize for getting a 60% and never had any chores. I felt overwelmed and unapreciated and gave up.

Then I married my husband who also was a gifted child but had the support of his family and I picked it right back up. I'm not as strong in all subject but am strong in business/finances/science/art history.

I wish I had completed my bachelor but I had to get away from home. Even without a degree I became an entrepreneur with a 6 figure salary all by myself till I decided to be a stay at home mom. My husband skipped levels in his career due to his knowlege level and field expertise.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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I think the question should be more why on earth would it matter?

School is a very regimented, stratified thing, focussed entirely on learning so it makes sense to make accomodation for different learning styles with labels like gifted. But once you're out of school, you're free to do what you want with your life. If that means night school for the rest of your life or reading textbooks for fun, there's no need for any special provisions or any label for you to do that.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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Interesting question...I was a gifted child, specifically in verbal/mathematical learning (musical? artistic? bodily/kinesthetic? not so much). Your stereotypical nerd, if you will.

I think traditionally gifted children may turn into "smart" adults, but I'm not sure if it matters beyond that--you don't need to be gifted to succeed in most professions, even those normally associated with intelligence. I read faster than anyone I know (1000+ pages a day if I need to), which helps with law school, but it won't make me a better lawyer. That comes with practice. (There's an old joke: What do you call a C law student after graduation? "Your Honor.")

Children with athletic or artistic gifts may turn out to be adults with athletic or artistic gifts, where I think it matters more--you can't be an Olympic athlete absent some gifts (practice and determination can only take you so far).

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:32 PM
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i think they do. i met my husband, who is one of the smartest people i've ever known when he delivered me a pizza. he was in the army for 4 years and this is his 8th year of college. he's getting his BS in may. he spent the time in between drinking, protesting the war, and learning about magic. so yeah, i think people who have a special talent for learning always have a special talent for learning. what they do with it is entirely their choice. i'd be willing to bet that at some point in your life a real live genius has brought you a pizza, washed your car, or sold you something over the phone. many of them were probably quite happy doing it too.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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Gifted children might advance in their career faster as adults.

What I find common with adults who were labeled gifted as children is their hobbies in adulthood. For instance, I study insects and amphibians in my spare time - for fun. I have a collection of 300 insects, a lizard skeleton labeled and numbered, a shark jaw ect. If you ask me what I want for birthdays/Christmas it's always something I want to learn more about - ie. xeriscape gardening, solar power, alternative medicine ect.

My husband is the same - we have several hobbies all education based and not common in most households.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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Achievement is more based on desire to work without short term doggie biscuits.

High IQ children become higher IQ adults in general although I think there is a documented drift towards the mean with age.
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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Watergarden, Hmmm...I should get to know you better. It seems you and my 'gifted' daughter have a lot in common. I often wonder what she'll be like as she grows up. For Christmas she asked for a digital camera "so I can take wildlife photography, mom" and a microscope ("But not one of the kid ones, mom, b/c I really need to see at the atomic level.") (She's 7). The 'acceptable' microscope was outside our realm of financial ability. Thankfully, digital cameras are much more affordable.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
High IQ children become higher IQ adults in general although I think there is a documented drift towards the mean with age.
Well, yes-- my mother lost two IQ points between the ages of 12 and 56. However, even after three documented strokes and a month in a coma (18 days on a ventilator) over the summer, her IQ remains high enough that they could not evaluate her properly without a complete battery. They have no idea how much she's actually lost, intellectually speaking, from that coma (though she says that she feels clearer than she did after the stroke, and certainly her conversational skills bear this out).

I think that the question you're asking is one that comes from confusing intellectual ability with achievment. Do gifted children grow up to be gifted adults? Of course they do. Do gifted children grow up to do lots of fancy things, and get famous and whatnot? Some do, but most don't. There are loads of reasons for that; Go look at the Gifted Adults tribe, you'll find loads of opinions there.

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Old 12-21-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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Do you mean "do high-achieving children turn into high-achieving adults" or "do gifted children turn into gifted adults"? Some of the responses were in answer to the first, I think.

Oh, now I see eilonwy already pretty much said that.

But the answer is yes.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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This article might be interesting to you:

http://www.sengifted.org/articles_ad...dExChild.shtml

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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Old 12-22-2007, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
This article might be interesting to you:

http://www.sengifted.org/articles_ad...dExChild.shtml
Interesting! Thanks for posting

PhDin' mama to dd (Oct. 2005)
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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The answer is yes, gifted children are gifted adults. I don't think one just stops being gifted. It doesn't matter as much intellectually, but it does social emotionally. Great question.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the question should be more why on earth would it matter?

School is a very regimented, stratified thing, focussed entirely on learning so it makes sense to make accomodation for different learning styles with labels like gifted. But once you're out of school, you're free to do what you want with your life. If that means night school for the rest of your life or reading textbooks for fun, there's no need for any special provisions or any label for you to do that.
I guess this answers my question best. (Sorry for the long time to reply...I'm just getting around to reading the responses) I guess the thing that "bugs" me (for lack of a better definition) is that I was labeled "gifted" as a child. I can't say that I necessarily "feel" gifted now or even that I did then. I guess I just feel like I was "accelerated" in school and not truly gifted since I don't really feel gifted now. I don't feel like I have gifts beyond others with my same educational background. Also, I'm really trying to avoid labeling my own DD, I'm sure because of how I feel about it. Besides, we're planning on homeschooling, so it won't matter.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
This article might be interesting to you:

http://www.sengifted.org/articles_ad...dExChild.shtml
Very!! Thank you!
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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It depends on how you define "gifted adult".

I was certainly "gifted" for academic labelling purposes as a child.

However, I'm not an "high achieving" adult and have never had interest, even though I was given the opportunity to go on to grad school, it just wasn't my thing. I feel that the awesome support I was given as a PERSON (rather than a test score) helped me realize that it wasn't my thing and kept me from being hung up on numbers and percentages as my identity. I know quite a few of my fellow gifted kids who felt like catastrophic failures when they didn't take over the world or get a PhD or whatever it is that they thought they "ought" to do or if they weren't constantly given feedback about their talents/gifts through testing or achieving things on the list. So I do understand your concerns with the labeling. Really though, avoiding the gifted label isn't protection against that (look at the myriad of former cheerleader/star-athlete/loser/geek/whatevers who are always looking back to what they were rather than where they're going). If you ensure that your child has people that they respect that know how to nurture both their gifts AND their person, I think they'll be fine.

I like being totally removed from professional life. It gives me time to think and to be on my own terms. I'm happy and satisfied with my life, even though I have seen people literally react with horror (normally in the context of them talking about their gifted children's achievements) when I mention that I was also labeled gifted (of course, I was also labeled retarded too at one point, but that's a different story)--because I'm not someone discovering the cure for cancer or a juliard graduate...I'm a fat jeans-n-tees housewife whose major post-college accomplishements are hanging out with homeless folks and supporting felons re-enter society and my 3 kids...all of which certainly don't require a high IQ.

So if you are thinking about hard driving achievement oriented as far as gifted adults--then no, I have to say most of the the people I know burnt out long before that (not everyone though). If you are thinking of lifelong facination and devotion to learning for oneself at one's own pace, then yeah, I think most of us do retain some portion of that, regardless of whether or not we're inclined or choose to channel it into outward achievement.

If you're feeling bummed at not having anything to show for your childhood label, I'd encourage you to turn your mind and heart inward. Is there anythign missing in your life that is making you focus on that perceived failure? How could you fix it? (I love that many Ivy League and excellent state universities now offer courses/lectures on DVD/CD, I did that for awhile when I got pangs and found that exercising my mind and listening to some rockin' and amusing professors satisfied me, especially since I had no obligations but to listen and learn and research more if I was moved to do so.)

No one "fails" being gifted. And I don't agree that it's always that someone failed you either. Sometimes the path we end up going down differs radically from what was expected of us or we internalized. You know what? That is okay. If you're not happy with it, the nice thing is that you CAN choose to step off the current path and go a few steps in a different direction and see how you like it. But I would avoid getting hung up on what you may think you're "supposed" to be doing. Think instead of what you are doing, and what you genuinely would like to be doing. If that's some kind of external achievement, that's cool--just put it as your goal and start taking small steps.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post

I think that the question you're asking is one that comes from confusing intellectual ability with achievment. Do gifted children grow up to be gifted adults? Of course they do. Do gifted children grow up to do lots of fancy things, and get famous and whatnot? Some do, but most don't. There are loads of reasons for that; Go look at the Gifted Adults tribe, you'll find loads of opinions there.
I agree with this. Plus I think the term gifted adults is odd for some reason. DH and I were both gifted children, but I feel the term, like others have said is so closely connected with academics and schooling that to me it is seems weird to use it for adults. Throw in IQ's and all that business and it's even more craziness.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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The simple answer is yes, usually, but it doesn't have the effect on our lives one might think.

One my sisters and I are classic examples of underachieving divergent thinker gifted. Niether of us worked very hard in school and we tended to march to the beat of a slightly different drummer. As adults we have both had a tendancy to drift through different jobs, that we tend to pick up extremly easily and are good at. We often stumble into new life paths simply b/c they seem interesting. We both waste time on intellectual persuits that will never lead to career advancement. However, niether of us are really good at conforming well enough to be good employees.

Now my other sister is a classic bright high achiever. She was a great student who worked hard did all her work neatly and on time, and tended to follow the rules. She was smart enough to be able to perform all the academic tasks needed, but she doesn't crave intellectual stimulation and did not achieve the same levels of understanding that gifted students tend to. In her employment career she is a hard worker just as she was in her academic career. She studies and attends conferences in order to achieve results. She was a good student and is now a good employee.

It just so happens my gifted DH is in the same line of work as my high achiever sister. He never attend conferences (total loner) and he rarely studies or takes classes. If he needs to learn something new he sits and plays with it on his computer, and has soon figured out everything that my sister needed to read a 200 page manual to learn. He then goes beyond what is in a book and designs and creates new things.

DH and achiever sister make around the same amount of money, and have a similar rank/status in their different companies. However since DS is so extra specially talented they put up with him being late extremely frequently, having a complete lack of people skills, never attending conferences, etc. Where as my sister is an overall good employee.

As a gifted adult just as a gifted child one still has the high IQ, the divergent tendancies, the lust for knowledge, etc. It does not guarantee one an easy path, and is frequently misunderstood and unappreciated in both child and adult.

The same push and drive that is present in bright high achieving, but not gifted, children is still there when they become adults. So, they often do just as well if not better than gifted students did in their choosen career paths.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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I disagree that giftedness has only to do with schooling. It's a different way of being, just like any other label might indicate. In school, you need certain accommodations. In the rest of life, you learn strategies for coping. It doesn't go away when you leave school any more than it appeared in kindergarten.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:14 AM
 
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i met my husband, who is one of the smartest people i've ever known when he delivered me a pizza.
And I sold olives at a delikatessen. One of the nicest jobs I ever had. But I had to quit since it didn't pay very much.
And now I'm a housewife.

But I still have a voracious appetite for travel, literature, etc. And I still go off on these obsessive tangents from time to time.
For instance, I didn't just "do the AP-thing". I cooked organic baby food, breastfed exclusively for 11 months, cloth diaper + EC, babywear my LARGE 1-yo, etc. And I don't just babywear: I am a BW-expert. I have all kinds of carriers and know about 20 different tie methods.
And now I'm a homeschooling fanatic. I eat, sleep, and breathe homeschool.

I just can't be "normal" about anything. I'm either 100% or 0%. And I associate that with my giftedness. It makes me a bit extreme.

It also makes me a fantastic salesperson. I sold a record amount of olives.
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