I have been a member of the Explorers Club in Tauranga for a few years and have no knowledge of anyone working with gifted adults here at all. It has been quite hard to inform the general public to accept the fact that children may be gifted, let alone adults. In fact the only people I have ever heard mention gifted adults are Roger Moltzen and Lynne Beresford. Neither are in Tauranga. However, I wish you luck in your search and if you do find anyone, please let us know. kind regards,
We cannot believe that gifted children just fade away never to be seen again once they become adults. Gifted kids = gifted adult, though not so much gifted as talented or accomplised or whatever other discriptive word you use. I wish there were a similar sort of forum for adults. Just a thought!
Given the genetic element of giftedness in children, this probably IS the forum for gifted adults finding like-minds through our children. Of all the parents of gifted children I've meet I'd say there was not one that I wouldn't class as at least 'talented'.
One of the presentations at the SENG Conference last year was called "What I've Learned from Parents of Gifted Children" and was by Arlene de Vries, who co-wrote "A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children" with James Webb. Her first point was that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - ie if you have a gifted child, you are more than likely to be gifted yourself! I see many, many entries on this Forum which are clearly the product of gifted adults, and I am inclined to agree with Linda that this is probably our de facto forum too.
Thanks for the replies... I am surprised that during my search for someone to talk to, there seems to be no NZ info on gifted adults. My questions to those who believe in giftedness are;
"What do gifted children become?", and therefore "what has happened to all the gifted children that came before this new educational push towards gifted children?" "Where do this children who grow up to become confused adults go?" Just some thoughts that could be worth discussing? I will go now and continue to talk to answer phone machines.
Some go into hiding - some never master that art (as I told someone the other day - "When I grow up I want to be a wallflower!)
Some of those gifted children will have killed themselves before they finish growing up - some once they have.
They grace our psych wards - misidentified and mismedicated - and our prisons (given how mainstream tends to treat those who are different - justice would "balanced" out logically by turning on them and treating them with the same wanton disregard).
The rest mostly just hide amongst the ranks. Some will actually "rise to the top" believe it or not - but mostly they wont.
I would absolutely agree that this is a gifted adults forum by proxy - without a doubt.
"Gifted kids = gifted adult, though not so much gifted as talented or accomplished or whatever other descriptive word you use."
Do I detect a degree of discomfort with the very idea of being a GTA ?
You know - when I was doing some of the subtests in the cognitive assessment I was actually thinking "there must be some mistake they must have made it too easy that someone like me could score those results!"
Rationalisation is a wonderful thing isnt it - even if it isnt entirely rational.
Trust me - if someone like myself - who brings out the garlic and crosses and breaks into a rash at the mere mention of expletives like "reading" and "tertiary education" can score in the gifted range as an adult then gifted stays gifted is gifted.
While giftedness is sometimes, perhaps even "often" expressed through particular talents - you dont go from being gifted to being talented.
Gifted is in how you are - talented is in what you do ....
One thing I have learnt about adults especially is that what they do falls way way short of reflecting who and how they are beyond their conditioning.
I actually believe that it is REALLY REALLY important for our children that adults demonstrate open acknowledgment and acceptance of their own giftedness. You cannot use what you do not acknowledge.
If they are to have role models of living life as a "balanced" (was tempted to put "well" infront of the "balanced" but decided against it lest someone misinterpret that as meaning "well balanced" as the term conventionally applied rather than having life balanced in a way that works for the individual) - and productive GIFTED ADULTS who are at ease with themselves then we need to get very comfortable with the concept of adult giftedness.
Any "diminishing" of that is sending a major red flag.
Oh yeah - and can you resend that email ... I lost it *blush*
Weren't we discussing that back in Aug/Sept?!!
About realising that it was possible to be both adult and gifted?
and how much we struggled with that and said almost anything to describe ourselves rather than acknowledge that we might be considered gifted ourselves?!!
And therefore how could we role model to our children or students that it was okay to be considered gifted if we weren't prepared to accept the 'label' ourselves?
But yes, 6 months after that discussion, I'm still finding the idea difficult to acknowledge without feeling somewhat queasy though I guess, less queasy, as I accept myself more.
You could well be right there Rox although when it was would be entirely lost on me.
I think that "feeling awkward" about the whole notion of being gifted is perfectly understandable - first off their is the whole "Its ok to be smart just not ok to acknowledge your smarts" business to try and get ones head around .... and then there's the implications regarding ones entire "life history".
In many instances that will mean rewriting the ENTIRE script - which can impact on the very core beliefs upon which ones life has been built .... and that is a pretty enormous task.
Then there's the sheer "wastage" factor - I wonder if any of us could possibly comprehend the sheer extent of "wasted potential" that frequents this forum?
The verdict is out on me, I travelled to Auckland and was tested by Mensa. The scorer said that my test revealed what she believe was a modest assessment of my IQ due to the stress that I was under at the time. The result was 95%. This confirms what I suspected and my life have now gone through a reassessment (all good) and I am finally happy. I am now off all the medication that I was on to make me normal. I want to thank you for mentioning the Mensa test because it brought me the answers that I was seeking.
Just a thought on this debate that a few of you are having? Giftedness is just a label that tries to describe a way of living. I am no different now then when I was a child. Why is there so much focus on the intellectual aspect on giftedness when the emotional/physical/social needs of a gifted adult/child provides such challenges in regards to fitting into society. I look at my oldest daughter who shows plenty of signs that point her towards being just like me. The most important thing that I can help develop in her life, is not her intellect, but her emotional/physical/social needs. What's the point of being a intellectual genius (like a close relation) and being a emotional/physical/social wreck (like my close relation and where I was heading). Please remember this side to being gifted. When considering what's best for the little ones.
I think giftedness is a part of who I am, rather than a way of living. While I agree with you that the emotional and social needs are very, very important, one of the things which comes out loud and clear from the work of almost everyone involved in researching gifted kids is that they are far less likely to experience social and emotional difficulties if their intellectual needs are met and they can spend time with like minds. Hence, parents' concerns about keeping our kids intellectually stimulated and ensuring they have opportunities to work with and socialise with intellectual peers. As an ex-gifted child who experienced the social isolation of giftedness as a child and still carries the emotional baggage, I would not wish this on any of my own gifted children or those I teach. Advocating for their intellectual needs to be met in schools is one way I can help to decrease this sense of isolation for them. Therein lies the reason, as I see it, that we parents seem to focus our energies on their intellectual needs.
I don't think any of us ever forget the emotional aspects!
I do what I can to provide support to those like myself - the Visual Spatial Gifted - mainly children but also some adults.
I tend to take a slightly different angle as far as assessments go - that is, I regard the areas of strength to be indicators of how someone IS designed to function on an intellectual level and weaknesses as being only indicative of how they are not designed to function.
I have found consistently that those who come to a point of being able to understand and meet their own intellectual needs (which is more difficult for GT adults than many seem to realise) are actually capable of meeting their own emotional and social needs ... as their ability to understand those things from a new perspective changes.
Perception plays such a huge role .... if we perceive ourselves as needing social acceptance and close peer relationships (which is the normal view) then it becomes an "emotional issue" as well as a social one when we dont have it .... creating the perception of "isolation" as a negative. Yet, those who reach a point of being able to meet their own intellectual needs have a much lower need to socialise for the purpose of having their intellectual needs met, which brings with it the freedom to prioritise and make choices in accordance with their own actual needs rather than on the basis of social and emotional conditioning.
There is no greater freedom than freedom of the mind - with that comes the freedom to be all that one is.
I concur that for a lot of adults on this forum (of a certain age and over), the opportunities for our gifted children have opened questions concerning our own intellectual abilities, that we were certainly not aware of as we attempted to transverse our way through the school system.
In those days, I do not think I ever heard of or knew of, extension programs or gifted children. In fact, our high school used to have a sofa at the back of the English room, for those who did not want to partake of the class discussions - needless to say, as a bored senseless teenager, I spent the majority of my time on it....
I am uncertain to this day whether I am gifted / talented / intellectually bright / whatever (and extremely scared of finding out that I am only average after all...), with all discussions and information gained through the children's assessments and lives so far, I think your assertion that parents are vicariously living a quasi gifted life through our children could be true.
Having completed an IT degree (for something to do while the I was pregnant and bored), I was astounded to find I finished with a 6.00 GPA (Australian system 1- 7, with 1 being really bad and 7 being the highest). I think that helped the appalling self-esteem I had, although I kept thinking it was a mistake and something was wrong with the system, particularly when I was invited to join an honour society (I actually rang them and asked if they had sent it me by mistake)..... I am now 3/4 of the way through a post grad and we will see if the results are another fluke, or if there might be something behind the 'stupid' image I have been hiding behind all my life.
Whether knowing for sure or not would be of benefit to me now, who knows. Would it have made a difference when I was growing up, an assertive 'hell yes'. I now realise that if I had been presented with the opportunities or guidance that are available for the children, I really could have done some amazing intellectual things with my life.
Still not to late and hence my study, just to keep my brain active and add some zing to life and this why I am on this site and why I try to get the kids involved in all the activities available, so they can never say 'if only'...
I realize I'm a little late to this thread....but it's amazing to me how consistent all these responses are with my own experience as well as other gifted adults I know. Lack of information, lack of community, lack of awareness, resistance to the idea we might be gifted.
I was identified as a gifted child 26 years ago...it wasn't until recently that I thought I might be a 'gifted adult'. I was surprised that there was so little information about gifted adults generally and career information specifically.
So I've set up a website/blog (no forum yet and not NZ specific but addresses a lot of the issues discussed) about gifted adults: www.gifteduniverse.com. And I strongly agree that parents of gifted children...the best thing we can do for our children is understand our own giftedness.
Thanks for this.. just found the thread and it gave me a ray of light in my day. I agree that the best way for our kids to get the message that they are ok is for us to be ok with ourselves. I love my gifts, and sometimes struggle with the flip side (sensory overload). Good to be thinking in terms of Gifted Adults!
Dear reader, how old are you now? Were you identified as a gifted child. I didnt realise my daughter was gifted until she was diagnosed with aneroxia at age 11 and higher functioning ASD! She is now 14 but still very much misunderstood.
Thought I would post this here. Do you think Giftedness can sometimes bring on depression?
I was "diagnosed" as Gifted, but also suffered huge self esteem and depression issues. After the birth of my first child I slowly slipped into a downward spiral and eventually went onto anti-depressants, but also took on counselling. I found the anti-depressants deadened my creativity and I have missed this. So have decided to live life without them, because I miss myself and since have had such a spurt of creativity it's great! Has anyone been in this situation?
Seriously the counselling helped though with the self esteem issues. But, some of the things other people don't "get" about giftedness really does wind me up sometimes. Like seriously:
1. Why can't people see past the next five years and use creative thinking to see what the future might bring. I've had frustrations at work with people not being able to see this in project planning.
2. Why do people not acknowledge your ideas, but dispute them as non-sensicle and then later use them!
Just some of the frustrations that bring about depression in being gifted I have found.
I may be mistaken but I think I read somewhere that there is a positive correlation between intelligence and incidence of depression. There are so many reasons why this might be. We (gifted individuals) are able to see all of the difficulties and troubles with the world. You may have heard the adage about pessimists being realists. And I'm sure that at least some of those people who frequently say "lighten up, what's the problem, what are you worried about, you're too anxious, the world is a wonderful place" seriously just *cannot see* what we see. Additionally, if we are gifted we may also display those gifts and appear exceptionally talented. This is bound to elicit jealousy and tall-poppy syndrome and that can cut even the most "mature" people to the core. Furthermore, even if we do not show the gifts we have, we are still *different*. Given how important a sense of belongingness is to one's self-esteem, is it any wonder that gifted individuals, so different, so isolated, often feeling so misunderstood, experience self-esteem issues?
Our task (for ourselves and for our children) is to be aware of it and learn how to handle this because it really can be tough being gifted. But do check out the 'positives' thread...
my 14 year old daughter is over aneroxia but suffers huge self esteem and depression issues. she says she mirrors others behaviours in our house but always gets into trouble - she doesnt realise she always corrects us, (please dont talk to me unless I talk to you, please talk to me in another tone, you are not doing that right .....etc), has to have the last say and doesnt know when not to challenge adults. she talks in a loud voice and like an adult telling off a naughty child.
I am at wits end as she argues all the time with my husband and says he is always putting her down and doesnt recognise her achievements. this is untrue. she doesnt call him her father anymore but refers to him as my controlling husband. help.
First off before I say anything else, I would just like to reiterate that I have absolutely no formal qualifications or training and furthermore, I avoid reading like the plague unless there is no other way around it - my thoughts and my conclusions are drawn from observation of real life and a great deal of contemplation.
Due caution is warranted.
I believe that there are numerous correlations between what we call "depression" these days and giftedness - some direct correlations - some not so direct. Some will have already been mentioned I am sure so I shant repeat.
Firstly there is "circumstantial depression" - this is a functional response to circumstances that are unhealthy for us as an individual, I include "old beliefs" that are not serving one well in that.
Incompatible career choice, having a busy social life when what one needs is peace and quite, stuff like that.
Then theres "Self-awareness Depression" - being more aware than most of ones internal experience and perceiving that difference in level of awareness to be indicative of clinical depression.
But the one of the ones that really fascinate me is what I call "Neurological Depression" .... I stick to a VS context because that is what I do know (which correlates strongly with GT - hence will "overlap") - VS is not just about "thinking in images" but ones feelings and emotions are consciously recogised through images also. If one is VS then it is at least very possible (here in NZ even "highly probable") that the neurological pathways that support VS have become compromised or even atrophied. Where that is that case, one of the possible "symptoms" I would expect to see is a sense of "knowing ones feelings are there but being unable to fully experience them" - which would mimic clinical depression.
The other one I would like to see seriously researched is the relationship between post-natal depression and GT/VS - particularly PND with what they are called "Psychosis" .... The combination of altered hormonal state, higher sensitivity to biochemical influences, the sheer power of the VS/GT combination and the fact that ones fears and insecurities would be represented by seeing exactly what one fears (ie - feeling inadequate with a newborn and fear of hurting them will likely be represented in the mind as seeing oneself doing so ) - and in the probability of the being confused with "thinking of harming ones child" or "desire to harm ones baby" and you certainly have the "perfect mix" for PND.
LOL that popped into my head a couple of years ago - I found myself yelling at "Dr Phil" through the TV screen "Come on man stop being a prat and try stating the obvious - with each of these "visions" of "hurting her child" she instinctively reacted to PROTECT the baby .... tell her, those are not the actions of someone who is thinking of harming their child or desires to do so ..... its way more likely its a visual respresentation of her fears!"
He didnt listen to me ..... he never does .... I change the channel now - it was bad enough him telling someone who obviously have no concept of time that he was selfish, arrogant and immature because he was never on time grrrrrrrrrrr LOL.
Anyhow, theres a little of my thoughts on the subject.
This is a really interesting thread and I will go back over it when I have more time. I just wanted to say there was a Listener article about a year ago which said that gifted adult females tend to become stay at home mums. I bet there are a few who are homeschoolers too
I think I am a gifted adult.... I just do not fit. I honestly thought I was Aspergers as I just don't get the world but I don't think I am. My kids are both gifted and I look at one of them and see myself at the same age.
I too suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since I was a kid.
It is interesting to me to consider this, it makes me think that maybe I should be giving myself the same care I give my kids, especially the one who does have the heightened anxiety.
I just came across this. I think there are many adults (some who know they are gifted and some who don't yet know) searching for answers out there. Nearly two years after the start of this thread it is still difficult to find information on adults or for adults.
With regards to your daughter I hope things are better. I just want to comment that I think diet/nutrition might help. I am saying this because it sounds like something "complicated by or related to being a teenager....ie. puberty. Getting the body and mind back to healthy homeostasis does wonders because the body and mind knows how to "help" itself but it needs the building blocks from nutrition. Along with that there's much out there about yoga and meditation and good old fashion simple exercise that can help synergistically. This is just my observation and my way of thinking.
When the body is healthy we can tackle other gifted issues that is not making adults and children fully utilising their potential. When the body and mind is healthy I think gifted people will naturally want to find solutions to their issues.....eventually if not sooner. If we can think of our selves as the greatest sports car that ever existed... nutrition and exercise or other metabolic activities which give good health is like good fuel and repair and maintainence. Think of intellectual stimulation, good schooling and programmes and friends and peers as the kind of race tracks and other cars or roads we come across. These are important in the further making of the greatest sports car that ever existed in the intangible sense/ perceptive sense, as in the arena for showing and affirming it is the greatest sports car that ever existed. Without good health the car can't perform. Conversely, without the race tracks, the car in good health may not know it's the greatest car. And, at the same time, being in the race track can also motivate the car to want to be at top health. I think when a gifted person is lucky to have all that, this then is the gifted person being able to meet their own social, physical and emotion needs which in turn means a gifted person who does not ask much from the rest of the world because a well adjusted and well "performing" gifted person gives soooo much back to the world (because it is part of the definition of being gifted) that what the world "needs" to give back is ..... not much. This is because there is always a greater need in the world, a surplus that human kind is no where near toppling, and gifted people know that or at least gifted children do before they eventually grow up, that there is no greater urge or goal than that to reduce this need. Which I guess is why people are focussing a lot on gifted children so that these children may grow up to be the future problem solvers?? be it politics or technology or art or sporting achievements or spirituality?
Every gifted person is important because we humans are meant to exist as a community. It is written in our genes. For those humans/people who think or feel they don't fit in, it may just be a matter of finding and knowing a community to belong to. So every gifted person that can be helped to know who they are means that the gifted community can celebrate another "home coming" in it's community.
Just thought I will share my ideas cos I'm searching too and also learning to understand myself after what may be being misunderstood all these years. Sometimes I'm too scared to think I am gifted because I think being gifted is for others, not me. I'm horrified to be brave enough to wish I am gifted.
But I will say this... I hope that gifted people find happiness as happiness defined by gifted people because they deserve it.
P/s: I just re-read what I wrote and realised when I wrote "If we can think of our selves as the greatest sports car that ever existed...".... "our selves" is reference to gifted people and I just realised I wrote it refering to myself too. Maybe I'm closer to accepting that ...maybe I am gifted.
i think its just that the issues we face as kids remain the same in adulthood-sensitivity, creativity, anxiety, excitability, pessimism, perfectionism-and other traits that are common to those who are of high intelligence. Basically, we just think more about stuff, have high expectations of ourselves and others, and that can result in stress, depression and disappointment sometimes, as well as the high points.
Interesting what you say about the listener article, Bridget, I am a stay at home Mum and I often struggle with feelings of failure that I am not a career woman supermum type!
But I guess its also about what you value, and not letting societal expectations define "success" for us.
We are all different, and our families all have different needs.
So, for all of us "stay at home Mums" that feel like I do, at least we ARE using our high IQs constantly puzzling over our kids and using our brains trying to do the best for our families!!
This whole gifted intelligence thing is confusing as hell. From looking around on the net, taking IQ tests and finding out what my brain type is or whatever I don't know what to think...My brain test says I'm right brained and that I'm a visual-spatial thinker or something. My mom said that a psychologist said I was gifted when I was a kid, but my IQ is always between 80-100 and I've done that test alot of times... I am currently 21 so I consider that adult.
I've looked at all the traits gifted people have also and I can identify with most of them but then I'm not so sure. My mind doesn't feel like it ever thinks of anything original or amazing, I mean I have some good thoughts now and again but that's all they ever are, they never have any effect in reality. I feel more like a spectator of life rather than someone who is gifted.
and I guess the real reason for all of this soul-searching is I'm trying to find out why I am such a failure at life. I need to explanation on why everything is so damn hard for me. I cant cook, I cant drive, I can't shop for clothes, I cant control my oversleeping, I am impatient, it's difficult for me to persist in projects ..and just can't be bothered with anything...
I am having a really hard time doing basic things that a human being in todays world needs to do to survive. I seriously hope it's some mental disease I have. I'm thinking it's ADD or ADHD so I have something to blame all of this on.
Bleh, I would say that you ARE gifted - IQ tests really only test academics and are quite math based (well the one's I've taken are) so I don't think they really show the whole picture I don't think you can be gifted and then just stop - you are or you aren't and if you were as a child then you are now.
You do however sound depressed - oversleeping, inability to complete things, can't be bothered, it all sounds so familiar, and I personally wonder if it goes with the Visual Spatial thing - you need to be DOING and CREATIVE and when you're not, you feel flat and blah.
My eldest son is very VS, and spent much of his teen years feeling the way you describe - he had tremendous trouble doing simple tasks and really got down about life, then after doing some research he decided that he has dispraxia, and once he gave it a name he felt better and started seeing life not for the things he couldn't do, but for the things he could - I think he just accepts himself more now.
On the subject of gifted depression I think some of it comes down to not being creative enough/ busy enough. Myself and my mum both suffer from spare time depression, too much spare time leads to too much over thinking, introversion and just gets us down.
My mum is a teacher, she's always doing 10 things at once and is like a super dynamo, if she stops for too long she gets down, and as I've gotten older I've discovered that I suffer the same thing, I've got to have things on the go - even if I'm not actively doing them I need things to think about and plan so I don't get depressed and unmotivated - vicious spiral once it starts.
Having children made my depression worse because they needed so much time and attention I couldn't do anything creative and I felt very frustrated, sewing, painting, reading, all help with my need to 'escape'.
I don't know that I would label myself gifted, I do ok, but I've never been exceptional at anything which has always been frustrating - jack of all trades master of none, everything comes reasonably easy but never the best at anything.
I've also discovered that my "learning style" means I have to relate everything back to my own personal experiences in order to assimilate it, and as a result I feel like I come across terribly self absorbed and egocentric - I have no real life friends, and even the message boards I frequent I'm always stuck with a niggling feeling that I'm tolerated but not liked.
I really crave like minded company and want my kids to grow up having life long friends unlike myself who has no friends but plenty of acquaintances. If that means I have to take up the mantle of quirky gifted I will, even though I don't feel in any way smart enough to accept the gifted label. (And my OCD tendencies require I pass a test so I can fit in a nice little box )
I find that quite assumptive. I'd assume that the children identified and supported as "gifted" more often than not come from privileged families. Lets not forget those children who come from minority or poorer families who are more likely to be overlooked.
I couldn't reply to two posts - but "bleh" I'm so in your camp.
I know I'm bright but in my field everyone is and it's only when you step out that you realise that you're not average. I got tagged at Intermediate School with no follow up at Secondary but that was 30 years ago.
I'm at the point of getting formal ADHB help and while I'm a bit scared of being in "the system" I really need to raise my game because I will not let more years go by in a haze of depressed crappiness. I don't have a clue how to change that but I think the first step is deciding to change, right?
I'd be very interested in checking out any psychologists/counselors who are experienced with asperger types and GT and based in Auckland.
Indigo Assessment Services are well known in Auckland for assessing for giftedness. You'll find their contact details in the 'Find a Psychologist' section of this website (Lynn Berresford is the best known of their psychologists - she's very well regarded in NZ GT circles).