How Do We Begin to Talk about the “Gifted Lifetime”? And Why Should We Care?

What about the gifted lifetime and gifted grownups

 

This post is part of a blog hop, Gifted GrownUps, hosted by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF), a non-profit for which I serve on the board of directors. My first and second books are GHF Press projects. For those of you who are first-time visitors, note that my current research involves the impact of bullying upon gifted/2e kids and their families.

A blog hop about gifted adults. Hoo boy. Talk about a call-to-action, one that makes me squirm in my chair.

It’s hard enough to talk about “giftedness” in kids online and in person–with all the protestations that “all kids are gifted”*–and misunderstandings about how giftedness isn’t just about IQ tests but also overexcitabilities and twice-exceptionality (except, of course, in people who don’t have OEs and aren’t 2e).

Gifted adults. The great, largely unexplored topic.

I feel at times that those of us in the gifted advocacy community stumble more often than we run with the topic of the gifted lifetime. Because that’s the point of talking about gifted adults, isn’t it? To stop pretending that being “gifted” is a blessing/curse that sorts itself out at 18.

It’s a gifted lifetime that many of us are living long after pull-out programs disappear.

 

Why do we need to talk about the "gifted lifetime"?

There are gifted people right now at all points along the lifespan coming to terms with their differences. There’s life in college and just after where the expectation that “the cream of the crop students” would find real, true friends in college falls flat. Because the profoundly gifted kids are still different.  There are mild to moderately gifted folk at mid-life, trying to figure out why they still don’t “fit” the mold of business person or soccer mom comfortably. There are couples trying to balance conflicting socio-emotional and sensory needs in the context of long-term relationships. There are men and women who experience their giftedness alongside a strong religious faith and have few outlets to discuss their journeys. There are gifted men and women in nursing homes who struggle to find intelligent, meaningful conversation while their bodies break down and their roommates go senile.

There are gifted parents working through issues of their own kids and parents while struggling to overcome past bullying. And don’t even get me started on relational aggression against bright people in the workplace in an age defined in part by anti-intellectualism. (Several of these stories have come to me via privately email in relation to my research about bullying,  and it is painful to read.)

Where and how do we begin with that discussion about gifted adults beyond our inner circles without sounding like, well, pompous jackasses? And what value is there in raising relevant questions?

Who needs to be aware of the gifted lifetime? Why? What are the ramifications  of that awareness for everything from interpersonal relationships to health care to on-the-job performance? Doctors, counselors, bosses, ministers, nurses, neighbors, coaches–what will it help them to know about it? What about gifted kids and teens who maybe need our grown-up stories to see that, to riff on a near-cliche, “it gets better”?

Should gifted grownups just “suck it up” and assume that current hit television shows like Scorpion and Big Bang Theory that lean heavily on stereotypes about giftedness and twice-exceptionality are enough?

I have my thoughts–and I’m inspired by this round up of articles as well as the recent writings of people like Paula Prober, Jade Rivera and Sara Yamtich, and Emilie Wapnick (founder of Puttylike**), but today I’m more keen on hearing your ideas.

Drop me a comment.

Tell me what you think.

How do we begin to talk about the gifted lifetime in fruitful ways that benefit a maximum number of people?

 

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"What about the 'gifted lifetime'?" A stop at RedWhiteandGrew.com as part of the GHF Blog Hop

More GHF Blog Hop Posts on Gifted Adults (October 2014)

 

*For the record: all kids people have gifts, all children are gifts, but, no, not everyone is “gifted.” That’s a diagnosis, not a meant-to-marginalize-others catchphrase.

**Puttylike is dedicated to multipotentialites and while it’s not explicit or univeral, the connection to adult giftedness, for me, is direct and personal. I’ve just always identified as a “flexible generalist.”

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{Book Review} “Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!”is Great for Gamers and Non-Gamers Alike

Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer's Alphabet reviewed by Pamela Price of RedWhiteandGrew.com

This October I received my Halloween treat early.

The lovely folks at POW! sent along a review copy of their new book, Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! (Note that you can purchase a copy of the book via my Amazon Affiliate* link here.)

I’ve never had the pleasure to meet the talented illustrator, Joey Spiotto, but author Chris Barton and I go waaaay back. To high school and college, in fact, where I stood in awe even then of his way with words.

When I first heard about this new book, I pegged it as being strictly for kids. Boy, I was wrong. What I love about the collaboration between this particular author and illustrator is how helpful it is for those us who are non-gamers (read: parents of a certain age). See, although I played my first video game way back in the 1970s (thanks to much older, computer-savvy cousins) and loved Pac-Man and the faux-feminist Ms. Pac-Man, I never really caught the gaming bug. This might be due in part to the fact that my dad insisted on buying me a Commodore VIC-20 instead of the Atari I wanted because he wanted me to “learn real computers.”

Now guess who strained his thumb from excessive game play?

Um, yeah. My dad.

On a low-rent Pac-Man knock-off that he totally hogged at nights and weekends.

Sigh.

I forgive while I digress.

Living on the fringe of the gaming world until I became a parent of a very sandbox game-oriented kid, I knew just enough  game lingo to pass as “not totally clueless.” Thanks to Chris, I feel more versed on the basic terms, and I really wish that we’d have had a book like this when our kiddo was younger as he was just starting out with the vocabulary.  The vibrant illustrations reflect a few decades of games so there are visuals evoking everything from Mario Brothers to Minecraft–making it a charming gift for game fans of all ages.

In short, Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! is fresh, fun, and engaging. It’s a total win for kids as well as this middle-age “n00b.”

This book, "Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!" was reviewed as part of the GHF Resource Review program.

More GHF Resource Reviews

* When you use my affiliate code, I get a teeny tiny bit of change.

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