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You’re annoying. Shut up. I’m going to kick your butt.
Most people assume gifted children (I call them kite kids) have it easier than their peers; that their intellect will enable them to coast through school – and life.
Reality often looks different, though.
One of the biggest reasons is that kite kids’ brains develop differently than other children; not only in terms of intellectual capabilities, but in social-emotional areas, such as wisdom and maturity.
There can be a significant gap between intellect and these other traits; so much so that, in a sense, the child can be functioning at different ages simultaneously.
Confusing, right? I thought so, too. Then I realized it was a big part of why my son was continually ignored and bullied. (I’d been trying to figure it out for three years!)
The extent to which these developmental components are out of sync varies from one kite kid to another; however, the size of the disparity typically relates to how far off his I.Q. is from the norm. In other words, the higher the child’s I.Q., the more uneven his development.
Take, for example, a seven-year-old, who scores in the top 2-3% of kids his age on standardized tests. He may enjoy creating advanced math equations, and know statistics about everything from the Mariana Trench to the world’s fastest and tallest roller coasters; yet he also may be scared of the dark and have a strong attachment to stuffed animals.
This disparity – called asynchronous development – can make it difficult for kite kids to fit in with any age group. Their vocabularies, interests and senses of humor, often are on par with older kids; however, their maturity level tends to be their chronological age – or even younger. Especially if they’re “twice exceptional.”
If the kite kid is the oldest (or only) child in a family, and he doesn’t have close friends the same age, his parents may not have a good reference point for age-related milestones. They may simply know their child is smart and meeting the pediatrician’s age-driven targets.
Giftedness can occur in several forms. Therefore, many believe asynchronous development – not the area(s) in which the child is advanced – is actually the hallmark of giftedness.
There are other indicators, too. Here are more traits, as well as some of the myths (unfortunately, there are many).