When I decided to create this site, I wanted to use a term that would reflect the characteristics (and needs) of children like my son.

I wanted a better way to describe these kids who, while intellectually advanced, often struggle socially and, in some cases, emotionally.

Kites are similar

Kites are like these kids in many ways. They have the potential to reach great heights, but they can’t get there on their own. They need wind. When only given a little, they start to take off; then, they flounder and descend.

Without any wind at all, they drag along the ground, bouncing…and eventually breaking apart, if it goes on too long.

Learning to soar

The adults in a kite kid’s life are the ones most likely to provide any amount of thrust or wind on the under-side of the kite that helps push it into the air. Without this “lift,” gravity keeps the kite grounded.

And we can’t simply let go once the kite is in the air; there’s turbulence up there! This is like people who think that because a kite kid talks like – and has the intellectual capacity of – an older child, they also have the social and emotional maturity of an older kid.

That isn’t true at all. Problems – sometimes serious ones – occur when adults make this assumption.

Trying to stay airborne

Kites need to be tugged on sometimes to combat the forces of gravity as well as drag. Drag, or wind that pushes down on the top of the kite, is like those who don’t understand or appreciate what makes these kids different.

When there’s enough of it, drag can make a kite crash.

For engineering enthusiasts, there are even more parallels. Kites have a tow point, which is where all the competing forms of pressure meet. You can also influence the amount of lift by adjusting what’s called the angle of attack. That’s the point at which the kite leans into the wind to achieve greater height.

Indeed, they can be a marvel to watch when they’re flying high; however, it’s a delicate balance to get to that point. The same is true of kite kids.