Really interesting discussion that has sprouted into several equally interesting side points.
Many folks speak of the pain of hiding their giftedness and dumbing down to fit in.
I think it speaks to Emerson's idea of "be true to thineself" and "Know thyself".
But how can you know what it is to be gifted if you don't know where to look for information?
There are some really good resources out there.
Adults can search out organizations like MENSA. http://www.mensa.org/
Information about neuroscience and learning: http://www.learner.org/courses/neuroscience/
I like Hoagies gifted page, which has a section for adults, gifted kids and educators. http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
You can also find your tribe by exploring your interests. For example, you may love model rockets or planes or flyfishing or archery or running. Find a group that shares thoses interests. I joined a running group four years ago and have since connected to several other running groups and people within the running community. It has been truly inspiring to meet so many interesting people. Many of them are philanthropic, creative, artistic, gifted, talented, generous and well storied.
This just in: June 5, 212: Serious EQ (Emotional Intelligence) here- Ohio Runner stops to help fallen runner in high school state track and field championships: http://yhoo.it/KfaFgY
Isn't this who we all aspire to be?
If you are hitting a rough patch, it is OK to ask for help. Finding a therapist who specializes in gifted folks and their unique make up can be difficult. In the Los Angeles area, I know of Dale Stewart in Torrence 310-371-3543 whose practice is "Psychological & Counseling Services for Gifted Youth and Adults".
There is the Summit Center 925-939-7500 which specializes in gifted and talented and creative people. The co-founder is Susan Daniels, Ph. D, who co-authored the book "Living with Intensity".
Where DO all the gifted children go after they finish school? What happens to giftedness in adulthood? Often, they haven't developed their gifts for feel they haven't lived up to their potiential. "Sometimes they feel the pain of being different and not valued by others. Frequently they do not understand and value themselves." this site is full of resources and links. We can thank our friends in Australia for advocating for gifted folks. http://www.giftedservices.com.au/adults.html
Some interesting things on these blog posts about the nature of intelligence: http://www.giftedresources.org/jo/blog/?p=3342
How about those who are gifted and learning disabled? Gasp! Can you be both? Gifted AND learn differently. There is some wonderful information out there about visual spatial learners who operate in an auditory-sequential learning system. Some common characteristics of visual learners are: poor spelling, trouble remembering lists, see what they are learning in pictures, this link has many excellent articles you can share with parents and teachers:
Here are some others that are very useful: http://www.giftedservices.com.au/visualthinking.html and http://www.uniquelygifted.org/vs.htm and http://www.visualspatial.org
I like Lesley K Sword's work: http://talentdevelop.com/articles/ITIPYTIW.html
Here is a site for developing creativity: http://talentdevelop.com/
How about the kiddos? In Los Angles, we have a wonderful program at Cal State Los Angeles called EEP. It is an Early Entrance Program at the university for students as young as 11 wishing to enroll in a full time college program. Students must live at home with their parents and their is a fairly rigorous screening process to make sure the program is the right fit for the child. The program is a nexus of about 100 students who meet weekly to get support and make friends with others like them. They have their own tribe. The director is Richard S. Maddox, Ed. D., he's been directing and orchestrating this program for over 20 years.The program was esxtablished in 1982. http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/eep/
The parents of the students are PEEPs and they have a support system for each other, as well as being an integral part of the success of this program.
Both the PEPP http://www.csulapeep.org/ and the Early Entrance Foundation http://www.earlyentrancefoundation.org/ support the EEP at CSULA. Program contact information:Contact information:
firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (323) 343-2287
Check out their student newsletters as well.
We are a compilation of many things.
We are a symphony.
"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
-Polonius, Hamlet by Shakespeare, Act 1, scene 3
Be true to thineself. Be proud of who you are. Find your tribe. You are not alone.