Doesn’t it sound nice? The word “gifted” I mean. Doesn’t it seem like the sort of thing you would hope for your children? When the first was still a baby bump, we wanted nothing more than for him to have everything. Hey, wouldn’t it be wonderful if he were a genius? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he were the next musical prodigy or a scientist that invented something that changed the world?
Be careful what you ask for.
Turns out gifts in a child manifest in funny, awkward ways. That word “genius” is a suitcase that packs some other words. “Asynchronous Development.” “Twice Exceptional.” “Autism Spectrum.” “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.” And in the the front zipper of the suitcase we have some really fun difficulties to overcome. “I’m sorry, but the school just really isn’t equipped to handle a child like yours.” “Certainly you’d never expect us to alter curriculum for one child.” And “It must be a discipline issue.” By-the-way, the handy-dandy little suitcase carrier you bought before you started this trip that was one size fits all doesn’t fit the load you have to carry. Fun! Fun! Fun!
Genius probably means that your child won’t just have a pediatrician, he will have a psychologist, psychiatrist, allergist, occupational therapist, and a few other expensive ists you didn’t count on. And the rest of the world will see your special kid as a problem. Too loud, too excitable, too explosive, too much trouble. Get ready for a few relieved sighs when you decide to remove the kid from school, scouts, baseball, or whatever. Those do nothing for your self esteem, and just imagine what they’re doing to your child.
But they say never look a gift horse in the mouth. I assume that means that you shouldn’t be trying to find signs of normal in your gifted kid either. At least, that’s how I translated it…