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    #237778 - 04/17/17 05:05 AM Are gifted kids different today?
    dusty Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/16/13
    Posts: 36
    I saw a Facebook page that talks about how most gifted kids today aren't really gifted and that they're not like the gifted kids from years ago. I agree with a lot of its posts. Why do gifted kids behave differently from 50 years ago or hundreds of years ago? If 2% of kids had behavioral problems from giftedness why wasn't it discovered and studied years ago? Is it more to do with parenting, and parents being aware of giftedness and maybe subconsciously treating them differently? And if high achievement goes with being bright then how did we get to this technologically advanced state we're in? Where have all those stereotypically gifted kids gone?

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    #237779 - 04/17/17 05:50 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1448
    Loc: NJ
    I've asked myself similar questions - but not the same ones because giftedness and achievement are two different things. Were you get the conjunction of the two you may see greatness but the two should not be conflated.

    One of the major differences is that in the western world, high ability kids are not as a rule grouped together anymore - 50 years ago they tended to be from what I remember.

    Not having peers will tend to cause 'maladjusted behaviors, I am sure. Also, 50 years ago the focus of schools tended towards academic excellence. 50 years on, they tend to ignore or treat gifted kids as freaks because to an outside observer, the primary focus these days appears to be with making under achieving demographic groups appear to be excellent performers by lowering standards which further increases the sense of alienation that a gifted kid might feel - and act out. Honestly, standards are so lowered now that NT kids from yesteryear would present as gifted today, I am sure.

    Also, dare I say it, corporal punishment was still alive in schools and actively used (on me too) when I was a kid so I think that all kids acted up less then out of the fear of consequences that don't even exist now.

    Who knows? I certainly do not have all the answers and would love to see further discussion around this topic.


    Edited by madeinuk (04/17/17 05:57 AM)
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #237780 - 04/17/17 06:51 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    longcut Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/15
    Posts: 266
    Are they different? When my parents were kids, they were less reticent to accelerate kids, and they thought of childhood differently. There was tracking, and trades, and some people who might've been nurtured in today's climate checked out and went to work rather than make an intellectual investment in school. Or you'd see 16-year-olds in college and there wasn't talk of how young they were (perhaps closer to the time when children worked at younger ages, compared to now when it seems like youth is more extended). In fact, I know a few who went to college without graduating high school, because they were ready, and states didn't have such strict four years worth of credits required rules for a diploma or college acceptance, if you could show you were ready. Plus, back then, not everyone went to high school, much less college. I know someone who surely would have been labeled gifted today, who has incredible spatial and mechanical talents, and could've done well in engineering. My mother's view on giftedness is much different than mine; as she's known how differently abilities present and how they've affected people she's known, both positively and negatively; sometimes the practicalities got in the way of nurturing a particular ability -- some were able to go to college, some got to be sports stars or musicians or artists, some had to go or chose to go off to work, and that was enough. But academia in general wasn't as accessible as it is now, and the population as a whole was far smaller -- in the U.S. it is double what it was when my parents were students, and access to education and information was less, pre-computers.

    Going back to my childhood, which was roughly 30-40 years ago, after tracking started falling out of favor, I knew some gifted kids who fit the same variety of presentations as today. Some were the known as smart kids who didn't need to study, some were smart kids who goofed off all the time, and still got great grades, some went under the radar and hid their abilities, some never fit in and checked out (friend of mine dropped out, died of an OD, but was in the GT program as a tween).

    I think nowadays, more kids might be identified because we can identify 2E better, and there's access to research on those "missed potential" kids. There's a climate now that at once envies the intellectually gifted because they get something different, while also disdaining intellectualism (because they "think they know so much"), but admires sports and arts performance that gets something different. And maybe for some on the cusp in a program that divides kids using percentiles around 95th, with kids in the 90-95th, there's a desire to have their kid identified because if not for the GT extension, they'd languish in an underfunded school that's rigid about in class instruction (no differentiation).

    So really, could we say there is still a gifted population (which numerically increases as population increases exponentially), and a high achieving population (which overlaps with gifted, but isn't all of either population), but also there's a current emphasis on what the average person is capable of, what's expected of a particular age cohort. Which means there may be some who are added to the gifted cohort who maybe aren't true outliers, and it affects what the HG/PG kids can experience in an academic setting, but it's a group that also need something different from their age cohort.

    Considering the future of labor in an automated society, I'm curious how education will continue to evolve. For all the benefits of computers for self pacing, one of my DC craves social interaction in learning, not computers.

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    #237781 - 04/17/17 07:04 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    I came across something in my family tree I thought was interesting. One of my Civil War era relatives graduated from college at 17.

    I don't know if he had behavior problems but I thought it was interesting that acceleration was a part of my family's life even back then.

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    #237784 - 04/17/17 11:28 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    OP, can you supply a link to the Facebook page?

    (madeinuk --- a couple very good points)

    Either way, I suspect that more kids are identified as gifted today. Factors for this include the cutoff line being lower than it used to be, achievement being used as a substitute for IQ scores, and acceptance of single subtest scores rather reliance on overall IQ being above a threshold. The GAI is new-ish and picks up kids with say, slow processing speed but high cognitive ability, and presumably picks up people who would have been missed in 1975. But still, the achievement substitute and other factors are important.

    I suspect that some of this is done in the name of being inclusive. It feels good to be inclusive. Yet too much inclusiveness pushes the 50th percentile in a gifted program to the left, and the kids the program was designed to serve end up being cheated.

    In the 50s and 60s, US gifted programs had a specific purpose: to serve national interests in the space and technology races. The schools had to be serious about identifying kids with high cognitive ability. IMO, US education overall in the postwar period (to the late 60s or early 70s) reflected this fact: public schools were good and universities were cheap or free. And if you didn't go to college, it was all good, because there were lots of decent jobs out there.

    That's changed. We lack national goals now. The US sense of community is diminished, society is much more competitive, and the corporate quest for profit has gone to extremes. Education is seen as something that benefits individuals, rather than society as a whole. Etc. So the response is predictable: everyone is gifted in some way, everyone can/should go to college because...$$, etc.

    So it's not that people with IQs over 130 or 145 or whatever are different today. It's that (IMO), people gloss over icky facts and instead pretend that a) cognitive ability doesn't matter if you practice for 10,000 hours and 2) even if it did matter, all children are gifted.


    Edited by Val (04/17/17 11:37 AM)

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    #237787 - 04/17/17 01:39 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    sanne Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    Can we go back just a little further? The concept of IQ and intelligence was developing in the beginning of the 1900's for the purpose of eugenics. The USA was a huge proponent of eugenics, before Hitler was born, and politicians even proposed gas chambers to euthanize those deemed to be less intelligent. Instead, they settled on institutionalizing, forced sterilization (which is still totally okay in the USA, btw), and infecting with terminal diseases within institutions. The government had a department of eugenics (I forget the exact name).

    Where does this leave the other end of the spectrum? Well, intelligence was put on display. Intelligent *and moral* families were encouraged to have more children. In fact, there were competitions in which families were most intelligent, moral, and prolific at county fairs. I think this is getting into the 40's and 50's now.

    The word "gifted" doesn't even come to represent intelligence until after 1950. Before that, "gifted" was used to describe any gift. One could be a gifted poet, or gifted with gab, or gifted with prudence, or money or any other quality. It wasn't used widely to describe intelligence until the Department of Education adopted the "gifted and talented" terminology, which replaced the older terminology of "superior student".

    Attitudes about higher education were totally different before the world wars. Rather than encouraging all students to pursue a degree, educators wrote about intentionally excluding "unfit" students, and accelerating promising students was considered appropriate without reservation.

    The whole gifted and talented thing is entirely a political creation. Intelligent children were (and are?) recognized not to provide the child with services, but to provide the nation with the resource of intelligent citizens.

    The "myths" about gitedness as elitism are WELL FOUNDED in history, as are reservations in IQ testing, sharing IQ test scores, and data tracking in schools.

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    #237788 - 04/17/17 02:48 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: sanne]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    The concept of IQ and intelligence was developing in the beginning of the 1900's for the purpose of eugenics. The USA was a huge proponent of eugenics, before Hitler was born, and politicians even proposed gas chambers to euthanize those deemed to be less intelligent. ...



    Well...this isn't quite accurate. The IQ test developed by Alfred Binet came about because the French government had mandated universal education, and there was an interest in determining which children belonged in special classrooms that could help slower learners. I doubt very much that they had eugenics in mind.

    It's true that an American named Henry Goddard had regressive views with regard to people of very low intelligence. He brought Binet's intelligence tests to the US. According to the link I provided, he popularized the tests, which isn't the same as inventing them for the purpose of eugenics.

    But we're off-topic. Portia made a good point about being made to sit still today, compared to the 1970s/80s and earlier. I grew up then, and everyone ran around outside. My mom's rule after school was that I had to call her to let her know where I was. Most of the kids I knew followed the same rule. On weekends and during the summer, we knew we had to be home for dinner, but could go out afterwards until sunset. A note on the kitchen table sufficed in my house ("Gone to the park with Amy."). ETA: so in that regard, a lot of gifties looked like everyone else in that they went sledding in the winter, rode bikes, raked up piles of leaves in the fall, etc.


    Edited by Val (04/17/17 02:58 PM)

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    #237790 - 04/17/17 03:06 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    George C Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/12/15
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: dusty
    I saw a Facebook page that talks about how most gifted kids today aren't really gifted and that they're not like the gifted kids from years ago. I agree with a lot of its posts.

    If it's the same Facebook page I'm thinking of, this person also does not believe that a person can be 2e, that the "second e" disqualifies them from being gifted. They also seem to take issue with GAI.

    Those beliefs do not appear to be mainstream.

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    #237791 - 04/17/17 03:28 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: Portia]
    aeh Online   content
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3640
    Originally Posted By: Portia
    As a nation, we aren't really "in it" together.
    ...
    I do not think any program we put in place will work until we value free thought, responsibility, and creativity again at a social group level.
    *clapping*

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    #237792 - 04/17/17 07:18 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    Cookie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    I just figured it out! Blame smoke/tobacco free campuses for less recess.

    In 1972 I was a first grader in a small school. We had a snack/play break in the morning (grades 1-3) and as soon as we went back inside grades 4-6 came out. We pulled one item out of our lunch, inhaled it and ran out to play.

    We had similar at lunch (ate in our classroom as fast as we could) ran out to play for a half hour.

    PE every day!

    2 days of Art, 2 days of Music, one in library ....

    And an Afternoon recess too for grades 1-3.

    Why? Because the teachers needed to smoke in the teachers lounge several times throughout the day.

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    #237794 - 04/17/17 08:30 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: Val]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    The concept of IQ and intelligence was developing in the beginning of the 1900's for the purpose of eugenics...
    Well...this isn't quite accurate. The IQ test developed by Alfred Binet came about because the French government had mandated universal education, and there was an interest in determining which children belonged in special classrooms that could help slower learners. I doubt very much that they had eugenics in mind...
    Please note that sanne did not claim that IQ testing was developed for eugenics... just that "The concept of IQ and intelligence was developing in the beginning of the 1900's for the purpose of eugenics." Sanne's assertion appears to be correct, Val's facts appear to be correct also.

    Several sources cite eugenics and attempts to assess intelligence prior to Binet's IQ testing. For example:
    Throughout the early 1900s, eugenicists labored to devise objective methods of measuring and quantifying valued traits, including intelligence, in order to substantiate their hypothesis of Nordic genetic advantage. Some of their more preposterous experiments involved measuring the crania of school children, analyzing the facial asymmetry of criminals, and sketching the toes of prostitutes. Eugenicists struggled for years to produce compelling results, until the advent of Alfred Binet's intelligence scale in 1909 gave rise to standardized intelligence testing, colloquially known as IQ testing.


    That said, sanne, do you have sources for the following:
    Originally Posted By: sanne
    - forced sterilization (which is still totally okay in the USA, btw), and infecting with terminal diseases within institutions.
    - Rather than encouraging all students to pursue a degree, educators wrote about intentionally excluding "unfit" students
    - The "myths" about gitedness as elitism are WELL FOUNDED in history, as are reservations in IQ testing, sharing IQ test scores, and data tracking in schools.


    As to the OP's question... great responses upthread... I'll just add a few thoughts:
    - Gifted kids may be treated differently today:
    - Gifted kids may be identified differently. There is a dichotomy: Defining gifted in terms of achievement* VS removing achievement from identification to be more inclusive.
    - Gifted kids may be excluded, under-served, and denied opportunity for appropriate challenge and academic/intellectual peers, by so-called gifted programs and services in an attempt to create equal outcomes. As one example, schools may create programs (such as math 1 year ahead) then identify students to match to their program, rather than identify gifted students and create programming to serve the needs of these students. There is a large difference between matching the student to the program and matching the program to the student.

    *Defining gifted in terms of achievement:
    Originally Posted By: sagepub 2011
    ...eminence ought to be the chief goal of gifted education.
    ...
    To frame our discussion, we propose a definition of giftedness that we intend to be comprehensive. Giftedness is the manifestation of performance that is clearly at the upper end of the distribution in a talent domain even relative to other high-functioning individuals in that domain. Further, giftedness can be viewed as developmental in that in the beginning stages, potential is the key variable; in later stages, achievement is the measure of giftedness; and in fully developed talents, eminence is the basis on which this label is granted.
    Equating giftedness with eminence may conflate giftedness with opportunity.

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    #237795 - 04/18/17 08:41 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    Would it be wrong to post what facebook page or article first posted these views. I am enjoying the discussion, but am lost when it comes to the origin of the discussion.

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    #237799 - 04/18/17 10:14 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: howdy]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: howdy
    Would it be wrong to post what facebook page or article first posted these views. I am enjoying the discussion, but am lost when it comes to the origin of the discussion.
    It appears the facebook page may contain a mix of items, some of which may not be focused on questions the OP wishes to focus on in this discussion thread:
    - Are gifted kids different today?
    - Why do gifted kids behave differently from 50 years ago or hundreds of years ago?
    - If 2% of kids had behavioral problems from giftedness why wasn't it discovered and studied years ago?
    - Is it more to do with parenting, and parents being aware of giftedness and maybe subconsciously treating them differently?
    - And if high achievement goes with being bright then how did we get to this technologically advanced state we're in?
    - Where have all those stereotypically gifted kids gone?

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    #237800 - 04/18/17 10:18 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    BenjaminL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/30/12
    Posts: 144
    Loc: Seattle
    I see no reason to be coy about a public facebook page and it was really confusing reading secondhand about it. I assume at least some of the people are referencing:

    https://www.facebook.com/The-Normal-Gifted-Child-270826373364223

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    #237802 - 04/18/17 10:53 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: BenjaminL]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    To the degree any facebook page helps posters focus on the OP's questions, providing a link to a facebook page is great; However there may be a high likelihood that providing a link may divert attention and lead to veering off-topic from the OP's questions and on to other ideas presented on the facebook page (but which are not in the OP of this discussion thread).

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    #237803 - 04/18/17 10:53 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: BenjaminL]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    Originally Posted By: BenjaminL
    I see no reason to be coy about a public facebook page and it was really confusing reading secondhand about it. I assume at least some of the people are referencing:




    Thank you! Yes, it does really help to folllow this thread having seen the facebook page.


    Edited by howdy (04/18/17 03:51 PM)

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    #237804 - 04/18/17 11:33 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: BenjaminL]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Well, that page is certainly special. Some of my favorite quotes:

    Quote:
    They believe it is possible for a child to purposely do poorly, or have anxiety affect the results. This is untrue.


    Quote:
    A lot of parents of gifted children with behavioral problems are often full of sour grapes. They resent children who are well behaved and focused, and accuse them of not being "truly gifted"...This is bullying behavior; it reduces normal gifted children to performance animals.

    (Huh?)

    Quote:
    If you read new research conducted by cigarette companies stating that smoking is actually healthy would you believe it? I doubt it. So why are we believing research about "gifted" children conducted by those whose children are 2e?


    The logical fallacies and lack of reasoning ability this person displays are...well, pretty typical of mediocrity. But of course, it's all my fault:

    Quote:
    You people are too thick to comprehend what I am saying.

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    #237806 - 04/18/17 12:06 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics

    That Facebook page was actually too painful for me to read.

    Technically, it was too painful for me to read without getting paid to read it. I would gladly read it for a reduced hourly rate of $200 per hour.

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    #237807 - 04/18/17 12:30 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    howdy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/13
    Posts: 279
    To the OP, I think that in order to label gifted people as such, you must have a definition of gifted and some way to test that definition. Have either/or both of those changed? Are they different from school to school and state to state? How much more do we now know about intelligence, education, achievement, etc?

    I have often wondered if my child would have done better in the public schools of 25 or 50 years ago. It is really hard to figure this out, I think, partly because of the "good old days fallacy" where we remember mostly the good things about the era and very little of the shortcomings. I could make lists of things that would have helped and what would have hurt, I don't often go too far down that road.

    From my own experience, I know that you had to get a certain IQ number from a screening test (not an individual IQ test) to get into the gifted program where I grew up, but they disqualified you if "they" thought you were too shy, etc. I don't see that happening as much now, so there is one concrete reason why more kids would get into the program.

    There are a lot of differences that others addressed.

    I am not sure I understand your question about being technologically advanced. Getting here could be due to a mix of work from gifted people, high achievers and worker bees, right?


    Edited by howdy (04/18/17 12:38 PM)

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    #237809 - 04/18/17 02:57 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: howdy]
    George C Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/12/15
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: howdy
    Originally Posted By: BenjaminL
    I see no reason to be coy about a public facebook page and it was really confusing reading secondhand about it. I assume at least some of the people are referencing:
    ...



    Thank you! Yes, it does really help to folllow this thread having seen the facebook page.

    I'm of mixed mind about providing the link. The owner of that page only has, at the time of this writing, 45 likes and about 60 followers. Adding links to the page will just bring it more attention, which is exactly what this person wants (keep in mind everything you write here gets publicly indexed by search engines).

    The page owner, from what I can tell, is not operating in good faith. They immediately delete comments they don't agree with and refuse to answer or provide evidence for their wild claims. Asking for that evidence will get you blocked.

    They seem to have a chip on their shoulders about something.

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    #237811 - 04/18/17 03:31 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: George C]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: George C
    The page owner, from what I can tell, is not operating in good faith. They immediately delete comments they don't agree with and refuse to answer or provide evidence for their wild claims. Asking for that evidence will get you blocked
    Unfortunately this may be more common than some may realize, although this particular community facebook page is transparent in noting its policy. In my observation and experience, some state affiliates of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) also delete and/or block and/or ban.

    To remain on topic: Reflecting on these facebook page policies causes me to say that a large difference in gifted children today as compared with decades ago, is how the concept of giftedness has become politicized... and is considered by some to not be "politically correct" in this age of equal outcomes.

    That said, I believe that whenever possible (such as when making assertions about giftedness on a forum or facebook page) it is wise to include a source... preferably a linked source... or state that something is anecdotal (part of one's lived experience... related by a friend-of-a-friend... or simply use that catch-all phrase "in my observation and experience..."). smile

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    #237812 - 04/18/17 04:04 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: indigo]
    George C Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/12/15
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Unfortunately this may be more common than some may realize, although this particular community facebook page is transparent in noting its policy.

    As far as I can tell, here is their policy (which is not located in the About section but is merely a post floating around with the other ones):
    Quote:
    This page is for parents who have real gifted children who are frustrated by the new kind of "gifted" child. If you want to troll I will delete and ban you. Only supportive comments are allowed.

    Apparently "troll" means simply asking for clarification about what "the new kind of 'gifted' child" even means.


    Edited by George C (04/18/17 05:07 PM)

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    #237888 - 04/22/17 03:34 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4230
    Originally Posted By: dusty
    Where have all those stereotypically gifted kids gone?
    There is an adorably precocious, gifted child named Mary in the movie "Gifted", out now. smile

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    #237894 - 04/23/17 08:54 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    cammom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/11/13
    Posts: 299
    I had a blood pressure situation reading that FB page. I vented a bunch of snarky comments here, but immediately deleted. Felt better just to type it out.

    Sadly, I believe there are plenty of people out there who think that a child with learning issues can't be gifted-- we've faced it, and I'm sure others have too.

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    #237896 - 04/23/17 11:23 AM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    Arrw09 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/03/16
    Posts: 35
    I don't think they're different, I think we're learning more. I was identified as a child b/c of my behavioral problems stemming from boredom.

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    #237898 - 04/23/17 01:02 PM Re: Are gifted kids different today? [Re: dusty]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Parenting styles, lifestyles and education have all changed. Kids are probably basically the same.

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