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    #247344 - 07/14/20 05:31 AM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: indigo]
    Eagle Mum Offline

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 91
    Loc: Australia
    Hi Indigo,

    Your opening paragraph is very insightful & wise, about how a poor fit of schooling could be negatively internalised and the more positive perspective & approach which could be taken instead.

    #247345 - 07/14/20 07:10 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: indigo]
    MumOfThree Offline

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1678
    Loc: Australia
    I really want to support what Indigo and Eagle Mum have said in their last posts. It is very important that you not internalize not fitting an educational institution as your personal shortcoming. But it is also true that workplaces consider more than just your greatest talents so it is worth working on your weaknesses and gaps.

    As a parent of three twice exceptional children I find it is an ongoing struggle to balance the need to work with my children from a strengths based perspective vs remediating their weaknesses. When should I concentrate on extending them in their strengths so that they can know and experience themselves as highly able, and learn all the things that come with being challenged (for example it's much easier to learn task persistence for an engaging challenge than a task for which the only challenge is persisting through extreme boredom). And when should I concentrate on remediating their weaknesses to an at least semi functional level? Which weaknesses should be considered a life long disability, which it is reasonable to always expect they will have accommodations in study and work?

    For example: I have a child whom I have organised radical acceleration in one subject area, tutoring in an area of weakness (with a 2E specialist who gets that a 2E child's struggles may not be the same as the general population needing tutotoring in that subject), and have also made sure that they are never required to use handwriting because this will remain a life long issue and should be fairly easily avoided in any workplace.

    You don't seem to mention your parents, I fear that you have not had someone doing this for you, perhaps they did not realise they could, or should, perhaps they tried and did not have much success (it's certainly an uphill battle for me). Now you must learn to do it for yourself.

    If English is an area of weakness for you, please know that it is possible to tease out what precisely is the problem and then consider, ideally with professional help, whether there is a less common approach to getting the "qualification" you need in this area in order to continue to tertiary studies. Clearly you are not completely unable to write anything coherently. Perhaps your issue is literary analysis? Perhaps it is drawing inferences, handwriting or speech. Whatever it is, some issues are far more in need of remediation than others before you can move forward. Some issues you possibly need only to seek professional support to frame as the disability they are.

    Please continue to reach out and continue to learn in your areas of interest while working on the issues that are holding you back.

    #247347 - 07/15/20 10:46 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    Anisotropic Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/09/18
    Posts: 20
    English is an area of relative weakness compared to math and science, although that's unrelated to the situation here. I had an A in the class up until failing to complete the final paper. This happened not owing to an inability to write altogether, but instead to general apathy regarding my academic future. In some sense I wanted to force myself to drop out rather than to go to a mediocre university far too late.
    I have never failed a class that I actually put effort into. My unweighted GPA was 3.973 when I applied to college. A similar situation occurred in 8th grade. I was promoted into precalculus after a great deal of pleading with the district, though they were entirely unwilling to let a middle-schooler take calculus since the only version available was AP. I had already taught myself calculus and was dreadfully bored, so I stopped doing work for the class and attending school in general. Credit wasn't ever actually awarded for that course.
    I did find that my scores on essay portions of standardized tests were generally much worse than on multiple-choice English or reading sections (36 on both on the ACT as a soph), though they were still above average.

    My parents have historically either been not in my corner whatsoever or in my corner entirely too much with no in-between. Despite having test results in elementary school they didn't think I was gifted or talented because the results were uneven and the district indicated I was not. The result can only be described as a "weaknesses-based" approach where I was constantly reminded of being a subhuman autistic freak forever separated from the rest of humanity. More recently they've been pushy in trying to help me reach my goals, not knowing that it's impossible for me to ever reach them at this point.
    "The thing that doesn't fit is the most interesting."
    -Richard Feynman

    #247349 - 07/16/20 06:59 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    MumOfThree Offline

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1678
    Loc: Australia
    You sound very self aware here, that even if English is a relative weakness that you are well able to complete the required tasks, if you had not sabotaged yourself. Which it seems you believe that you have done.

    It is absolutely not impossible to reach your goals now. Except perhaps where goals relate to achieving X by age Y, that you might need to let go of. But age/time related goals like this, in most scenarios, should be seen as realistically having very little to do with the actual achievement you wish to make. If you are aiming to be a prima ballerina, it is my understanding that if you do not have a placement in a company by 18/19yrs old, then you probably never will. So yes, there are certain accomplishments that have an age/timeframe attached to them, but this is very much the exception, not the rule.

    You are not "too old", it is not "too late", and you are not incapable of achieving great outcomes. You are currently standing in your own way though.

    I should have thought to point you at this article earlier:

    Do you have any sort of mentor with regard to your autism? Or connection to a community of adults living successfully with autism? I think it would really do you the world of good to have contact with a mentor or community who views Autism in a more positive and supportive light. In Australia the first example that comes to mind is the I CAN network:

    Perhaps someone in the US will be aware of a similar opportunity available to you in the USA?

    I used to really enjoy Karla's ASD page, she's not been very active for quite some time, but she has some really useful resources and posts that are worth reading.

    #247353 - 07/18/20 07:28 AM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    chris1234 Offline

    Registered: 06/27/08
    Posts: 1897
    It's clear you're smart and unfortunately, you won't be recognized as such by everyone - though it can be very frustrating - schools, jobs, etc. just will not pick the brightest most creative people because they are usually not looking for those things, imo.
    What they want - compliance to norms. Paper records of 'achievement'. People-persons (not all bad,

    The point someone made about grieving the 'slam dunk life' we were sold is oh so true. Life is freaking hard and disappointing a lot of the time and frankly, a lot of that has to do with $ or the lack thereof.
    I'm probably guilty of instilling some of those pipe dreams in my own kids as well.
    I have an extremely gifted couple of kids here, one of whom is now 20 and in community college. While always very bright seeming and testing very well when time is not an issue, with asperger's, add, and later the physical exhaustion of POTS, things have not been a straight line at all for this guy. But he realizes if he wants to get to his goals - fluency in Japanese, math studies, computer science type job (hopefully), moving out of the house (!) and continuing to animate on the side, that he has to keep plugging away. A lot of this is not fun. A lot (LOT) of his classes and professors suck. Bless their hearts, they suck. For him, at least. Issues include not 'getting' his various accommodations and only putting them in place late in a semester, using but then not supporting some third party homework software, being mind-numbingly dull, poor information, poorly worded tests, etc. One or two have been genuinely ok. wink
    After a rough couple of classes he has gotten on a more even keel and *seems* to be doing ok. He still can't even take more than 2 or 3 classes a semester due to still working through some of the exhaustion. But he has what most studies point to for success long term :grit.
    I think there are many threads on this site on that elusive quality; how do we instill it in our kids, etc.
    But, I know it's hard to have 'stick-to-it-iveness' when you're dealing with mental health hurdles - that is not my point. Definitely focus on getting healthy, feeling good and then taking one step at a time.

    That is my point: it's not all or nothing, small steps are O.K! 1 single community college course just to get the credits going. Or a certification in computer science if you need to get a job and put food on the table (not sure your circumstances). Baby steps. (My husband btw, went to college without some final h.s. credits and does not have a h.s. diploma, but has a b.a., after 8 years of a few courses when he could; I.Q. way the hell up there. )

    My son will not be graduating with his 'cohort' - but really they never were his cohort to begin with, and now literally everyone is going to have odd gaps and strange bumps in the road with covid-19 throwing everything into a tizzy. Well, maybe not everyone in New Zealand.

    p.s. maybe you can reach out to new people online and get some conversation/camaraderie going - my son has also done that where people he would meet irl where just not into the things he's into (eg: golden age japanese cinema.)

    #247359 - 07/18/20 05:18 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: chris1234]
    Eagle Mum Offline

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 91
    Loc: Australia
    Hi Chris1234,

    It’s great you took the time to write this post. I’d been thinking about posting something similar because very recently there have been three separate threads started by gifted young adults who appear to be at crossroads in their lives & contemplating which directions to take, having experienced various setbacks.

    Gifted kids may possibly experience more disillusionment because many would have achieved good to stellar grades in high school relatively easily and have expectations that Uni should be even better as they get to choose what they want to study. I think the first potential pitfall with Uni is that many of the highly desirable courses attract a range of talented peers who each have similar expectations, so other factors (fairly or otherwise) often become relevant to success.

    Your advice about the value of tenacity and that achievement & success are not ‘all or nothing’ are particularly valuable. I was going to write the very same comments from first hand experiences, but you have written so well, I’ll just second what you’ve posted.

    Following another thread of comments from other PPs, parents also may play a significant role. The ‘Eagle Mum’ moniker was carefully chosen. DH & I have experienced some of these difficulties & challenges in our youth, as gifted individuals who received poor or misdirected parental support. We are now in relatively good positions to watch out for our kids, so they get to explore the territory with the confidence that we have their backs covered. Life is definitely not a level playing field - one just has to make personal choices and efforts and determine & savour own successes.

    Edited by Eagle Mum (07/19/20 03:20 AM)

    #247361 - 07/20/20 05:01 AM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    MumOfThree Offline

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1678
    Loc: Australia
    Chris has brought to my mind the saying “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly”. There is a meme from “an ex gifted child” about this concept somewhere out there on the internet, and multiple articles. It’s a valuable concept to sit with and work towards.

    #247362 - 07/20/20 12:09 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1644
    Life lessons are hard. I remember thinking I didn't need good "language skills" since I could do calculus in my sleep, then I had write reports. And I thought my brilliance would be enough. But my incoherence was overwhelming. I took an english writing course. Just basic. I was smart enough to get it. I just had to apply it. and making the effort, changed everything. But I had to make the effort. I had to learn how to make speeches that were coherent, could be followed, instead of assuming that everyone could see what I could see. I have boo-hooed many times at the blockages in my life that seemed unfair. But I finished boo-hooing and find another way. Since I was not dead. I know that seems strange. But I met a girl. She was 16, I was 19, I had a summer job for the city. Long story short, she had burn scars all over her body, she lived behind a strip mall in a shack. She was in a program I was running and she was so happy to be a part of it, excited that I got a free lunch at an Italian restaurant for the group. Little things. Every time I got in my hole, I remember that girl. I have skills, I have opportunity, I tell myself that if I am not dead, I can try again. You can try again. There are refugees that have no options. You have options. stop boo-hooing.

    #247670 - 10/09/20 11:10 PM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: Anisotropic]
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    I realise I am late to the party, but couldn’t not respond. I once hit a very horrible wall in my life, and had the luck to come up against a pair of very smart docs who said “this is not you talking. This is your depression talking. Take your meds and wait for them to kick in and this WILL disappear”. I am sure you are aware that antidepressants take some time to kick in for most people. (I am actually a pretty fast responder but the crisis was so deep.)

    You NEED to get off that substance abuse and on antidepressants. Don’t make any decisions until you fell yourself coming back. It may have happened for you already or not, but it must happen. You may not be able to find a good therapist, ever. I never did. I make do with talking regularly, every 8 weeks or so, to the psychiatrist who prescribed my meds. A psychiatrist should also be able to get you a medical withdrawal from that English class. Unis might actually not care either way.

    I cannot stress the reliability thing enough, for real life.

    #247689 - 10/13/20 11:09 AM Re: Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out? [Re: MumOfThree]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4491
    As mentioned upthread,
    Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
    ...“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly”...
    An article about the source of this quote -
    A Thing Worth Doing (Chesterton)
    Link -

    Would this be the meme that came to mind for this quote...?
    Link -

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