When people talk of a child being “gifted”, they usually mean a child who is achieving exceptionally highly in some field or who has shown that they are potentially capable of such exceptional performance.
But giftedness is not all about performance. That’s only the end product of a complex process – and it’s one that doesn’t always happen if the right support is not there.
Giftedness isn’t a choice. It can’t be taught or learned. It is present at birth. It helps to shape a child’s whole experience of life. It can be identified long before school, sometimes even in infancy. Or it might never be identified: some gifted individuals go through life unrecognised, unhappy, their potential never developed, often some of life’s misfits. So much depends on the knowledge and on the attitudes and perceptions of the people around that child – parents, other adults, children, teachers, the school system, society in general.
So what does it mean to be gifted? How does it influence a child’s life and experience? The very best answer ever written comes from researcher Michael Piechowski. He wrote:
[To find out what he wrote, click here!!!]