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What's the difference between gifted and ... mentally challeged??

When I hear my child is in the gifted class or special class I think mentally challenged is thier a difference ??????

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:32 PM on Apr. 19, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • to my understanding..... "Gifted" means they are  far ahead of their peers academically so they go to Gifted classes with others that are also accelling faster academically than their peers.

    "Special" Ed classes are for those (some mentally challenged, others not) that are learning things at a slower rate than their peers. These classes offer more help to get kids to learn the same stuff that the kids in Regular classes are learning.


    Answer by VeronicaLee at 3:38 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • funny thing- it is common for a child gifted in 1 area to be 'delayed' (Spec Ed) in another area.
    they are just labels used as an easy filing system so teachers know what to do with them.

    Answer by Kiter at 3:43 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • I hate those labels.... grrrrrr but Veronicalee is right. thats what they mean.

    Answer by Precious333 at 3:53 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Gifted has do with having an IQ far above that of the average child. Mentally challenged is the opposite.
    Both types of students fall under ESE (exceptional student education) in the school system.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • and Kiter is right too.... its to make things easier for the school system.

    Answer by Precious333 at 3:54 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • yes there is a major difference

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:25 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • I agree with anon 3:53. Gifted is an above average IQ, a student who NEEDS to be academically challenged. Mentally challenged is the opposite.

    "Gifted classes" are part of the "Special Education" classes. The Special Education department handles both ends of the issue (for lack of a better word). I never realized that until talking with my husband's aunt who happens to work for our local school district's special Education department.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 4:47 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Gifted is a high IQ along with the ability to perform at that IQ level.

    -actualy often kids in Spec Ed kids can have very high IQs.

    Answer by Kiter at 6:17 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • I'm a teacher. There are always new "buzz" words in education. Gifted means high I.Q., and learning at a faster pace than most other students. Most schools won't call a slower paced learning class "special". They will call it "resource" or "different abilities" or something.

    Answer by jessiepink at 7:04 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Yes, there is a difference. Gifted means you are extremely intelligent, smart.. Mentally Challenged means there are issues with your mental capabilities.Usually mentally challenged means low IQ, not smart, they need extra help to do simple things, yes some can be intelligent but can't process things like everyone else.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 7:52 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

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