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Do you think that children who are labeled with high IQs or as gifted are treated differently by society?

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 4:42 AM
  • 10 Replies

4-Year-Old's IQ Is So High She's in Mensa: Should We Be Impressed?

Posted by Deborah Cruz on April 18, 2012 

little girlThe newest member of the prestigious high IQ club Mensa is 4–year–old Heidi Hankins of Winchester, England. She scored an impressive 159 on the Mensa IQ test, one point shy of that of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. That is quite remarkable.

The test measured her score against her peers of other 4-year-olds; she scored within the top 2 percent (which is the requirement for admission into Mensa). It is noted that children are scoring higher on IQ tests these days, for the sheer fact that parents are educating their children at much younger ages.

Do you think that by associating a child this young with her high IQ score can have adverse effects on her life? I think, as with any gifted child, once a parent discovers that the child excels in an area, they tend to try and nurture that gift. This would be natural, of course. If you had a child who was a gifted athlete, you would try to help them grow in their skills, receive effective training, and play at the appropriate level. You’d be proud of your child and want to help them excel in any way possible.

What happens if the child starts to be pushed too hard or pigeonholed by their achievements? By knowing that your child is of high intelligence, wouldn't you start to focus more on academics? Perhaps to the exclusion of everything else, even a normal childhood. It seems it would be easy to slip from encouraging parent to overbearing, especially with someone as young as Heidi Hankins.

The child could start to feel like their entire life revolves around academics. It would be overwhelming. The school and the parents might see it as beneficial to nurture the child’s intelligence by pushing them harder, teaching them above and beyond the average scope of children their age, pushing them to be someone they are not. I think IQ scores are great tools to use to gauge intelligence, when a child is a little older to know their strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t think IQ scores should be used to sit a small child on a path that they have no say in for the rest of their lives.

I've known children who scored high on the IQ standardized testing and then had no say in their education or classes all the way through high school. The IQ scores were high, the counselors advised the parents to go the AP/gifted route, the child had no say, the child was pushed into classes and extracurricular activities with no consideration for what the child wanted. With the high IQ came expectations of greatness.

Do you think that children who are labeled with high IQs or as gifted are treated differently by society?

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 4:42 AM
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by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:18 AM
My daughter began talking at 10 months, reading at 2 (she read and memorized The Cat in the Hat at 2 1/2), and was labeled as gifted in 1st grade ps. She scored a 140 on the iq test. She was definitely treated differently in ps. Teachers actively recruited her, since they wanted her to help their end of year test scores. They didn't really care about her...the kids knew she was the "smart one", so they didn't know how to act around her. Now that we're home, I rarely think about her "gifted" label. She's just Laura. We participate in several classes, but none of the other kids know she is "gifted". Personally, I hate that label. I don't want to seem ungrateful for my daughter's abilities; I thank God for the way he made her. But in ps, she was held up as the example to her classmates many times, and that ostracized her.
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

 i dont know about now days but when i went to school they were, they were hated and bullied

sometimes i think its the adults fault, cuz they make so much of the high iq or gifted child. kids get jealous, and the poor high ig or gifted child gets told how smart he/she is all the time that they just act different!

thats why i never told my dd3  she was high iq or gifted, during our home school years, she was never bored, or didnt try to lord it over her brothers and sisters or friends that she knew more than or learned faster than they did

. now as adults they call her the 'gifted one' as a joke!hahaha

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM

 My DD was put into the T& G program in K. Yes, I think she was treated differently by the other kids because of that and other things (bigger vocabulary, able to express herself much more, etc). I regret ever giving my consent.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Well, it's hard on my daughter because her vocabulary was much more advanced. For a while, other kids kind of rode her about it. Now that we homeschool and she has gotten older, too, it isn't as standout.

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I had the underachieving gifted child. High IQ, not so high grades. The struggle there was people thinking she was far, far less able than the average student, so the teachers made school even more pedantic, rote and boring.

Ever since I pulled her out (all of a week ago, and we're just decompressing right now and not even 'doing school'), she's been beyond excited about learning and the subjects we have planned. I gave her "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" and I've had to warn her not to get too excited about unschooling because we weren't swinging that far on the educational pendulum!

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM
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I hate labels, myself.

Every child is a mixture of character traits, temperament, gifts and talents, and intellligence. A gifted child is not just a "brain." He likely has defiencies in other areas. To put the child up on a pedestal as better is misleading and can create pride issues. It really is unfair to the "gifted" child to label him or her.

The beauty of homeschooling is that you can take any child and give them the opportunities to make the best of themselves without labels.

Being labeled "gifted" and sending them to special classes is just bad as the opposite of labeling an academically challenged child as "special ed."

There, you have my opinion on the subject. LOL

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 1:13 PM

My son had a better experience in gifted programs than many, I think. Actually, it wasn't so much the gifted program as the classroom experience. He was identified in 1st grade and in all his grades except one (3rd), he ended up with teachers who really understood how classroom differentiation works to the benefit of the child. He wasn't held up as different, he wasn't singled out except by the one day/week that he and several other TAG students went to the TAG school.

In class, he was given work that was sometimes accelerated, but just as often it was a deeper study of the subject at hand, which is what extremely intelligent kids can make better use of than simply speeding them along.

My daughter - the underachieving gifted child (and wow, what a label to put on a kid!) - had a very different experience.

by Sonja on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:13 PM

 I have several kids that are this way but I refuse to treat them any different from any other way I would treat any person. Child or adult.   They are on both sides of this too, under-achiever and over-achiever and all of them are high iqs.  Trying to keep up is a very fast moving pace too.  lol  :)

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

As a character on my favorite tv show said: "It's ok to be smarter than everyone else, it's just not nice to tell them you are". lol

I'd like to know how you test the I.Q. of a 4 year old to begin with?

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:33 PM

We have had a very good experience with public schooling serving our daughter's talents.  The caring way they dealt with her situation allowed her to maintain normalcy in social situations.  Naturally she still has some stumbling blocks when her peers are not at her mental level.  She skipped first grade and then had a few years in 4th and 5th which she was not challenged (comically in a special gifted class).  The school suggested skipping those grades, however it would have advanced her straight to middle school.  We felt that was a huge social jump.  When assimilated in middle school she then skipped a grade in math and then skipped another through testing into high school math at 12.  We allow her to academically complete the classes, but continues in social classes with her age.  We appreciate that the school treated her as an individual and we are constantly updated how well she  gets along with all of her classmates.  Each child is different and should be considered so.

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