In nearly every room of my house there is a surface dedicated to one or a few of my many, many projects. When company comes over I cover them with stylish blankets or sweep the contents into a decorative box so that I can hide them in plain sight.

Before I came to understand that I’m gifted, I thought for sure I must have some kind of pathological inability to focus or commit.

Now I understand…

I’m a divergent thinker.

Anyone who took a look in my college backpack would probably laugh. At any given time there would be lab manuals, scientific texts, my knitting, the newest Vogue and Bust magazines, a journal full of endless lists and ideas, along with 10 different lipsticks and lip glosses.

Actually, that’s pretty close to what my current backpack looks like too.

My interests are varied, to say the least.

For the past couple of posts we’ve been working together to identify and understand the six types of gifted child. Keeping in mind, of course, that these types are only a framework for empathy and understanding; they are a place to start as you discover how your child is feeling and strategize ways to help meet their needs.

Often gifted children are a blend of these types with a dominant type. The type your child is today may not be the type she is tomorrow. In my experience, a gifted child will unconsciously move through these six different types while coping with puberty, changing family dynamics, and an increasing sense of self-awareness.

For this post, we’re discussing the Type 2: Challenging gifted child. A Type 2 gifted child sticks out like a sore thumb when tasked to conform.

And it’s not that they don’t want to fit in — it’s that they can’t.

The parent that answered mostly B’s in my quiz could have a Type 2 gifted child. The Type 2 is also known as “The Divergent Thinker”. This type of gifted child values creative expression above all else. They experience repetition as torture and often see little need for demonstrating mastery.

In the classroom they will often make connections and come to conclusions in a circuitous manner that challenges the norm… and the teacher.

Sadly, this type of giftedness is more often seen as a case for disciplinary action rather than support and celebration. Type 2’s know they are different and they know it can’t be helped. It’s our job to make sure they receive as much acknowledgement and acceptance as possible.

Above all make sure this child has lots of room to explore and express themselves. It’s vital to their sense of self that they be encouraged to do so. They may hop from medium to medium; it’s the expression that is important.

Demonstrate through word and deed that you appreciate how their mind works. Moreover, try not to judge their creative expression as good or bad, and provide feedback only when it’s asked for.

For the next post, I’ll discuss Type 3: The Underground gifted child in more detail.

And won’t you share your perspective on the different types of gifted learners and where you think your child fits in the comments? I love hearing from you!

*This blog post is based on the article, Profiles of the Gifted and Talented  (Betts, George, and Maureen Neihart. Profiles of the gifted and talented. Gifted Child Quarterly, National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), 1988. Web. 2013. <http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10114.aspx>.).

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I welcome comments and discussion, and I will do my best to reply or address questions in future posts. And as always, thank you so much to all my current followers; your support means the world to me.
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