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What is Gifted?

By Grace Wood
 
The term "Gifted" is a hotly debated subject. Of course, while every child is special, the moniker of "Gifted" pertains to a number associated with a measurement of intelligence.

Every individual is born with a unique set of abilities, challenges and attributes, that when combined with their environment will manifest into a unique life experience.

For us here at BLC, being Gifted is only partially about having a high IQ number that suggests a potential for greatness.  An IQ is only a number.  There is a lot more to the story.

As it turns out, the higher the IQ, the more likely the person will be excruciatingly  sensitive, highly creative and at risk for under achievement of their true academic potential.

Gifted people are prone to existential conflict and social isolation. Because of their differences, highly and profoundly gifted children are frequently misdiagnosed with spectrum disorders and other pathologies. Commonly, diagnoses in the gifted population include Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, sensory integration disorders, ADHD, Asperger, and ASD.
(although this is complicated by the fact that it is possible to be both gifted and have other conditions) (Hartnett et al 2003).  See Gifted-At-Risk.
 
Given these challenges, many schools that proclaim to serve gifted students will not accept highly and profoundly gifted children. Essentially,  by saying they will not accept students with learning differences, they neatly exclude highly and profoundly gifted children. 
 
Personally, I have never met a student who had an IQ of over 140 who did not also exhibit some characteristics of an ASD child. By saying they do not accept 2E students, some private schools are excluding the brightest and highest potential learners. In other words, schools that will not accept 2E children are, in fact, turning away the future Einsteins, Teslas and Newtons, just because they are more challenging to serve.

At BLC we have found that by creating an environment and system that supports the challenges of highly and profoundly gifted learners as well as their abilities, many 2E learners will actually thrive and not appear to have any difficulty at all. Of course serving these children at their INDIVIDUAL level of need means, foregoing the profits associated with running a larger institution and focusing on providing premium attention to smaller groups.
 
That is why our new program serving gifted students has now been divided into four micro schools. Smaller groups enable us to hone down and better focus on serving INDIVIDUAL needs. BLC will accept 2E children on a case by case basis. There are, of course, some children whose needs are beyond our scope to serve. Our new enrollment process helps to ensure we accept learners who are best suited for our program.

 
We at BLC, have a nonprofit mission to serve the emotional and educational needs of highly and profoundly gifted students at their INDIVIDUAL level. This can only be achieved by paying attention to the needs, challenges and abilities of each individual learner.
And that cannot be done as a mass scale production.