Exceptionally and Profoundly gifted learners can be missed and the results can be catastrophic and long-standing
They can be so deeply out-of-step with their own potential (and deep interests) that they are truly missing-in-action, even to themselves.
And even when they are living openly and displaying their remarkable abilities they can bump up against a person or an institution that thwarts them in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
"My little guy was so eager to learn in a different setting - virtual public school (just a few peer level classes at public with the rest being online gifted AP classes.) He was “put in his place” and dismissed several times by an insensitive (but I’m sure overwhelmed) teacher. I now have a kiddo quickly crossing that line back to school refusal and expressing that he’s “dumb” and “doesn’t know anything anymore”It’s been 2 days! Only 2 days!"
(USA Mom of an EPG 10-year-old)
And, for EPGs, “once-points-towards-a-pattern”.
A young EPG child - primed to learn and open to experience - can shut down very quickly in the face of an insensitive teacher, unresponsive environment(s), meager learning resources, and age-peers who find them too intense, too sensitive, too curious, and difficult to understand. This early shut-down can be truly catastrophic for the EPG child. It is potentially catastrophic in that the child may dial down any emotional responsivity at all to mitigate the exquisite pain of rejection and the numbing effects of lack of reciprocity with age-peers whose cognitive complexity and pattern recognition is in no way similar to the EPG child.
"And once shut down, as an adult it can take a monumental effort of will, energy and focus to attempt to return to the somatic and daily lived experience of that degree of potential . . ."
(Excerpt from a Facebook Post, an EPG adult)
LIFE IN ITS ENTIRETY IS ABOUT ADAPTATION
A light shines through the keyhole.
Drawing the eye towards an opening: a turning point.
I seek the freedom of that opening door;
that stepping into another phase of life,
a wider and deeper place of being . . .
A place of emergence and new capacities lit . . .
How do I keep my "fire in the belly" stoked?
How do I keep freedom in my heart?
Perhaps I am not quite ready for that turning,
that opening door.
I will live awhile at this entrance.
I will live a while with these questions.
from Chapter Two: The Whale in the World . . . in "Excuse Me . . . Where Do I Park my Whale? The Extraordinary Journey of the Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted." (A book-in-the-making by P. Susan Jackson).