When my mom got mad she said, “If you’re so smart, why is your room so messy?”
Nick, grade 7
I’d been trying to help gifted students for several years before I came across the 8 Great Gripes of Gifted Kids as compiled by Jim Delisle and Judy Galbraith from survey responses of thousands of teens.
What did the kids say bothered them the most?
- No one explains what being gifted is all about - it's kept a big secret.
- School is too easy and too boring
- Parents, teachers, and friends expect us to be perfect all the time.
- Friends who really understand us are few and far between.
- Kids often tease us about being smart.
- We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life.
- We feel different and alienated.
- We worry about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them.
And so was born the path to self-advocacy . . .
- Step 1 clarifies what it means (and doesn’t mean) to be gifted.
- Step 2 allows students to understand and celebrate their differences
- Step 3 identifies options that will be less boring and more challenging
- Step 4 helps kids find advocates (parents and teachers and friends) who will understand and support them.
After our first student self-advocacy retreat, 6th grader Tina wrote: I learned not to listen to what people say if they are making fun of you – it’s good to be different, to be gifted.