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Sonia Dabboussi

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If 'gifted' is a bad word, what term can we use to describe the highly intelligent and creative members of our societies?

The word 'gifted', technically meaning intellectual giftedness, has become a terribly misused term.

'GIfted' has been used to refer to anything from any kind of elitist, socially challenged group of people, to a type of characteristic of a person or object that varies even slightly from the norm.

Many intellectually gifted people refuse to attend gifted programs in their local schools because they don't want to be labeled with something so many people think to mean 'better than others'. Then they don't get the help or varied learning experiences they need to make the most of their abilities, and therefore in essence 'waste' their talents and skills that could so definitely be used by the world.

So what word can we use for the 'learning enabled' individuals so that they can feel confident in their strengths and abilities but still get the help they need? What kind of phrase can be used to refer to the gifted that everyone will find acceptable and satisfactory?

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    Mar 10 2011: I read through the opinions and this is a great debate, very professional.

    I think that all children are somehow "gifted", so this "normal".
    The problem is that in most cases parents do not have the time and education systems do not have the skills to discover the "gift" for each child.
    I wish for a time when this debate will be useless :-)
    • Mar 11 2011: What makes you think that all children are "somehow "gifted""?

      All children have height. Not all children are tall (or short). All children have weight. Not all children are heavy (or light).

      All children have muscles. Not all children are strong (or weak).

      And there are children who are average to short, average to small, and average to weak, all at the same time. Some of those children will also be average to poor at math, science, English, languages, history, interpersonal relations, acting, painting, leading, and every other field of human endeavor and activity.

      All children have their areas of greatest strength - but that doesn't mean they are strong relative to other children in that area.
    • Mar 11 2011: All children are not gifted - not in the neurological sense. Neither are all children developmentally disabled. Human beings come in a range of abilities, and grouping all of us - including the outliers - together benefits no one.

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