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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 13 2011: This is a reason why I love homeschooling b/c my kids don't have to be put into any particular box, not a grade level or group of friends or special program. I'm sure my 7 yo would test as 'gifted' in most areas, and delayed in others. I kn...ow that doesn't help the discussion. It's tricky, she'd *most* fit in with gifted kids. I like calling my kids spirited or highly aware. For adults, I prefer Highly Aware or Highly Perceptive. Doesn't really roll off the tongue though, as well as gifted. I always just thought of myself as "Different", not better not worse, just very aware that I was not like everyone around me. And I say it now with pride ♥

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