Gifted and Talented

Gifted or talented children present their parents and educators with a number of important challenges. Learning Breakthrough ProgramTM activities form a foundation on which these students can build their academic careers and make the most out of their unique potential…
and the same is true for  “average” students as well!

Most psychologists and guidance professionals will tell you that “gifted” does not mean “good student.” There is often a gap with gifted students, as with average students, between their innate intelligence and their actual academic performance. The Learning Breakthrough ProgramTM works to close this gap and develop a framework that can be relied upon to make the most out of everyone’s potential.

One of the most common traits of gifted children is a unique way of perceiving things. They make more abstract connections, synthesize diverse experiences and make sophisticated conclusions at an early age. It is not the case that a gifted child’s unique perceptions are always “true” to the rest of us, but they are powerful. The result is a child who grows up with a reality somewhat different than that of their peers and often different from their parents and teachers as well.

Because they differ in other ways, gifted children often become somewhat isolated. These unique characteristics tend to reinforce one another to the point where a majority of gifted children feel lonely, left-out, or different. This combination of unique perception and its concurrent isolation can yield an emotional vacuum. After all, for most of us, our emotional lives develop by “bouncing off” idea and feelings with those around us. It may also be the case that since their intellectual capacities are so strong, they have less of a need to develop their emotional sensitivity. In any case, a major pitfall for some gifted children is a lower level of empathy and an inaccurate perception of their communications with others.

Isolation is also an advantage for many children. It gives them the opportunity to nurture their own gifts, to focus as intently as they want (and must) to excel. So “alone time” is not to be eliminated all together, just balanced.

No matter how brilliant or gifted, humans are still social creatures who absolutely require connections to other people. It is important to note that attention to social skills and emotional development enhances academic development, it is not a “distraction.”

Gifted children typically have an advanced level of moral reasoning, and while they do not always act on this insight (they are, after all, children), it can add to a perception of intransigence.

Gifted children are often perfectionists. This has positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, perfectionism means they are motivated to work toward mastery and they earn pleasure from achievement. On the other hand, it means they are unforgiving of themselves, resist learning from failure and have great difficulty going backwards. Perfectionism contributes to pessimistic beliefs, feelings and actions. This can be inoculated with optimist attitudes and formal challenges that are ongoing in nature and present no easily quantifiable measures.

The Learning Breakthrough ProgramTM requires young students to develop new sets of skills and places in front of young students a unique challenge to be mastered. When they start the program they will not be “perfect” and in fact the ability to increase balance difficulty, on the uniquely designed Belgau Balance Board, will expose gifted students to a challenge that is not necessarily able to be “mastered”. This is a valuable lesson for life that grows along with the nuero-network development that takes place while using the program.