Gifted adults come from a long line of thinking, feeling, and acting differently when compared to other people. Their higher intelligence causes them to interact with their world in lush way that leads to a deeper understanding of the environment. Their biology impacts what stimuli they experience, while their child rearing influences how they feel about themselves in the world. That is true at least until.......
The gifted begin to understand these perceptual differences among people and how to navigate their social environment. When the gifted have formulated a core identity and learn how to interact with others, they can create a better perception of self.
Understanding the self makes a huge difference in whether they will under perform or move into genius status.
Morelock explains giftedness as.... "Trying to fit in at the expense of the Self leads many gifted people
to feel like aliens from a different planet ..." ( 1998, p. 205).
The alien feeling is about knowing one is different and not knowing why. No one stepped up to see the potential and develop it fully so the genius can live a happy and fulfilling life.
Their quantitative and qualitative from the bell curve average puts them on a different path of trajectory. Strong environments will create a positive trajectory while difficult environments may derail the person into a world of mediocre. We lose our geniuses in our common everyday experiences.
Gifted students need support throughout their developmental process to ensure they truly understand themselves, the world around them, and their place within it. The process of developing and creating a sense of self will make the difference between those who perform and those who won't.
Why should we care?
Genius is a community activity raised from the crop of human development. If the community doesn't support it; or worse shuns it! The genius will hide his/her skills and move to more mundane activities that let them fit in. On the flip side, if our society develops the gifted to push them to contribute to society we create a stronger country and better world.
Morelock, M. J., (1996). On the nature of giftedness and talent: Imposing order on chaos. Roeper Review, 19, 4-12.