By Grace Wood
The term "Gifted" is a
hotly debated subject. Of course, while every child is special, the moniker of "Gifted" pertains to a number
associated with a measurement of intelligence.
Every individual is born with a unique set of abilities,
challenges and attributes, that when combined with their environment will manifest into a unique life experience.
For us here at BLC, being Gifted is only partially about having a high IQ number that suggests a potential for greatness.
An IQ is only a number. There is a lot more to the story.
As it turns out, the
higher the IQ, the more likely the person will be excruciatingly sensitive, highly creative and at risk for under
achievement of their true academic potential.
Gifted people are prone to existential conflict and social isolation.
Because of their differences, highly and profoundly gifted children are frequently misdiagnosed with spectrum disorders
and other pathologies. Commonly, diagnoses in the gifted population include Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, sensory integration disorders,
ADHD, Asperger, and ASD. (although this is complicated by the fact that it is possible to be both gifted and have other conditions) (Hartnett et al 2003). See Gifted-At-Risk.
Given these challenges, many schools that proclaim to serve gifted
students will not accept highly and profoundly gifted children. Essentially, by saying they will not accept students
with learning differences, they neatly exclude highly and profoundly gifted children.
Personally, I have never met a student who had an IQ of over 140 who did not also exhibit some characteristics of
an ASD child. By saying they do not accept 2E students, some private schools are excluding the brightest and highest potential
learners. In other words, schools that will not accept 2E children are, in fact, turning away the future Einsteins, Teslas
and Newtons, just because they are more challenging to serve.
At BLC we have found that by creating an environment
and system that supports the challenges of highly and profoundly gifted learners as well as their abilities, many 2E learners
will actually thrive and not appear to have any difficulty at all. Of course serving these children at their INDIVIDUAL level
of need means, foregoing the profits associated with running a larger institution and focusing on providing premium attention
to smaller groups.
That is why our new program serving gifted students has
now been divided into four micro schools. Smaller groups enable us to hone down and better focus on serving INDIVIDUAL needs.
BLC will accept 2E children on a case by case basis. There are, of course, some children whose needs are beyond our scope
to serve. Our new enrollment process helps to ensure we accept learners who are best suited for our program.
We at BLC, have a nonprofit mission to serve the emotional
and educational needs of highly and profoundly gifted students at their INDIVIDUAL level. This can only be achieved by paying
attention to the needs, challenges and abilities of each individual learner.
And that cannot
be done as a mass scale production.