What does really gifted mean to you

Seven misconceptions about giftedness

Misconception 1: Every child is gifted.

One thing is correct: giftedness only occurs in two out of a hundred children.

"Every child is gifted" - that is the title of a popular book. Is that correct? Scientists only speak of giftedness if a person has an intelligence quotient (IQ) of at least 130. This is only the case for around two percent of children and adolescents. They should be encouraged individually. “Every child is gifted” - this statement is true on the other hand. Because of course every child has their individual talents that make them a unique personality.


Misconception 2: gifted people can do everything better.

It is correct: giftedness is often only evident in individual areas such as language or mathematics.

From an IQ of 130, one speaks of intellectual giftedness. The high IQ does not mean that these people can do everything. It just means that intellectual capacity is strong in certain areas. The skills that can be measured with special tests include, for example, linguistic, numerical and figurative thinking. It seldom happens that someone performs excellently in all of these areas. There are also gifted in areas that are difficult to measure, such as social or emotional intelligence.


Misconception 3: gifted people are model students.

It is correct: some gifted people need tutoring in working posture in order to exploit their potential.

Giftedness does not always lead to top performance. An important point. Whether a person can use their talents correctly depends on many personal factors. This includes the willingness to learn and make an effort, the ability to concentrate and emotional stability. Gifted people who have never learned these work attitudes because everything fell to them at the beginning find it difficult to exploit their potential. Experts speak of "underachievers". Studies show that around every tenth highly gifted person is one of these underperformers. Promoting them is the special concern of the CJD.


Misconception 4: gifted people are weird types.

It is true that every child is different - regardless of whether they are gifted or not.

With gifted children and adolescents, many have the image of a little Albert Einstein in mind, who can pull square roots in his head, but is not able to make friends. But: gifted children and young people are usually just as popular and integrated with their peers as normal gifted children. And just like with them, there are gifted people with aggressive behavior or concentration problems. How a gifted person gets along in everyday life depends not only on their intellectual, but also on their personal abilities. These are different for everyone. The promotion of talent in the CJD therefore always focuses on the whole personality.


Misconception 5: Highly gifted students make careers later.

It is correct: even highly gifted people have problems at work.

First model student, then top scientist or manager? It would be nice if gifted people were the ticket to professional paradise. But intellectual talent is only a part of personality - and giftedness is no guarantee for top professional performance. Giftedness is just a potential, a possibility. Not everyone is able to use them. And not everyone wants to live it out professionally later on.


Misconception 6: Behind every gifted child there are super-ambitious parents.

It is correct: it is usually the behavior of the children that prompts parents to seek advice and support.

There are parents who drive their children and push them to top grades. Who, if successful, believe that their child is gifted. But the experts at the CJD rarely encounter such parents when they advise families on the subject of giftedness. Most ask for support because their children show signs of giftedness. Usually it is the behavior of the children that makes parents active - not the other way around.


Misconception 7: Teachers are best at recognizing giftedness.

It is correct: good performance does not result in giftedness.

Good school grades can also result from hard work and intensive study. In addition, not every gifted person is able to exploit their potential. It is therefore rather difficult for teachers to recognize special talents in everyday school life. Parents should seek a diagnosis from experts who have been trained for this - for example in the counseling centers of the CJD.