Asynchrony Squared

If Gifted = Asynchronous Development, then Gifted/Special Needs = Asynchrony Squared

The truth is out there…

Hoagies’ Gifted: If Gifted = Asynchronous Development, then Gifted/Special Needs = Asynchrony Squared

Martha Morelock and the Columbus Group have suggested that “asynchronous development” is the defining characteristic of gifted children. Most of the literature on gifted children describes children whose asynchrony is mainly in the differences between their intellectual (mental) ages versus their chronological or emotional ages. I do not want to minimize the problems of meeting the needs of children who have mental ages more than 50 percent higher than their chronological ages. As Linda Kreger Silverman so aptly describes it “…gifted children develop in an uneven manner, … they are more complex and intense than their agemates, … they feel out-of-sync with age peers and ‘age appropriate curriculum,’ … the internal and external discrepancies increase with IQ, and … these differences make them extremely vulnerable.”


For my son, who is gifted and has ADHD, being gifted/special needs means getting assignments wrong because he missed some of the instructions and therefore did the wrong thing correctly. It means getting into trouble for not paying attention because he is incapable of focusing on multi-step oral instructions, but seems too smart to not understand what he is supposed to do. It means getting in trouble for losing control at the end of the day, when he is tired and his medication has worn off because “you’re too smart to forget the rules”.

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