My Mother rejected the idea that I should have any special recognition or education, saying that I needed to grow up as an ordinary child. She even slammed my fingers under the piano lid and said I must never touch the piano again. I heard her say to others that she would not allow her child to suffer the same fate as Beethoven! I grew up with a kind of 'blocking game' with my Mother. Yes she was right!
I think the problem is that for a child that has a higher than average aptitude or ability, they are turned into a sort of 'freak show'. Also parents seem to think that exploiting their child's aptitude, gives them some kind of Kudos.
Gifted children are also easily exploited for others amusement, gain or simple curiosity. As a child you simply do not have the maturity, experience of life, or social skills to be anything but a precocious brat, who runs rings round everybody. You know you can do it, and you know you are somehow different to everyone else. At this stage there is a desire to be like other children, but they know you are different, and single you out for torture as well!
This in itself is the start of serious character and social and personal integration flaws. Far safer to go right off the rails at an early age, than get imprisioned within the web of the academic circus.
At least if you have the ability to realise what you are being taught in school is mostly quite useless, and contradicts what you already learned from reliable sources, you will not bother with the homework, or trying to get any academic credibility. For me getting chucked out of class and told to go to the Library was how I learned. I also made a lot of paper jets, and stared out of the window. I hated having to be there.
I like the model of a self learning school, where teachers are there to organise the structure but not the syllabus. I would have been far happier to be able to use the facilities under management and drive my own learning process. I suppose in retrospect that's what I managed to do.
The other aspect to this process is the observation factor. With 'teachers' not actually teaching from the front, there would be a very useful combination of a sort of hybrid of something like a psychology/enabling person rather than simply a didactic teaching model.
Collaberative learning models in groups of children with varying 'aptitudes' would definitely help very bright children to adjust emotionally to develop social skills more quickly. We seem to have a far more insular cerebral polarity than the more extroverted social types. The essential factor is to get the child talking and integrating and communicating to establish a srong set of positive relationships within a learning/social group. It is hard for a this child to make frienships and maintain them. Staying in this neucleus learning group throughout the education process I think would be helpful too.
Having a whapping great processing capability doesn't actually mean you will be academically sucessful in the traditional 'good exam result' model. I think I was too distracted and conflicted to apply myself long enough to something I found boring, and simply not enjoyable.
You might think this strange, but I see myself with a learning difficulty! I find it difficult to stop learning. I think I might be addicted to it.
While we have this idea that education is primarily to aquire knowledge and get an accepted 'result' that is measurable on a league table, we forget the underlying reason for education. That is to allow the child to develop the cognitive ability to reason, question, and to create their own world of knowledge that is relevent to them, through experimentation, observation, and just doing something they are enjoying and get excited about.
Provision of a good standard of Maths, Language, and Reading/Writing and debating skills is sufficient to use as a springboard to further interests. Allowing people to leave school without a good standard in these elements in my opinion is a complete failure of the system.
It is a great travesty that children are not allowed to enjoy their diversity within social groups. By segregating children into differing aptitudes during the learning process. This might serve the expediency of the teaching model, but it doesn't help the super-ability children, or less than average child. It also perpetuates this idea that if you are dead smart, you have to be a rocket scientist. I enjoyed being a Hairdresser! I hate to think what I might have been able to think up if I had done something in chemistry or physics.
I do happen to know my brain chemistry needs a bit of modification, so I take valproic acid. Seems to do something, mostly give me withdrawal symptoms if I forget to take it, or a whapping hangover after a cheap glass of wine!
One of my psychiatrists said one day, 'Where would the world be without it's artists and poets? If you can accept the nightmares of your condition and see the benefits as a 'trade off', perhaps it will be a better way of learning to adapt'.
We have had such advances in 'mapping' the complexities of psyche, in the last 100 years we have discovered more about our inherent 'undiscovered territory' within, that make life more tolerable for all of us. That particular psychiatrist was also concerned that with my predilection for theology I could very easily be a 'David Ike'. I said I thought there was enough diversity in religion already, and couldn't see the point of another quasi-religeous ideology.
Just to explain about waking up and deciding you are God... yes been there too! It is that your processing function becomes so fast, it is running as though you can actually experience everything in real time. Suddenly you have this expansiveness that goes beyond anything plausible. As though you no longer exist in time and space, but have just gone into some kind of eternal warping reality. The walls of reason fall down. There is nothing that is beyond your grasp.
Then the reality of the situation dawns on you that you are actually in the eternal moment. The flipside to this, is 'groundhog day'. You are unable to slow the processing down, as it's like the tardis with the time lever stuck. All your physical systems start to implode, placing a huge strain on your heart and organs.
This is when thankfully the psychiatric profession now have the skill, and human approach to understand what is happening, and hit you with the cocktail of drugs most likely to shut down your brain's hyperdrive. Obviously you end up feeling like shit physically, and titrating the drugs down takes ages. It has happened to me quite a few times now. I would not have missed it for anything!
I have now learned to manage the process fairly well. The only thing I actually feel when in hyperdrive is a sense of paranoia. Like I am being watched. I think it's me watching me really. I genuinely try to avoid the stimuli that are likely to trigger me off. This is just making sure I eat, sleep, and not have too much coffee or alcohol. Also very stressfull situations, like dealing with business.
So much pressure is placed on everyone to 'earn enough'. I can't put my value as a person into financial terms, I am worth nothing right now, as I am unemployable, I always have been! I just try to get through each day with something that gives me a sense of purpose. Doing this writing helps me a lot really.
I have never had the language... actually that's not true, I have never found anyone else I can communicate with sufficiently well to explain what goes on in my head. There has never been a common language between me and other people to be able to bridge these chasms.
The young man in the article on RT above said in answer to the question what do you want to be at 35, that he 'wanted to be free'. To be locked in a personal cerebral world, with no means of communicating to people around you is a solitary confinement. It has times when it is intolerable. It is the opposite of being deaf dumb and blind in the physical sense.
To have vast cognitive power, and a few more manual giftings than many people, leaves someone like me in an external vacuum, and internally populated with thoughts. I don't fit anywhere. I am not easily categorised, and this means other 'normal' people around me describe me as frightening and disturbing.
There is no easy formula, it is a question of adaption to survive. Also that I have been blessed with an enduring relationship throughout the last twenty six years that has been an anchor for me in all weathers.
I couldn't have got through all this without God. He is my refuge and my strength, and He gives me all good things that I need. Psychiatry has read this as religeous mania, but I know different. God has really been there with me through the nightmares and sickness of spirit.
I asked to know Him, and asked Him to make Himself real to me, not just an academic concept. So He did, and the pain of growing towards God has been worth every moment, because one bout of ecstacy wich is what this expansive sense of merging with the eternal presence of God is called, is worth the rest of the struggle of living for your entire life. That it's happened to me quite a few times is pretty incredible to have survived! The Bible says 'Who can know God and live'. Is it simply an impossible world to return to? Nah, just a pain! You get over it!
I would agree to an extent that 'the walls of the box were never that sturdy'. It's just that everyones 'reality' is a complex interwoven structure of concepts. If I describe this in terms of the way people wear their hair it might be easier to explain.
Generally men keep their hair the same way for longer. They expect their hairdresser to do the same thing every time they get a haircut. This is like a stable 'world view' that only changes by necessity. I like men as solid dependable, pragmatic, mostly linear thinkers. I think the majority of them tend to be.
There are different categories of women, some like to keep the same hairstyle a long time. They have found a style that 'works for them'. It denotes a certain acceptance of self to do this. Then there is the myrad of varying degrees of 'experimentors'. It is called 'fashion' but actually it is the need for contemporary relevence that makes us want to express an outer change that reflects seasons of change.
Changing your hair also reflects a desire for inner change. Sometimes this can just end up being a capricious identity parade in the mirror! It is fun and challenging though for the Hairdresser.
This is not some isolated frippery. It is an ongoing process, either maintaining someone's view of themselves, and the way they relate to the world with their external appearance, of morphing along with changes as the mood and possibility arises. Everyone is different. However within those differences there is an overall stability of change, an evolving circle of fashion that keeps reappearing in slightly modified forms.
There is always a need for a completely new movement to begin. It catches hold like a fire sometimes a sweeps everyone off their feet. They may not join in, but it affects them profoundly. To generate a new look requires an 'out of the box' vantage point.
I think it is people like myself who have an inability to create defined reality boundries within which to feel comfortable inhabiting, that have this capacity to spark the fires of change. It could apply to anything, but I am just using a haircut as an example.
This is a double edged sword, without creating a structured life, and being self disciplined about some things, there is a danger of melting away into the blue beyond and never recovering a sense of selfhood that is recognisable and inhabitable. However there is always 'out of the box' that beckons in a tantalising sort of way, that you know if you spend too much time in that area, you go completely and recklessly stark raving mad. You simply have to end up building your own box in the end, and it depends on how well you have managed to work out why they keep falling apart, that the next one you build is more suitable.
I am not realy sure this answers the question, it might explain the question better though.
I haven't a clue if anyone will understand this drifting allegory. Still worth having a go at it. The reason I am writing about this is that yes these problems do need to be addressed for young people. To have so many bright young things unable to continue the business of coming to terms with themselves is tragic. We all need help though, because we all live in a world of silence behind the masks we wear.