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Éva Gyarmathy: Giftedness and the Learning Disabled Highly Intelligent Children

Many great creators failed or had serious problems in their school-achievement, yet the fact that also learning disabled' persons can be gifted is hardly acceptable even today. In this study besides collecting some cases of well-known artists, scientists and politicians, I reviewed definitions and models of giftedness to show that persons with unbalanced ability such as structure, learning disabled gifted children, might achieve higher and create more brilliantly than their normal peers. The modern definitions of giftedness accept that high performance might be rooted in different abilities, so even persons with partial deficits can be called gifted. There are many groups of special gifted persons, who have different problems, which cover their high abilities. Unfortunately, disadvantageous factors often appear cumulated, and sometimes it is difficult to identify even the main problem, not to mention the detection of high ability. In the review of the special groups of gifted children I attempted to describe these groups, and clarify their connections to each other. The underserved population is the largest, it consist of many groups of problem-gifted children. The main group of this population is the group of the nursery or primary aged children. Underachievers are usually also underserved. Socially disadvantageous or culturally diverse children are underrepresented in gifted programs. Girls have their special problems because of their gender role. Children with ability deficits are usually underserved and underachievers, too. The most contradictory group, the group of learning disabled gifted children belongs to this population, but their deficits are not as obvious as the deficits of for example, the hearing impaired children. Learning disabled gifted children often remain an invisible minority. Their high abilities more or less cover their deficits, but their deficits hinder them to show their high abilities. More efficient identificational and special developmental methods might help these children to perform as high as their excellent abilities promise. Yet, first of all, the experts, psychologists and teachers should gain more information about these children and change their attitudes toward the required school, performance.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 98. Number 2. 135-153. (1998)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Gyarmathy Éva, Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, Pszichológiai Intézete H–1067 Budapest, Teréz krt. 13.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia