Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gifted? Is that in the DSM IV?

For fuck's sake. I am torn between scorn for a woman touting her oh so special child and concern for said child who, from the mother's descriptions, seems to exhibit symptoms of real psychological issues. The inability to switch tasks is not generally a sign of a high IQ rather than a sign of high functioning autism. I make no claims of psychological expertise but I am good at research and there aren't a lot of scientific articles supporting the gifted community's views.

There are plenty of smart children who, especially with access to early education, are able to accelerate their studies well past the norm, and they often have diagnosable issues like ADHD and Aspergers and such. Even the pre-adolecense version of bipolar, which they rarely diagnose so young. That is no excuse for an anti social child. At those ages you really need to try and teach your child to be social, rather than isolating them into "special" classes. It is nice to help them in their accelerated studies, but don't let them get away with asshole behavior.

Psychology has a practical side. It isn't just about diagnosing developmental issues in children, but working with them to help the child exist in the real world. I don't know the real statistics, but it seems in popular media, at least, that more parents are coming out in favor of just "accepting" the issues rather than helping the child learn to cope with them. Yes, many wouldn't be issues in different societies, but telling them they are right and everyone else is wrong is a good way to set them up for failure and disappointment. Understanding is one thing, exacerbating is another. While I am not upset at having bipolar, for example, I do understand that I must work to exist within modern civilization. Perhaps in the past bipolar wouldn't have gotten in my way, but now it does and I shudder to think how I would be if I had grown up with parents who tell me it was ok to act out.

Intelligence and asynchronous thinking do deter certain types of social interaction, especially in children, but separating the poor child further endangers their social development. No matter how clever a child is they still have to go through developmental stages in speech and social interactions. Many disorders are not genetic but environmental, or a combination thereof, and allowing a child to develop poorly makes it really hard on them later in life.

Logic Priest

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