Is ‘gifted’ a euphemism?
As much as ‘gifted’ means good things, it also implies not so good things.
The autistic savant is highly gifted in one skill or trait, but may perform well below average in other areas.
Gifted kids and adults have, to some extent or other, this imbalance between amazingly high skill levels in some things, and average or low skill levels elsewhere.
This is the gifted person’s struggle. How to be brilliant and crap at the same time. How to deal with praise and envy, and how to handle being patronised and feeling stupid too. Sure, everyone has this going on, but for gifted people the highs are so much higher, and the lows are really low compared to the highs.
And for gifted kids and adults who are socially awkward – their interpersonal skills are below average, plus they have uncomfortable feelings around others (linked to the experiences I mentioned above, perhaps?!) – things are even more awkward.
In addition to handling the highs and lows, gifted people can feel incredibly lonely. Is there anyone out there who can meet them at their own level?
But I digress.
Is gifted a euphemism? Meaning is gifted a euphemism for autistic/Aspergers?
Gifted often applies to those with autism/Aspergers (AS – autistic spectrum). But not everyone who’s gifted is AS. And not everyone who’s AS is gifted.
The two are related but not necessarily the same. Maybe one day I’ll add a Venn diagram here. For now I’ll leave it to your imagination.
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Sue Mahony PhD is gifted, autistic, and ADHD. She provides 1:1 specialist support for brains similar to her own, neurodiversity training, mentoring & coaching for organisations, and a wealth of articles on this website.
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