Hilldale School

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About Us » What is Giftedness?

What is Giftedness?

Giftedness has become a taboo word to describe our children. It comes with the connotation of "better than," elitism, and snootiness. In reality, giftedness describes students at one end of the learning spectrum which is defined by the atypicality of their brain design. Giftedness is not an indicator of an easy school experience or life. It comes with its own set of challenges, and once we can get past the stigma, we can start to help children and parents by giving them the tools and the environment in which they can succeed. 
In this graph, you can see that giftedness lies on the spectrum of typical neurological design in the same standard deviation from the norm as moderate to severe learning disabilities. If you think of a child who is performing in the 10th percentile as significantly different from the typical student, it stands that a child performing in the 90th percentile is just as significantly and statistically different! What about a child in in the 99th percentile? The statistical difference in their abilities (and challenges) is as extreme as a child in the 1st percentile. 
Hmmm...maybe their needs should be identified and addressed after all! 
Our school is designed to meet the needs of bright and gifted children by providing them with our accelerated education, breadth of study, differentiation, and the opportunities for individual advancement that bright and gifted children need. Just as importantly, we provide children with essential tools to learn self-awareness and self-regulation. We help children and families to identify and understand their OE's (over [super] excitabilities). We pull from the experts and practitioners who are doing the hard work to help children and parents like ours to learn how to navigate giftedness with a toolbox full and at the ready. We are eager to share resources with you!
Some of our favorite resources include:
Summit Center - great for evaluations and intervention, especially designed to address the needs of the gifted and those who are twice exceptional (2e) - meaning the child has both giftedness and learning challenges
Bright & Quirky - parent resources for twice exceptional (2e) children 
Social Interventions - social skill building groups and individual counseling
SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted)- conferences, webinars, and tools for parents, schools, and practitioners
Gifted Support Center - an educational support service for parents of gifted children