Television’s Lisa Simpson yells at the top of her voice:“Relax? I can’t relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or . . . only two synonyms? Oh my God, I’m losing my perspicacity!” A big statement for an eight-year-old. Little wonder her parents, Homer and Marge, look at her with bewilderment in most episodes of The Simpsons.
Ones so young are not supposed to use words such as yield, relent or perspicacity. And synonyms? Well, they are taught a little later. Lisa Simpson is a gifted child. She has abilities beyond her years, is environmentally astute, politically aware and shows talent in the arts. She is a deep thinker, sensitive and often misunderstood. Gifted children share many of Lisa’s traits. Contrary to popular belief, they are not all piano concerto players, chess champions or immersed in developing computer programs at age five. These children are, in fact, extremely rare. The gifted are as diverse as children with learning diffi culties and their needs are just as varied.