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The Gifted Adult | Lynn Berresford | TEDxTauranga

I was identified when I was a child as
gifted so that probably makes me a
gifted adult gifted brains are different
and we’re all wired differently
physically gifted brains are bigger and
more measurably active MRIs scans show
that the gifted brain has longer and
more dendrites spikes and a greater
interconnectivity between different
areas of the brain this heightened
activity can lead to insightful and
intuitive thinking focused learning and
to greater integration and retention of
thought but my identified gifted brain
has not helped me memorize this talk
Einstein’s brain was bigger and had more
gray matter and more neurological
pathways he was able to juggle multiple
complex problems in his mind like
groundbreaking theories about
electrodynamics and atoms all at the
same time gifted adult brains are
biologically different but it would take
an MRI scan to find out if your brain is
different do you think you are gifted
are you one of New Zealand’s tall
poppies they are not always celebrated
are they maybe it was the head girl at
your school or a teacher or the man in
your office with great ideas or your dad
or your eccentric grandma we are
surrounded by talented adults and high
achievers but they are not all gifted
not all experts agree on who should be
classified as gifted Mensa for instance
accepts those with an IQ of a hundred
and thirty or above others except those
in the top 10% with an IQ of a hundred
and twenty or above if anyone talks
about an IQ of 200 or more that’s not
possible to measure how do you know you
are gifted if you don’t take a test my
esteemed colleague and friend and Roper
says giftedness is more that the
Internet has Emma as an emotional
pathway gifted adults can be found
we may not recognize the magnified
intellectual capacities of the gifted
brain and we may not recognize the
greater magnification of the emotional
capacities of the gifted brain gifted
adults do need full understanding and
compassion from others it is not always
easy to be gifted I remember school as
being fun there was lots of new
information and knowledge to explore
university was awful I enrolled I was 16
and I enrolled to study medicine but
after just memorizing things for three
years I quit others around me seemed
stimulated and I wasn’t I felt there was
something wrong with me and it felt like
nobody cared then I met a man who said
he loved me
so I followed him to New Zealand after
arriving here I met another man
and I married him instead I became a
teacher of maths and science at a
secondary school because my landlord was
the head of the department and he needed
a maths teacher then I discovered I
would get more money if I became a
proper teacher so I was one of the first
six students to get a master’s in
education degree from Waikato University
during this time I discovered psychology
and I qualified as a registered
psychologist for me psychology is
endlessly fascinating but I left my
position as a Ministry of Education
psychologist because like many gifted
adults I do not like to be told what to
do or how to do it
since then I guess people will have seen
me as dedicating my life to helping
others whose minds think differently and
along the way I think it has helped me
to understand me
gifted adults have an inner urge to
fulfill their own expectations and feel
guilty if they cannot even when no one
else sees the need – one of my clients
called James was an exceptionally gifted
23 year old he had completed three years
of a science degree but had found it
boring so he swapped to engineering and
dropped out he had simply not learned
how to enjoy learning a characteristic
of giftedness
can be not to learn how to enjoy
learning robert another gifted young man
who had enrolled at university to study
arts got as far as his second year
before dropping out because he found it
too hard school had been so easy for him
and he had done so well that he’d never
learned how to do assignments or how to
study and he never learned to sustain
the effort that is sometimes needed even
for the gifted mind to learn something
new you might think that having gifted
abilities isn’t a problem but adult
giftedness can be a burden as there are
so many avenues to explore and a gifted
adult will want to master all their
areas of interest we can spread
ourselves very thinly as we have an
incredible urge to do it all and when we
fail we can be inconsolable
gifted adults are very prone to
perfectionism who has lived with a
perfectionist it is unbearable
but consider the viewpoint of the gifted
perfectionist mary had started a
successful importing business and had
recently enrolled in a double business
and arts master’s degree
mary came to see me because she had
discovered that she didn’t really like
people or herself mary was an
exceptional communicator and she could
externalize her feelings and actions but
she felt she couldn’t change them she is
a perfectionist that felt she couldn’t
be perfect a characteristic of the
gifted mind is it can take anything to
whether it is advantageous or
counterproductive a perfectionist is an
example of a gifted mind taking things
to extremes but another friend and
giftedness expert Linda Silverman says
perfectionism can be best thought of as
an energy that needs to be channeled in
positive directions rather than as a
malady that needs to be cured for me the
worst part of being gifted is the label
gifted we are not all privileged or
mathematical geniuses it is an
old-fashioned phrase that people throw
around to describe those that they just
think far every find everything easy and
just can turn their hands successfully
to anything being gifted is as much
about understanding our emotional urges
as our intellectual ones I think there
is a growing interest
and giftedness and a growing awareness
and appreciation of multiple
intelligences that are unique individual
ways of exhibiting giftedness multiple
intelligences has changed the single
concept of giftedness to a multi
category concept you can be verbally
gifted visually gifted mathematically
gifted musically gifted gifted in sports
or gifted in many other ways there is
not just one way for being gifted and
let’s not forget some gifted adults can
be outstanding at some things but not
consistently gifted that everything they
try I am painfully slow at writing and I
grew up before we all started to use
computers furthermore there is a
significant proportion of gifted adults
who are outstandingly good at something
but outstandingly weak at something else
they are known as 2e twice exceptional
for example the gifted and dyslexic
Richard Branson there are many
identified recognized and celebrated
gifted adults but there are also many
others who are unidentified it is ok
being an unidentified gift adult if you
are comfortable with being you and you
enjoy much of what you do but if you
suspect you or someone you know
be unhappy and giftedness could be
contributing to this distress then it is
important to initiate some investigating
it is important to clarify the degree of
a gifted learning difference it is
important no matter how your mind is
wired to identify your gifts it is
important to identify what you enjoy
doing enjoy your life I do
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