At a workshop I had a participant ask me why so many more males are now being identified as having ODD. Many times (but not always) these male students are not ODD but rather are gifted. If you are a gifted male from poverty or another marginalized group, you will be more often be identified as ODD rather than gifted. When I was director of a gifted program, I had teachers repeatedly beg me not to teach “those gifted kids.” When I asked why, I got the following responses: “They challenge me on everything. They are rude in the way they ask questions. If they don’t like what I say, they will not do it. They argue about everything.” Etc.
A friend of mine told me this story: She said, “If our fourth child had been our first child, he would have been our last child. I congratulated myself on being such a fabulous parent, and then I had our fourth child. Nothing worked. I still remember the day he refused to eat his peas. He was about two years old. I said to him, ‘We will sit here until you eat your peas.’ Four hours later, they were still sitting there. I thought, who is in charge here? It is not me.”
What is the difference between a high achiever and a “gifted” student? There are generally two answers: It depends on where you fall on the standard deviation of intelligence (IQ) and on an additional set of characteristics.