The True Meaning of “Gifted” According to Linda Silverman

Being “gifted” has nothing to do with what grades your child gets.

In this vlog, Dr. Linda Silverman, explains how the term “gifted” often excludes 2e kids because people equate “gifted” with “learning able”.

Dr. Silverman shares how being gifted is actually about asynchronous development. What makes a child “gifted” is a discrepancy between their mental age and chronological age—not how well they do in school.

Take a listen.

Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Maria Isabel De Rubiera on September 3, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Excellent. I agree that the concept of gifted and 2eKids has existed since long time ago and it will be forever. As human being we are unique and special. That has been the way the world has succeed for decades. Researches named and change names to catalog and put everything in a box. But is not the case for “gifted and 2eKids”. I talked based on my experience with my son. But once more, thank your for recognize and empathize over this discrepancy.

  2. Harriet Andriessen on September 3, 2021 at 11:04 am

    I totally recognise what Dr Silverman said about the asynchronicity in gifted children. This applies completely to my own development. I am curious to know Dr Silverman’s thoughts about gifted adults, what happens to 2e children when they grow up? What happens to the asynchronicity?

  3. Carolina on September 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    I would love to read the answer too. Interesting questions.

  4. Carolina on September 3, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks Debbie and Dr. Silverman for sharing this gem. I just realised I have been getting this wrong. Thankfully, less than one year thanks to this video.
    It changes for me the whole picture. Up to now I was seeing the asynchrony on the difficulties and not so much on the gifted part. So, a brilliant kid with difficulties in some areas. And perhaps they are more or less future regular adults who have been driving on the left side of the road (in USA) during their childhood.

  5. Rose on September 3, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Dr. S. wrote the book Upside Down Brilliance where she talked about the Visual-Spatial child. Nailed my son perfectly. He is a gifted mechanic, easily figures out machines. Like the many Dyslexic artists I have met since…they are definitely wired different than most, capable of understanding and creating in ways most of us could never be. Thank God for Visual-Spatial learners.

  6. Catherine on September 4, 2021 at 8:09 am

    I have always hated the term “gifted” as it sounds like I am bragging about my child, and saying what a high achiever he is. He definitely has some strengths but also has some real challenges, especially socially. We were lucky and were told about asynchronous development in the first meeting for the parents of kids who were assessed as gifted in his public school. I often use this term, but most people don’t know what I mean. I really like the term “bright and quirky” – people can understand it, it doesn’t seem as braggy and encompasses his whole person. Thanks for this vlog, it was really interesting.

  7. Lilah on September 6, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I am a “gifted” child currently in secondary school. I have an Individual Education Plan just as a child with learning difficulties would. Though, it’s rarely accommodated as being “gifted” is seen as an advantage in school, someone who has rare difficulties. I really struggle with social situations, long or slow explanations, presentations, group activities… but even though it’s included in my IEP there’s no change as there might be for someone with a more understood learning disability. I personally felt very understood when Dr. S explained that the height of my peaks and valleys is vaster. I absolutely hate referring to myself as “gifted” especially to my peers since normally the response is “Oh, so you’re really smart. Is that why it’s so easy for you to get A’s in school?” When in reality I’ve never gotten straight A’s. Certain classes (my peaks) every year I get an A. I’m enthusiastic about the subjects and quick to learn. While during other classes (my valleys) I have to work hard to attain a B. I have a hard time focusing and listening, participating in class discussions, and handing in work on time. I really love how Dr. S didn’t glorify the experience of Gifted children.

  8. FRED CLAPP on September 7, 2021 at 5:01 pm


    my tweens are pure 2e’s… and its true… nobody understands ‘cause they’re trying to fit them into a mold!!!

    but they’re truly exceptional.

    i love you guys❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥

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