CAN MY CHILD BE BOTH GIFTED AND AN UNDERACHIEVER IN SCHOOL?
Frequently Asked Questions of the National Association for Gifted Children
Many intellectually and
creatively gifted children do not achieve to their abilities in school.
Although parents and teachers are typically aware of how bright these
children are, they are puzzled by students' lack of motivation and
productivity. Furthermore, as school performance declines, even parents
and teachers begin to wonder whether the students are as capable as
test scores and earlier performance indicated. Frequently, the children
themselves lose confidence in their ability to perform in school.
What are some signs of academic underachievement?
- Unfinished or missing school work
- Disinterest in school
- Excuses or blaming others for problems
- Too much socializing, or in contrast, loneliness
- Declining grades
young people will become immersed in learning of their choice, will read
continuously, or escape to computers rather than complete school
assignments. They may be active but selective learners and refuse to do
required school work.
When should underachievement be considered a problem?
bright kids should not be expected to receive "A" grades in everything.
In facts, students who complete almost all their work perfectly may not
be sufficiently challenged. All students should be expected to have
strengths and weaknesses, as well as subjects they find more and less
interesting. Underachievement should be considered a problem if it is
severe (achievement well below grade level), is long standing (occurring
over more than one school year), or is causing the student distress.
NAGC thanks Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D., for developing this FAQ
brochure. Dr. Rimm is a psychologist, clinical professor at Case
Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Director of the
Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio
Copyright 2008 National Association for Gifted Children