Being an adult means taking the child you were by the hand. But what if your childhood is constantly out of sync because you are gifted? Do you have questions at a very young age? About everything? Without stopping? How then, as adults, can you take the child you were by the hand?

It was in 2017 (at 53) that I discovered for myself what was wrong with me. All the characteristics were there. I am highly gifted! And how great the joy of recognition was, and as justified as that joy is, there was also anger. The particular feeling that suddenly everything fell into place was just as present as the lack of understanding. New worries followed my liberation. Meanwhile, I am managing quite well to take the child I used to be by the hand.

Wouldn’t it be nice if together we could give the children who are increasingly slipping through cracks the insights that I only discovered at a later age because there is insufficient room within models and structures for the more profound social questions?

Picasso said that it took four years to paint like Rafaël but a lifetime to paint like a child. They live in a beautiful space between dream and reality. They taste colours, hear shapes and see sounds. We should all have such specific gifts.

Children are expelled from school because they appear to be unmanageable. They ask difficult questions and simply cannot be understood. The solution is often sought in more challenging schoolwork, skipping one or two classes, more maths, etc. More of the same, more linear, and all this while we know a lot about gifted children. Gifted children have a conceptual brain. This brain works fundamentally different from that of children with a linear mind. Exactly like adults. I, therefore, regularly ask myself why we do not guide children in the same way. The young people I know who are highly gifted can cope with this very well. It is often the supervisors who are linear thinkers or adapted conceptual thinkers. Rarely are the supervisors conceptual thinkers themselves. And that is a pity because, as far as I am concerned, this is exactly where we can help young people and their supervisors. Only by understanding both ways of thinking is it possible to build a bridge and fully utilise the enormous potential hidden in the balance between linear and conceptual thinkers for the organisation and our society.

Just as adults with giftedness depend on managers and supervisors, children with giftedness rely on their supervisors and teachers. In both cases, there is almost always an enormous speed difference in thinking. By thinking miles ahead, it appears to non-scholars that whole pieces of the puzzles are missing. They literally do not follow it anymore. In contrast, gifted people follow each other precisely and often without words. They connect on a soul level.

Exactly this difference leads to more and more misunderstanding and problems between gifted and non-gifted people, mainly because mind power is so essential to be able to communicate at the soul level in the first place. Something we have unfortunately lost in our current society. Like gifted adults, children withdraw further and further into their inner world and keep answers to themselves. A person can be quiet for many reasons. Gifted people do not dislike talking or interacting with others but do so in their own way. By being alone, they process their thoughts and thus build up mental resistance.

Therefore, a great deal of insight and mutual understanding is required for supervisors and gifted people themselves to get into a deep flow. They have all the answers. It is up to you to ask the right questions. There is still a lot of work to do!

© Text by Ron van Helvoirt | Edited by Alice K. Burridge (Green Writing) | Photo by Seth Matahelumual (Epicart) | The Gifted! Foundation