Bright, Gifted or Asperger's
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I'm actually the child, not the parent. I know that I'm different than
other kids, but I can't seem to find out how on the internet.
I am very disorganized, but I like things that way. I have an excellent
memory and can retain and comprehend things well. I can remember and
recall things I have learned years ago almost perfectly, and my science
teacher really believes I have a photographic memory, (technically
eidetic) which I know I don't. He only believes this because I don't
take notes in his class. He shows slideshows, and I remember the
information by discussing in class and hearing the information spoken
aloud. I never study or do homework, and always get very high grades,
usually nothing below an A minus. I also am very good with music, and
can play any song by ear on the flute, and on the piano. I can also
memorize songs on the flute, and can play a song a couple times and have
the whole thing memorized. The school had me in a special program in
early grade-school, and now I am in accelerated courses in junior high.
But I don't think it's normal.
My friends joke and say that I am 'OCD' because of my behavior
sometimes. I don't like it when a routine is broken, even though I know
it is irrational to be upset. For instance, my school always serves
pizza on Fridays. Once, they served it on a Wednesday, which wasn't
usual, and I couldn't eat the lunch that day. Of course, my friends
thought it was no big deal and joked about it, and I shrugged it off.
But just now, my family and I went out to dinner, (a family of four) and
my mother wanted to sit at a table for five. It bugged me, and I didn't
want to sit down. Things like this happen to me a lot. Like how I am a
bit of a germaphobe.
I have a very difficult time understanding jokes, and I usually can't
make jokes either. When people are sarcastic, I don't understand. And
when I am sarcastic, people can't tell if I am serious or not.
I also usually don't express too many emotions, and can seem apathetic
at times. But that is only because I choose to, and I can show emotions
if I want to.
It sounds slightly like autism to me, (like Asperger's) but I'm not very
socially awkward. I am a little, but nothing extreme.
So, I want to know if I am just bright, or 'gifted', or if I am
something else, like Autism.
I hope it's ok that I posted this even though I am a child, and not a
parent. Thank you for reading my question, and I hope it can be answered.
It is perfectly fine for anyone to post any query they may have on
giftedness - child or parent! And I am glad that you did. We are all
different in our own ways, just that some difference is seen further
from the norms and others are more easily acceptable. There is nothing
wrong being different - as long as it does not disrupt your life and the
lives of significant others. For gifted individuals, it is more the
intensity of their emotions rather than negative emotions.
You did not mention your age, an important factor as when one grows
older, some concerns can automatically reduce in intensity. From your
description, I believe that you may be gifted, that too on the higher
range. Have you taken an intelligence test? That may help determine your
gifts and perhaps giving you an insight of what you can do with them to
maximize your potential.
There is a tendency for gifted children to be either extremely organised
about things or totally disorganised. So you are fine there. The only
thing that perhaps may need to be looked into is your obsession. What
you have described is not normal and may in time affect your life. It is
not uncommon for parents of children who have obsessions worry that
their child might have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) or some form
of Autism. Obsessions in OCD are unwanted, anxiety producing thoughts.
Unless you see a professional, it is not possible to make any diagnosis
here. There may be some tests and interviews required to be able to make
a diagnosis. Please do this as soon as you can.
I personally believe that you are gifted with a possible disorder that
has not been diagnosed for a long time and can be improved with some
intervention. Gifted individuals come in many types - it is very
possible for someone to be gifted with a learning disability, or
psychological disorder. It may not have been diagnosed earlier as gifted
children are good at masking their disabilities as they are with their
abilities when there is pressure. So, it is possible for a misdiagnosis.
Therefore, I would suggest that you see a professional in your area
(perhaps a psychologist or a psychiatrist) to help you understand your
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Wishing you all the best!