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Others, resenting how other students shun them but sit within cheating distance on test day, put down wrong answers for the others to see and later put in the correct answers.
Perfectionism, often well developed earlier in youth, continues. ''That's where the idea for suicide for gifted adolescents comes up,'' said Jim Delisle, assistant professor of special education at Kent State University in Ohio.
Parents should trust their comparisons of their children with others, the experts say, and should be alert to any comments from strangers about how bright their child is. Webb said gifted children could also conserve with parents of children of the same age, comparing the accomplishments of those other children with their own. Webb said the parents should educate themselves about gifted children and find out what special programs might be available to that child.
Most state education departments have coordinators of programs for the gifted, and libraries often have information.
'Seen as 'the Brain' Problems do not stop in elementary school.
In later grades, some gifted students come to feel valued only for their talents. Louis Park, Minn., said: ''They're seen as 'the brain.' That is the term used by the kids and they hate that word.
8— Nine parents of intellectually gifted children gathered here recently in a basement room, and when they spoke of their children on that raw autumn night, they did not brag.
One study found their rates of dropping out of school, for suicide and for delinquency about equal to students in general.
These problems happen when people are unaware or do nothing.'' What can parents do?
One of the most important things, the experts say, is to recognize the exceptional talents at an early age.
They are adolescents who worry about choosing a demanding career and getting a date for Saturday night.
'They Think Differently' Whatever their age, gifted children face the same basic problem: fitting into a world that was not designed for them.
A 17-year- old girl, attractive but shunned because of her intelligence, was yearning for a date before college.