Gifted kid burnout affects many smart kids and former gifted students who were once in gifted programs. As young adults, they often share a common theme of feeling burnt out and struggling with unrealistic expectations. The pressure to always achieve gold star grades and be at the top of the class can be overwhelming.
Gifted programs, often found in grade schools and even at the national level, focus on high achievement and a fixed trait of being "gifted." But what happens when these young adults, who were once in gifted classes and AP classes, are faced with the reality of adult life and the expectations of society? They may struggle with a lack of motivation and a harmful perfectionism that can lead to chronic stress.
This phenomenon, known as "gifted kid burnout," was first identified by Professor Carol Dweck, author of "Mindsets," and has been studied by the National Association for Gifted Children. It is a result of the fixed trait mindset that is often placed on gifted children, believing that their intelligence and abilities are innate and cannot be improved upon. This belief leads to unrealistic expectations and a lack of emphasis on the development of a growth mindset and good study habits.
This burnout can manifest in a variety of ways, such as a lack of motivation, harmful perfectionism, and chronic stress. For twice exceptional adults, who also have a neurodivergent condition, the experience can be even more challenging as they may have unique sources of stress in their daily lives and emotional needs.
School systems and the current educational environment may contribute to this issue. Gifted education programs and advanced classes may not always take into account the social-emotional needs and unique sources of stress for these students. This can lead to lack of study habits and a type of mindset that is not sustainable in the long-term, resulting in burnout.
Our guest today is Cate Osburn, also known as Catieosaurus on social media. She is an ADHD educator, a certified sex educator, and a disability advocate. Cate will share her personal experience with burnout as a twice exceptional adult and discuss her journey to finding balance and harmony in her passions and interests. Cate will also talk about how her experience in a gifted program, advanced classes, and the pressure to achieve good results in school led to unhealthy coping mechanisms and a lack of motivation in her daily life. We hope that her story will be a first step in understanding the experience of gifted kid burnout and the unique challenges faced by twice exceptional adults.
Neurodivergent individuals are those who think, process information, and experience the world in ways that differ from the neurotypical (i.e., not neurodivergent) population. The neurodiversity movement advocates for the recognition and celebration of neurodiversity as a natural and valuable form of human diversity, similar to cultural, racial, or gender diversity. Neurodivergence is an important facet of the human race. It seeks to create a more inclusive and accepting society for neurodivergent people. Finding neurodivergent community can play a crucial role in connecting with other like-minded folks.
There are many different ways to be neurodivergent, and neurodivergent people may have unique ways of perceiving, learning, communicating, and interacting with the world. Neurodivergence can affect various brain functions such as attention, memory, and executive function, and can manifest in neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism, and more. These neurodevelopmental differences can also provide unique perspectives that can lead to creative problem-solving.
Dominant societal standards have traditionally prioritized neurotypical values and perceptions, which can often leave out the rich perspectives of what neurodivergent people experience. The diversity of human brains and the ways in which they function can lead to new ideas and perspectives that can benefit society as a whole. By fostering an environment that is inclusive and accepting of neurodiversity, we can tap into the unique abilities and potential of neurodivergent people and create a more diverse and innovative society.
Building a solid neurodiversity network can help others connect over their common traits, and explore their own style of neurocognitive functioning.
The Embracing Intensity Community is a supportive online space for gifted, creative, and neurodivergent individuals. It is a place where members can connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges, and find support and understanding. The community is designed to provide a safe and welcoming environment where members can discuss their unique perspectives, share their insights and skills, and explore their full potential. The goal of the Embracing Intensity Community is to empower gifted, creative, and neurodivergent individuals to embrace their intensity and to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.
There are a number of other ways that neurodivergent adults can find and connect with their neurodivergent community. Some options include:
By finding and connecting with other neurodivergent people, individuals can find support, validation, and a sense of belonging. Neurodivergent people may also be able to share their experiences and offer insights and advice to others. Additionally, the neurodiversity movement promotes greater understanding and acceptance of neurodivergent people within society, which can help create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.
Neurodiversity advocates play an important role in promoting the acceptance and celebration of neurodevelopment differences and the unique ways in which people experience and perceive the world. They often share their personal experiences as neurodivergent individuals and work to educate others about the concept of neurodiversity. They may also work to highlight the strengths and abilities of neurodiverse people, as well as the challenges they face. By sharing stories and experiences, neurodiversity advocates can help to build understanding and acceptance of neurodivergent individuals within society.
The neurodiversity movement is often seen as a social justice movement, as it seeks to create a more inclusive and equitable society for neurodivergent people. Neurodiversity advocates work to raise awareness about the infinite variation in the way people’s brains function and the diverse ways in which people experience the world.
One of the key roles of neurodiversity advocates is to connect neurodivergent individuals with the various neurodiversity resources that are available. This may include information about support groups, educational resources, and professional organizations that can help neurodiverse individuals navigate their daily lives and achieve their goals. In addition to advocating for neurodiversity within society, neurodiversity advocates may also work to build strong and supportive social relationships within the neurodivergent community. By connecting with others who share common experiences, neurodivergent individuals can find support, validation, and a sense of belonging.
Overall, the role of neurodiversity advocates is to promote understanding, acceptance, and celebration of the unique ways in which people’s brains function and the diverse ways in which people experience the world. By doing so, they help to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.
Marc Almodovar is a neurodiversity advocate, and the cofounder of the ADHD Men’s Support Group, a group specifically for men who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Marc founded the group after his own personal experience with ADHD led him to feel isolated and misunderstood. He saw a need for a safe space where men with ADHD could connect with others who shared common experiences and challenges.
Through the ADHD Men’s Support Group, Marc aims to provide a sense of belonging and support for men with ADHD. He believes that by sharing stories and experiences, men with ADHD can find validation and understanding, and build strong and supportive relationships. Marc also hopes to raise awareness about the unique ways in which people’s brains function and the diverse ways in which people experience the world, as part of the larger neurodiversity movement.
Marc recognizes that mental illness can be stigmatized within society, and he hopes that the ADHD Men’s Support Group can be a place where men with ADHD can feel safe and supported, regardless of their unique ways of thinking and experiencing the world. He believes that by fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance within the group, men with ADHD can work together to advocate for neurodiversity awareness and acceptance within society as a whole. He strikes a unique balance between positive feel-good stories and authenticity, without resorting to toxic positivity.
The ADHD Men’s support group is a group specifically for men who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The group provides a space for men with ADHD to connect with others who share common experiences and challenges.
One of the main goals of the ADHD Men’s support group is to provide a sense of belonging and support for men with ADHD. Many men with ADHD may feel isolated or misunderstood due to the unique way in which their brains function and the neurodevelopment differences they experience. The ADHD Men’s support group can provide a safe and supportive environment where men can share their experiences and find validation and understanding.
In addition to providing support and a sense of belonging, an ADHD Men’s support group can also serve as a resource for men with ADHD. Group members may share information about treatment options, coping strategies, and other resources that can help men with ADHD navigate their daily lives. The ADHD Men’s support group can also be a place for men with ADHD to connect with others who share common interests and goals. Through group discussions and social interactions, men with ADHD can build strong and supportive relationships and work together to advocate for neurodiversity awareness and acceptance.
Overall, the ADHD Men’s support group can be a valuable resource for men with ADHD, providing support, validation, and a sense of belonging, as well as an opportunity to connect with others who share common experiences and goals. It can also be a place for men with ADHD to work towards social change and advocate for neurodiversity acceptance within society.