Why Smart Kids aren’t always Successful
Many kids with Dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning differences are very bright. It’s not unusual to find IQ’s in the high-normal or even genius range among this population. So if they’re not successful in school (or life), it’s tempting to blame it on a “disability.” But plenty of dyslexics have gone on to be tremendously successful, and lots of very smart people have not.
Why do some people learn to handle frustration, overcome obstacles, and struggle with problems until they succeed, while others just give up? Developing the “skills” to be productive with our native intelligence may be the difference. But can persistence be learned?
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men of talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States. (1923-1929)
What if we’re teaching Failure?
Not on purpose, of course. But think about this: you’re smart, but need certain “accommodations” to learn and produce good work. If you never get those accommodations, how will it feel?
Psychologists in the 1960’s discovered that when animals were punished repeatedly in a specific situation, they eventually stopped trying to avoid the punishment – even when they could. This came to be called “learned helplessness”. In humans, it was closely associated with depression.