The new show The Good Doctor on ABC presents a brilliant surgeon, young Shaun Murphy, who happens to be autistic. The hospital board and the lead surgeon worry he’ll make too many mistakes when it comes to bedside manner–and instead of being supported, he’s hazed, questioned, and even mocked. The man is saving lives in amazing and creative ways on the regular–while also alienating some patients and colleagues.
The show raises one of many questions: When someone like Shaun brings such talent, how do mentors and an institution appropriately support him so his skill deficits don’t become a liability?
Here at TIP we call it Smooth Sailing, Rough Seas, and it’s the first component of our training for our online educators. Sometimes the very characteristic that makes a kid so gifted is the same one that makes that child a challenge. These characteristics invite us to creatively respond in ways that recognize both the cognitive and social emotional needs of our students.
How do you navigate the smooth sailing and rough seas of gifted behaviors in your classroom? Share with us below!
Naming the smooth sailing and rough seas components of any gifted characteristic is key before we take instructional action. Seeing these aspects in ourselves also gets us to walk in the shoes of our students before responding.
Check out our videos on cognitive and social-emotional characteristics of giftedness. See if our analysis echoes your experience.
- Which characteristics do you find in yourself?
- Which ones have created smooth sailing and rough seas for you?
- Which characteristics have you observed in students, and how do the “smooth sailing” or “rough seas” aspects present?
- How do you typically respond? How has this approach worked for you?
If you’d like to discuss how you would respond to a student situation, look at our other posts on specific instances of behavior.