Do you sometimes worry that your child or teenager is lazy? Worries about laziness are common among parents of the gifted or twice-exceptional.
Although I understand parents’ worries, I don’t believe in laziness. People are innately driven to learn, explore, connect, and grow. Research suggests that we stay in touch with this innate drive to engage as long as our environment doesn’t shut it down too harshly or consistently. Within this framework, “lazy” feelings or behavior indicate something is awry and needs attention.
A gifted child who seems “lazy” may actually be twice-exceptional with ADHD, a learning disability, or autism. A child may seem careless about their work, unmotivated to do daily tasks, resistant to homework, only willing to do the bare minimum, or slow to get started on something new, but it’s not accurate or helpful to refer to these behaviors or people as “careless,” “unmotivated,” “resistant,” or “unwilling.” These descriptions misconstrue a neurological characteristic as a character flaw and frame a disability as something willful and shameful.
I don’t know a single parent or teacher who wants to instill shame in their children or students, so why is this harmful narrative about twice-exceptionality so common?
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