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Understanding gifted people better: “The school environment is not made neither for dummies nor for good ones”, explains Dominic Gagnon in his essay “I like zebras”
Dominic Gagnon Photo provided by Les Éditions de l'Homme SHARING Marie-France Bornais
The term “zebra” does not only apply to horses in pajamas: it is also used to designate people with high intellectual potential (HPI). These people are called the gifted. The bowls. After writing I love ADHD, entrepreneur Dominic Gagnon, himself ADHD and HPI, offers a book that demystifies the issue of exceptional intelligence. In I Love Zebras, he deconstructs stubborn myths and speaks candidly on the issue.
In collaboration with specialists, Dominic Gagnon describes in his book the particularities of the HPI person. Here are some characteristics of zebras: great curiosity, ability to learn by oneself, high level of abstraction, great cognitive flexibility, intensity, excellent memory, extensive knowledge, originality in the way of solving problems, etc. < /p>
Being a person with high intellectual potential is not a mental health disorder. But that does not prevent these people from going through difficult situations, having different problems and even being downright distressed, particularly because of the environment in which they live.
In In the book, host and actress Anaïs Favron, comedian Matthieu Cyr, businesswoman Chloé Legris and Dominic Gagnon talk about their relationship with giftedness, which is not as simple as one might imagine.
Dominic Gagnon decided to write this book after writing I love ADHD.
“I didn't know I was good at that time. . Like many gifted people, I hate injustice. When I wrote I love ADHD with Kim, we were frustrated that people would see it negatively. We wanted to be more positive.
While talking to a friend whose son had just been assessed for giftedness, he revealed to him that he did not think his son was gifted, since he was not good at school.
“It turned me on again, this injustice, because obviously, I too was not good at school. I had been kicked out of school.
“I thought to myself that an educated dad was 'challenging' his own son's diagnosis, based on his grades at school. This means that there is still a lot of misunderstanding. »
Dominic Gagnon wanted to demystify giftedness and present it from a different point of view in this book. < /p>
“I think the biggest myth is that we’re all going to end up being doctors, that we have it easy in school. But this intelligence will not automatically be reflected by high-level jobs, ease at school. We have the image of a little “nerd” with glasses. But that's not it. »
Giftedness concerns 2% of the population, in general. And in the school environment, things are not going so well. “The school environment is not made for dummies or good guys. It is made for the means. And there are a lot more resources for the less good, the failing people.
“The good ones, because they are good, we put them aside because they have it easy. Or else, because they ask too many questions, because they are too curious, quickly they will be put down and told that they are annoying, like many ADHD. It's going to be a big problem. »
Dominic Gagnon says that often the solution proposed in schools will be to skip a year. “The problem is that the gifted generally do not have the emotional intelligence that goes at the same speed as their brain.
“A lot of times he’s going to be in first grade and be told he should be put in third grade. But in reality, the person will often be intellectually better off, but from an emotional point of view, they will really not be comfortable in that situation. »
♦ Dominic Gagnon is co-founder of Connect&GO, speaker, author and father of two princesses.
♦ He was named entrepreneur of the year by Desjardins in 2012 and named among the 15 most innovative people in the world by the American magazine BizBash.
♦ For more information on the intellectual giftedness assessment process: aqnp.ca and ordrepsy.qc.ca .
« I am a paradoxical being. My own personal balance is to be completely unbalanced. I am intense, very intense. For me, everything is extreme, especially my emotions. According to the psychologist, I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but I would also be of high intellectual potential. At first, I did not really believe in this second evaluation: I had been refused in all the universities where I wanted to study. How could I be gifted? However, today, I recognize this high potential and see it as one more tool in my trunk that I have learned to use well. »