Out of Sync: Essays on Giftedness
Stephanie S. Tolan
(Royal Fireworks Publishing, March 15, 2016)
Stephanie S. Tolan set out as a concerned mother to help her highly gifted son have a school experience that matched his intellectual ability and pace of learning. In the process, she became an advocate for gifted children and, as a founding member of the Columbus Group, played a major part in reshaping thinking about giftedness itself. Her essay "Is It a Cheetah?" is justly renowned for its power and worldwide influence. Other essays deal with spirituality, the problem of pain, self-esteem and the gifted adult, imagination, and intuition. Here, collected for the first time, are her essays and talks that are now part of the fabric of the most advanced thinking about gifted people. From the introduction: "For more than 30 years now, I've written and spoken about the difficulties this rare population of kids and their families face in a world that doesn't recognize their differences or-if it does-offers little to help them accept and cope with, let alone take joy in, those differences. It can still be difficult for such a child to think or believe, 'It's okay to be me.'" The author goes on to say: "In this volume I've collected many of the articles and essays I've written about the gifted and highly gifted precisely because (in spite of the enormous changes in the world: computers, internet, wi-fi, social media, the legalization of home schooling, the invention of charter schools, and the veritable explosion of information-and arguments-about the gifted)..., children and families still face the same basic challenges." Stephanie S. Tolan has been named a SENG Educator of the Year and a North Carolina Gifted Association Outstanding Parent of the Year. Stephanie S. Tolan has written and published poetry, plays, and more than two dozen books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery Honor-winning Surviving the Applewhites.