Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giftedness is not the problem; the way we handle it is.

I have no problem with the idea that a person could have more or less natural talent at something. I have no problem with the idea that some people are better at school stuff than others. I am all in favor of making harder and easier classes (in MANY levels) available, as long as mixing and matching levels across subjects is OK and real learning takes place in all levels.
That doesn’t mean I’m OK with how giftedness is handled here (in the US educational system, to be specific.) See, here it means being separated from your peers in all things. And that’s not cool. Everyone and their sister and their third cousin once removed have all talked about why the system as it is has problems. So I’m going to talk about what I think would work instead. Which lots of people have also done. The only thing I bring is that I’ve been through it done reasonably well, been through it done badly, and have been through it basically ignored. Oh, plus I am twice exceptional and they didn’t know it.
  1. Make multiple levels of depth for each class.
  2. Have the ability to mix and match depth levels across classes.
  3. Have the ability to change depth level within a subject between years (with some extra work, possibly. But it shouldn’t be insurmountable.)
  4. Independent studies for special interests should be extant and doable. They should count as whatever subject area they are in or as a random elective.
  5. Yes, you should be able to dump a non-core class that you hate in order to do an independent study. (And no, mathematics past ability to do things like make change is not core if the kid insists that they want to do something that is strictly humanities.)
  6. Different learning styles exist. I’d suggest making different class sections that cover the same material and happen at the same time in different styles. So people can switch between them at need. And yes, do this at all levels. 
  7. Don’t evenhintthat being in the most in depth class for any given subject (or even for all of them) makes someone superior. Doing that is part of why gifted kids are stereotyped as uppity and having no social skills.
  8. Disability accommodations need to be respected at ALL levels.
Originally posted on my tumblr. 


  1. Yes please. My high school actually did a good job with this - each class had levels, and you could take whatever level of each subject that fit you best. I always was in highest level math and science, but I alternated between honors history and honors english, depending on the year and the teachers and how I was feeling about the subject. It worked very well. :)

  2. I'm another twice-exceptional (and autistic) blogger. My high school is doing great with this even though I'm the only resource student in honors and AP classes. If only my school let me drop a core class that I hate and is unrelated to my career of choice. I don't see how trigonometry will help me as a music teacher.


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