Helios understands giftedness as an attribute beyond high achievement or talent. Giftedness is not just measured in what the person can do, but who the child is. By definition, gifted children are different from the norm, and this qualitative difference informs our planning, program and practice.
Our understanding of giftedness is based on the definition developed by the Columbus Group, a collection of the leading researchers in gifted education, 20 years ago:
“Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity.
The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.”
The Columbus Group, 1991
With this definition as a point of departure, Helios’ program is designed using research-based knowledge of the emotional and intellectual needs of gifted children, as well as an understanding of each individual child gleaned from the Qualitative Assessment process.