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Meeting the Needs of Gifted Girls

Join the Grayson School March 4 for a discussion with education expert C. Matthew Fugate.

The Grayson School

Young girls face a multitude of challenges and obstacles in school, and how educators respond to these obstacles matters.


Studies show that young children, specifically children entering first grade (ages 6 — 7), believe an interesting stereotype: that girls aren’t as smart as boys. This is troubling, especially when parents consider that schools generally do not screen for giftedness until second or third grades, generally by teacher nomination. How can girls keep up when they don’t believe they’re as intellectually capable as their male counterparts?


A child’s belief in her intellectual ability influences her interests — if a child doesn’t believe they are “really, really smart,” the study also found, they were less likely to do activities they associated with intellectually superior children. This has a real-life impact on children who would otherwise have access to gifted programs.


Research tells us girls behave differently than boys in their earlier years, and so evaluating their strengths in leadership in group work, participation in class, and emotional and social skills aren’t always accurate in evaluating their giftedness at an early age, as they are less likely than boys to display these skills. Since these strengths are often evaluated in screenings for gifted programs, the majority (two thirds) of gifted students in the United States are boys.


For a discussion on this topic and the obstacles girls face in gifted education, join The Grayson School on March 4, for a discussion with C. Matthew Fugate on “Understanding the Unique Needs of Gifted Girls” to address these topics and concerns. Fugate received his doctorate in Gifted, Talented and Creative Studies from Purdue University, and is a member of of The Grayson Research Advisory Board (GRAB). The event is open to educators, home-schoolers, parents, behavioral health professionals, and anyone interested in the topic to discuss unique challenges to girls in the educational landscape.


The event will begin with a discussion of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century, and focus on the progression of gifted girls through their school years. Fugate’s specialized research concerning gifted young women with ADHD gives him a fresh viewpoint, seeing these young women as “Attention Divergent Hyperactive Gifted” (ADHG).


Fugate will look at the challenges facing young girls as a window to understanding. ​“We need to take the deficiency and disorder out of the equation and instead focus on what makes these ADHG girls so special – their motivation, strength, perseverance, and resilience,” he said.


The event, “Understanding Gifted Girls,” will be held at The Grayson School, 35 N. Malin Road, Broomall, on March 4, from noon — 1:30 pm. Fugate will also offer a morning session on “Being Gifted in the Age of Social Media” from 9:30 — 11:00 am. Both events are free, but you must register in advance.


The Grayson School has been dedicated to the nourishment and development of gifted students since it opened its doors in 2015, offering student-directed and project-based learning in their diverse curriculum. Classes are small, with most not exceeding eight students. Individual Growth Plans allow students to explore their unlimited potential with endless possibilities. Learn more about the Grayson School here.

Photograph courtesy of the Grayson School. 


The Grayson School is Pennsylvania’s first and only private school and weekend enrichment programs designed specifically to meet the needs of gifted learners. We currently offer grades pre-K-10, with plans to grow to be a Pre-K to 12th-grade school.



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