Acquiring a Liver Leads to Understanding of Gifted Kids

It is essential for parents and teachers to understand the nature, quirks, and vulnerabilities of gifted kids--only then can gifted children truly thrive.

Scottsdale, AZ, April 20, 2007 --( “Can I please have your liver?”

Maria, a seventh grader, routinely posed this question to local butcher shops in her search for biological specimens. Not only did they donate cow livers to this passionate middle school scientist, they also gave her hearts, kidneys, esophagi, and intestines. She stored them in a small fridge in a middle school classroom, where they would wait their turn for dissection.

The intensity of gifted children, like Maria, often results in them being ridiculed for focusing on such “weird” things, and they are put down for not fitting into the “norm,” according to Karen Isaacson and Tamara Fisher, authors of Intelligent Life in the Classroom: Smart Kids & Their Teachers (January 2007).

“Instead of squelching interest and dreams that we don’t understand, we ought to be looking for ways to open doors, to incorporate those interests into daily work,” say Isaacson and Fisher, who stress how essential it is to encourage the unusual interest of gifted kids. Rule-tidy parents and insufficiently trained teachers can lead to discouraged students with little enthusiasm to learn.

Teachers need to learn how to identify and coach a gifted child, says Fisher, a gifted and talented specialist in Polson, Montana. Children like Maria need to be reassured that their “oddities” are, in fact, “precious commodities.” Once teachers and parents develop a deeper understanding of gifted traits, quirks, and vulnerabilities, they can adequately understand what makes these kids tick and what it takes to help them thrive and reach their potential.

The world needs people like Maria, who glow with excitement over things many of us brush off, like how fungus growth affects a pig’s heart versus a cow’s heart. Afterall, the discovery of penicillin, which has saved an untold number of lives, was actually spawned from Alexander Fleming “painting” pictures with molds and bacteria. This is why teachers and parents need to nurture these minds. And who knows, it might be you that they dedicate their Nobel Peace Prize to one day.

Karen Isaacson, author of the award-winning book Raisin’ Brains: Surviving My Smart Family, is the mother of five quirky and wonderful gifted children. Tamara Fisher enjoys building houses, drawing, hiking, and four-wheeling, all while working as the K-12 Gifted Education Specialist for a school district in northwestern Montana.

To learn more about Intelligent Life in the Classroom, view their online media kit at To arrange an interview, please contact Kristina Grant by phone, 602-954-4200, or by email,

Great Potential Press (GPP), based in Scottsdale, is an award-winning company that has published books for parents and teachers of bright children for more than two decades.

Great Potential Press, Inc.
Kristina Grant