This is an extract from my new book. Request your copy of 2 FREE chapters here.: Why Bright Creative Kids are being Left Behind ….and what can you do to change this? Neurodiversity through the Lens of Mental Imagery
Let me remind you about my definition of EPIC students. They are exceptionally perceptive, imaginative and creative. They are typically thinking and learning in neurodivergent ways, across a very wide spectrum, that may not match the way they are being generally taught. These are the children who show what you might think of as Early Onset Greatness.
We have studied children and adults with exceptional strengths and explored how they do what they do well, whilst often being challenged by learning differences.
Some EPIC students can abound in artistic talent; enjoyed by painters, artists, designers, musicians, photographers, writers and comedians. They may develop careers in the film industry playing scenes forwards and even backward in their imagination. They can also edit and re-run scenes before having to commit to the cutting room floor.
They may have new ideas appearing at lightning speed, sometimes too fast for others to keep up with them! Several companies now deliberately recruit EPIC employees, including Microsoft, GCHQ and even a design house in New York that only employs those with these skills.
Fashion designers can easily imagine a dress that doesn’t exist, going on to design it, work out how to construct it, and finish the job.
Architects possess similar skills for imagining and constructing buildings, slicing and dicing, to see the internal layouts and often designing whole towns in their mind’s eye.
For some their drawing skills are often in advance of their developmental age, understanding pictures more than they do words. Others get frustrated by not being able to transfer onto paper their great imagery they won’t draw.
For example, whilst talking with Archie he suddenly announced that when I asked him to picture a giraffe, he could choose to see a real picture, if he had encountered a real one, perhaps he had seen one in a zoo, or a hand drawing if he had just seen one in books or on the TV; a skill in itself. In addition, he had a split screen in his memory, with one main picture, plus a row of pictures along the bottom of the screen so he could flick through them like using a mobile phone screen. (We called this his flip screen).