Article updated on March 17, 2023.
Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog to democratize giftedness(High Learning Potential) and neurodiversity. Are you interested in High Learning Potential? Let’s try to answer your questions together!
Why are high-potential or gifted adults called Zebras?
Zebraan exotic name with no complexes for a gifted or high learning potential person, or a precocious child who has become an adult.
We owe the name zebra to Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, a well-known French therapist in the field of giftedness and a specialist in Giftedness, who founded the Cogito’Z offices in France.
She explains that she chose this term to designate gifted people or High Potential profiles because despite their resemblance, their black and white stripes, each zebra has its own unique coat. When you see a whole herd of zebras, it’s hard to tell them apart, but they’re all very different. Its stripes are like fingerprints in different shapes and sizes.
Same features but unique character
The same applies to gifted adults. Each profile has a set of characteristics that help to detect and determine high potential, also known as giftedness.
A zebra is a person with a special sensitivity and an IQ above one hundred and thirty on the WAIS test. It’s a person with an intelligence different from the majority of the population. Yet each individual is unique and has his or her own path.
Like all animals, adult zebras seem at first sight to function identically, but there are many things that set them apart.
The term zebra for gifted people is a beautiful allegory. Moreover, few, if any, of the people we detect use the terms “gifted”, “high potential” or “philo-cognitive”, which have very negative connotations among the general public.
Zebra, a term far from preconceived ideas
Gifted means more gifted than others, yet a zebra will have trouble feeling legitimate and will be uncomfortable with this terminology. As for the term “high potential”, it’s not much more appropriate, because the uninitiated ear will hear that other people are low-potential profiles, or potential at all. The high-potential profile would enjoy a kind of superiority. Again, a zebra won’t find himself in this term, as he doesn’t consider himself superior to others.
As for Philo-cognitives, proposed by psychologist Fanny Nusbaum, it favors language that is a little too sustained and evasive for those concerned to find their way around. With the term zebra Jeanne Siaud-Facchin has brought the whole world together.
It’s a neutral term, but sufficiently representative and evocative that everyone can relate to it.
Zebra: officially in the French dictionary since early 2020
Acclaimed by numerous blogs, symposiums and psychologists, the term zebra officially entered the dictionary in 2020 to designate gifted people or those with high learning potential.
Personally, I love the term. Firstly, because I think the animal is absolutely magnificent, but also because of the symbols it represents. Africa, exoticism, freedom, travel, the world in black and white. No shades of grey. Zebra life….
Giftedness, High Learning Potential, Zebra, Gifted, Precocious child, philo-cognitives are SYNONYMS. They refer to exactly the same thing, i.e. a Gifted person.
Would you like to know if you are Gifted? Why not try the gifted test from Suivez le Zèbre?
You can also find more information, resources and tools on Gifted in Mel POINAS‘ book. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- The best books about High Learning Potential
- Giftedness : 20 characteristics of complex and laminar profiles
- How to take the WAIS 4 test?
- How to tell others we are gifted?
- What is being Gifted?