“Early ripe, early rot” is a piece of folklore and educational jargon that suggests too early an intervention for the gifted will not help them and may actually cause them long-term harm. This proverbial saying is often dismissed as anti-intellectualism, yet there is some truth to this claim. Contrarily, ample evidence shows that early intervention, when done appropriately, is beneficial to the long-term intellectual, psychological, and emotional development of the gifted person. The notion of early ripe, early rot is occasionally substantiated in the life of a gifted individual. Longitudinal research with many gifted proves that early rot is not the norm and most early ripeners do well across the life span. This entry describes the background and empirical evidence for early ripe, early rot ...

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