Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.
What I am saying (and I think EllenS is too) is that the "athletic/talented/smart" people are honored for their achievements - Jack hit a homerun! Abbey sang the National Anthem at the televised rodeo! Jane won the spelling bee! I am all for honoring academic achievement as well. I think if a child is gifted that child should be honored for using her gift, not told she is special and doesn't have to try because she has this gift.
"Gifted" is an educator's label. Educators do not intend to say "this child doesn't have to try hard, because s/he is gifted and will be able to do anything without straining a mental muscle".
The intent is to say, "this child is intellectually advanced. Instead of putting them in a mixed general class, let's put them in a class with more challenging material. Because, let's face it, if we don't, they *will* come to believe that they are 'special' and 'dont' have to try,' because they actually don't have to
in order to keep up with the class."
There are lots of arguments about whether this is actually a good idea or not. But it was not intended as a fawning, "Oooh, you're so smart! You're speshul!" sort of label. "Gifted" is not an "honour".
It is a sorting code, to send children who can deal with advanced topics into classes where they are pushed, just as, say, children with certain reading/perceptual problems would be taught in a manner that was specifically targeted to their needs. This was developed when it was discovered that many children who are highly intelligent did poorly in school, and often became disciplinary problems, because they were bored and lacked challenges.
Back in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, the problem wasn't as apparent because teachers could let students progress at their own pace. In today's busy classroom, certain students may not flourish under "normal" teaching methods.
There are many educators who hate labels in general, and have good arguments against them. But "gifted" is really no different than a soccer coach mentally dividing his charges into "fit, well-coordinated, knows the basics and more" versus "Kids who trip over shoelaces and kick selves in head when trying to connect with ball," then giving them drills to improve their skills in a level-appropriate way
Connor's problem is not
that he has, perhaps, been labelled "gifted" by an educator or psychologist somewhere down the line. It's that his parents cannot see him for what he is, a small child who has not been properly socialized. He may be a genius, or he may actually be completely average. His curse is his parents.