GIFTED students have long been overlooked, played dumb or rebelled in frustration in school, according to the Tasmanian Association of the Gifted.
The association will hold its biennial state conference this week.
Vice-president Allison Cornish said there was a lack of education about gifted students.
She said social concerns about allowing a child to skip forward a year at school meant gifted children often had to put up with a class below their intelligence level.
Ms Cornish said this commonly manifested itself as disruptive behaviour in boys, girls playing dumb so as to be the same as their friends and, in extreme cases, could lead to depression and suicide.
Ms Cornish, who is also a teacher, said up to 15 per cent of the state's school- aged population would be regarded as gifted.
"About 9300 students in Tasmania fall into that gifted category and who need significant education in schools," she said.
Ms Cornish said she was regularly contacted by parents of gifted children, frustrated their child was not being taught appropriately at their school and therefore was not getting challenged.
"These kids are as far away from the normal learning of a student as those with disabilities," she said.
"If you're talking about someone with an IQ of 30 as working two years below that of their classmates, gifted students are at the other end of that.
"If they're not identified or even if they are but nothing is done for the student, after three, four, five, six years of not being challenged, they lose the skills they need to think and learn."
Ms Cornish said the lack of education about gifted students when teachers went through university or for qualified teachers to identify such children was the association's biggest concern.
She said despite the fact one in every 10 children was gifted and about one in 80 children was autistic, teachers received no training for educating those that were gifted but professional learning for working with autistic students.
Ms Cornish, who has also been employed by the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office as the gifted education consultant, said the sector now had a policy and was also undertaking professional development sessions for all principals and more than 200 teachers.
Education department deputy secretary Liz Banks said public schoolteachers were provided with advice on teaching gifted students through the extended learning procedures, an online professional learning portal and the employment of a curriculum officer in extended learning.
She said gifted students were offered extended learning opportunities through online extension programs.
"The extended learning opportunities provided through [the] Centre for Extended Learning Opportunities address a broad range of areas including visual arts, literature-based discussions, problem solving, philosophy, robotics, mathematics, computer programming and local action projects," Ms Banks said.
Educators and parents interested in attending the conference in Hobart should contact Allison Cornish on 0421396777.
For more information visit www.tasgifted.com or email tasgifted.north@ gmail .com.