Wednesday, April 4, 2012


As a parent of a gifted child, you already know that your child is hyper-sensitive in some way.  Put a shirt with a tag on the child and listen to wails of “It doesn’t feel good.”  Go shoe shopping and plan to spend hours finding the pair that feels right, looks right, or sounds right.  Cook a meal and listen to comments about the texture, color, or taste of food.  Whatever the area, parents do need to be aware of their children’s heightened sensitivities.  Dabrowski spoke of these sensitivities as “overexcitabilities” in gifted children.  These take on many forms that you probably have noticed. Gifted children tend to have more than one of these intensities, although one is usually dominant.  Be prepared to accept and foster their uniqueness.
o Often misdiagnosed as ADHD since characteristics are similar
o Rapid speech
o Impulsive
o Talks a lot
o Has nervous habits
o Very competitive – even when it doesn’t matter
o Has difficulty sleeping
o Needs to multitask
o Complains about seams in socks
o Complains about tags in shirts
o Doesn’t like the feel of wool or some other fabric
o Doesn’t like loud noises
o Gets sick from a certain smell
o Hates to walk barefoot or loves to walk barefoot
o Enjoys textures of certain foods and detests other textures
o Has a love of beauty – sunsets, flowers, music, writing, art
Emotional (Take everything personally, get hurt feelings easily)
o Extremes of emotion 
o Anxiety
o Feelings of guilt and sense of responsibility
o Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority
o Timidity and shyness
o Loneliness
o Concern for others
o Heightened sense right and wrong, of injustice and hypocrisy
o Strong memory for feelings
o Problems adjusting to change
o Depression
o Need for security
o Physical response to emotions (stomach aches caused by anxiety, for example)
Intellectual (easiest to recognize as giftedness)
o Deep curiosity
o Love of knowledge and learning
o Love of problem solving
o Avid reading
o Asking of probing questions
o Theoretical thinking
o Analytical thinking
o Independent thinking
o Concentration, ability to maintain intellectual effort
Imaginational (able to imagine situations in both positive and negative lights)
o Vivid dreams
o Fear of the unknown
o Good sense of humor
o Magical thinking
o Love of poetry, music and drama
o Love of fantasy
o Daydreaming
o Imaginary friends
o Detailed visualization