What is Giftedness?

The ability to take concepts and ideas to the next level is not a choice; it is something smart kids do without trying. While this skill can be a great asset in school, sports, art, or everyday life, it can also cause great pain. Because smart kids are always thinking, their minds never rest. They are constantly spinning thoughts over and over, which can help them be brilliant and creative, but can also lead to a continual struggle with anxiety.
— From “Why Smart Kids Worry” by Allison Edwards
Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity.
— The Columbus Group, 1991

People from all ages and walks of life can be gifted. Consequently their uniqueness makes the gifted vulnerable to becoming over stimulated from sound, taste, touch, sight, or even their own thoughts and emotions. This vulnerability, when left unaddressed, can lead to depression, confusion, and neuroses. Specialized knowledge and skills in parenting and counseling are required in order and develop good emotional intelligence and positive self esteem.

When to Seek Counseling for Your Gifted Child

  • Is your child's extreme sensitivity to things such as emotions, smells, noises, tastes, textures, schedule changes, etc. causing strain in the household?
  • Does your child seem to be stubborn and argumentative to the extreme?
  • Is your child intensely critical of self and/or others?
  • Does your child's drive for perfection cause anger, freezing up on projects and/or depression?
  • Have you noticed a significant change in your child's social behavior? Has your talkative, outgoing child suddenly become quiet and withdrawn? Is your normally quiet child having uncharacteristic outbursts?
  • Does your child seem to have lost her love of life? Is he/she dropping out of activities she formerly enjoyed, avoiding friends, skipping school, or are her/his grades dropping? Do you suspect he/she may be depressed?
  • Has there been a recent change in the family such as a death, divorce, move or change of schools that seems to be affecting your child more than you would expect?

Why Do Gifted Individuals Have Different Emotional Needs?

The uniqueness of the gifted leaves them vulnerable to being misunderstood by others and to emotional difficulties of their own. Gifted individuals may feel out of step or out of place intellectually, socially and emotionally. They often prefer unusual, original and creative responses to problems and may not readily accept the status quo. They often do not know why they are different or why they upset other people. They may be exceptionally perceptive without understanding why others don’t catch on as quickly, and may, therefore, feel entirely alone, with no one to understand them. In gifted children, asynchronous development may leave them emotionally unequipped to manage their advanced awareness. They may not conform well or fit in with peers. Their strong sense of self leads them to appear stubborn, rebellious, unmotivated, inattentive or tactless, and this may cause difficulties for parents who don’t recognize behaviors that are “normal” for gifted children.

How Can Connie Wax Help You?

I love to help Create Confident, Competent, Caring Families.  I believe Successfor parents is to know that their children have enough self-esteem to trust and be able to live with their own decisions.

I provide consultation and therapy for individuals and families.   I am “dedicated to fostering environments in which gifted adults and children, in all their diversity, understand and accept themselves and are understood, valued, nurtured, and emotionally supported…” (SENG publications:  “Selecting a psychologist or psychiatrist for your gifted child.”)  I can help you help your child maintain his/her strength of true individuality, while learning to function within society’s constraints.  My overall goal, in working with families and individuals is to assist all people to Develop Positive Self-Esteem, Thrive And Utilize Their Talents.

View the contact us page to get in contact with Counselor for the Gifted and Talented, Connie Wax.

Read my story.

Traits You May See in Your Gifted Child

  • Advanced vocabulary
  • An ability to focus intently on a subject of interest for long periods of time
  • Intellectual curiosity as demonstrated by endless questions and inquiries
  • Learns rapidly
  • Wide range of interests
  • A need to explore subjects in surprising depth
  • Perfectionism
  • Extreme intensity
  • Extreme sensitivity (physically and/or emotionally)
  • High energy levels
  • Nonconformity – questions rules and authority
  • A vivid imagination
  • Keen sense of humor

Please note:  This list is only a guideline and does not describe all gifted children nor do gifted children possess all of the characteristics.  The uniqueness of individual children defies any attempt to categorize them into well-defined groups.