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.

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.