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 Has your talkative, outgoing child suddenly become quiet and withdrawn?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.