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Social and Emotional Characteristics

Social and Emotional Characteristics of Gifted Students That May Pose Challenges

  • Perceptiveness

  • High Involvement and Preoccupation; Need to Understand

  • Heightened Sensitivity

  • Perfectionism and Need For Precision

  • Uneven Intellectual Abilities, Even Above-Average Abilities Experienced as Deficits

  • Asynchronous Development of Physical, Intellectual, Social, Emotional Aspects

  • Emotional Intensity

  • Feelings and Early Awareness of Being Different

  • Anxiety Caused By Advanced Knowledge

  • Need For Mental Stimulation

  • Entelechy - A Desire to Become All One Is Capable of Becoming

  • Nonconformity and Questioning of Authority

  • Excitability and Over-excitability

  • Tendency Toward Introversion and Internalized Locus of Control

  • Multipotentiality - The ability to Succeed in Any of Several Domains,

          Requiring Difficult Choices

  • Tendency Toward Self-Doubt

What Must We Do?

  • Provide Appropriate Educational Choices.

  • Provide Training for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Others in Identifying High Ability and Understanding its Concomitants.

  • Recognize the Great Diversity Among Those Labeled "Gifted and Talented" and Respond to the Individual Student, NOT the Stereotype.

  •  Focus on Helping Gifted Individuals Develop Resilience.

  • Develop a Continuum of Services, Including Educational, Counseling, Family and Community Programs to Enable Approaches That Meet the Needs of Specific Individuals.

  • Continue To Advocate for Changes in the Culture, Promoting Acceptance and Respect for Gifted Students.

  • Be Willing to Make Relatively Small Investments that the Gifted Student Needs For What is Potentially an Enormous Payoff.

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children. What Do We Know?

A Service Publication of the National Association for Gifted Children

  • Sense of Self

  • Strong sense of Perfectionism 

  • Ideas/Beliefs/Opinions

  • Questions Authority 

  • Motivation for and Intense Focus on Tasks

  • Withdrawal from Peers/Prefers Adults

  • Subtle Sense of Humor/Original Jokes and Puns

  • Boredom with Routine

  • Sensitive to the Needs of Others

  • Critical of Self and Others

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