Myths, uneven development, and supersensitivities. And, too often, misdiagnosis.
Contrary to popular belief, the lives of gifted children aren’t always smooth sailing. In fact, life can feel downright miserable if their giftedness isn’t identified – and appropriately addressed. (In the clinical world, this is especially important for pediatricians, psychologists and therapists to know.)
Want to help position your gifted patients for success, however they define it? Here are the best ways to do so:
- Familiarize yourself with the hallmark traits of giftedness:
- asynchronous development
- Dabrowski’s five types of overexcitabilities (a.k.a. “intensities” or “supersensitivities”)
- Understand what it means to be twice exceptional (“2e”) and how that can make a child’s giftedness difficult to see (or vice versa).
- Learn why gifted patients are misdiagnosed with: OCD, ADHD, ODD, Asperger’s, sensory processing disorder, sleeping disorders and more. (Hint: their clinicians weren’t familiar with the hallmark traits of giftedness.)
- If a patient displays several of these characteristics, encourage the child’s parents to pursue a full psychological evaluation. School districts with gifted programs can perform these tests, saving the family thousands of dollars.
- If you have a patient who is gifted, ensure that, if nothing else, his parents know about: uneven development, intensities and great ways to nurture their gifted child. Telling them about the Kite Kid Mama blog doesn’t hurt either! (They can subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll send more info to help educate and support both them and their kiddo.) 🙂
- If the child is experiencing significant social-emotional issues, recommend a therapist who specializes in giftedness. (You wouldn’t send a patient with a cardiovascular problem to a gastroenterologist, right?)