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Characteristics of the Gifted Child

The gifted child can exhibit many unique characteristics, or none at all.  And even those who seemingly exhibit none of these characteristics may feel many of them, hidden just below the surface.  And the effort it takes to continue hiding is often exhausting.  If you're looking for characteristic checklists, visit Identification of Gifted Children.

From Sensitivities to Perfectionism, from the Underachiever to the Impostor, all of these characteristics are commonly found in many gifted children.  And commonly cause concern, among their parents and teachers.

Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration and Overexcitabilities (OEs) are often attributed as characteristics of gifted children.  Visit the Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities (OE's) for information, research and even a lesson plan on these theories!

Everyone is concerned about the Social and Emotional well-being of the gifted child, but many teachers and parents disagree about the best ways to facilitate healthy social and emotional development in the gifted child.  Nature and Gifted Children supports the correlation between healthy children, especially gifted children, and time spent out-of-doors in nature.

And like other characteristics of gifted children, the social-emotional aspects of life often seem extreme.  When you need more information, Depression and Suicide can help provide resources and information, but first and foremost, seek professional help.  Grief & Mourning can also be very strong emotional reactions in gifted children; these books and resources can help you through difficult times.

Learning Styles vary from individual to individual, but the majority of children and the majority of educators share a common learning style.  Some gifted children have very unique learning styles, which further differentiates them from other children, and further frustrates the relationships between teacher and student..  Visual-Spatial Learners often cause great concern to the classroom teacher, and the parent at home.

Personality Type is another variable to consider.  Is the ratio of introvert to extravert personalities higher in the gifted population than in the general population?  How do the personality factors affect our lives?

Young Gifted Children present special challenges, because they are sometimes not yet able to explain the differences they feel, and the pressures and priorities of being a gifted child.  Gifted Adolescents often find they don't fit as gifted children, gifted adults, or "normal" adolescents.  Highly Gifted Children often present an entirely different set of characteristics; sometimes they can be simplified by just saying they are "More!"  And Gifted Adults... do they exist?  Yes!

What We Have Learned About Gifted Children 1979-2007 gives a concise summary of those characteristics noted in clinical study of gifted children at the Gifted Development Center... some are intuitive, some may come as a surprise!

Don't miss the view of a parent from her childhood, in "I Remember," or another parent looking at her own child, now, in "Musings on our report card."  "We Call Her Chameleon..." Recommended is a two-sided look at the childhood of a highly gifted child...  this one's a Don't Miss!

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