My Gifted Child Seems Overly-Excitable
Over-excitabilities are normal for gifted children and adults. “My gifted child is intense,” is a kind of parental code for, “Somebody please help me because my child is wearing me out.” Your child’s level of excitability will probably remain intense. However your understanding of your child may help you become a more effective parent.
Dabrowski’s Five Over-Excitabilities (OE)
Responding whole-heartedly to one’s feelings seems to happen almost reflexively. Individuals who feel deeply tend to exhibit a broad range of emotions. They need deep connections with other people. Emotional intensity is the catalyst for falling in love with one’s work and with people.
Daydreaming is the hallmark of imaginational intensity. The present-moment is left behind for an inner-world. Individuals who are highly imaginative are strong visual thinkers who try-out scenarios in their heads before acting on them. Their understanding of and contribution to the world emanates from their mind’s-eye.
Perceiving sensory stimuli is acute. Perhaps every little sound is heard as distraction, every rubbing of a texture against bare skin as annoyance, bright light as too intense, and novel food as unpalatable. On the other hand, intense sensory perception allows individuals to experience and express nuances that are generally ignored by others.
Tapping, fidgeting, and moving around are omnipresent. (In this case, they are not signs of, but may be easily confused with, ADHD.) Individuals may crave speed, and be more prone to risk-taking. Their speech may be rapid. Settling down to fall asleep at night may be difficult. People who experience psychomotor intensity have lots of energy.
Questioning is fueled by curiosity. There is a quest for sense-making and the integration of what is newly learned with what is already known. Finding inconsistencies and injustices may result in willful-disobedience or moral outrage. The upside of intellectual intensity is the potential to produce breakthrough accomplishments.
Parenting Gifted Children
Visit Potpourri of Ideas For Teachers page for additional Gifted Resources.
We often talk about the unrealized potential of our most gifted learners. The causes for this loss of potential may include social or emotional issues, inappropriate curriculum, or learning deficits.
Dr. Susan Paynter, a child advocate, award-winning educator, and nationally recognized expert in gifted learners, helps schools and families create customized strategies designed to help gifted children feel challenged, successful, and fulfilled. She works one-on-one and collaboratively to design programs that adapt teaching methods to the learning styles of these unique students, rather than trying to adapt the students to the teaching methods. This approach enables gifted kids to joyfully share their unusual gifts and passions with the world.