The purpose of this article is to highlight vulnerabilities of highly gifted children in their social environment. Such children's extraordinary developmental potential is not only a function of their special talents and abilities. American and Canadian researchers emphasize another aspect of developmental potential. This model embraces five forms of overexcitability (psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational, and emotional) and defines them as dimensions of enhanced mental functioning. Overexcitabilities find expression in an intensified manner of thinking, feeling, sensing and reacting to everyday situations. Due to this tendency, gifted children experience social maladjustment and feelings of inadequacy. Perceived as different from other children, they face multiple daily stressors specific to being gifted, such as pressure from parents to be perfect, or feeling misunderstood by their peers. In consequence, they may develop anxiety, depression, and become underachieved. These developmental disturbances could be diminished if parents and teachers became aware of the specific needs of gifted children.
Daniels S., Meckstroth E., Nurturing the sensitivity, intensity, and deve-lopmental potential of young gifted children, [w:] Living with intensity, red. S. Daniels, M. M. Piechowski, Great Potential Press, Scottsdale 2008.
Daniels S., Overexcitability, giftedness and family dynamics, [w:] Living with intensity, red. S. Daniels, M. M. Piechowski, Great Potential Press, Scottsdale 2008.
Daniels S., Piechowski M. M., Embracing intensity: overexcitability, sen-sitivity, and the developmental potential of the gifted, [w:] Living with intensity, red. S. Daniels, M. M. Piechowski, Great Potential Press, Scottsdale 2008.
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