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Social Emotional Needs

Social Emotional Needs

Do gifted children exhibit characteristics other than academics that I should be aware of?

YES. from Ian Byrd: “While gifted students look perfect on paper, their teachers know that in the classroom they are not all the academic angels and stellar scholars that people assume they are. Successful teachers of the gifted require a special understanding of their students’ social and emotional needs.”

  • Be aware that strengths and potential problems can be flip sides of the same coin. 
  • Gifted students’ physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth is often uneven. 
  • Gifted students may wonder if they are gifted.
  • Gifted students may face social challenges not just from peers but from parents and teachers as well. 
  • As they get older, gifted students may take fewer risks
  • Gifted students can have surprisingly heightened emotional sensitivity. 
  • Gifted students are often shy, know they’re shy, and know that shyness is looked down upon. 
  • Gifted students’ abstract intuition may conflict with the teacher’s desire for concrete thinking. 
  • Gifted student's needs must be met by more than one learning style. 
  • Gifted adults wish they were better informed about giftedness as children. 

adapted from10 Facts About Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted


How does the school provide support for our gifted students?

In addition to academic programming, gifted students can be offered various programs that address their unique social and emotional needs.

  • Individual counseling
  • “Friends” groups
  • “Lunch-Bunch” groups
  • Transition support (building change, college planning)
  • Targeted seminars (underachievement, perfectionism, goal-setting, metacognition, etc.)
  • SENG Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted is a national organization that encourages local support groups for parents of the gifted.

    Gifted Guru: A link directs you to several sites and blogs that provide thoughtful suggestions and guidelines.

    NAGC - Social Emotional Resources: Because gifted children demonstrate greater maturity in some domains over others, they may be at greater risk for specific kinds of social-emotional difficulties if their needs are not met.

    4 Life Lessons To Teach Gifted Kids (and one for you, the adult) Sure, finding the appropriate academic challenge is essential, but there's more to life than learning Calculus.

    7 Signs of Unhealthy Perfectionism - Being a perfectionist isn't necessarily flawed, but what signs to look for if you suspect it's turning unhealthy for your child?

    Are We Pathologizing Lack of Gifted Achievement? - So your kid hasn't been cured of cancer, and they're getting ready to graduate high school. What went wrong along the way?