The Myth of the Gifted...
To many, giftedness means a person has a special level of intelligence, which somehow makes them better than others. The myth then continues, and accuses any program or therapy devoted to the development or support of gifted people as elitist, since they expect the gifted can take care of themselves, and extra help is just heaping unfair advantage onto unfair advantage.
Gifted people do have special needs. While a person may be brilliant in the area of their gifts, rarely is a person gifted across the board. Gifted people often have difficulties in school, relationships, work, life in general. The gifted are likely to suffer from the frustrating ability to imagine the world in general, and their lives in particular, much greater than they are. Everything about the gifted makes them more complex. And gifted people need help navigating and succeeding in that complex life.
Why do the gifted have special needs?
People take in experience at different rates. Gifted people take in more, compared to their age and ability to process that experience. Taking in so much more than those around them results in the gifted becoming highly sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. These extra-sensitivities are described in the article "The Funnel and Cylinder Theory of Giftedness."
How can therapy help? Talking with someone who understands the profound emotional needs, appetites, and frustrations that come with being gifted is something all gifted people need. Too often, people with intellectual, creative, physical, spiritual, or emotional gifts are misunderstood, disparaged or neglected. All people benefit from emotional support and good counsel. Yet the more exceptional an individual is, the less likely she or he has satisfactorily experienced either. Working with someone who specializes in counseling the gifted can help a gifted person learn to appreciate and be comfortable with their gifts and their limitations.
Do you wonder if a child is gifted? Try this...
Widawsky is a Gifted Specialist, serving the gifted in Northern
Virginia. Individuals, groups for gifted students, groups for their
parents, presentations and workshops available. Call 703-280-1629 or e-mail to find out
Serving the Gifted
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