The Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

19 09 2009

Often teachers think that gifted students are those who just need more intellectual stimulation. The phase “they can take care of themselves” is often heard. There are other needs that must be addressed to serve the needs of the gifted students.  Here are just a few…………….

Perfectionism: The ability to see how one might ideally perform, combined with emotional intensity leads many gifted children to unrealistically high expectations of themselves. 

 

Underachievement: This is the discrepancy between potential and performance or ability and achievement. When a gifted student is not working up to his or her potential this is called underachievement.

 

Avoidance of risk taking: In the same way the gifted see the possibilities, they also see potential problems in undertaking those activities.  Avoidance of potential problems can mean avoidance of risk-taking, and may result in underachievement.

 

Uneven development: Motor skills, especially fine-motor, often lag behind cognitive conceptual abilities.  These children may see in their “minds eye” what they want to do, construct, or draw. However, motor skills do not allow them to achieve the goal.  Intense frustration and emotional outbursts may result.

 

Multi-potentiality: Gifted children often have advance capabilities and may be involved in diverse activities to an almost frantic degree.  Though seldom a problem for the child, this may create problems for the family, as well as quandaries when decisions must be about career selection.

 

Peer relationships:  Gifted students find that they often need both social and intellectual peers and they need to develop relationships with both.

 

Excessive self-criticism: The ability to see possibilities and alternatives may imply that youngsters see idealistic images of what they might be, and simultaneously berate themselves because they see how they are falling short of an ideal.

 

Emotional intensity and stress: Because of the areas stated above and the uneven coping abilities, gifted students may feel deeper and may experience intense stress.

 

Social Skills: Often gifted students put much emphasis on the advanced thought process to the neglect of social skills that seem to come naturally to others.  These areas could be listening skills, communication skills, and friendship skills.

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