Can gifted children be overly sensitive?

My daughter is a real drama queen, but her sensitivity is real and she cannot tolerate loud noises, crowded venues, seams on socks, labels on shirts. It can make life difficult for all of us!

Expert answer

Super-sensitivity and over-excitability in gifted children is real and can be misinterpreted as immaturity and bad behaviour. Here are some websites about super-sensitive gifted children which might provide additional insights into behaviour.

Research indicates that social and emotional development is on a par with intellectual development and accelerated gifted children are much advantaged by this action. Social and emotional maturity levels usually fall between chronological age and mental age in the child's make up, unless the child is disadvantaged by being in a low challenge environment. Then you may see frustration that looks like immaturity but when the child is working with intellectual peers or on challenging materials the negative behaviours disappear and their maturity has a chance to be expressed. Of course acceleration must be well supported by awareness of gifted education issues. Your school might also need your help to understand supersensitivity.

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