Gifted children, in particular, are prone to being highly sensitive and Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski has identified five different types of sensitivities, or over-excitabilities. Gifted children may exhibit more than one of these sensitivities and will usually have one that is the most dominant.
- Psychomotor - usually expressed as a surplus of energy. Often misdiagnosed as ADHD.
- Sensual - unusually heightened response to the 5 senses, i.e. bright lights, loud sounds
- Intellectual - deep thinking and constantly asking questions
- Imaginational - highly artistic, may have imaginary friends
- Emotional - prone to extremes of emotions, strong sense of right and wrong
But as Kate Bachtel discusses in her article, "The Power of Sensitivity", knowing and seeing our sensitivity as a strength is the key to helping our address and resolve the things that we see that cause pain and injustice in the world.
Gifted kids who are emotionally intense need to know what is the point of living and more importantly, they need to know they are not alone in trying to understand how to create meaning in our lives.
You can read Kate's full article here on the SENG website. Kate is also scheduled to speak about emotional intelligence and how parents can better support the emotional development of their children at STEM Charter School on March 5th, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. This is a free event, but space is limited.