A parent was talking with me in recent weeks about his gifted student and some of the things about which he was concerned. The student seemed to be more alone than in previous years, with few friends, and the parent was very aware of his child’s uneven skills in various developmental areas.
Most parents and teachers realize it is important to acknowledge the unique characteristics of gifted students in order to meet their needs. They are often unlike other students in school, in the family, or in the community. One of the characteristics that many gifted students demonstrate is asynchronous development. Asynchrony can be in one or more developmental areas such as physical, cognitive, social, and/or emotional.
For example, it can be challenging for a young gifted student to have advanced thinking skills but be unable to use scissors adequately. The student may become frustrated and focus on what they think they cannot do, rather than focusing on what they can do. These students may try to keep up with their peers in certain areas, or become depressed that they cannot keep up, even though they are far ahead in other areas such as thinking and applying information. Because of this, many gifted students may try to mask their abilities to fit in with peers; this may then lead to further social-emotional difficulties if they do not have a friend who is an intellectual peer.
The Davidson Institute has an article about this on their website. The article provides insight and information about the social and emotional aspects of gifted students and mentions asynchronous development. I shared this information with the parent and he found the article helpful. Perhaps it will provide useful information for you, too.
Gifted Social and Emotional Resources
The Davidson Institute
When working with gifted students, knowledge is power. The more we know, the more we understand, and the more we can help our students.
Dr. Wanda Routier, Former WATG Board Member
Ask the Doctor