The Gifted Learning Center was built for students whose giftedness makes the public school system less than optimal.
Our entrance criteria reflect the needs of this population. Instead of an IQ cut off, we invite students to join us for a trial period of observation to test for goodness-of-fit. Also, we screen the child’s characteristics at entry, gather potentially relevant information from home and former schools, and if indicated, make observations at the student’s present school.
We are looking for differences in one or more domains of competence: developmental potential, actual competencies (initial or entry level of development or learning competence), self-regulatory capabilities, and learning styles (magnitude of learning steps and use of meta-cognitive strategies).
This is what “Gifted” may look like:
The primary sign of this intensity is a surplus of energy. Children with a dominant psychomotor overexcitability are often misdiagnosed with ADHD since characteristics are similar.
The primary sign of this intensity is a heightened awareness of all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Children with a dominant sensual overexcitability can get sick from the smell of certain foods or as toddlers will hate to walk on grass in their bare feet. The pleasure they get from the tastes and textures of some foods may cause them to overeat.
This intensity is the one most recognized in gifted children. It is characterized by activities of the mind, thought and thinking about thinking. Children who lead with this intensity seem to be thinking all the time and want answers to deep thoughts. Sometimes their need for answers will get them in trouble in school when their questioning of the teacher can look like disrespectful challenging.
The primary sign of this intensity is the free play of the imagination. Their vivid imaginations can cause them to visualize the worst possibility in any situation. It can keep them from taking chances or getting involved in new situations.
The primary sign of this intensity is exceptional emotional sensitivity. Children with a strong emotional overexcitability are sometimes mistakenly believed to have bipolar disorder or other emotional problems and disorders. They are often the children about whom people will say, "He's too sensitive for his own good."
Dabrowski, K. (1964). Positive disintegration. Boston: Little, Brown.
A “Powerful Drive to Explore, Master, and Express Themselves” that has been called “an obligatory force of nature” which when given in to can make these kids feel possessed, peculiar and strange.
An “Early Strongly Developed Sense of Self: The Need for Autonomy” which develops early and remains an integral part of their personality. This can cause them to seem headstrong or oppositional and manifests in a desire to have hegemony over all aspects of their lives.
Both “Early, Idiosyncratic Aesthetic Sensibilities” and “Early Concerns With Ethics, Fairness, and Morality: Preoccupations With the Dilemmas of Human Existence” that cause their sense of style, form, beauty and sense of fairness and right or wrong to be very personal and pressing.
Preference for Holistic learning, tendency toward global thinking, they want to understand the "big picture" first and get the details later. They look for meaning and want to understand concepts and what those concepts imply.
Preference for tasks they find interesting, challenging, and relevant to their lives. Assigned tasks that on their face are simple (writing the ABCs repetitively) can be so tedious for gifted learners (whose thought process far outpaces the assigned task) that they can develop stress and often refuse to comply with the required task.
Grobman, J, (2006).Underachievement in Exceptionally Gifted Adolescents and Young Adults:A Psychiatrist’s View, The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Summer, pp. 199–210.