Monday, May 17, 2010

Raising Gifted Children: Overexcitabilities and Intensities

I'm reading: Raising Gifted Children: Overexcitabilities and IntensitiesTweet this!

If you understand and live with gifted intensities, which is to say, you struggle with them, this conference might be worth a look.

The Ninth International Congress of the Institute for Positive Disintegration in Human Development will be taking place in St. Charles, IL from July 22 - 24.

This interdisciplinary conference will focus on Dabrowski’s theory of Positive Disintegration drawing from education, psychology, religion, philosophy, counseling and spirituality.

Positive Disintegration? What is that? It sounds scary, like a mental breakdown or something, right? It is kind of a breakdown, but also a building up, hence the term "positive dis-integration."

While not all kids who exhibit these intensities or overexcitabilities are gifted, many of them are. And many highly or profoundly gifted kids exhibit at least some of these tendencies. If you spend a lot of time with HG or PG kids you know what I'm talking about. They are a different kind of normal- they take in the world a bit differently than most of us, they process much of their sensory input a bit differently, too.

I recall a speaker I heard years ago say that HG/PG kids tend to have a higher level of sensory input than most, however, their sensory processing centers tended to develop more slowly which leads to a system overload.

This makes sense to me. And it's good to know why a particular child just can't wear *those* socks or the shirts with the tags or hypothetically speaking, goes from calm to apeshit tantrum in about 5 seconds, but it's how to work around those issues that is not always readily apparent.

Oh, wait, on the clothing front, check out Soft Clothing (suggestion, not an endorsement; never tried the brand, but would have loved to try their socks about five years ago had they existed back then).

And for a bit more background, check out these old posts on gifted overexcitabilities:
psychomotor OEs, intellectual OEs and sensual OEs.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with gifted OEs or intensities and how to build up their positive aspects while minimizing the aspects that make it challenging to raise such intense (and sometimes intensely gifted) children .


Gina said...

I just finished reading Living With Intensity this past week and cannot believe that I let this book sit in my house for about 8 months unread. It explained so much.

We knew our 6 year old son was gifted, but didn't know to what degree and certainly didn't connect it to what we thought was sensory processing disorder. Through testing we know that he is highly gifted and are learning what that means.

This book helped us understand his energy around sensory needs, physical movement, enthusiasm for numbers and emotional profoundness. It's also shed light on his (and my) perfectionism and the behaviors and attitudes that come with that.

Needless to say, I cried many times after realizing that we were "doing it all wrong". Had we read this book sooner, we would have done so many basic parenting things differently.

If you have a gifted child, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's changed our perspective and parenting style.

thenextmartha said...

I am really interested in this subject and became aware that it was even "a thing" a few years ago. Just knowing that it is part of his overall mental being helps me be more patient and understanding when he as an episode. I am seriously goiung to consider going to this.

T~T said...

After reading your blog for a couple of weeks and your posts about gifted children a light bulb has suddenly clicked off or on in my head. My son, 8 yrs old now,was diagnosed with severe sensory integration disorder at age 2 (among many other issues). We were told he could possibly be autistic. He was in intense therapy for a full year. Speech and OT. Due to my husband's job, we moved out of the country and he had to stop the OT. While we were living abroad, my son attended an int'l school and they told us at the time (he was 2 1/2) that he was brilliant. We returned to the states and tried several preschools, none of them worked out and we ended up pulling him out and I just helped him as home and we started Kumon. This coordinator also told us our son was brilliant. He started Pre-Kindergarten at a local academy and flourished, largely in part due to a fabulous teacher (who had 2 children who were SI). The next year, my son went to a different school as we could no longer afford the academy as we had 2 children in school then. He attended and still attends a local Christian school in our area. Midway through Kindergarten, after MAP testing scores were 99, we asked for him to attend the gifted program even though they didn't normally have kind. students. They were happy to oblige. He continued attending regular classes and gifted classes through 1st grade as well. His MAP scores through 1st and 2nd grade have consistently been 98 or 99 in all areas. However, this year he has struggled GREATLY . . . I had suggested to our ped. that he may need OT again and she told me she didn't think so. However, after reading all your links and posts. . . I know - I KNOW - I am right. He totally needs OT again! Thank you so much and I am so glad that I met you and took a peek at your blog!

Tiaras & Tantrums