Understanding Giftedness & Neurodivergence
Unfortunately, gifted people are often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Their intensity, excitability, sensory processing styles, and advanced abilities can sometimes look like other things (i.e., ADHD, autism, anxiety). That's not to say those other things aren't present, but a person's neurodiversity must be taken into account for appropriate help to be provided.
Giftedness can be tricky to discern. Is it anxiety or sensitivity? Or both (twice exceptionality)? Is it boredom or a learning disability? Is it burnout or a poor fit? Here are some tools to discern whether or not giftedness is at play:
You might be gifted if...
- You have/had large vocabularies and complex sentence structure for your age.
- Longer attention span; but possibly inconsistent.
- Intensity and sensitivity.
- Wide range of interests.
- Highly developed curiosity and limitless questions. Interest in experimenting and doing things differently.
- Divergent thinking and a tendency to put ideas or things together in ways that are unusual, not obvious, and creative.
- Able to learn basic skills more quickly, with less practice.
- Largely teach yourself to read and write as preschoolers.
- Able to retain much information; unusual memory. Had numerous imaginary playmates.
- Unusual sense of humor.
- Desire to organize people and things, primarily through devising complex games.
Gifted Strengths & Corresponding Difficulty
- Inquisitive attitude / asks embarrassing questions.
- Determined to complete tasks / strong-willed resistance to direction.
- Seeks systems in strives for order / seen as bossy or domineering.
- Creative and inventive / may disrupt plans of others.
- Intense concentration / resist interruption; seen as stubborn.
- High energy / frustration with inactivity.
- Diverse interests / seen as scattered.
- Strong sense of humor / humor may disrupt classroom or work.
- Keen observer / sees inconsistencies and may become disillusioned.