This is a short excerpt from Nicholas Colangelo's monograph, Counseling Gifted and Talented Students. Sometimes educators and parents get so caught up in addressing academic need that we forget to address students' socio-emotional needs. Dr. Colangelo's work helps me keep a good balance.
The following insights are based on a synthesis of research as well as my own observations/work over the past nearly three decades.
• Gifted students are typically as well adjusted as other peers.
• Social-emotional issues are present because of exceptional ability.• In our society it is not smart to be smart.
• Meeting the cognitive needs of gifted students often meets simultaneously their social-emotional needs.
• Teenage years are the most difficult socially for gifted students.
• To be a gifted minority student is an added social challenge for these students.
• Intelligence is no assurance of character.
• Gifted students are not prone to suicide in any greater numbers than other students in their age group.
• Depression, anxiety, and isolation are among the common difficulties with gifted students.
• Gifted students do not have lower or more inflated self-concepts than nongifted age peers.
• Gifted students are more sensitive to the social needs of their nongifted peers than the reverse
• The messages that students receive from society about exceptional talent are only ambivalent in regards to intellectual talent.
• Underachievement in schools by gifted students is a manifestation of a combination of social-psychological tensions.
• Parents do not always know what is best for their gifted children.
• It is possible to be gifted and disabled (or have a disorder) simultaneously.
• Children benefit from counselors as part of their development in schools.
Gifted students get less than their share of counselor time and attention.
The complete monograph can be found at the National Research Center for Gifted and Talented.