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High sensitivity + giftedness - how strong a link?

(51 Posts)
anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 17:48:15

I'm just starting to read The Highly Sensitive Child and wondered, how many of your gifted kids would fit in both categories?

Ds is is clearly quite a smart wee chap but certainly is rather sensitive.

And where does the line between Aspergers type traits/ sensitivity/ giftedness lie? Obviously I'm fully aware that there are overlaps between Aspergers and giftedness, but think it would be interesting to hear about others views.

Miggsie Sat 12-Jul-08 17:49:25

my DD is very sensitive with very high empathy (she cries if she sees someone else crying) but I don't think she's gifted in any way

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 18:08:09

I was actually wondering whether most children who are 'gifted' are highly sensitive rather than whether most sensitive children are (intellectually) gifted....

motherinferior Sat 12-Jul-08 18:15:35

Why should there be?

cornsilk Sat 12-Jul-08 18:25:58

aspergers and giftedness are seperate surely? Some Aspergers chn may be gifted but that doesn't mean there is an overlap between the two.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 18:28:10

Bad choice of words on my part - I meant that it is common for some gifted children to have Aspergers type traits.

cornsilk Sat 12-Jul-08 18:29:03

You mean a bit quirky?

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 18:30:40

I don't know why there would be Motherinferior - I thought it would be an interesting discussion to see if there is a link.

What has triggered this thought on my part is:

- many of the 'traits' mentioned in the HSC book seem to be the sort of thing highly gifted kids would do too
- some articles I've seen discussing 'giftedness' mention things like Dabrowski's Excitabilities which sound very similar to the sort of thing described in the HSC book.

motherinferior Sat 12-Jul-08 18:31:23

TBH I'd think it's more that parents really want their children to be both sensitive and clever. (My children, alas, could be case studies for a book about The Insensitive Child, so dishearteningly robust are they.)

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 18:32:50

Well no, not just a bit quirky (but I think that is often true too). I mean more like the stuff to do with startling more easily, getting irritated by physical things like scratchy clothes more, not liking rowdy places, literally seeming to have heightened senses.

I know it seems strange that there might be a link but that's what some of the 'literature' out there seems to say. I don't understand why and am interested.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 18:34:05

Sensitive isn't just good though MI - when your child is the wussiest around it's not. It has its upside of course but it certainly has its challenges too. Some days I'd love it if ds would just charge round the playground without being super-cautious about everything!

cornsilk Sat 12-Jul-08 18:35:00

Did you see the programme about the maths Olympiad a while ago?

Tiggiwinkle Sat 12-Jul-08 18:43:13

I think there is an overlap between giftedness and Aspergers in that many AS children are also gifted.
From what I have read about Highly Sensitive children, I do wonder if people prefer to believe their children are "sensitive" rather than AS because they are afraid of the label. (I have two DSs with AS by the way).

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 12-Jul-08 18:56:22

Children with AS are often highly sensitive as they have often have sensory integration disorders. Apparently sensory processing difficulties are likely to make it back into the diagnostic criteria when it's updated (used to be in was removed- erroniously imo).

If you believe Simon Baron-Cohen many people on the autistic spectrum are systemisers- so logical and will presumably be predisposed to do well in some areas of academia. Although many even bright people with AS struggle to get even a few GCSE's because of their disability.

If a child ticks the list for the HSC - I would recommend seeing an OT tbh- Basic sensory integration programmes are simple to do and can work wonders. No need for the child to suffer.

Twiglett Sat 12-Jul-08 19:08:33

if your child has sensory issues and is highly emotional you can do something about it

but terming a child 'Highly Sensitive' just for the label (which seems the point of the checklist and book) is IMHO pointless

We've had these discussions before, I agree with Jimjams

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 19:17:36

I did find the checklist a way for the author to justify her book....she even says 'even if your child only ticks one or two they might still be a HSC' which seems a bit dubious to me.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 12-Jul-08 19:38:12

A better book is either 'the out of synch child' or 'the challenging child' (the second one by Stanley Greenspan). THe cover hypersensitivities but also hyposensitivities etc. And they give you some ideas of things to do.

Some children can be mixed as well. DS1 can be off the scale hypo and hyper - sometimes in the same sense.

EachPeachPearMum Sat 12-Jul-08 19:40:28

jimjams- how do you get a referral to OT? Do you have to go private?

I know a young man with AS who got 11 A*-C, mainly As a couple of years ago, but he is very much the exception.

MI- why would a parent want their child to be sensitive???

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 12-Jul-08 19:44:09

You would probably need to go private. DS1 had an NHS assessment recently. It was agreed he would benefit enormously from OT, but apparently it is no longer possible for the OT to work directly with children with his disability. hmm Previously we waited 2 years for an OT assessment.

But the books mentioned above give you some ideas for things to do.

tigermeow Sat 12-Jul-08 20:21:12

http://www.stephanietolan.com/dabrowskis.htm

This is quite an interesting link relating to OEs and giftedness.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 21:20:46

Eachpeach - but there are some wonderful upsides to having a more sensitive child. They tend to be more sensible, more sensitive to your feelings and therefore react to milder discipline, sweet-natured for example, imho. It's the over-sensitive bits which are a bit more challenging!

EachPeachPearMum Sat 12-Jul-08 21:36:37

Yes- there are many wonderful parts of her, but I spend so much time worrying about what she is missing out on/suffering due to her sensitivities. It is also very wearing having to constantly ensure things are just so.
Her cautiousness (is that a word?)is shocking, but she notices every tiny thing.

I do appreciate that this is nothing compared to the worries of parents such as jimjams/yurt, so please feel free to tell me to bog off!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sat 12-Jul-08 21:41:40

No don't bog off

DS3's behaviour can be quite difficult because of his over-sensitivities. The 2 books I mentioned above are well worth getting. Lots of ideas in the out of synch child and really good explanation in the challenging chid. Usually some of it goes with age (ds2 used to be a bit sensitive - he's pretty robust these days - still faffs about sand etc but not like he used to).

SIBLINGRIVALRY Sat 12-Jul-08 21:50:56

Hope it's ok to butt in, but I am finding this thread irresistable. I am also busy reading Highly Sensitive Child and so much of what I have read on this thread makes sense.
To quickly put you in the picture dd1 is 7 and very sensitive - not just emotionally but physically too. She is on a waiting list for Occ Therapy to check for sensory integration dysfunction and is also due to see a child's mental health specialist.
This is largely due to her extreme anxieties and her many fears and phobias.
Last week, the headteacher told me he was putting her on the 'gifted and talented' register.
Could there be a link? I have no idea, but am desperate to know. I just need to know what's wrong so that I can help her.
jimjam, for the
first time last week I read about the symptoms of AS and saw some of dds characteristics.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 21:55:39

Eachpeach - she sounds similar to ds with the observations. He notices the most ridiculous things have changed. How old is she?

I think ds might be getting a tiny bit less cautious but not much. He even worries about it if a younger child comes round and makes me move anything breakable.

It can be quite trying but then so would be running after a daredevil child who tries to climb on the kitchen worksurfaces or throw themselves off high stuff at the playground!

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