Social & Emotional

Gifted children can have special social and emotional needs. Often, the more gifted the child the more extreme these needs can be. Misconceptions surrounding giftedness equate these children solely with high-achievement. However, this is not necessarily the case. It is important to focus on the child as a whole, not just their academic potential. Many gifted children’s strengths can, conversely, also mean they experience struggles, and subsequently related behaviours, that other children do not. This is frequently a result of them being asynchronous:

‘Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.’ (The Columbus Group, 1991).

By exploring the resources on this website you will be able to gain an understanding of the needs of gifted children, and what you can do to help accommodate their often extreme responses to the stimuli that surrounds them in conjunction with their own inner experience. Most importantly, your child is a ‘who’, not a ‘what’. He or she is not simply the sum of any label that has been assigned to them. Find out what makes your child happy, look for the jigsaw pieces that when placed together help your child reach their potential, not only academically, but from a holistic perspective. And remember, professionals and educators can provide advice which may help with your child, but you are the expert. Trust yourself to know when something is wrong and don’t be afraid to try different things and ask questions to ascertain what you need to know to provide the emotional support that your child needs :) .

Being an Emotional Coach to Gifted Children from

Here you can find an informative powerpoint presentation on the social and emotional needs of gifted children.

This article by Stephanie Tolan is an excellent and accessible introduction to asynchronous development.

Byrdseed Gifted offers an excellent blog post on 10 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted.

This beautifully written article by Annemarie Roeper explores the emotional needs of the gifted child.

Follow this link to explore more about the social and emotional needs of the gifted.

Kathy Kearney offers a good read on Life in the Asynchronous Family.

‘Yes, your child is bright, but…’ a great blog post relevant to any parent of a gifted child who has been informed that their child may have ‘social issues’, explaining why this sometimes occurs when gifted children are with same age peers.

Every gifted child is different, and this thought provoking article examines different profiles of gifted children and what their subsequent needs may be.

A short video by Asynchronous Scholars’ Fund discussing how gifted children can be many ages at once.


“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him…
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.
Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – - – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” – Pearl Buck