The Gift

Gifted children are highly sensitive to their environment. They react with heightened emotional and behavioural responses, more than do children of average intelligence.

Giftedness = the brain is reacting more intensely to a specific stimulus.

One study on the topic showed enhanced auditory response. As a matter of fact, gifted children hear sound faster and louder than non-gifted children.

Liu et al, in the context of their research, demonstrated that the enhanced neural function of the intellectually gifted children might be due to more spatially and temporally coordinated neural network, faster processing speed and more efficient neural activation functions.

Many gifted children have received diagnoses of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Ayres, PhD has linked SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. The child responds to input in a hyper- or hypo-sensitive response.

If a child is struggling with enhanced auditory, sense of smell, for example, the amount of energy used to cope takes away from the ability to learn and interact. It’s exhausting.

It can be exhausting on parents too. These gifted children can be picky eaters and, for instance, clothing can often be uncomfortable.

The first step in dealing with this is to request an evaluation from an OT or audiologist.

Taking into account that the foundation for sensory-motor development takes place between the ages of 0-1 year of age, could it be possible that, for example, a poor integration of primitive reflexes lead to a difficulty in having good coping mechanisms for sensory input?

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