Common Difficulties for Children with High Learning Potential
The difference between the intellectual abilities of children with high learning potential and their age can lead to some commonly experienced difficulties, which include anxiety, intense emotions and hypersensitivities, perfectionism and problems with social interactions. Visit the pages below to find out how to support young people with these difficulties.
Children with asychronous development often struggle with intellectual development which is out of sync with social, emotional and/or physical development. Understanding these differences and the effects that they can have on the development of children with high learning potential is key to supporting them.
Children with high learning potential have characteristics that are not widely known. This can lead to misunderstanding in adults and children alike. How can you learn to understand and advocate for your child?
Children with high learning potential often suffer from intense emotions which cause them to overreact and behave in a way that is odd at times. Combined with advanced understanding and perception, intense emotions can result in extreme anxiety in children with high learning potential. These factors can also contribute to concerns about world issues, feelings of unfairness and, sometimes, depression. See more about Intense Emotions »
One way of understanding some of the characteristics of individuals with high learning potential is to look at their ‘hypersensitivities’ or ‘overexcitabilities’. The term overexcitabilities comes from the Theory of Positive Disintegration, a personality development theory, developed by Kazimierz Dabrowski – Polish Psychologist and Psychiatrist. See more about Hypersensitivities »
Sensitivity to various kinds of sensory stimuli is common among children with high learning potential. Sensory sensitivity can cause problems with processing sensory information, meaning that children with high learning potential struggle to function in some environments, for example where there are loud noises or lots of people. This has an effect on their participation in everyday activities. See more about Sensory Sensitivity »
Many children with high learning potential find it hard to develop friendships with their peers. This is often because their cognitive abilities, being advanced for their age, mean that they are functioning at a different social level to children of their own age. Difficulties with social relationships, bullying and being misunderstood all contribute to a sense of isolation. See more about Social Interaction »
Many children with high learning potential suffer from the negative aspects of perfectionism. There are various different ways to support a child to overcome their perfectionistic tendencies, and to help them towards a much more positive, and productive, mindset. See more about Perfectionism »
Children with high learning potential are especially prone to feelings of anxiety. They feel things intensely and vividly, and are often aware of how different they are from their school friends, how they don’t fit in, they may be bored all the time at school or struggle to concentrate. These are just a few of the issues that can cause anxiety in young people with high learning potential.