Gifted Children and Tweens

If your child has been identified as gifted or "twice exceptional" (2E), they may present with exceptional educational, social, and emotional needs.


Gifted people are generally classified as IQ 125+. Experts agree that only about 2-5% of the population falls into this category. Society is set up for the 95% in the middle. This can make life significantly more challenging for high IQ kids in a number of important ways.

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Common Concerns:  

  • Problems at school (calling out, trouble sitting still, lack of cooperation with teachers, daydreaming, underachievement) 

  • Anxiety (perfectionism, inflexibility, trouble with transitions)

  • High emotional intensity (angry outbursts, crying spells, and meltdowns)

  • High emotional sensitivity, particularly to shame and rejection (obsessing about mistakes, blaming others, minimizing or denying wrongdoings)

  • Role-confusion (acting as more of a mentor toward peers, parenting siblings, attempting to engage in parents' conversations and decision making)

  • Sensory sensitivities (difficulty tolerating bright lights and crowds, highly restricted diet and wardrobe) 

  • Trouble fitting in, making and keeping friends; and/or chronically feeling lonely and alienated, even amongst those who seem to be friends

  • Autoimmune conditions (allergies, food sensitivities, eczema, asthma, etc.)

  • Existential depression or panic over the state of the world

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How Therapy Can Help:

  • Identify, celebrate, and find ways to “feed” your child’s gifts and talents

  • Learn which struggles are normative to giftedness, and which may be related to a diagnosis such as ADHD or anxiety

  • Find compensatory strategies for any areas of concern

  • Get extra help collaborating with teachers to get needs met at school

Sound amazing?


Looking for specialized support for a gifted teen (over age 14) or a gifted adult? I hope you'll reach out to my colleague Gordon Smith: