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Learn more about giftedness and high sensitivity 


I- "gifted" children and adults :


Even if from one gifted person to another, there can be huge differences, let's try to outline the main lines:


*one of the facets of a gifted person is his/her intensity of

thinking: information reaches the brain quickly, circulates quickly and he/she has an excellent memory. We often talk about the arborescent way of thinking because the gifted person has a dazzling way of thinking, he/she is able to see a problem from many different angles. He/she has a great ability to make connections between his/her ideas. It is an extraordinary asset but often this characteristic can be difficult to live because the "bubbling brain" never stops. This can be a source of anxiety in both children and adults.

A few easily identifiable signs: incessant questioning, perpetual negotiations, refusal to ask for help, ears hanging around everywhere, an opinion on everything, interests that are out of the standards in comparison with children of the same biological age, etc.


*another facet of the gifted person is his/her sensitivity or high sensitivity (see the topo on the highly sensitive people). In other words, he/she  is permeable with his/her 5 senses to everything that is happening in his/her environment. It is an extraordinary quality to apprehend the world because the gifted person sees what others do not see, hears what others do not hear, smells what others do not smell etc...

Once again the gifted person can also be confronted with difficulties because he/she can be thin-skinned and overreact to the slightest stimulus. It happens that some children cut themselves off from their sensitivity because it has become too heavy. Sometimes if this sensitivity is predominant we will speak more precisely of emotionnally giftedness.

*giftedness is not a disease or a problem in itself but it is the discrepancies and misunderstandings with the outside that make an overefficient person suffer. It will be noted that malaise often develops in the form of provocation in boys, whereas a little girl will tend to withdraw and practice various forms of self-sabotage, even if once again there is no  typical profile and it is important to know that the same problem will be managed differently depending on the profile of the person.

The gifted person needs to feel understood, accepted and recognized both in his/her intellectual needs and his/her relational, emotional & social needs.

This is why it is better to identify them early in order to be able to put in place arrangements and assistance in the event that their profile requires it.
It will be much easier to help a young gifted child, before the problems are installed in the long term and the self-esteem too damaged, than a gifted teenager who has never learned to work on him/her.

Terminology has evolved over time in France :

In the 2000s ,in France we spoke of the "surdoués" , with all the clichés that the word can convey. "Precocous  children" was another expression that could be heard.Here we imply that the child is ahead of his age but it will  no longer be seen once an adult, which is obviously false) and then the psychologist Jeanne Siaud Facchin began to use the nickname "zebra", first because each zebra has its own stripes, then because nobody has never been able to domesticate a zebra and then finally because the French language already uses it to designate someone who is not very ordinary.

For my part, I prefer the expression created by the British Francis Galton in 1869, namely "gifted children". This means that these children have received a gift, a special gift. It is therefore important to be aware of this in order to best develop his/her potential.

However, to be understood by all on the French page , I  used the words in use in France.

How to have confirmation that you are gifted or that it is the case for one of your children?

If you have read any literature on the subject, you already have an intuition. It is often very useful to take a test in order to be really sure. The test often makes it possible to better understand one's own psychological functioning or that of one's children. After the result, it's often like putting on new glasses that allow you to see differently what was there from the start. For example, it happens that the psychologist who gives you the test comes to explain your difficulties at school in the past, your perpetual feeling of being misunderstood, your high sensitivity, etc.).

This also allows some to get rid of the famous "imposter syndrome", namely the one who never feels legitimate and who never accepts compliments for example.

Finally, if you pass the adult test, you will be better able to understand your functioning and possibly spot the signs in your children. Indeed there is often a genetic data.

There are several tests: the WISC, the WAIS and the Binet which can range from 150 to 600 euros.

It is best not to inquire too much about the content beforehand since it is important to respond spontaneously. These tests assess a combination of intellectual procedures:

to know

- verbal comprehension, the ability to communicate

-perceptual reasoning, i.e. the way we locate ourselves in space

- the ability to memorize information

-processing speed

The test will allow you to obtain your IQ (intelligence quotient) but the psychologists who give you the test also analyze the emotional and affective dynamics

Homme senior

II- High sensitivity

As the high sensitive person is hyperstimulated, he/she saturates more quickly and therefore often has greater fatigue. It may happen that some high sensitive people cut themselves off from their sensitivity because it is too heavy to bear or because they prefer adapt and conform to others.

Our society leaves little room for sensitivity. It advocates virtual growth, productivism at work. We identify with computers and programs because we are afraid of our sensitivity.

Despite advances in education, a boy is always taught from childhood, for example, that he should not cry and then he is reproached as an adult for not expressing his emotions and for becoming full of anger and violence.

If someone dies, we can be sad but not too strong and not for too long...

But if we work on emotions, they can really become a strength. High sensitivity is a form of intelligence since it goes through the body to interact with the world. The more we develop our sensitivity, the more we develop our intelligence.


Studies have shown that child musicians are more gifted in languages or math. Other studies have shown that elderly people with Alzheimer's who devote themselves to singing, dancing or pottery, redevelop cognitive abilities.

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