Dealing with a gifted child with emotional issues

Kim - posted on 12/31/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My 14 year old son is gifted. Until this year he has excelled in school. He is in the gifted and talented program in school and is in a program from Duke University for gifted children. Each summer, Matt goes to a camp for gifted children at one of our state universities. Matt has always been shy and a little reserved. Matt started 9th grade this year. Unfortunately, this problem has become almost unmanageable this year. At the beginning of the school year, Matt suffered a severe injury to his leg. I called the school almost daily, explaining that Matt would not ask for any help with things like carrying his backpack, leaving class a little early, propping up his leg, or carrying his lunch tray. After a week of my child coming home in tears from pain and exhaustion, his doctor and I decided to put him on homebound status. With this, a tutor came to the house twice a week. brought his school work to the house and helped him with anything he did not understand. When it came time to return to school, Matt started to have severe panic attacks and was unable to return to school. I am taking him to a pyschologist, who has diagnosed him with social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. We are slowly trying to get him back to school, but just aren't having any success. I would appreciate any advice that anyone might have on this. Matt is such a great kid with all th potential in the world. It breaks my heart to think that this my have a traumatic impact on the rest of his life.

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Lara - posted on 02/03/2010

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The common sentiment that I hear in this thread and what I have experienced in raising my gifted son who is now 13 (and what I experienced as a gifted and very wounded child in schools years ago) is that the schools do not serve gifted children. Even when they try, they cannot do it because their emphasis has to be on the average child's success and the lowest child's success. The fact that gifted kids "get" the material but have special needs anyway cannot be fully served by these overworked, underpaid teachers who have the weight of the world on their shoulders already.



Having had such a horrendous experience as a child, I have been very watchful of my son's development and intellectual, social, and emotional needs. We tried school - Montessori, private, and a public gifted school - but none of them were challenging enough and none of them could meet his special emotional needs. He would do what I call 'spin' where he would just come home and move about wildly without direction. This was his way of trying to work off the anxiety of the overstimulation he experienced in school.



The thing about the school experience for the gifted is that it is like being in a crowd for eight hours of every day of the week. How many of us have difficulty with crowds on holidays or community events? Yet we expect our children, who are still developing and maturing, to handle these overstimulating situations every day.



Gifted children experience the world in a completely different way. They notice every nuance of other people's behavior - their movements, facial expressions, words, innuendos, emotions, underlying meanings - the list goes on and on. I think of it this way - the way that gifted children see the world is as different from how average children see the world as average is different from the mentally retarded (don't know if that's PC these days). Think about how different an average child is from one with Down's Syndrome. With some of our gifted kids, the difference in worldview and perception is truly that dramatic. Gifted kids get so overwhelmed in large gatherings and long-term social situations like school, because there's a lot of input coming in and they have to process it all. They also don't always know where their bodies are or what their bodies are doing because they're "all in their head." Learning to think about the physical body and take care of it has been a learned skill for my son.



The answer to the school/crowd anxiety and special needs of the highly gifted, from my experience, is homeschooling. We homeschool my son. His curriculum encompasses intellectual, social, emotional, and life skills. We attend a homeschool group of various ages in which I organize a teen group that socializes with each other consistently. He has developed good friendships there. He has recently become ready for college classes so he is taking two classes in college and I am coaching him on study skills, social skills, and emotional management. I also study with him to teach him how to study in college. His early physical development and social maturity has helped him fit in and he is blooming. The college environment works for him because he is in class for an hour and then he comes home to his quieter environment to study. He is now partially homeschooled and partially in college. As he progresses, he will enter college full time. We'll see where we go from there. I'm sure he'll let me know what his needs are.



It is a very intense, daily commitment to raise a gifted child to function in this world. The world just doesn't make sense to them a lot of the time because they can see a better way. But if we can guide them to accept their individuality and their gifts while respecting the different gifts that others have, then they can embrace their happiness and live up to their potential in the way they choose.



Kim, your child is telling you what he needs right now. If he is ever going to honor his own needs and be truly authentic and self-assured, you have to show him that you honor and respect his needs. Don't unconsciously send him the message that all normal people go to school and that if he doesn't want to go to school that there's something wrong with him. There's nothing wrong with him. It just sounds like high school is not the right environment for him. Every adult doesn't have the same job because they don't all like the same environments. Construction workers can't stand being in an office and office workers can't stand loud, heavy machinery. Why do kids all have to fit into the same mold when we give adults far more freedom?

Ruth - posted on 01/25/2010

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who ever would have thought that having a gifted child would be as challenging as having a child with disabilities or whatever the current pc word for that is now. all four of my boys are extremely bright, though thankfully only one a "genius". i was lucky because i stayed home with the kids when they were little and was able to take my love for and experience with kids into the public school as a volunteer. i befriended my kids teachers, went into their classrooms to do enrichment activities with the brighter kids that tend to get lost in the shuffle- plays,butterfly gardens, newspapers, author studies- creative things that enhanced what they were already learning about. if any of you have the option of spending time volunteering in the classroom, i so highly recommend offering yourself to do the kinds of things the teacher wishes s/he could do with these kids but is not able to because of the current approach to education in the public schools. after i had helped one of the classes put a garden in at the school, i told the teacher i would be happy to come back the following year to work with that class. unfortunately that is when the no child left behind mandate took hold and replaced love of learning and teaching with teaching to the test and fear of failure. my point with all of this is that if you can show your child's teacher that you are willing to assist and very much appreciate how very difficult their job is, and develop a great relationship with both teachers and administration (some people call this kissing up, i call it diplomacy) you can get just about anything you need for your kid.

Ruth - posted on 01/23/2010

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Hi Kim- It's hard to know where to begin. I have 4 sons. My youngest (by one hour and four minutes) is brilliant. He will be turning 20 in a couple of weeks. We live in a small town that cut it's budget for gifted programing. When he was in fifth grade, we met with the "team" at school and it was determined that if we put him in the 8th grade class he would absorb all of the material that it takes the rest of us a year to learn in two weeks. We consisdered sending him to a special school an hour from where we live but decided (for better or worse) to keep him with his family and peers. as a child he was always off by himself, not in the least concerned with what anyone else was doing. as he grew older, we had him moved up into the next grade honors program. he had grown up with the kids in this program and we thought because they all knew each other that this would be a good thing for him. the problem came when all of these kids, who had always been the smartest in their class, weren't anymore. he was completely ostracized by these friends and wound up attempting suicide (he was 12 at this point). the teachers and a few special kids from his previous grade rallied and we were able to help him accept that he is just a different kind of kid and that is okay.
He went off to college a year ahead of schedule- a year that turns out to be pretty critical in social maturation and he became very isolated once again. He looked around and saw how important it was to the others to belong to various social circles, and he just could not find where he "belonged". He became extremely depressed and alcohol became an issue in his attempts to try to fit in. We got him on antidepressants which got him over the hump until he decided to stop taking them a year later.
In the meantime, a friend of mine recommended a book to me; Party of One: a loner's manifesto, by Anneli Rufus. This book changed everything for both of us. Once he understood that he did not have to fit in, that he could be who he is, that people who matter will accept him for who he is, that we don't have to go through that horrible sense of trying to be someone we aren't in order to fit in to the main stream, removed so much of that fear. I have noticed that he still carries this book and he told me that he has read it twice.
It was probably such a relief to your son not to have to "belong" during that time he was being tutored, that in a way it is no wonder that he is afraid to go back to that. I'm not sure what the answer is. but for my son, helping him to know that he is who he is, that he is different from most people and that is okay, and trusting him to know what is best for him, and periodically checking in with him to see if things are becoming too difficult, has made all the difference. he is able to be comfortable with who he is, and has attracted the type of people he needs to have around him when the need for social contact arises.
it's so very difficult to let go, but the best we can do is let them know that they are amazing and have something to offer this world, that it is okay to be different , and that we want to help them in any way we can.
love and best wishes to you both, ruth

Grazia - posted on 01/20/2010

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Is your son the only child? My 20 year old gifted son realized about 18 months ago that his anti-social behaviour was not normal. He understood that a certain amount of reserve in social contacts was normal but he felt that his was not normal and asked to speak to a trained person to help him. A church counselor or a pastor was not going to be sufficient as far as he was concerned. Well we found a qualified, he found a clinical psychologist with whom he could talk to. She sent him to a GP who put him on Lexamil to help with depression. (who would have thought that he was depressed) and then she started working with him on his self-confidence. It is so wonderful to see my 'happy' son come out of his shell that sometimes I wish there was a mute button.

Isn't it amazing that these gifted children all seem to have strong self-image issues and that so many of them seem to have self-worth issues even if they have been brought up in loving and supportive homes.

My son was home-schooled from the age of 12 until he finished school at 17. I still maintain that gifted children, like slow-learners, have special needs that most societies and schools are not geared up to deal with. We also need to allow these children to find their own way. Yes we should be there to guide and assist them but why do we expect that these people/children all to do something to make the world a better place. Who says that being an artist and painting a wonderful picture is not also showing the world that we live in great potential. Gone are MY dreams of my son finding the cure for any disease or solving the energy crisis in the world. I have had to take a step back and allow him to be the best that HE can be in whatever field HE has chosen. Not easy.

I would suggest that you get professional help and use medication that is available for a short season under doctors supervision. Enjoy your child. He is and has value and he needs to know this, even for his own sake. It is not wrong to be different.

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Kelly - posted on 02/11/2012

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It's 5:15 in the morning. I woke up thinking about my son. He's 9 and was just tested and found to be gifted. I'm relieved to finally understand why he has such sensitivity and social problems, but it breaks my heart at the same time. I never thought I would pray that my son could be average. It's so difficult to see others shun him because he doesn't act the same way they do. One by one, I see all of his friends move away from him. He tries to act like he's okay but I know he's not. He becomes more and more alienated all the time. I see him repeating my childhood. It's so painful. He has a little sister who is a social butterfly. Everyone loves everything about her. It devastates him that no matter how hard he tries, she always sails past him in life. He's very intelligent , however, he has such a fear of failure and such a fear of emotions, that he gives up very easily at things or is too afraid to ever try. I just hope and pray now that we know why he has struggles that we can learn how to help him. And after reading all of your posts, I pray that you all are able to find the help needed for your precious children. I'm glad to have found a community of parents to turn to. God bless.

Patricia - posted on 07/29/2010

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I, too, deal with my gifted child and his emotional disturbances. There are times I feel so overwhelmed and nervous about his future. I have even lost a couple friends who couldn't handle being part of our lives. My advice to you is to pursue all avenues of help, educate yourself as much as you can, challenge diagnoses whenever you are uncomfortable, and, above all, at the end of the day, know you are doing everything you can and this is not your fault. I hope that helps.

Cyd - posted on 07/27/2010

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Reading these posts has made me feel better and that I am not alone in a fight I have been fighting all my life. I myself am a gifted child and have two of my own. My oldest is turning 11 and the youngest is turning 7. Having gone through everything they are going through myself; we all understand eachother but it leaves my poor husband out in the cold. My oldest is showing signs of bi-polar and I have been diagnosed with it (had it since childhood apparently).

My youngest was ready for the first grade a week into Kindergarten according to his teacher; but we decided to keep him where he was at so he could build up his social skills.

I want to thank you all for sharing your experiences in this thread and the information that you have read and come across. Again, it makes me feel like I'm not alone.

Ann Marie - posted on 04/09/2010

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Thank you all so much for your posts!! It is so helpful to know my son is not so "unusual" after all. Mine is 11, very gifted and very socially awkward. His teachers have always said that he is brilliant, but he has had lots of behavior problems (some bad enough that my husband has had to leave work and go control him at school), and he always tells us he has no friends. Things seem to be better when he gets enough individual attention from me at home (which is hard becasue he is the oldest of 5 gifted kids). I hope you all find solutions to help your kids cope with everyday life. One of the most comforting things I have ever heard was from a doctor who said," If you are wondering if you are a good parent, you probably are." With this in mind you are all great moms, and your kids are lucky to have you.

Alicia - posted on 04/06/2010

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Okay so my 3 year old girl is highly gifted and now learning to spell. She knows how letters are making sounds that make up words (we still gotta work on lowercase letters) and she's getting pretty good. She knows all of the alphabet, numbers and colors in Spanish and English, and can complete 26 piece (yes, I should get new puzzles) alphabet puzzle, and do other wonderfully bright things that the avg. child would struggle with at such a young age. She is also a HSC and I am a HSP. I took the questionnaire on the HSC website and my daughter is a 13 on the scale and I'm a whopping 24! Yes, EVERYTHING bothers me lol. So now what do I do to manage both my child's and my emotions?

Kim - posted on 03/06/2010

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I have a positive update for everyone! As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Through an agency in our town, I was able to get in contact with the director of pyschological services for our school district. She was able to work with the school to develop a plan that would bring Matt back into the school system in the least stressful way. Because the high school is the target of his anxiety, she was able to arrange for him to start back at the middle school. Matt has been working in the library, doing a credit recovery program on the computer. The first couple of days of taking him were difficult for all of us. But Dr. E met me at the school every morning to help get Matt in the doors. Since starting back 2 weeks ago, he has managed to complete a years worth of work in 3 classes and a semesters worth in a couple of others. Next week, we will start trasitioning him back to the high school. We aren't throwing him to the wolves. He will start out in the school library again for the first week or two. Then he will transfer to a classroom with minimal students, all working on the credit recovery program. We will start having him actually go to classes 1 0r 2 at a time. The school has also arranged for him to wait in the guidance counselors office before school so that he doesn't have to cope with being in the gym with the entire student body. I so appreciate all of the support that I have gotten on this site. I will continue to update you as we continue the reintegration process.

Stephanie - posted on 03/06/2010

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I think it's awful no one at school would help him even without him asking, poor kid! Is there a smaller school he could go to in your area?I don't think a child should come home from any school in tears and exhausted, no wonder he doesn't want to go back! High school is such a change for the children these days , is it a new school this year. Here 6-8 is middle and 9-12 is high school. Does he have any good friends? Tell him everyone to some extent has social anxiety, its very scary though and people do not understand it until it happens to them personally, the pills they give you will numb you but the problem is going to be there until he has a chance over time to get through it! I think I would just support,love, and understand, and possibly find a smaller school,i'm feeling for you! It will get better, but it will only happen when he is ready, and he does not know when that is right now. I have a friend with severe anxiety in crowded places and while driving, so I have seen this first hand and also have felt that way a few times myself. Patience,calm, and love will help. If you have to go with him to school, see what it is from a childs point of veiw, it may be just awful!!!!! If it is I'd have a panic attach right along with him! Trauma has a way of shifting us into panic, and bless him, it will just take time!! Hope this helps.......

Kim - posted on 02/04/2010

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I need to blow of some steam! I working with Matt's therapist and the director of pyschological services within our school system, we have decided that a 504 plan is the best route to go for Matt. This would enable Matt to return to school in a way that is less threatening for him. It is very much like an individual educational plan which is put in place for children with special needs. We believe that this plan is an absolute must for Matt to be successful. One part of the form must be filled out by a medical professional. My sons pediatrician is providing his medication and is well aware of the issues Matt is facing. So, I called the office today to ask them to complete the paper work for this. The lady I spoke with told me the do it all the time and that it shouldn't be a problem. A little bit later, she called me back to tell me that the doctor said, "That won't work." He is refusing to complete the paperwork! There was no explanation as to why he thinks it won't work. I spoke with Matt's therapist, who was just as angry as I am, and she stated that it wasn't his place to decide if the plan would work or not. Who is this man to decide what will and won't work for my child? And besides that, even if he is right and it doesn't work, we will never know if we don't try! I am going to try talking to one of the other doctors in the practice and see if I can get another response. If anyone has any other suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thank you so much for being a sounding board! It's nice to know that I have people I can vent to who really do understand where I am coming from.

Missy - posted on 02/03/2010

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I would really recommend sending an informational article regarding your son's condition to the teacher. She meant well, she probably just didn't understand that this was a real diagnosis, not just a normal 9th grade jitters issue.

Linda - posted on 01/31/2010

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Just hang in there and keep plugging away. I know there were times when it seemed so hopeless that things would work out okay for our Matt. And he still has challenges, but yes, we were so blessed to have just the right school. It is 40 miles away, and I won't say it's EASY getting him to and from school there every day, but it's WORTH it!

It's good the school is working with you. We ended up in a situation that became a blame-the-victim worst case scenario, and before it was all said and done, it felt like us against the faculty of the school we were at previously. Not fun.

Kim - posted on 01/31/2010

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Wow, Linda! I wish that we had something like that here. Awhile back, I was trying to explain Matt's social anxiety disorder to one of his teachers. Her response to me was that he should join a club. JOIN A CLUB!? This is the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard! This is what her solution was for a child who curled up in the fetal position in the closet because his anxiety about school was causing severe panic attacks! I am now working with the director of psychological services with our school system in designing a plan to get Matt back in school. When I told her what the teacher had said, she just shook her head and said most of the faculty really have very poor understanding of mental illness. We are going to put Matt under a 504 plan, which, by law, will require the school to do what's best for Matt. I'll keep you all informed.

Linda - posted on 01/31/2010

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Kim

Yes, I have experiences to share with you!

Funny, my gifted son is 14, and also named Matt. He's in 8th grade, we never skipped a grade.

He also suffered from mental health problems. He has anxiety disorder and OCD. Both of those were severely impacted when he was in a bad social situation in school.

We ended up finding a rare gem of a school that specifically caters to highly talented and gifted kids. Our son was not alone in coming to them from a bumpy path and wounded, and the wonderful lady that runs the school is like this Mama that brings in broken birds and heals them. We've come so far in the last few months!

Tracy - posted on 01/28/2010

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I have really enjoyed reading this thread.
I too have a gifted and also highly sensitive son, he is almost 5 so we feel we are just at the beginning. When we had his IQ tested we were told that he was bordering on social phobia. He becomes very anxious at kindy, especially in the toilets and has been found hiding in the corner in tears. He too really seems to struggle to fit in.
He used to really dislike leaving the house, especially walking. We made sure we did little things each day (walks, going to a busy shop etc) to slowly get him out the house and eventually it seems to have worked. We still haven't come close to his social fears and he is supposed to start school in 5 weeks!!
I too purchased the Highly Sensitive Child book and use it as my comfort when things become really frustrating.
Good luck all. Great thread, great support.

Barbara - posted on 01/27/2010

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I am so happy to hear there are others like my son. He is always on my heart because he never seems to fit in anywhere and while most of the time it doesn't seem to bother him there are times when you can see it does. I am going to find some of these resources that you have mentioned and try to understand where he is on the road to what he will become.

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2010

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Hello, My name is Amanda im a disabled mum to three boys and i live in the UK but when i read about your son i thought i would let you know your not alone. My middle son Luke is so bright and was working his way to becoming a doctor so had to pick triple science at the grammar school he's at he was doing brilliantly getting A's in most things that was until 6 months ago when my son came down with a terrible viral infection that just seemed to keep going forever, everyweek we were at the doctors having tests for everything from glandular fever to hepertitus to cancer or liver failure i was worried sick but all the results were coming back clear and after 6 weeks of having no energy, sleeping all the time but still feeling so tired and aching muscles all over the specialist finally said Luke had Cronic Fatigue Syndrome or another name is M.E. which is deverstating because he loves school and learning new things and hates having lower marks but in the last 2 weeks he has done 4hrs work at school he is doing his exams at the moment but he has already said he will do retakes if he gets C grade or below. In uk we don't get the teachers coming to our house if we cant make it to school he misses out on his work. Like you im so worried he wont become a doctor its all he's ever wanted to do since the age of 5 he is now 16yrs old he has also got depression because of missed school. I really hope your son will do well and feels better soon but if you need someone to talk to im on here everyday and on facebook. take care..

Pamela - posted on 01/25/2010

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Ruth, that is VERY GOOD advice! Unfortunately, like my oldest daughter who was diagnosed with Aspergers, I have social problems. I tried to "befriend" my oldest daughter's first grade teacher and she ended up being "afraid of me." (Her own words) Hahaha! But for those who are good with the diplomacy of kissing up, I agree that it is a GREAT move! I have learned a lot since then, though, so maybe I should try again with my son's teachers... although, I plan to get a full-time job when he goes to kindergarten next year so that would make things difficult.

MaryKay - posted on 01/24/2010

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I have a very gifted son who's almost 25 now who has had symptoms of social phobia/panic attacks and depression since 7th grade. He refused to go to middle school, so we sent him to a private school which was great for a year, as he could study independantly, but then they fired that excellent teacher..he did home school for a year, then back to public--(we lack in gifted programs in SD). When he turned 16 he refused to go back to school, so finished HS at home with computer courses. He still hasn't finished his first degree in college as he's bombed out several semesters due to the anxiety and depression. It's so hard to see your children suffer! I would advise that you get him medical help now, as it only seems to get worse. Our son improved in HS when he had a youth pastor and a couple older, strong Christian friends who took him under their wings, but he regressed in college---he tends to just hole up on his computer and has no social life unless he's home--as his brothers have friends over often. He finally got some medical help last year, but didn't follow-up and regressed again! I try to tell myself I can't continue to enable him to be dependant, but sometimes I have to step in...I'm trying to get my hubby to work with him more, as he doesn't seem to want my help...I'll be praying for you!

Pamela - posted on 01/24/2010

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Melissa, I am SOOO with you on that one!! I have been in a near panic since my son started reading at 2 years old about putting him in public school! Whenever I voice my concerns with anyone they think I am insane for worrying about it so far in advance! Now he starts school in August and I am SO worried that things will go bad like they did with my 13-year-old! Of COURSE, there is a part of me that is VERY GLAD my son can learn things fast, but the price tag you are talking about is high and has already caused me years of stress of what will come.

Melissa - posted on 01/24/2010

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I struggled with my daughter through her teen years. Even now, as a 22 year old she struggles to find her niche though she is much improved. I watch my three year old son and I worry. He has already started reading..mimics everything he hears..astonishingly intelligent. I see so many similarities between he and his older sister. I may be crazy but I have actually wished with all my heart for a "normal" child. I don't care if he has straight "A's". I just want him to be happy. I know a lot more this time around. I focus on his social skills and try so very hard to not make the same mistakes this time around.
Genious seems to come with an incredibly high price tags at time....

Grazia - posted on 01/24/2010

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This has been so good to make me realize that I have not failed as a parent as my gifted son is not socially adept in fact the exact opposite. So in helping one mom, I have been helped and this is good. My wonderful son who was gonna be the paleontologist, robotics engineer is now a student of music and plays the lead guitar and studies music theory with teachers in our area. It was a hard lesson for me to learn and accept that music is as important to human kind as science is.

These answers have also been so helpful as I can share with the son that he is not unusual and that there are other young people who battle as he has and does. What also excites me is that we are from ALL over the world. Take care ladies and enjoy your children who have a different set of 'normal'!!!

Pamela - posted on 01/23/2010

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I have enjoyed reading this thread... Grazia, you gave some important information for many of these newbies who are so excited about their brilliant toddlers. Everyone dreams of their children being the one will will discover the cure for cancer (or the like) and are powered even more when we realize our children actually contain the potential to do this. Then reality sets in and we realize that with this great potential comes so many hurdles. It is good to know we are not alone.

Kim - posted on 01/23/2010

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Ruth, what a beautiful letter (i am still stuck with non-technological terms!)! I have gotten such good advice from this post from so many people. It has helped me to know that people get it. Even though I was a performer in my youth, I was still a loner and never felt that I fit in. I relate better to this child, than my other two sons, who are "popular", outgoing boys, who fit in. I am trying t help Matt understand that who he is is enough. But he tries to be who his brothers are and this just isn't being true to himself. I am going to look for the book you suggested and I look forward to hearing from others dealing with this situation, and those who have made it to the other side.

Kim - posted on 01/21/2010

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Grazia, your post was wonderful. I do have my son in counseling and he is on an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety medication. We are also looking into a smaller, private school for him. I agree with you that we should allow our children to follow their own path. I was a singer/actress when I was a young person, and chose to follow that path when I went to college. I spent so many years listening to my father tell me that I need to quit playing around and pick a serious major. I could really be of great assistance to my son, if this was his path. However, he wants to be a chemical engineer, which is totally foreign to me! Being in school would be the best way for him to prepare for this path. By the way, Matt is not an only child. He is the middle child of 3 boys, which I think can be just as difficult.

Kim - posted on 01/19/2010

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Thank you so much for this information! I am definitely going to look for this book!

Jane - posted on 01/19/2010

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The book is: The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them and the author is Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. It can be helpful. For me, it can be a comfort to read and provide some insight. In general, I think the social stuff is so hard.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2010

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Check out a term on google... "Highly Sensitive Person" or "HSC Highly Sensitive Child". I struggled with my daughter. I just didn't understand how such an intelligent person could be terrified of the most mundane random things. She couldn't even ask a clerk for directions to the rest room. The book Highly Sensitive Person read as if the author had stood next to my daughter for the first 16 years of her life. I finally started to see and understand what was going on a little better. The coping skills in the book did wanders for my daughter. She has a job..a life... so much more than i thought she ever would. The term was a lifesaver to me...maybe it can help some of you as well. I don't remember the author's name. I still have my dog eared copy at home so I'll check tonight and update this tomorrow with that info.

Kim - posted on 12/31/2009

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I know how you feel. My son has never had behavior issues because he just doesn't want anyone to notice him. His english teacher had them write an essay about what other kids thought of them. Mat said "No one thinks about me. No one knows me. No one sees me. To everyone, I don't exist." It broke my heart.

Sharon - posted on 12/31/2009

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my son is also gifted and has adhd he struggled in school with his behaviour as the school wasent challenging him enough and didnt want to understand him at all it got to a point of him being kicked out if he didnt behave this scared him and he stopped from april 09 til now going out with friends he is always on xbox at home talkin to friends this is because the school said he should change friends and steer clear of trouble we cant seem to get him to go out he has hardly any real friends anymore it upsets me loads

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