Over-excitability ≠ ADD


Gifted children often seem to have a heightened sensitivity to the world. This is hardly surprising when you consider that a gifted person is able to take in and synthesize data at much higher rate that the average and sensitivity is simply the response and awareness to phenomenal data.

“Intellectually gifted people tend to have a heightened awareness of their environment and a heightened capacity to respond to various intellectual, emotional or even physical stimuli.” Kazimier Dabrowski

5 identified over-excitabilities and their characteristics

1) Intellectual
Love of learning, analytical thinking, meta-analysis and planning

2) Emotional
Intense empathy, strong attachments and highly self critical

3) Imaginational
Overdetailed, hyper descriptive, inventive and vivid visualizations

4) Sensual
Music and/or poetry sensitivity, highly tactile (strong likes & dislikes of textures). Synesthesia highly probable.

Rapid and/or compulsive talking, nervous habits, love of sports, fidgety or restless, workaholic.

It is very easy to confuse psychomotor over-excitability with ADD or ADHD

Sometimes it is hard to cater for these students in our classrooms (and keep our patience) as they seem to demand so much of our time. However, if we spin our perception of their behaviour and plan accordingly, not only will these kids benefit, so will the rest of the class.

Positive connotations of over-excitability

An insatiable love of learning.

The capacity to care intensely for people and ideas.

Boundless energy.

Vivid imagination.


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