Gifted children with behavioral problems??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Angela41, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Angela41

    Angela41 New Member

    Okay, so here's something with a little controversy. I posted previously about my 5 1/2 year old son who often shows the emotional control of a 2 year old. He "appears" to be very, very smart. I say "appears" because he is young and we all know that young children are in a constant state of development. At this snapshot in time, he seems very bright (reading at a 2nd grade level, and completing math problems around the 3rd grade level before kindergarten).

    Do any of you have experience with bright kids with problems that could mimic (or in fact be) anything from Aspergers to ODD, to ADHD?

    Could being extra-bright contribute to behavior problems? Or is it what other people imply, smart kids know better than to act this way? I've heard a person who works with gifted people say that my son is not gifted or he wouldn't have behavioral problems, and insinuating that he's gifted gives "real" gifted children a bad reputation.

    I'm just interested in opinions and an experiences that you would like to share.
  2. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    You could be talking about my grandson! I wonder sometimes if there is a uneven development: their brains are so busy learning all that academic stuff (my grandson taught himself how to read way before kindergarten, and math, too: we never pushed, just lots of stuff around the house that he availed himself of) that the social skills lag far behind. He's learning these skills, albeit slowly and it's a struggle, but it's happening. Slowly. We are wondering what's going to happen with the academics get harder and the social stuff gets trickier at around third grade. He's in kindergarten now, and is being placed in a 1/2 grade next year. He's doing third grade work, but socially he's more like a pre-schooler in many ways.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The more gifted they are, the more social or behavioral problems there will be.
    Because NOBODY is good at everything, and the ability of the human being to really excel at one thing, usually means something else is underdeveloped.

    I've seen brilliant kids destroyed by "gifted" programs... because they were beyond the capacity of the gifted program to actually handle that level of intellegence - and the other baggage that goes with it.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Here's a link to an explanation I found when I was looking for information when difficult child 2 was diagnosed. It also has links to more information. Part of the problem is called asynchronous development. IF that is really the issue in your son's case. You REALLY need to have IQ testing done instead of just assuming. That would answer you main question.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I don't know if high IQ causes problems but I do know it doesn't prevent them. I'm sure there are many wonderfully adjusted kids with very high IQs. I also know my kid is not one of them. He has been tested few times to have very high IQ (over 99,9 percentile) but he has never been well-adjusted. And he even doesn't have any clear diagnose to explain his struggles. But still he is socially awkward, not at all well-liked by peers, has behavioural problems, been always been very immature to his age, used to have serious truancy issues, seems to have problems with executive functions to some degree, developed gambling addiction before he was even 18 and is very prone to all kinds of bad choices. Oh and he lies, has an attitude, is stubborn, can have a very bad mouth on him and has history with stealing.

    Other than that he is a very lovely boy :thumbsup:

    No really, he is finally maturing and there may be some hope still left ;)
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    SuZir... to be "exact", your difficult child (if your sig is still accurate) has about 7 years left to "maturity"... and yes, for many of "our" kids, 25 is a magic number. It doesn't cure everything, but maturity helps... and for kids with uneven development, it comes "late".
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That is basically my hope. I'm in fact counting ten more years, because ethnics or not, folk around here seems to be slow to grow up (even physically, I'm always amazed when I see groups of American teens, because they look at least two years older than our teens in same age. My kiddoes have been involved with sports and it's common cause for laughter when in some international tournaments our kids end up playing against USA or Canada. Our boys are always so small and pathetic runts compared to them until they are close to 20.) So here, even with easy child boys, the common wisdom says that they usually finally mature between 25 and 28.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    :rofl: For someone who works with gifted ppl, this one sure is an IDIOT!

    I've got two such kids. DD1 is very much above average in intelligence and she is also an Aspie. DD2 is MENSA level intelligence and as best as I can tell, NOT an Aspie. She certainly does have some traits (she lives with 2 1/2 other Aspies so that makes perfect sense) But socially seems very normal. Anyway, even DD2 has some behavioral issues at times. "mule" is what we call it. She gets so stubborn at times, there is absolutely no budging her. And her 'mule-ishness" does not always come out in age-appropriate ways.

    The problem with smart kids is that they have the intelligence to understand their environment, but they don't have the experience or wisdom to process it.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Where's that LIKE button!
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    SuZir, I have to say that the more I hear about it, the more intrigued I am where exactly it is on the planet that you live :) But you are keeping it a closely-guarded secret and that is fine!
    As for giftedness, the few children I've known who are clearly gifted seem also to have been emotionally gifted, quite mature in understanding other people's emotions and needs. That would make sense to me, as true intelligence is obviously more than just an ability to regurgitate facts and figures...
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yep, I don't want to tell even the country I live, because my difficult child's situation is rather unusual and it could give away too much. I have also met truly gifted people who are also emotionally gifted and matured early. And those who matured later but have not only high IQ but also high emotional IQ and wonderful social skills. It seems high-IQ people come with all shapes, sizes and colours. IQ measures very slim part of human cognitive functions and that is a reason I don't like calling my difficult child gifted because of high IQ. He does have it and it helps him in some things and that is a good thing. But being gifted seems to imply so much more. I have no problem saying he is gifted in his sport or gifted in math, but just gifted... No, not really.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, this is not true. I know many super gifted kids with no behavioral problems at all. difficult children who are gifted have behavioral problems, but not all gifted kids. Example: My brother was and still is a math genius (the gene passed me by) and he could do accelerated math in kindergarten. In school, thru six years of college, I don't think he ever received any mark except an A. Yet he never had an behavioral problems. It depends on the k id. difficult children who are gifted have extra challenges because they can be verbally challening in a precocious way. But that isn't always the case...we have a long history of gifted kids in our family (again every single gifted gene skipped over me) :)
  13. Angela41

    Angela41 New Member

    This is an interesting discussion- I guess it shows what we all know- that kids are different. I don't know whether my son is gifted and won't get an IQ test unless there is some benefit in it for him (not my own curiosity and bragging rights at mom's night's out:). I agree that no one is good at everything, but I do wonder if gifted, emotionally mature children are more likely to be recognized for their giftedness? And gifted, behaviorally challenged children are more likely be recognized for, (you guessed it) their behavioral challenges? Just musing.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    MWM... maybe it runs in families... <grin> but... in our family? a very long string of "genius" level IQs, all sorts of other recognized super-gifted talents... and every single one of them is a certified difficult child.

    And the program that couldn't handle the kid I was writing about? There were three other extremely-gifted kids who crashed due to behavior problems... all the rest were just moderately gifted... and most of the moderately gifted did not have behavior problems.

    I don't know. Maybe this is a Canadian specialty?
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    This is going to come across as bragging but I swear it's not.

    I skipped Kindergarten, because I was ready for more of a challenge. In 1st-3rd grades I went to the higher grades' classes for math (+1 year) and reading (+2 years). But - I was almost a year younger than my peers, making me socially a disaster.

    I was also bored. Homework, to me, was torture because I knew this stuff already. I did get in a bit of trouble up until the parochial school I went to introduced a program for the academically gifted. Then? I began to thrive. We had more books, and computers, and COOL stuff to do.

    My parents both worked so I didn't have much in the way of extracurriculars. So... I became a serious bookworm until I found a church group I liked. Shortly after I had to go to public school, and the freedom added to boredom was more than I could take. When I think about what could have happened I shudder. But - we moved across the country, from urban to rural. To a school district that could handle a kid with a higher IQ and semi-photographic memory.

    I did get into some trouble, but when I really look at what the biggest problem was, it was simple boredom. (Onyxx falls into this category too.)

    MANY gifted kids have this same problem - but hardly ALL. And if they have sufficient challenges for their strengths and supports for their weaknesses - they thrive. (FWIW, my acuity is ALL mental. I have zero physical talents except that for being a total and complete klutz.)
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Bingo. The second half is what too often goes missing... in my opinion.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    Insane, I think it's just what/who we know.

    Many suspect that Einstein was an Aspie. Just by his hair alone, one might make that conclusion. I mean seriously, what educated man that wants to be taken seriously is going to wear his hair like that?

    A little boy I knew was certainly in the genius range, and the adults may not have considered him a difficult child, but we kids did. He just did not fit in. As if he were not a child at all but an adult waiting for his body to catch up. I don't/didn't know him well partly because I didn't want to, but from what I do know, I'd hesitate affixing any difficult child diagnosis to him, even Asperger's. He was just that smart and reserved. Still, I wouldn't call that normal because his behavior was completely inappropriate with his peers.
  18. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl New Member

    My oldest daughter is gifted. I was actually told by the gifted teacher when we were doing her EP once the screening was over to be aware of emotional issues and said it is very common with gifted children. Gifted children can be very empathetic. I was warned about screening books before she reads them...'Old Yeller' may cause her to be depressed for a week. Gifted kids do have a hightened awareness and as a result have a hightened response level to certain things. My daughter can watch the news and see a catastrophe happening somewhere in the world...she does understand the impact and devistation, but is not old enough to emotionally know what do to with that knoweldege.

    I have also found in our case and have discussed with her current Gifted teacher that she has a poor "emotional response scale" She has the same emotional reaction to her pencil breaking as she would to our house burning down. This is very common with gifted kids. This website has some pretty good info on that and creating an "emotional response scale" which has helped her.

    When she was younger she had difficulty making friends (around 4-6 years old) because she wanted to do things on her level, reading, writing, creating her own board games etc and her friends just weren't there yet. Now she is 9 and is making friends easier now, she skipped a grade and that seemed to actually help her socially. She is pretty picky about friends and has little patience with 'stupidity'. It sounds horrible, but she refused to play with the girl across the street when she 4 because the girl couldn't read yet. She has actually gotten better at that in the past year.

    She does have some pretty intense emotional outbursts, she is in therapy to help with that. Even her therapist said it is pretty common for gifted kids to have very strong whoever told you that "smart kids know better than to act this way" or that your "son is not gifted or he wouldn't have behavioral problems" clearly has either been misinformed or does not have much experience. A diagnosis of ADHD, ODD or anything else has nothing to do with intelligence.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, could be...haha.

    I believe it's the individual kids. The kids who graduated in the top five at my son's school were all really nice kids, not troublemakers. The difficult children tended to do poorly in school. Now perhaps some were gifted and difficult children and that's why they didn't do well in school. But what is gifted? I think we often throw that around a lot. Being smart is not being a genius.

    They do have AP (advanced) classes for the best students in public schools. Jumper's boyfriend J. (no, they didn't break up) was in AP classes all through high school.

    So it goes. They are not all alike.
  20. Ettina

    Ettina New Member

    I'm gifted and quite difficult. I'm sort of mixed on the question of whether there's a relationship or not, because I have several things rolled into one - I'm autistic, gifted and have PTSD.

    I do know that while it's unclear if there's any link between intellectual giftedness and difficult behavior, creative giftedness is definitely linked to difficult behavior. Highly creative people tend to be impulsive, distractible, nonconformist, questioning the rules, not very concerned about authority - there's evidence that creativity is linked to lowered inhibitions.
    Oh, and teachers consistently tend to dislike creative kids, while overestimating the creativity of their favorite students (who are usually lower than average on creativity).