Living With Intensity

Photo by Alecu Gabriel

Being a teenager can be hell. Raising a teenager can be a special kind of hell. Add any of the spectrum traits to that experience and we’re in a circle of the Inferno that even Dante wouldn’t enter.

Educators spend a lot of time on the intellectual and social development of twice-exceptional kids. But the emotional component can often dominate the maturation process. An inspiring lesson on quadratic equations, will do little good if the student is under the desk in emotional distress. Sometimes, it’s almost impossible to reach students in that condition, whether you are the teacher, the parent, or a counselor. Emotions are tricky.

The emotional sensitivities experienced by 2e children as they absorb the world around them is especially treacherous because these kids receive all information—facts that would stump Jeopardy winners and feelings that would behead the Queen of Hearts—more rapidly and intensely than other children. Among the best resources for anyone forced to tiptoe through that emotional minefield is the book Living with Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults, edited by Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski.

Daniels and Piechowski address the misperceptions that 2e children experience as they stand out from the norm.
Some Misperceptions Adults Often Have About the Emotional Life of 2e Children:

High energy is hyperactivity
Persistence is stubbornness
Questioning is undermining authority
Imagining is inattention
Passion is being disruptive
Sensitivity is immaturity
Creativity ...


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