Giftedness Expressed by Physical/Sensing Function (page 2)
People of highly developed intellectual ability may be unusually vulnerable to a characteristic "Cartesian split" between thinking and being: a lack of integration between mind and body. During school years, when the gifted student is experiencing large discrepancies between physical and intellectual development, the school may be unintentionally encouraging the student to avoid physical activity. If a child's intellectual peers are physically more advanced so as to make him or her feel physically inadequate, while physical peers are less intellectually stimulating and not within his or her friendship group, the usual competitive playground games may be neither inviting nor satisfying to the gifted child. If the physical development of the gifted child is to be encouraged, programs should provide experiences that develop integration between mind and body in children with nonnormative development patterns.
|Differentiating Characteristics||Examples of Related Needs||Possible Concomitant Problems|
|Unusual quantity of input from the environment through a heightened sensory awareness||To engage in activities that will allow integration and assimilation of sensory data||Attention moving diffusely toward many areas of interest; over expenditure of energy due to lack of integration; seeming disconnectedness|
|Unusual discrepancy between physical and intellectual development||To appreciate own physical capacities||Results in a gifted adult who functions with a mind-body dichotomy; a gifted child who is only comfortable expressing himself or herself in mental activity, resulting in limited development both physically and mentally|
|Low tolerance for the lag between standards and athletic skills||To discover physical activities as a source of pleasure; to find satisfaction in small increments of improvement; to engage in non-competitive physical activities||Refusal to take part in any activities in which he or she does not excel; limiting experiences with otherwise pleasurable, constructive physical activities|
|"Cartesian split"—can include neglect of physical well-being and avoidance of physical activity||To engage in activities leading to mind-body integration; to develop a commitment to own physical well-being; to extend this concern to the social and political realm||Detrimental to full mental and physical health; inhibiting the development of potential for the individual|
|Early involvement and concern for intuitive knowing and metaphysical ideas and phenomena||To be given opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue with philosophers and others concerned with these ideas, to become aware of own intuitive energy and ability; to be guided in developing and using intuitive energy and ability||Ridicule from peers; not taken seriously by elders; considered weird or strange|
|Open to experiences in this area; will experiment with psychic and metaphysical phenomena||To be given guidance in becoming familiar with, analyzing, and evaluating such phenomena; to be provided a historical approach||Tendency to become narrowly focused toward ungrounded belief systems|
|Creative approach in all areas of endeavor||To be guided in evaluating appropriate uses of creative efforts; to be encouraged to continue development of creative abilities||Perception by others as deviant; becomes bored with more mundane tasks; may be viewed as troublemaker|
|Ability to predict; interest in future||To be provided opportunities for exploration of "what if" questions and activities of probability and prediction||Loss of highly valuable human ability|
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