Why We Should Care About the Gifted

CONFERENCIA

Linda Silverman

Asturias, Spain, 2021

It is a joy to be back in Asturias—even if only virtually. I fell in love with this enchanted setting in 2017, when Anne Beneventi and I were privileged to be invited to present at the first International Congress. After I returned home, I wrote:

When the peaks of the Cantabrian range appeared above the clouds, excitement surged through me. Asturias. I knew nothing about Asturias except the music by Albeniz that filled me with delight every time I heard it. Now, whenever I hear this music, I will be flooded with memories of the wonderful people, the incredible food, the countryside, the bagpipes, the women hand-weaving lace, the pouring of the sidra, the elves, Celtic magic.

Today, I come to you on a mission. I want to transform your perception of giftedness, so that you can understand the challenges gifted individuals face throughout their lives. I believe the main reason they suffer is that we do not really understand what giftedness is. The lack of appreciation of their differences permeates their psyches from early childhood to old age. They are constantly given inappropriate messages about themselves: who they should be and how they should perform. We have no idea how destructive we are to this precious, vulnerable segment of society. We should be celebrating the gifted among us, not demoralizing them.

I would like to start by addressing a number of questions that were sent to me by the organizers of this Congress.

  1. How can we help people understand that giftedness is not about geniuses that they see in movies?

What giftedness is not.

Mass media gives us the picture of giftedness as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory: socially clueless, arrogant, self-absorbed, geeky, mathematically light years ahead of everyone else, accomplished, Caucasian, American, and male. Only males can become geniuses. In 1904, the philosopher, Otto Weininger wrote:

There is no female genius, and there never has been…and there never can be one…. A female genius is a contradiction in terms, for genius is simply intensified, perfectly developed, universally conscious maleness. (p. 347)

[italics in original]

Over one hundred years later, the picture we have in our minds when hear the word “genius” is still male. By this definition, half the population cannot be geniuses. This ingrained societal message, passed down for thousands of years, renders gifted females invisible.

A second misperception is that the gifted are those who get high marks in school. From this perspective, giftedness becomes a school-based, competitive concept, with motivation as part of the definition. Bright, highly motivated students are high achievers. Some gifted children are high achievers, but many are not. High achievers are bright, but not necessarily gifted. What about gifted children with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia? Or those who are in insufferably boring classes where they cannot motivate themselves? Or those who have passions in areas not addressed at school? Or children from non-competitive cultures? Or children of poverty? Or in countries where girls aren’t educated? There are many reasons a school-based definition may not be relevant.

Defined as high achievement in school, giftedness does not exist until you are identified in school and vanishes when you are no longer in school. Does this mean that children who are asking existential questions at age 4 are not gifted? And what are the implications after graduation? In adult life, the term “gifted” is only used when you are outstanding in your field. If you were identified for a gifted program as a child, but you don’t become famous in adult life, does that mean you were never gifted in the first place? How absurd is that?

A related myth is that gifted and successful are synonymous. A lot of famous, successful people are not gifted. Take Donald Trump… And most gifted adults are not interested in fame or power or money. We hear, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” Annemarie Roeper’s (1991) retort was, “It is because I’m smart that I’m not rich, for that is not the goal” (p. 90). In their recent research with gifted adults, Maggie Brown and Elizabeth Peterson, in New Zealand, found that all the gifted adults Maggie’s international focus groups valued relationships and contributing to the greater social good, including action directed at solving global problems (Brown & Peterson, 2020). They found the goal of eminence repugnant and damaging to the gifted.

Success should be a goal for ALL students, not just the gifted. Many gifted educators make the mistake of applying research about successful adults to identifying and serving gifted children. We hear talk about locating those with “the potential to be successful” or “the potential to be eminent,” as if we had a crystal ball. Very few of the millions of gifted people in the world strive to be eminent. More than 25 years ago, I wrote:

Eminence is a man’s game, rooted in hierarchical power structures, driven by competition—sort of a gentleman’s war, with the victor gaining a permanent place in history. Traditionally, men have set up the rules of the game, and women have not been allowed to play. Even now, while women are permitted in the game, the determination of who will be publicly recognized still is largely the prerogative of influential (predominantly white) men. (Silverman, 1995)

These sexist, racist myths are defeating and humiliating. We need a different understanding of giftedness.

What, then, is giftedness?

The ENOL Association states that a gifted person is generally defined as “one with an IQ greater than 130.” I agree. Gifted Development Center has documented significant differences in the number of characteristics of giftedness endorsed by parents of children at 130 IQ, the 98th %, 2 SD above the mean. No differences were found from 90 to 129 IQ. IQ tests find an equal percentage of boys and girls, and were the only way giftedness in females was discovered. Girls from various ethnic backgrounds have attained some of the highest recorded IQ scores. However, there is little agreement among academics worldwide about who should be considered gifted.

In the United States, the trend has been to broaden the definition to around 120 IQ, the top 9 or 10 percent. This is the range of high achievers. Children in the 120 – 129 range are academically talented, but they do not experience the qualitative differences of the gifted population. This is not surprising if we look at the other end of the IQ continuum. Children 2 SD below the mean, at around 70 IQ, are identified as needing special education worldwide. They have different needs from early childhood through adulthood. Children at the lower 10% are not a special needs group, because their experiences are not significantly different from the rest of the population. Children in the top 10% fit in socially, are selected as leaders by the other students, and are very similar to the rest of the student body. It is only at the extremes, 2% in either direction, where the differences between the individual and the average are so great as to qualify as special needs.

Giftedness is the experience of being different. The gifted don’t fit in because they are too sensitive, too intense, too complex, too deep, too moral, too driven, and too much for other people! The gifted are at risk throughout their lives because of their innate differences. Most gifted children hide their abilities, which leads in inauthenticity, inner conflict, even self-alienation. A prescription for loneliness. They try to understand the meaning of their existence, while others their age are trying to figure out how to read. Making friends is difficult for them. Their interests are different from their agemates, and so are their values. They are passionate about injustices others don’t even notice.

Giftedness is internal, not external. It is who you are, not what you do. It has nothing to do with achievement or success or potential. Those are just external trappings. It is a state of being. It is the search for meaning, truth, beauty, congruity, wisdom. It is about wrestling with the big questions of life.

  1. Why are the gifted so perfectionistic?

Perfectionism is not all bad. It has positive and negative aspects. Positive perfectionism leads to striving for the best you are capable of, even if your first attempts fail. Negative perfectionism is fear of failure and the inability to overcome that fear. Perfectionism comes with the territory of giftedness. I have found that all gifted people are perfectionistic in something—even if it’s only in the pen they use to write their checks. The gifted love beauty. They strive to create beauty and find it emotionally satisfying. “Good enough” just isn’t worth doing, unless it’s something you don’t want to do. We are all perfectionists when we watch the Olympics. But we pathologize perfectionism when the gifted apply Olympian determination to activities we deem “unimportant.” I believe that you can neither cure nor create perfectionism. Instead, you need to channel it by learning to set priorities and focusing that perfectionistic drive on what is most important to you.

  1. Why do gifted individuals sometimes feel inadequate?

Feelings in inadequacy can have many causes. The person could have a hidden learning disability. Or a disapproving parent who is never satisfied. Or be in a school that piles the homework for bright students higher and deeper, so that the student feels there is no way to catch up. Or have so many interests and creativity that there isn’t enough time to keep up with it all. Or have an omnipotent fantasy, feeling responsible for taking care of everyone else without taking care of herself. Supermoms are plagued with feelings of inadequacy that there isn’t enough of them to go around. The gifted have greater awareness of, and concern for, the suffering in the world and they feel inadequate that they can’t solve all the world’s problems.

 

  1. Why do some gifted youth and adults have low self-esteem?

From the day I started Gifted Development Center, 42 years ago, we have always given a self-concept test along with every IQ test. We’ve collected data on the self-esteem of nearly 6,500 gifted children. We found that children who were in the mildly gifted range had fairly even self-esteem across all areas, whereas highly gifted children rated themselves higher on scholastic self-concept and substantially lower on their ability to make friends. The higher their IQ, the more difficult it is to find others who accept and appreciate them.

Twice exceptional children often had low scholastic self-esteem, especially when they were in schools that focused on their weaknesses instead of their strengths. Gifted children with ADHD frequently suffer from shame and low self-esteem. Most of the children we tested have high scores in Global Self-Worth, a general measure of self-esteem, which we see when there are strong bonds between the parents and the child. When children have low ratings in Global Self-Worth, they are at-risk and need counseling.

  1. What happens when giftedness is not recognized?

These individuals suffer. When we do not identify their giftedness, they come up with their own labels for their differences: “flawed,” “broken,” “unacceptable,” “crazy,” “weird,” etc. They develop low self-esteem. They do not fulfill their potential because they lose confidence. They settle for less ambitious goals than they are capable of because they have never learned what they are capable of doing. They learn to underachieve, because they have never had to tackle any work that was truly challenging. They learn to tune out. Some use their gifts in antisocial ways. In a study we conducted in the United States, we found that 15% of the youth in juvenile detention tested in the top 3% on an IQ test, five times the number that should have been discovered if intelligence was randomly distributed in that group (Harvey & Seeley, 1984).

Many unrecognized gifted individuals are actually twice exceptional. Neither their giftedness nor their disability was identified or dealt with appropriately. They are seen as average students who don’t apply themselves and are blamed for their lack of success. While a great deal has been written about the misdiagnosis of gifted children, there are also many gifted children and adults who should have had dual diagnoses: giftedness and something else that gets in the way of their being able to use their gifts.

High intelligence can mask many problems in childhood, such as dyslexia, which may not be diagnosed until adulthood. Only being able to decode 25 percent of the words, gifted children with dyslexia may grasp at least 60% of the meaning of what they read through context clues. Children with severe hearing deficits learn to read lips. Children who see double learn how to suppress their vision in one eye. Often these compensations occur at an unconscious level so that the child is unaware that there is a problem. After all, how do you know how other people see or hear? One child we sent to an optometrist for a vision evaluation and vision therapy said to his mother, “It’s amazing how much easier it is to hit the ball when there is only of them!”

In adulthood, the vast majority of gifted people are not identified. They do not think of themselves as smart. They think something is wrong with them because they do not fit in. They don’t think like other people. And they don’t feel like other people. They are irate about injustices others ignore. In her book, Bright Adults, Ellen Fiedler calls them “The Invisible Ones.” Her chapter on this group begins:

Once upon a time, an insightful, energetic, and talented youngster, full of promise, filled with enthusiasm, headed off into the sunshine days filled with possibilities for the future. Little by little, clouds of confusion and damp despair rolled in like a fog bank, and after a while, all the potential that had shone so brightly seemed to disappear; none of it could be seen clearly any more, even though it was all still there, hidden from view. (Fiedler, 2015, p. 183)

There are many complex reasons why so many gifted people are invisible. Being in an unchallenging program co-opts their motivation and their advanced abilities seem to fade. Some learn that if they reveal their gifts, they will only be given more work to do, and it will prevent them from finding friends. The other students will resent them. They consciously choose invisibility to protect themselves. Some were never recognized, encouraged or nurtured in the first place. Girls often disappear as soon as they enter school. They have the ability to imitate others and they quickly learn how to blend. Some gifted individuals are only partly invisible. “Now you see me, now you don’t” (Fielder, 2015, p. 183). They may sabotage themselves to show that they aren’t gifted after all. But no matter how much they hide, even from themselves, they are still gifted. When giftedness is seen as who you are instead of what you do, you cannot escape from it.

  1. Why do some gifted youth and adults become addicted?

Jim Webb (2013) points to disillusionment as the main reason why gifted people may choose to numb themselves through drug or alcohol abuse. They may be disillusioned with dissatisfying relationships or jobs, or the lack of direction of their lives. Ellen Fiedler (2015) adds that Invisible Ones find daily living extremely difficult because they see too much that saddens them. Their heightened intensity, sensitivity and awareness of what is wrong in the world—“hunger, poverty, senseless wars, people’s inhumanity to one another, lack of concern for the environment, abuse of power” (p. 201)—is overwhelming. They may seek refuge from their pain and sadness through addictive behavior (gambling, overeating, compulsive shopping, videogames, substance abuse, etc.) Addictions can also be an interaction of giftedness with other factors, such as impulsivity or obsessiveness related to ADHD or spectrum issues. Or family dynamics, such as a family history of alcoholism.

  1. Why is it difficult for some to focus on curricular studies, especially in adolescence and young adulthood?

  2. Why do some have a low tolerance for frustration or become aggressive?

I see both questions as related to undiagnosed ADHD. ADHD presents differently in the gifted than it does in the general population, as well as differently in males and females, and in adolescents or adults compared with children. ADHD is not an inability to attend; it is inconsistent attention. Gifted adolescents and adults have an amazing ability to hyperfocus when they are engrossed. Then the world disappears; they can focus better than most people for longer. This is their saving grace. However, they cannot command themselves to focus on curriculum or anything that does not interest them. Instead of showing physical hyperactivity, the gifted have hyperreactive minds. “Even when they look calm and sedate, they are usually churning inside” (Hallowell & Ratey, 1994, p. 178). They have difficulty turning their minds off to go to sleep. Their ability to hyperfocus when they are engaged, and their invisible hyperreactive minds, both make ADHD very difficult to detect in the gifted.

Most people picture ADHD as hyperactive little boys, who can’t sit still or focus. Girls are much more able to control their activity levels. They tend to be spacey, more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD. In adolescence and adulthood, they may be scattered, overcommitted, incapable of setting priorities, unable to finish projects. They may make poor choices in relationships (Solden, 1995). Gifted girls with ADHD are often overlooked.

Dr. William Dodson (2018) argues that clinicians use criteria to determine ADHD in children “that has led to misdiagnosis, misunderstanding, and failed treatment for: older teens, adults, and the elderly…[assuming] it equates with hyperactivity and poor focus, mostly in children. They are wrong” (p. 3). Dodson maintains that there are three defining features of ADHD in adolescents and adults:

  1. An interest-based nervous system

  2. Emotional hyperarousal

  3. Rejection sensitivity

An interest-based nervous system means that they cannot concentrate unless they are engaged. Emotional hyperarousal is an overflow of emotional reactions. It is difficult for gifted adolescents and adults with ADHD to get over something once they are upset. They cannot shake certain thoughts. They can’t turn their brains off and relax. They have passionate emotions, much more intense than others. They have intense moods triggered by events that resolve very quickly. As a result of harsh internal dialogues, they can become consumed with shame.

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) is a little-known facet of ADHD. Dodson (2018) claims that “98-99% of adolescents and adults with ADHD acknowledge experiencing RSD” (p. 8). RSD is intense vulnerability to being teased, criticized or rejected. It is extreme pain at the failure to meet one’s own or other people’s expectations. When the emotional response of RSD is externalized, it can look like a flash of rage. “Half of people who are mandated by courts to receive anger-management training had previously unrecognized ADHD” (Dodson, 2018, p. 7).

  1. How can we help them to control their frustrations, overflowing feelings, excessive self-criticism and aggressiveness?

Many of these symptoms sound like RSD. Dr. Dodson reports that RSD does not respond to therapy. He prescribed alpha-agonist medications, like guanfacine and clonidine, often in conjunction with stimulants (Adderall or Ritalin). He reported that with treatment, his clients felt like they had emotional armor. Things that previously would have wounded or enraged them bounce off without injury. Instead of having several simultaneous thoughts, they now have one thought at a time.

  1. Do the gifted suffer more harassment and bullying? If so, why?

In a recent cross-cultural study of the gifted, teasing and name calling were reported frequently (J. Cross, et al., 2019). Some were teased if they did well, and even more if they failed to be the best in their class. Teasing is a form of bullying. In a study of 432 gifted eighth graders in 11 states, Peterson and Ray (2006) found that 2/3 experienced bullying, and more than 10% were victims of repeat bullying. Pfeiffer and Prado (2018) report that 72% of gifted high school students were called names compared to 40% of the comparison group. Gifted students were also teased more frequently than non-gifted students, which had a negative effect on self-esteem and feelings of belonging.

Teasing, bullying, harassment, ostracizing, ignoring, and other harmful behavior toward the gifted flourish in school situations that are highly competitive, and where individual differences are not accepted. In schools with strong “No Bullying” policies, where such behaviors are not tolerated, they are not as evident. And in schools for gifted, where these children are congregated with others like themselves, this behavior is virtually non-existent.

  1. How can we help those who have too much empathy and difficulty setting limits?

The gifted tend to be empathic by nature. They feel other people’s feelings and want to reduce their suffering. It is important for them to remember to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. Sometimes they not only exhaust their own energy, but they may inadvertently create dependency of other people on them to rescue them and solve all their problems. At times, they need to ask themselves, “Do I trust this person to be able to solve his own problems?” “Am I really helping or adding to this person’s feelings of inadequacy?” Empathy makes it difficult for them to set boundaries. They should examine every relationship with the question, “Does this person give me energy or drain my energy?” Energy drains should be avoided. We are energy fields and our energy needs to be replenished for us to fulfill our missions. Ask yourself as often as possible, “What do I have the energy to do right now?” That invites your Intuition and Inner Knowing to guide you. Mindfulness and self-care are important practices for gifted adults.

  1. Why are some gifted people so self-critical?

Self-criticism is a bad habit. Unfortunately, the gifted excel at self-criticism and worrying. I think we need to develop a new Golden Rule: “Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you.” If you tell yourself you’re stupid every time you make a “mistake,” don’t be surprised if others tell you you’re stupid. This is dreadfully unkind. We have to start paying much better attention to the negative messages we give ourselves and vow to stop treating ourselves so unkindly. Talk to yourself in your mind the way you would talk to your best friend. As parents, we need to be good role models for saying aloud things we are proud of and grateful for in ourselves, instead of complaining about our presumed “flaws” and “faults.”

  1. How can we help them to feel good, happy to be who they are, to accept themselves with their positive and negative parts?

Find them gifted peers. People who think and feel like they do. Be their cheerleader. My new Smartwatch is always congratulating me for achieving a goal I didn’t even set for myself, like sleeping, standing, moving, exercising. I have a personal cheerleader on my wrist!

Celebrate the miracle of who they are. Love them unconditionally. Be good role models. What positive messages about yourself do you say in front of them? Fall in love with yourself and teach them to fall in love with themselves.

There are many resources available now for helping gifted adults recognize themselves and appreciate that they are not alone in the world. The Institute for the Study of Advanced Development, of which Gifted Development Center is a part, has produced the only professional journal on adult giftedness since 1989, Advanced Development. Our latest issue, Volume 18, is on “The Inner Experience of Giftedness.” The journal is international in scope, with authors from all over the world. https://www.gifteddevelopment.org/advanced-development

This year, five of the authors in Volume 18 offered salons on the topics they addressed in the journal. All salons were recorded. The journal and the 5 recordings are available for $59, as a means of introducing more people to Advanced Development and as a way of connecting gifted adults globally. https://www.gifteddevelopment.org/salonseries

There are also many books now on giftedness in adults that will help these individuals accept their intensity, sensitivity, moral indignation, search for meaning, passionate interests, ability to see beneath the surface of things, and all the other typical traits of the gifted. I highly recommend Ellen Fiedler’s Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging Across the Lifespan and Your Rainforest Mind by Paula Prober.

Gifted Development Center has a Giftedness in Adults Rating Scale available on our website that would be very helpful for self-identification.

  1. How can we make education meaningful for the gifted?

I’d like to show you some slides to answer this question, so I’m going to share my screen.

Individuals whose gifts have been discovered and cultivated have been as chance outcroppings of precious rock, while the great reserves of human talent lay undiscovered below.

John W. Gardner

Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?

This is a quotation from a favorite book of mine, which came out in 1961, Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? John Gardner was the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare—a deep thinker. Giftedness is largely invisible. High achievers are visibly gifted, but they represent only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of the world’s millions of gifted children are hidden from view.

Giftedness is not about the potential for success. It is the potential for wisdom, authenticity and integrity. These qualities are sorely needed in the world today.

Wisdom depends on the ability to take the perspective of others, which correlates with giftedness. If we want wise leaders, rather than popular and successful leaders, we need to nurture the segment of the population we now neglect.

Few people “get it”! Few grasp the fundamental experience of giftedness—the outsider status in a society suspicious of outsiders.

When we look for talents instead of giftedness, the lens is focused on what we can do rather than on who we are in our totality. When the spotlight shifts from exterior to interior, we see the complex inner world of the child.

No one would intentionally stunt the growth of a child. Yet, this is what educational systems do that are blind to individual differences in ability.

Human societies have severely and successfully limited the realization of individual promise.
John W. Gardner Excellence, 1961

In our zeal to believe that we are all created with equal intelligence, we discriminate against the gifted. If we refuse to acknowledge the existence of giftedness, and we refuse to provide appropriate educational provisions for children with significant differences, their learning and emotional needs go unattended.

Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits. Everyone deserves equal opportunity. Equal opportunity can never mean equal outcomes. We cannot set the exact same educational goals for the entire student body. That would be brutally inappropriate for all students who learn faster or slower than the norm. While the goal for one child is to be able to read books, the goal for another is to be able to write them. One student needs to master sufficient basic mathematics to balance a budget in adult life, while another needs exposure to enough advanced mathematics to be able to discover a new source of energy.

As educators, we are not in the business of creating identical automatons. Sameness is boring. Diversity is necessary, including intellectual diversity, for the vast range of responsibilities in the world. Every individual has a different role to play in the development of society as a whole. Some tasks require a staggering degree of intelligence.

Placing all students in the same program with the same learning goals, regardless of level of ability, does not make sense. Many gifted children endure school; they do not learn anything there. Is that fair? When they are forced into a mold that doesn’t fit, the gifted experience their differences as deficits.

If excellence is our objective, we must recognize the many paths gifted individuals may take to achieve their own goals and we must honor their uniqueness. Appreciating and nurturing the individuality of all children is the best way to help them achieve excellence. This means supporting their intensity, sensitivity, passion, curiosity, autonomy and complexity. (Rosemary Cathcart)

The gifted are the only special needs group who can pretend to be like everyone else. Most gifted people expend an inordinate amount of energy trying to hide their differences, all the while knowing that they are not like everyone else. Instead of feeling better than everyone else because they are smart, more often they feel that their differences make them defective.

Fitting in is so important that this group is forced to hide their abilities, rather than develop them. It should not be like this. No one should be ashamed of being different. The gifted deserve the same protection in schools as all other diverse groups. Their diversity needs to be recognized. School should be emotionally safe for them to stand tall and be proud of who they are.

Gifted children are expected to wait patiently while other children learn skills and knowledge they have already mastered. They are taught to slow down their natural rate of learning to make the other students and their teachers more comfortable. They learn to be less than they can be, to slide by without stretching themselves, to deny their talents, and, eventually to trade their dreams for simpler, less demanding goals. This tragic waste of potential affects not only the student, but all of society, for we have all lost whatever gifts they might have contributed.

There are countless cases of vanishing giftedness—those children whose talents are lost through lack of detection and nurturing. Unrecognized and undeveloped talents may be lost permanently. We can never know how much talent has been lost for lack of discovery and development. Nor can we assess the magnitude of that loss to the world—the music that was never composed, the medical cure that was never discovered, the political strategy that might have averted a war.

Why should we identify the gifted, give them an appropriate education, find gifted peers for them to interact with, and support their emotional development?

The gifted are our hope for the future. When the pandemic struck, the most gifted leaders protected the welfare of the citizens in their countries. In contrast, you saw the death toll in the United States, where we did not have gifted leadership. It is the gifted who created the vaccines. It is the gifted who will preserve our natural resources and prevent our planet from becoming uninhabitable. It is the gifted who have the abstract reasoning, the ability to see the bigger picture, and the wisdom to understand the consequences of our actions and our apathy. It is the gifted who value what is good for humanity over personal gain. We desperately need them and they need our support.

Thank you.

References

Brown, M., & Peterson, E. (2020). “We are not that!” A focus group study with gifted adults: Directions for future research. Advanced Development, 18, 107-127.

Cross, J. R., Vaughn, C. T, Mammadov, S., Cross, T. L., Kim, M., O’Reilly, C., Spielhagen, F. R., Pereira Da Costa, M., & Hymer, B. (2019). A cross-cultural study of the social experience of giftedness. Roeper Review, 41, 224-242. http://doi.org/10.1080/02783193.2019.1661052

Dodson, W. (2018). 3 defining features of ADHD that everyone overlooks. Free Resource from ADDitude Magazine. https://www.additudemag.com/symptoms-of-add-hyperarousal-rejection-sensitivity/

Fiedler, E. D. (2015). Bright adults: Uniqueness and belonging across the lifespan. Tucson, AZ: Great Potential Press.

Gardner, J. W. (1961). Excellence: Can we be equal and excellent too? New York, NY: Perennial Library, Harper & Row.

Hallowell, E. M., & Ratey, J. J. (1994). Driven to distraction. New York: Pantheon.

Harvey, S., & Seeley, K. (1984). An investigation of the relationships among intellectual and creative abilities, extracurricular activities, achievement, and giftedness in a delinquent population. Gifted Child Quarterly, 28, 73-79.

Peterson, J. S., & Ray, K. E. (2006). Bullying and the gifted: Victims, perpetrators, prevalence, and effects. Gifted Child Quarterly, 50, 148-168. https://doi.org/10.1177/001698620605000206

Pfeiffer, S. I., & Prado, R. M. (2018). Counseling the gifted: Current status and future prospects. In S. I. Pfeiffer (Ed.), Handbook of giftedness in children: Psychoeducational theory, research, and best practices (2nd ed., pp. 299-313). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77004-8_17

Prober, P. (2016). Your rainforest mind: A guide to the well-being of gifted adults and youth. Olympia, WA: GHF Press.

Roeper, A. (1991). Gifted adults: Their characteristics and emotions. Advanced Development, 3, 85-98.

Silverman, L. K. (1995). Why are there so few eminent women? Roeper Review, 18, 5-13.

Solden, S. (1995). Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace your differences and transform your life. Nevada City, CA: Underwood Books.

Webb, J. T. (2013). Searching for meaning: Idealism, bright minds, disillusionment, and hope. Tucson, AZ: Great Potential Press.

Weininger, O. (1904/2005). Sex and character: An investigation of fundamental principles. Ladislau Löb, trans. Indiana University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-253-34471-9