Jeanne Siaud-Facchin

The Over-Gifted Child Helping them to grow up, helping them to succeed Publication date : September 1, 2002

Contrary to popular belief, gifted children are not little prodigies who can accomplish any task effortlessly. Rather, they fragile creatures who are rendered even more vulnerable by their differences. It could almost be said that gifted children are in danger. They are emotional sponges who often ignore the insouciance of childhood; they understand everything and are permanently “connected” to everyone and to every emotion in the world around them. Their hyper-receptivity makes them perceive every noise, sight and smell much more vividly than other children, and puts them in a state of heightened vigilance. It is more difficult for them to construct their own identity, for they cannot identify themselves with children that are not like them, nor with their own parents whose failings and anxieties they can so clearly see and who so often seem incapable of protecting them. For these reasons, gifted children are more often familiar with fear and anxiety. And yet, if parents and teachers understand the gifted child, he or she will blossom and make use of the great wealth of his or her personality and abilities. The goal of this practical manual is to guide parents and teachers in the discovery of gifted or exceptional children.
- Defining the gifted child
- How does the gifted child’s personality differ?
- How to further the emotional development of the gifted child
- What is the gifted child’s thought process?
- The gifted child at school
- The daily life of the gifted child
- The risk of developing psychological problems

Jean Siaud-Facchin is a clinical psychologist. She practises in Doctor Rufo’s unit for adolescents, at Hôpital de la Timone, in Marseilles, and is a member of the laboratory for the exploration of functional cognition at Hôpital de La Salpêtrière, in Paris.