I was asked to write another guest post for Therapro, the fantastic OT equipment and materials company that I have been using for clinic and home items for years. This time the subject is gifted children: Do Gifted But Non-Disabled Children Need Occupational Therapy?.
The first time you encounter a young gifted child, you may not know that their advanced skills could be contributing to their behavior. Giftedness is more than advanced intellectual ability, it is a whole-brain difference. The fMRI studies done in the last decades have proved that to be true. Gifted kids can have sensory and behavioral responses that suggest they have ADHD, oppositional disorder, or sensory processing disorder. Some are conclusively “twice-exceptional” , but many are just responding to a brain that is wired for intense and complex interactions. Schools are geared to routines and benchmarks. Let the problems commence!
Occupational therapy has always been focused on helping people achieve their best lives. Having abilities that are on the far sides of any bell curve can make life harder, so my take is that occupational therapists can be helpful to kids that are struggling because of their talents and gifts, not just due to delays and deficits.
Read my post, then tell me about your gifted child, or the gifted children that you have seen as a therapist or teacher. They really are interesting kids in so many ways!