Originally Posted by nkm1968
I practice child and adolescent psychiatry, mostly clinical research, but I have a small (300 kids) clinical practice as well. I have about 15 kids in my practice who are seriously gifted (hyperlexic, doing math on a college level at age 7, violin prodigy-types) who are NOT in the Asperger's spectrum, but have very severe SPDs which cause even more social/emotional problems than the giftedness per se. Is it JUST MY PRACTICE, or is there some sort of association. I have done a lot of searches on medline, but have not found any refernces OUTSIDE of the Asperger's literature. Any thoughts out there? PS most of these kids come with ASD or mood diagnoses from outside docs, but on very careful examination thay do not meet diagnostic criteria for anything except gifted, dysregulated, and egocentric.
My understanding is that early reading is only hyperlexia if the child doing the reading doesn't understand it (i.e. my neice, who read before she could speak and even now has a reading level about five levels above her comprehension level).
There is definately an association between giftedness and SPD, but I think that very little research has been done. It's a pretty common correleation, though, and it makes perfect sense when you consider the neurology involved. The brain of a gifted individual is wired to interact with information in a different way; The more highly gifted said individual, the more differently they receive and process information of all kinds. Gifted kids notice more things in their environment, so it stands to reason that they'd be more sensitive to them. They see, hear, smell, feel things that other people aren't even aware of; Part of giftedness is not only utilizing information in a different way, but the ability to draw more information from their environment in the first place. It's a variation of the problem that autstic children have-- they can draw too much information through some channels, and too little through others. For gifted kids, it tends to be too much of *everything*.
Most of us develop coping mechanisms at some point; I cut tags out of shirts as soon as I buy them, wear my socks inside out, and buy my shoes at least half a size bigger than I "need" to so that my toes can wiggle. I understand these things about BooBah and Bella (BeanBean has very few such sensitivities, so he's easy-- just buy the same kind of underpants for him every time
), so when BooBah started telling me that her clothing "makes me mis-wa-buw!" I didn't have a problem with letting her wear fleece pajamas (though I did get very strange looks for it in the summertime
). She rarely wore other clothing (and never voluntarily) for just over a year,
: but it was all good... and I still put her socks on inside-out if I want her to keep her shoes on her feet.
It's hard for little kids, though, to develop said coping mechanisms, particularly if they're unhappy about other things (like being bored at school) and/or their parents are unsympathetic or don't understand.
: There's often a really difficult point where a child has these issues and can't articulate them, or can't explain why they're important, and if the parent doesn't get it there's frustration and misery all around. I can only imagine BooBah, if I hadn't immediately recognized what she meant, or if she hadn't even been able to say that she "was mis-wa-buw."
I think that in a lot of ways, it's easier now than it was when I was a kid. I'm convinced that someone working at Hanes has an autistic child or is autistic themselves, because they've really gone all out on the super-soft, tagless clothing. Their boys boxer briefs, for example, are not only tagless, but made of soft combed cotton with flat seams and no exposed elastic.
Fantastic! I wish they'd been around when I was little. Tagless, flat-seam undershirts, too... a dream come true, those.
Sorry, a total tangent.
Yes, the two are related; I'll dig up links if nobody beats me to it.