Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness
What must we be aware of in cases of extreme giftedness?
The most highly gifted people are individuals with extremely high ability scores, for example, people who are ranked in the top 1% of their age group in terms of ability. By definition, these exceptionally and profoundly gifted individuals are extremely rare. This extreme minority status raises several challenges because, in most cases, conventional environments are not suitable for them. Difficulties are most apparent in the preschool and elementary school years, when children are highly dependent on their immediate social environment, that is, on parents, early childhood educators, or teachers recognizing their extreme giftedness and providing encouragement and support. In many cases, this requires exceptional, age-atypical, but precisely ability-appropriate opportunities, such as the possibility to enroll in university courses in later childhood.
Without support, exceptionally and profoundly gifted children may hide their abilities or become lonely and not be able to make friends. With adequate support and encouragement, extremely gifted individuals generally develop very well. Most are very successful academically, have friends, and are very satisfied with their lives.