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Gifted children often develop at a more accelerated pace than their peers, which can present a challenge to the parents raising them. Along with their advanced abilities, gifted children may exhibit intense emotions, experience difficulty connecting with and relating to peers their own age, and occasionally say and do unusual things. 

Because of this, it may be beneficial for your gifted child to speak with a psychologist as an extra support system. Not only can an experienced psychologist help your gifted child navigate their emotions and explore their abilities, but they can also help parents and educators better understand the needs of the gifted children in their lives.

Is My Child Gifted?

Asking this question is the first step towards determining if your child could benefit from a psychologist who specializes in working with gifted children. Just as every child is unique, the same holds true for gifted children: no two are exactly alike. 

There are many traits that can identify whether or not a child is gifted. While no two gifted children will exhibit exactly the same traits, the list put together by the National Association for Gifted Children is comprehensive and could help parents better understand if their child may be gifted.

Additionally, there are tests that can provide further information about the giftedness of your child. While these tests should not serve as the sole indicator of whether your child is gifted or not, they do serve as a good tool.

Selecting a Psychologist

When finding the right psychologist for your gifted child, it is important to keep in mind that not all psychologists have experience working with gifted children and their families. Because of this, it is important to do your research and ensure your child is working with a psychologist who knows how to support gifted children.

Do Your Research

One of the most difficult parts of finding a psychologist to work with your gifted child is simply starting the process of looking. One of the easiest ways to get started is by asking family and friends for references and recommendations. Perhaps someone you know also has a gifted child and has some helpful information on psychologists that they could share with you.

After asking family and friends for references and recommendations, the next step might be reaching out to local or state gifted organizations, or researching other gifted groups who have similar experiences as you and your child. By finding and reaching out to a group of parents who are also raising gifted children, there is a better chance of receiving helpful information on possible psychologists who can work with your child.

Ask the Right Questions

Not all psychologists have experience working with gifted children and their families. This means that the first question you should ask when reaching out to potential psychologists is if they have the proper experience to help your child. However, just because they have previous experience working with gifted children does not mean they are the right psychologist for your child and family. Be sure to take the following into consideration when selecting a psychologist to work with your gifted child:

  • Does your child feel like they can trust this psychologist?
  • Does this psychologist have the proper training to assist and work with your family?
  • Is this psychologist open to learning more about your gifted child and their specific needs and troubles?
  • What are the psychologist’s thoughts on motivation, underachievement, and the gifted?
  • What local gifted resources would they recommend that are most helpful for the families of gifted children?

When to Seek a Psychologist

You may be aware that your child is gifted, but how do you know when it is the right time to seek the help of a psychologist? Unfortunately, there is no set answer to this question. Knowing when to seek out a psychologist for your gifted child is solely determined by your child’s individual needs. By knowing your child and being able to understand when they are struggling with their giftedness, you will be able to better understand when and if they would benefit from working with a psychologist.

How Can a Psychologist Help My Child?

Gifted children often develop faster than their peers, putting them on a more advanced course in life. Because of this, your gifted child may not feel that they can relate to their peers and can be left feeling isolated. Talking to a psychologist could be beneficial to your child, because they would have someone to talk to about the challenges that they are facing, such as learning social skills or struggling with confidence.

Additionally, gifted children are often viewed by parents and other adults in their lives (such as teachers and counselors) as “little adults.” While many adults think of this as a compliment and see this as a positive, it often means that they tend to forget that a gifted child is still a child. A psychologist will be able to help gifted children and families alike realize that first and foremost, gifted children are still children and that they may need help coping with and expressing their emotions.

Most importantly, as a parent, you know what is best for your child. While the guidance and counseling of gifted children are vital to their growth and development, ultimately, as a parent, it is your responsibility to know what your child needs and to seek out the best course of action to help them.

Get Started and Schedule an Appointment

Once you have found a psychologist that is suited for your gifted child and your family, the next step is to schedule an appointment. At your appointment, be sure that both you and your child build a relationship and rapport with your psychologist, as this will ensure you and your child can establish a safe and positive environment to grow and develop. Get started today and find out how an experienced psychologist can make a difference in your gifted child’s life.