Imaginational Overexcitabilities

Imaginational Overexcitabilities: A Parent’s Guide For Gifted Children

This continues our overexcitabilities series for parents of gifted children. Today, we explore Imaginational Overexcitabilities and gifted children.  


Imaginational Overexcitabilities


What Are Imaginational Overexcitabilities?

Imaginational Overexcitabilities are far more than simply imaginative play.

This difference in cognition expresses itself in an unusually heightened and intense imagination. It is so intense that for some gifted children, it may manifest in having trouble distinguishing between what is real and what’s fantasy.

Here are some examples of how imaginational overexcitabilities present in gifted children.

  • A “daydreamer”
  • Imaginary friends and even entire worlds complete with details
  • The ability to put everyday concepts together in creative ways
  • Good at dramatic play
  • Often experience nightmares
  • Deep intense fear of the unknown
  • Exaggerations that may seem like lies, but are actually very real to the child


Imaginational Overexcitabilities


How You Can Support Your Gifted Child With Imaginational Overexcitabilities

Imaginational Overexcitabilities can be a bit frustrating. They are often difficult to identify for parents, teachers, and therapists. They can also be very difficult to learn to cope with (for bother parents and the children themselves) because the imagination so easily takes over and increase in intensity.

You can help your child first and foremost by acknowledging that this is real for them. Even if it seems far fetched to you, it is very real for your child. 

The number one thing you can do to help is to empathize and teach them strategies for learning what is real and not real. You can also teach them strategies for harnessing all the wonderful creativity and passion that imaginational overexcitabilities bring.


Imaginational Overexcitabilities


RLL Podcast Episode 144: Imaginational Overexcitabilities,  A Parent’s Guide For Gifted Children

In this episode, we continue our overexcitabilities series for parents of gifted children. Today, the focus is Imaginational Overexcitabilities and gifted children. Colleen discusses what these overexcitabilities are and how to help your child. 


Links And Resources From Today’s Show:


Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and AutismUnderstanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out: A Guide to the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted KidsMisdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders (2nd edition)Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive FeelingsRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyLiving With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and AdultsTwice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted StudentsOn the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted ChildrenDifferently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World



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