- often feel lonely, out of sync with others
- asynchronous social development
- concern for social justice
- has a mature understanding of world problems and social injustice
- cares deeply about the future of the world
- questions status quo, comes up with creative alternatives
- often outwits adults
- sensitive to patronizing or hypocritical behavior, may confront adults in authority on their own behavior
- may not follow rules for rules sake; may challenge underlying logic/illogic of rules, even if punished for doing so
- may have trouble with authority; can be oppositional and argumentative
- may want to be the center of attention in some instances; conversely, may have high social anxiety in other instances
- comments and actions are out of sync with what others are doing
- may have extremes with imaginative play: difficulty understanding imaginative play, or obsessively engage in imaginative play throughout childhood
- may struggle to express themselves verbally
- gullible, socially awkward, often bullied
- gets along with adults, as well as much younger/much older children
- behavioral issues often resolve when intellectually or creatively satisfied
- love to challenge themselves and/or others
- often misunderstood, ostracized
- confused by social protocol
This list contains traits that closely match descriptions of the overexcitabilities discussed in Dabrowski and Piechowski’s (1977) theories:
- Psychomotor Overexcitability, may manifest as hyperactivity, sleeplessness, rapid speech, intense athletic activities, restlessness, and acting out on impulse.
- Sensual Overexcitability, may manifest as increased need for touching and handling things, need for physical contact with others, oral fixation, or the need to be the center of attention.
- Imaginational Overexcitability, may manifest through vivid imagination, detailed description of images and impressions, high anxiety, phobias, inventiveness, animated visualization, intense dreams and nightmares, mixing of truth and fiction, and fears of the unknown.
- Intellectual Overexcitability, may manifest in an insatiable need for information; delight in analysis of difficult problems, persistence in asking probing questions, inordinate desire for increasing levels of knowledge, reverence for logic, and preoccupation with theoretical problems.
- Emotional Overexcitability, may manifest in phobias, fears, obsessions, inhibition (timidity or shyness), concern with death, anxieties, depression, feelings of loneliness, and concern for others.
Twice exceptional persons, like all people, are individuals who have, and are defined by, a unique combination of characteristics and behaviors.
Dabrowski, K., & Piechowski, M.M. (1977). Theory of levels of emotional development: Vol. 1B. Multilevelness and positive disintegration. Oceanside, NY: Dabor Science.