Giftedness in adults


From Giftedness is spoken when the intellectual comprehension of a man, his Ability to combine and Retention are so big that they dem Average superior to people are. Gifted adults occur in around 2-3% It has to be said that over 80% of the giftedness diagnosed in adulthood was already determined in adolescence or as a child.

Most of the time, children stand out in school by only following the lesson with disinterest, but still writing excellent grades. In some cases, however, giftedness can also express itself in such a way that children are underutilized in school lessons, wander mentally and then also write poor grades. In this case giftedness is extremely difficult to diagnose and is mostly overlooked. Giftedness is not a disease, it is abilitywho have it intensive to promote applies.

Test giftedness

The testing whether a gifted person is present can already from the age of 3 be performed. Giftedness is often referred to as "Intelligence quotient"Connected and actually there seems to be a connection between giftedness in the traditional sense and the IQ determined by psychological testing.

In this context, however, it should not be forgotten that giftedness is much more than knowing historical data and having general educational information at hand. Giftedness also means Recognize and assess problems early on, Establish connections and build social skills. These components flow Not in the classic IQ test a. There is a hint that a certain Giftedness also inherited can be. It was found that gifted children are much more likely to be gifted when relatives such as aunt or uncle already had this gift. Whether and to what extent giftedness is then expressed and developed in a child depends essentially on the early recognition and support of the child.

From one Giftedness one speaks when a psychological test Intelligence quotient from at least 130 comes out. In Germany there are around 400,000 children and 1.8 million adults who are therefore classified as gifted. 10% of all people will be as above average intelligent designated. You can reach one in the tests IQ score of 120. When it comes to gifted adults, a distinction is made between different areas. For example, math skills can be more pronounced than language skills. The fact that someone is gifted does not mean that they excel in all areas.

Test types

To diagnose giftedness, some tests have become established today, which vary in structure depending on age. Compared to the average intelligence tests, the level of difficulty in the highly gifted tests is selected in such a way that a gifted person can be identified relatively reliably by optimally exhausting the test range.

Three tests have prevailed up to now for the testing of the gifted and are used today as a special diagnostic tool:

  1. MHBT-P test for primary school
  2. MHBT-S for secondary school
  3. BIS HB test

These tests, which consist of different sections, comprise the points Retention, ingenuity and Performance speed such as Handling numerical and verbal materials. Overall, the test passes from 45 different task groups. The test can be edited as a short form or as a long form, whereby the longer version has a higher test accuracy. The test should be shared done with a psychologist become. The BIS HB was made from a random survey of 500 highly gifted people and is therefore ideally suited for determining giftedness.

Symptoms of giftedness

Even at an early age - mostly at school age - there are characteristics that can indicate giftedness. It is important to note that not all gifted people have these "symptoms".

Mention would be:

  • exploration: The person concerned is particularly attentive and has the desire to discover as many new things as possible. The need to discover the environment visually and to learn languages ​​quickly is pronounced
  • The typical "baby language" as a tool for learning the right language is usually only experienced very briefly
  • Interest in symbols or numbers. Affected children often teach themselves to read before they go to kindergarten.
  • development of Interests, the not age appropriate are e.g. reading stock market data or memorizing historical data
  • highly educated perfectionism
  • Ability yourself fast things to notice
  • high sensitivity against noise or other noise levels
  • strong attachment and sometimes issues with authority figures
  • low need for sleep

in the Adulthood are these features often watered down and not so clearly anymore. In adults who have not yet been identified as gifted, it is often noticeable that these people are poorly integrate into the social environment can that they few friends have and that they are with everyday things in life (e.g. the organization of the household etc) big Problems to have. Also the Special intereststhat gifted adults have are often a guide to these skills.

A large part who is gifted adults untestedThis means that those affected usually know themselves that learning is easier for them than others, but these people do not see themselves as highly gifted. Other signs that can but do not have to appear in gifted people are:

  • observational behavior
  • the penchant for colors and optically beautiful things
  • as a child not having had the urge to run around
  • Race or sport
  • often withdrawn and calm characters

Read more on the subject here 'Characteristics of giftedness'

These symptoms do not always mean that adults are gifted:

From the gifted, the autism is strong to delimit. Although a connection between the two terms is often seen in the media and in films, it must be noted that it is autism around a psychiatric clinical picture acts whose people are not always gifted. The leading factor in this clinical picture is the inability to assert oneself in social life. Things like tying shoes or getting dressed can be particularly difficult for an autistic person.

Read more about Austism here.

Of the autistic is the so-called Island talent to delimit. This means that the Ability of certain sub-areas particularly well developed is, others are not. An island talent would, for example, be to fly over a city like Rome in a helicopter and then record the city palms from your head. The reason why this island talent comes about is that these people have a lack of inhibitory areas of the central nervous system or they are distributed differently. A person who is not gifted on the island would fly over the city of Rome, but would not be able to record the streets in order to be able to make a map afterwards. This is due to the fact that he also perceives things such as noises and smells during the flight, he makes assessments of danger, altitude, flight duration, etc. A person gifted on the island, on the other hand, hides all these things and, intentionally or unintentionally, concentrates only on the streets of the city. It is not yet clear why the abilities of every Inselbagabten are different.

Depression in the gifted

Often a potential giftedness is only considered after a depression has been diagnosed.

Many gifted people to notice your Talent only, if accompanying symptoms occur. A more socio-medical problem of gifted people is the constant rejection that occurs at a young age.

Be like that childrenwho are highly gifted are often classified as “different” and avoided by their classmates. This can have serious consequences, especially in the early years of being shaped. With children it would be more like one Fear of school, with associated psychosomatic complaintssuch as abdominal pain, headache etc.

At Adult would be an accompanying clinical picture of giftedness depression. In today's society, gifted people are much better integrated than 30 years ago due to better diagnostics and testing options, but gifted people are still seen as something extraordinary (which they are) and something "crazy". Depression usually occurs when the Reactions of the environment to one completely perceived and felt can be but the reasons why other people react to you in this way have not been seen become. The gifted do not necessarily see their ability as something “special” and so they think they are no different from those around them. The Discrepancy between cause and effect is so Main trigger of depression in the gifted.
Another possibility how it can lead to depression in gifted people is when one's own ability is recognized and also seen that one is different from others, but cannot find an adequate exchange with others. A gifted person will often feel lonely and under-challenged among normally gifted people.

It is not uncommon for depression, which is initially treated, to develop as a symptom of giftedness. Many gifted people come into contact with the term gifted for the first time when they are trying to discover the cause of their depression. Psychologists then usually carry out some tests and then come to the diagnosis “gifted”. In this case it should be correct: "Unfulfilled" giftedness, because only that unsupported giftedness also has one psychological medical disease value.

Problems with promoting the gifted

If the diagnosis of giftedness has been made, it must be noted that this is the case Not around a Disease around a ability acts. For this reason one does not have to think in the direction of cure or treatment, but in direction advancement. Because the correct utilization of the cognitive abilities of the gifted ultimately leads to a healthy further development of the ability and to a better balance in life. Both mental illnesses such as depression and somatic illnesses are reduced in gifted people if gifted people are made available as early as possible.

There are some for children and teenagers schoolsthat focus specifically on the Specialized in promoting above-average memory skills to have. Parents who discover giftedness in their children should by no means try to slow them down in order to adapt the skills and performance of children of the same age. If the child wants to read or do arithmetic, let them do so. Questions, however complex, should be answered. The brain should be used as much as possible.
In addition to the few highly gifted centers in Germany where gifted students can be taught, there is also the option of one special support in conventional schools. One of the Main problems of the gifted is that fast underload. So it makes sense to accelerate the speed of teaching. The easiest way to do this is when the child has a Class skips. Furthermore, the person to be mediated can also be School materialthat is currently being studied in the class for the special student deeply and intensively prepared become.

There are quite a few in adult education for the gifted Associationswho deal with gifted people. In the classic sense, this is a kind of self-help group. Those affected are all highly gifted and exchange ideas in regular meetings. Furthermore there is Gifted universitieswho also specialize in promoting gifted adults. Numerous Scholarships also promote the gifted.

One of the problems that the promotion of gifted people entails is Stigma. So gifted people in special institutions are far away from the population average. What is sufficient funding on the one hand also poses the risk of a Desocialization dar. In the United States the promotion of gifted children is carried out much more intensively. The main reason is that gifted people should be given the opportunity to make a career in research or science through high cognitive performance. Under the best of conditions, highly talented young people are supported in special schools and universities so that they can start their own research projects. This kind of support for the gifted is not possible in Germany, if only because of the high costs and insufficient research breadth.

Unrecognized giftedness

Giftedness is very often not recognized or recognized very late in both childhood and adulthood. Unrecognized giftedness, which is not encouraged, not only makes those affected unhappy but also leads to one increased risk of cardiovascular disease etc. to get sick. A Relationship between an unrecognized giftedness and the development of severe depression has meanwhile also been well researched scientifically. It is assumed that there are still a large number of undiagnosed gifted people in Germany.