The Twitter Birds were suitably impressed.
Sprite had a letter from Dr Linda Silverman in Denver, Colorado.
“You can read it if you want to,” said Sprite.
It was sent to gifted children all round the world and it is on the web at
P for Physical and Practical and Perfectionism
Clearly some of the causes of Sprite’s depression were anxiety about the future and therefore an aversion to taking any risks and her perfectionism which sometimes prevented her from starting any activity which she did not think she could complete perfectly.
This was what had caused her apprehension about the Guard Duty Black Dog.
I found some very helpful articles about perfectionism
Carol Peters describes Dr Linda Silverman’s attitude to perfectionism in an article which can be read at http://thescotts.topcities.com/perfectionism.html
Perfectionism is an inevitable part of the experience of being gifted.
Silverman believes that perfectionism needs to be appreciated as a two-edged sword that has the potential for propelling an individual toward unparalleled greatness or plummeting one into despair. The secret to harnessing its energy is to appreciate its positive force, learn how to set priorities and to avoid imposing one’s own high standards on others.
Dr Silverman says
Perfectionism is an integral part of Giftedness because:
1. The sine qua non of intelligence is the capacity for abstract reasoning, and perfectionism is an abstract concept. An affinity for perfectionism is as natural to the gifted as a love of mathematics or literature.
2. Perfectionism is a function of asynchrony: gifted children set standards according to their mental age rather than their chronological age.
3. Many gifted children have older playmates so they tend to set standards appropriate for their older friends.
4. Many gifted children have enough forethought to enable them to be successful in their first attempts at mastering any skill. They come to expect success and fear failure since they have had little experience with it.
Dr Linda Silverman’s article can be purchased from the Gifted Development Center at http://www.gifteddevelopment.net/xcart/home.php?cat=252&sort=orderby&sort_direction=0&page=2
There is a useful A PowerPoint presentation by Kevin Kendall at http://www.lexedu.org/Gifted/08-09/ProblemsWithOrganizationProcrastinationAndPerfectionism.ppt#1
And Shaun Hately discusses the connection between perfectionism and depression in Perfectionism and the Highly Gifted Child which can be read on Hoagies website at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/perfectionHG.htm
Sprite, my little twice exceptional character has been as busy as I have this month. I find her quite delightful but concede that she must drive some of her teachers to distraction!
She exhibits all of the characteristics of GLD students observed by Dr Linda Silverman and most of Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities.
She is exceptionally gifted but her learning differences and disabilities make it hard for her to demonstrate it and make her studies an exhausting experience for her.
She has a great thirst for knowledge and gathers so much by osmosis and intuition. She loves the research but hates writing the essay about it! And really hates the homework!
At the moment I am preparing another section of the Feetspeak:2E shoes material titled Good King Wenceslas and the Purple Riding Boots about the use of biographical studies and mentors in programs for twice exceptional students like my Sprite.