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The Intensity of Giftedness with Guest, Dr. Lynette Breedlove


Lynette Breedlove, Ph.D.

Dr.Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science and Past President of TAGT, joined us this week to discuss the Intensity of Giftedness. Lynette will be conducting two Pre-Conference Sessions as well as presenting at this year’s TAGT Annual Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in December.

It was immediately apparent when asked what intensity looked like in gifted children that most participants at this chat had extensive experience identifying intensity. It was also noted that asynchronous development played an important role in shaping gifted children’s personalities. Dr. Breedlove explained, “When you are more sensitive and aware than others, you pick up on even slight differences in yourself and others. Most children are concerned about being different and intensity makes it a bigger deal to the child. The interplay between intensity and asynchrony makes things very complicated for students.”

A gifted child’s strong affective memory can cause problems in the school environment. Memories can seem so real that the child may feel they’re re-living painful past experiences; sometimes over and over again. Teachers, counselors, administrators should learn about and understand these intense feelings; not try to minimize them. Lynette reminded us, “Students can have emotional reactions that seem unrelated to what’s happening in the classroom at the moment – tied to a previous experience. You can’t rely on students forgetting something to help them move on or get over it. It is extremely important that parents, teachers, and counselors LISTEN and HONOR the students’ feelings.”

The remainder of the chat centered on how parents and educators can work with gifted children to minimize negative experiences and redirect behavior toward positive outcomes. A full transcript may be found here.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



Excitabilities and Gifted People (YouTube 7:54)

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children by Leslie Sword at SENG

Intense Behaviors of the Gifted: Possible Roadblocks to Academic Achievement

Breathing in I Calm My Body: Intensities in the Gifted from the Institute for Educational Advancement

Tips for Working with Emotional Intensity by Christine Fonseca

Emotional Intensity

Emotional Sensitivities and Intensities of Gifted Children (pdf)

Gifted Intensities: Liability or Asset? (pdf) by Lori Comallie-Caplan

Intensity & the Highly Gifted & Highly Sensitive Person

Living with Intensity by Dr. Susan Daniels and Dr. Michael Piechowski

Being an Emotional Coach to Gifted Children (SlideShare) by Christine Fonseca via @Giftedkidsie

Channeling Intensity Through Creative Expression by Douglas Eby

Intensity+Sensitivity+Overprotection=Social Emotional Disaster  from Duke TIP

Lynette’s Breedlove’s Bio

Intensity in Gifted Children (YouTube 16:39)

“Is There a Dimmer Switch for the Memory Elephant?” from Sprite’s Site by Jo Freitag

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Intense Like Me by Jennifer Marten

GT Kids and Behavior: Seven Strategies to Help Kids (and Parents) Cope by Christine Fonseca for SENG Gifted

Gifted: Overexcitabilities and Asynchronicities by Amy Harrington

Cybraryman’s Yoga Page



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