Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A story of over-excitability

Once upon a time, there was this guy named Kazimeirz Dabrowski. He was a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist, and he coined the term (amongst his other published work) "over-excitabilities" to describe the "super-stimulation" of the central nervous system which caused the person to react more strongly than normal for a period of time longer than normal to a stimuli.

Now this Dabrowski guy identified five areas that this over-excitability showed itself:

  1. psychomotor
  2. sensual
  3. imaginational
  4. emotional and 
  5. intellectual

Sometimes, parents of gifted kids use the term "over-excitability" to discount other diagnoses (eg: ADHD or autism), but I am starting to put together a hypothesis that there is an overlap area, where very gifted kids have some kind of super-wiring in their nervous system that brings out these the super-sensitivities that also brings out symptoms of many other conditions (eg: ADHD or autism) where kids are dealing with stimulation overload. I have don't have any scientific basis for this hypothesis, but one day, yanno, when I get all this SPARE TIME I hear about, I might look into it further.

Anyway, there was also a girl, a teenager, who exhibits many of these characteristics of many of the types of over-excitability. Here's what it looks like:
  • continual bouncing on the trampoline
  • playing "games" in her head
  • walking around the balcony, playing said games in her head
  • continually requesting her family to play games with her
  • actually playing lots of board games
  • playing piano for hours
  • rearranging household objects into patterns
  • a deep and abiding love of puzzles
  • searching for suitable friends (deep friendship required)
  • when the friendship thing is lacking, bonding with stuffed or real animals instead

Her poor parents are besides themselves over what to do to provide the constant and appropriate stimulation she needs (without sacrificing all their time). She is driving them nuts! It doesn't help that the mother has been off working a lot, leaving her daughter at home and feeling guilty about it.

I hope there's a happy ending to this story...that the girl in the story finds something that can keep that mind happy and active without driving those around her to distraction.

Got a kid who needs to be doing something ALL THE TIME?
Got any suggestions for the next chapter?
Anyone want to borrow a daughter?


  1. Happy to borrow said daughter, have a whole bunch of children who would happily play board games with her for days

    1. Would love for your kids to meet my kids one day!

  2. Sorry, dude. I don't know what to tell you. I sympathize, as I am currently in the throes of some Parenting Stuff too.

  3. Err...yes, constantly. I thought that was just normal child behaviour, never having experienced anything different! Maybe that's why my mother can't stand my kids, they like to be doing something all the time, not sitting quietly doing nothing. ( does any child do that?)


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