Why Do Gifted Students Need Special Education?

Gifted students need special education because they have unique needs that require specialized instruction and services.

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Though all children are unique, some have special gifts or talents that set them apart from their peers. These gifted students often need specialized instruction and support in order to reach their full potential.

Gifted students are not only those with high IQs, but also those with specific talents or abilities in certain subject areas. Some students may excel in math or science, while others may be gifted performers or artists.

Because they often learn at a faster pace than their classmates, gifted students can become bored or frustrated in a traditional classroom setting. Without appropriate challenges, they may begin to act out or withdraw completely.

Special education services for gifted students can help meet their unique needs and ensure that they reach their full potential. Individualized education programs (IEPs) can provide customized instruction and support, while also ensuring that gifted students are challenged academically.

In addition to IEPs, other services for gifted students may include advanced placement classes, enrichment activities, and mentorship programs. These services can help gifted students develop their talents and abilities, while also providing the challenges they need to stay engaged in school.

What is Giftedness?

All children are unique and have different strengths, weaknesses, and interests. However, some students may have abilities that are significantly above average when compared to their peers. These students are considered to be “gifted.” The definition of giftedness can vary, but most experts agree that giftedness is not simply high intelligence. Giftedness is often associated with high levels of creativity, as well as the ability to think abstractly and see connections that others cannot. Gifted students often have a “hunger” for knowledge and a need for challenge in their learning. As a result, gifted students may become bored or frustrated in a traditional school setting where they are not able to progress at their own pace or depth of knowledge.

Characteristics of Gifted Students

Gifted students are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (higher than average ability to reason and learn) or performance in one or more domains. domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, therapy).

There are many different characteristics that may be exhibited by gifted students. While no two gifted students are exactly alike, there are certain patterns of behavior and thinking that are often seen in gifted individuals. These include:

-Exceptionally high levels of general knowledge
-Obsessive interests in one or more subject areas
-Advanced vocabulary and complicated sentence structure
-Early reading ability
-Excellent memory recall
-Highly developed sense of Some gifted students also display characteristics that might be associated with a learning disability or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These Secondary Characteristics of Giftedness can make it difficult for gifted children to succeed in a traditional school setting that is not designed to meet their unique needs.

Types of Giftedness

Giftedness is not a single ability, but rather a set of abilities, skills, and potentials. This may include high intelligence, creative thinking, great powers of concentration and dedication to a task, as well as specific talents in the arts, music, or athletics. Some gifted students have all of these abilities and talents while others may only have one or two.

There are three types of giftedness:
-General intellectual giftedness: Students who score in the top 3-5% on an IQ test or standardized achievement test. These students usually excel academically and often participate in extracurricular activities such as debate club or chess club.
-Specific academic giftedness: Students who excel in one particular subject, such as math or science. These students often go on to pursue careers in their area of interest.
-Creative/productive giftedness: Students who show unusual creativity in the arts or other areas. These students may be artistically talented, have original ideas, or be particularly good at problem solving.

Why Do Gifted Students Need Special Education?

Gifted students have unique needs that must be met in order for them to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. Unfortunately, the traditional education system is not always equipped to meet the needs of these students. This is why many gifted students need special education. Special education can provide gifted students with the challenge and support they need to reach their full potential.


Gifted students may underachieve for a variety of reasons. They may have learning disabilities or emotional difficulties that make it hard for them to do their best work in school. They may be bored or discouraged because the work is not challenging enough. Or, they may feel that they can’t live up to their parents’ or teachers’ high expectations.

Whatever the reason, underachievement is a serious problem. It can lead to low self-esteem, poor grades, and even dropping out of school.

Fortunately, there are things that teachers and parents can do to help gifted students reach their full potential. Providing a stimulating environment, setting high but realistic expectations, and giving students plenty of opportunities to succeed are just a few of the things that can make a difference.

Social and Emotional Needs

Gifted students often have social and emotional needs that are different from those of their peers. They may be more sensitive than other students, and they may struggle with anxiety or depression. They may also have a hard time making friends because they feel like they don’t fit in.

Intensity and Sensitivity

Gifted students are often described as being “2e” — meaning they are twice exceptional, or gifted and have another diagnosis, such as ADHD, anxiety, or dyslexia.

There are many different theories out there about what makes giftedness “special.” One theory is that giftedness is an intensity of processing. This means that gifted individuals take in more information than their peers and process it more deeply.

Another theory is that giftedness is a sensitivity to the environment. This means that gifted individuals are more affected by their surroundings than their peers. They may be more sensitive to light, sound, and other stimuli. This can be both a strength and a challenge. For example, a gifted student may excel in a quiet library setting but struggle in a noisy classroom.

Both of these theories suggest that gifted students need special education because they are not like their peers — they require different instruction and different tools to be successful.

How Can Special Education Help Gifted Students?

Gifted students are those who have been identified as possessing advanced potential in one or more areas. These students often need specialized instruction and an educational environment that meets their unique needs. Special education can help gifted students by providing them with an individualized education plan that meets their specific needs.

Individualized Education Plans

All students in the United States are guaranteed a free and appropriate education, and that education should be designed to meet each student’s individual needs. That’s where Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) come in.

An IEP is a written document that outlines the specific educational goals for a student who has been determined to need special education services. The IEP is created by a team of educators, parents, and specialists who work together to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and determine what accommodations and modifications might be necessary for the student to be successful in school.

For gifted students, an IEP can help ensure that they are challenged academically and socially/emotionally, while also receiving the support they need to thrive. Gifted students often benefit from specialized instruction, which can be included as part of their IEP. Additionally, IEPs can help address any learning disabilities or other issues that may be present alongside giftedness.

If you think your child might benefit from an IEP, reach out to your child’s school to learn more about the process and how you can get started.

Enrichment and Acceleration

Special education can help gifted students in a number of ways, but two of the most important are enrichment and acceleration.

Enrichment is the process of providing students with additional opportunities to explore their interests and abilities. This might include special classes, field trips, or after-school programs. Acceleration is the process of moving students ahead at a faster pace than their peers. This might involve skipping a grade, attending a special program for gifted students, or taking college-level courses while still in high school.

Both enrichment and acceleration can help gifted students challenge themselves and reach their full potential. Special education programs for gifted students are designed to meet the unique needs of these talented individuals.

Social and Emotional Support

Gifted students often need social and emotional support to help them feel like they belong in school. They may be bullied by classmates for being different or feel isolated because they are not challenged by their coursework. Special education can provide a gifted student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that includes social and emotional support to help them succeed in school.


In conclusion, gifted students need special education because they are more likely to experience social and emotional difficulties, they need differentiated instruction to be challenged, and they are more likely to drop out of school if they are not properly supported.

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