Yet another slowing-down force in the life of a gifted child is over-stimulation. Where a student of normal IQ walks into a classroom and is reasonably comfortable, gifted children are hit with multiple waves of sensation. The light may hurt their eyes. The noise level can be hard for them to shut out. But the more likely distractions are from the thoughts and emotions of those around them.
Gifted children, known to be highly sensitive and receptive to stimuli of all kinds, feel strong emotions floating or even hammering at them from all sides when they are in a group. Only long experience can show them the difference between their feelings and another’s, and grade school is too early to expect them to cope. So they struggle to pay attention in class, yet are swamped in the contradictory and confusing sensations that surround them. No wonder they lose track of what the teacher is saying and then lag behind in mastering the material.