Prof. James T. Webb

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being escorted around Munich and nearby areas by Roya Klingner where I was able to see firsthand some activities of the Global Center for Gifted and Talented. It was clear to me the high respect and value that people felt for this group, and I am pleased to be a part of its Scientific Advisory Committee and to help celebrate the seventh year of its founding.

Though most of my work to date has been in the United States, I have become increasingly aware that the issues of gifted children and adults are worldwide. The myth continues to exist that gifted children don’t need any special help because they are so bright and talented. Of course, some of them will achieve highly and function happily, but many will not. A similar misconception is that gifted children are easy for parents to raise. In fact, there are issues—sometimes quite serious ones—that arise more frequently in families with gifted children. The intensity and sensitivity of gifted children, combined with a frequent lack of understanding and support, can result in issues of underachievement, power struggles, poor peer relations, emotional stress, and depression. Often, too, there is frequent resulting misdiagnosis by physicians and psychologists of these behaviors of gifted children.

During my visit with Roya Klingner, I was pleased to learn that the Global Center for Gifted and Talented continues to emphasize the importance of social and emotional needs of gifted children and adults. Being bright is not enough. These children and adults need information and support, and programs like this are of great value. I want to encourage all of us to continue such efforts, and for us to reach out not only to educators, but also parents and to counselors, psychologists, and physicians who very seldom receive any training about gifted children and adults even though they can play crucial roles.

I wish the Global Center for Gifted and Talented a very happy seventh birthday, and I encourage you to continue your valuable work!

Warmest regards,

James T. Webb, Ph.D.

Found of Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted

Professor and Associate Dean (Retired), Wright State University School of Professional Psychology