Giftedness is not mere precocity—getting “there” sooner. There is some evidence suggesting a qualitative difference in the inner experience and awareness of the gifted. A young child with the emotional development of his or her age peers but with advanced cognitive awareness of the perils in the world can sometimes feel helpless and afraid. It is known that developmental discrepancies can create vulnerability: We recognize the vulnerability in the experience of having a 17-year-old body and a 9-year-old mind. Yet to be grasped, however, is the magnitude of the challenge of a child who has a 17-year-old mind trapped in the body of a 9-year-old. Societal support is offered to families of children with developmental delays, but those whose minds are many years ahead ...

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