A gifted individual is a quick and clever thinker, who is able to deal with complex matters. Autonomous, curious and passionate. A sensitive and emotionally rich person, living intensely. He or she enjoys being creative. -definition of giftedness written by the Netherlands Study on Giftedness in Adults

Friday, June 10, 2011

Psycho-Motor Intensity Keeps Us Moving!!

This is my second post on the five over-excitabilities described by Dabrowsky - psychomotor OE.

I have no idea why Dabrowsky called this one "Psycho"-Motor OE - but it certainly can make a parent go psycho, so maybe that's why. This is the one that keeps gifted kids MOVING... CONSTANTLY. Time and again people have told me my child has ADHD (but he doesn't have attention problems...??) simply because he never stops moving. Unless he's sleeping, and then you can't wake him.

I get it, though... when I was a child I had a lot of energy (why can't I have that much energy now??). I remember my mother telling me that people were saying I was hyperactive, "but you're not - you just have a lot of energy." I actually smashed a bone in my heel from bouncing when I was 6. Tigger was my favorite (he's bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun fun fun fun fun!). I think I could appreciate how he felt. I actually sang that song and imitated Tigger in the halls of my high school a few times... bouncing and pouncing as my classmates dragged along to class. 

So it's no surprise my child has a lot of energy. He runs, he jumps, he comes down the stairs on his knees (makes mine hurt every time!), he fidgets, and most nights during dinner he's up and away from the table at least once - drawn in by something in the next room or something going on in his head. He paces when he talks, as if the movement helps him center his thoughts. When he's working on the computer, he spins in the chair, or jumps out of it and does a little dance after he's typed out an especially thrilling thought on the screen.   

But - and this is the part few people besides those of us living in our house ever see - he also sits for hours and reads, he lays on the floor to play with Legos, he cuddles with one or both of us (his parents) to watch TV or a movie. And this is how I know it's an over-excitability and not a chemical imbalance - because when the interest is there, the movement quiets. Sure, he still fidgets (I'm trying to teach him to wiggle his toes in his shoes instead of tapping on the table or clicking his pen when he's in a group), but there is a calmness that alights on him when he's thinking of something really interesting. And I know that's the look that will come at that "a-ha!" moment of discovery - the moment when whatever it is he chooses to do will change the world we live in. 

And I can't wait to see that. 


  1. With all the reading I've done on gifted kids, intensity/overexcitabilities, you'd think that I would have realized that my DS5 has been exhibiting the psychomotor overexcitability. :) Sitting still at dinner? What is that? :) I just thought my kid has lots of energy..afterall he is a kid right and they all are bundles of energy?
    On another note, thank you so much for putting my blog on your list. I was wondering why I've gotten so many more hits lately. :) All the best with your new blog!
    Thanks again,

  2. Oh how true this is, and I could have written this entire post. Since my oldest was born I've been 'warned' that he's probably 'adhd'.

    But none of those warnings have come from people who have spent time with him not 'doing' something. Even family.

    He runs to think, chews gum during math, and moves all throughout our days from place to place thinking, looking, and learning. When he WANTS to sit still, he sits still. When he needs to be still for church, for mom, for whatever, he CAN be, its just not something I like forcing on him too often.

    He's not adhd, he's just kinesthetic and I know that it's hard to see the difference from the outside, but I shouldn't have to tell someone twice. :P

  3. Doodle.... it helps to keep moving while you are thinking.

    Get a large exercise ball for them to sit on when they are doing their homework. They can bounce quietly and still be moving.

    Allow them to stand up to read.

    Trying to change a child with Psychomotor OE's into conforming to sitting still during rug time or not moving during class is counter productive. You will merely cause them undue stress and hamper their ability to learn. It would be like you sitting in a lecture with earplugs in... How much would you learn?

  4. Your article was very helpful. Thank you so much for making it public. I am finally understanding how my daughter is. This description is more graphic and practical than a medical one and makes me feel relieved. Hugs.