Like other children, the gifted children too have certain basic needs such as need for love, for security, for belonging and the need to be accepted as an individual. In addition to these basic needs, the gifted children may have certain special needs like-
- the need for knowledge and understanding
- creativity and ingenuity
- the development of his exceptional ability or abilities and
- the need for self-actualization or self-expression
The gifted child thus strives for the satisfaction not only of basic needs but also has to have the opportunity and the facilities for the realization of the above mentioned specific needs. In case he experiences difficulty in the accomplishment of these needs he becomes disturbed mentally as well as emotionally. This leads to a short maladjustment and he becomes a problem child.
The gifted child needs a proper environment for his development. He wants to be understood carefully in response to his different needs and problems. The gifted child is exceptionally curious and has a thirst for knowledge and is, therefore, in the habit of asking searching questions. The parents as well as the teachers who do not understand his urges, usually snub him. Sometimes, he wants appreciation for his ingenuity in a scientific field or creativity in the arts, but does not get it. Consequently, he feels insecure and rejected and any sort of mishandling or carelessness on the part of teachers or parents further aggravates the situation and he becomes a nuisance.
Incase the gifted child gets undue attention and appreciation, he becomes too conscious of his superiority and develops a boastful and supercilious attitude. He cannot adjust with his fellow students. He considers them inferior and foolish and may even dislike them, while they, in turn become jealous of him. They do not accept his superiority and begin to reject him. The gifted child, in this way, does not get recognition from his peers and faces a sort of social rejection. This perturbs him and as a result, he either becomes withdrawn or aggressive and hostile.
From another angle too, the gifted children are faced with problems of adjustment in our usual system of class-room, instruction. We, in the class-rooms, plan work for an average child and the same task is assigned to all the children in the class. For the gifted child this is no challenge and he either finishes the assignment much ahead of the others or takes no genuine interest in it. As a result, he becomes restless, careless, inattentive and idle and often utilizes the extra time and surplus energy in making mischief and indulging in acts of indiscipline in the class-room and out of it.
In this way due to lack of adequate facilities, suitable environment and ignorance about their specific needs and problems, the gifted and talented children are exposed to the risk of being turned into maladjusted or abnormal personalities. Under these circumstances, their superior talents go to waste. There is, therefore a clear need for special care and proper education to be given to the gifted children.