Lisa Kelliher No Comments

As schools increasingly look to provide opportunities within and outside the classroom to intellectually challenge gifted students, are we forgetting to equally emphasise the value and importance of teaching the skills of communication, collaboration and peer relationships?

Gifted and talented individuals bring an exceptional set of skills to the classroom, but their journey can be significantly enhanced through the cultivation of initiative, particularly in the realms of communication, collaboration, and peer relationships.

Research consistently underscores the importance of fostering initiative in gifted and talented students, not only for their academic development but also for their overall social and emotional well-being. When provided with the right guidance, these students become catalysts for innovation and positive change. However, initiatives tailored to nurture their social skills are equally crucial, as these students often face challenges in forming meaningful connections with their peers.

Studies indicate that gifted and twice-gifted neurodiverse students, in particular, may encounter obstacles in the realm of interpersonal relationships. The unique cognitive profiles of neurodiverse individuals can influence their communication styles and social interactions. This presents a distinct challenge in traditional educational settings where the emphasis is often on conformity rather than recognizing and appreciating neurodiversity.

According to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), encouraging collaboration and communication skills in gifted students is crucial for their holistic development. However, it is essential to recognize that neurodiverse gifted students might experience difficulties in navigating the social nuances that come naturally to their peers.

Recent studies have shown that neurodiverse gifted individuals often face higher rates of social isolation, anxiety, and depression due to challenges in forming connections with their peers. By actively addressing these concerns and tailoring our educational strategies, we not only enhance the academic experience for gifted and twice-gifted neurodiverse students but also contribute to their overall well-being.

Be Challenged values the opportunity to work closely with schools in the design and delivery of programs for Gifted and Talented students which not only challenge their intellects but also foster communication, collaboration and peer relationships. Our programs are used by schools when teams of students are preparing to work closely together in competition settings – where communication and understanding are crucial.

If you would like to find out more about how Be Challenged can collaborate with your Gifted and Talented students, please get in touch at

Thanks for reading,

Lisa Kelliher
Head of People and Culture and Educational Consultant, Be Challenged

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