Being gifted is certainly not a disorder, nor is it even a formal classification. Schools often use the term gifted to refer to students who have superior intelligence. Many children with Asperger’s Disorder are also identified as gifted. They have superior intelligence, particularly verbal intelligence, and excellent long-memory capabilities.
Decades ago, children accepted into the Gifted and Talented Education program, commonly called GATE, were not only superior intellectually, but they were creative, had excellent social skills, and were free of behavior problems. They truly seemed to be given the gift of overall superior functioning. Over the years, as more and more highly intelligent children were found to have coexisting psychological disorders, the definition of gifted has narrowed. Currently, if your child has an IQ of 130 or greater on a standardized IQ, he probably qualifies as gifted regardless of how many disorders and social and behavioral problems he has.
These intelligent and psychologically disordered children have given birth to the relatively new term twice exceptional. Children who are highly intelligent and have ADHD or Asperger’s Disorder are the most common twice-exceptional student. Smart as a whip but behaviorally, emotionally, and socially challenging to teachers and peers, these children are spurring a whole new field of research.