Early identification of gifted children has frequently been advocated in order to ensure a better chance of children reaching their highest potential. Identification, however, has always been difficult, due to diversity of gifts and the variety of gifted levels. This difficulty is further complicated in the case of gifted and learning disabled children (GLD), whose IQ subtest scores often show large discrepancies. Such discrepancies have also been noted in children who have been neglected and abused, and who are often insecurely attached.
This paper raises the possibility that secure attachment may better intellectual giftedness, and possibly be an essential component of social-emotional giftedness. Insecure attachment, however, will be shown to have less healthful outcomes on giftedness. Identification of gifted and GLD characteristics will be compared to those associated with attachment, and the discussion will include preliminary results of research currently underway on the impact of attachment on giftedness.