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"Room to run"

November 15, 2017

Cheetah cubs are adorable.  They are designed to be “speed machines”.  When fully grown, they can run up to 113kph.  In her article, Is It a Cheetah? Stephanie S. Tolan likens gifted children to cheetahs whose body design creates a powerful internal drive.  The cheetah needs to run!


Gaining about 50g a day, cheetah cubs develop more quickly than other cubs in the big cat family.  They learn to crawl within a few days and walk at three weeks.  By six weeks old, the cubs start following their mothers around.  Their play is spirited – stalking, chasing, tug-of-war.  They prefer to live on open grassy plains or savannahs where there is plenty of room to run.


Dr Linda Silverman explains that one way to understand giftedness is to see it as developmental advancement.  The title of her article, “Intensitive!” combines two adjectives which best describes gifted people – intense and sensitive.  Like growing cheetahs, gifted children need ‘room to run’  - room and space and time:

  1. To explore

  2. To ask endless questions

  3. To seek thorough explanations

  4. To learn quickly and efficiently

  5. To be challenged

  6. To think deeply

In Stephanie Tolan’s words, my stories are a welcome expansion of her cheetah metaphor.  To complement these, I’ve compiled some puzzles/activities that may interest these children.  They come directly from my books or require some general knowledge.  The first puzzle asks them to decide if a statement is True OR False.  The answers will be included with the next blog. Click here to download the puzzle.


Silverman, Dr Linda.  Intensitive! Intensities and Sensitivities of the Gifted. Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented. 2005. Web. 31st October, 2017


Tolan, Stephanie S. Is It a Cheetah? 1996. Web. 31st October, 2017.

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