The Gifted Child

Is my child gifted? How does a parent spot an unusually bright child? Early signs of giftedness are not always “intellectual.” Giftedness can be either the possession of a high I.Q. or special talents or aptitudes, such as creativity.

The following signs may reveal that your child is gifted:

  • An early fascination with explanations and problem-solving.
  • Having a tendency to seek out older children and adults.
  • Speaking in complete sentences as early as 2 or 3 years of age.
  • Having an unusually good memory.
  • A precocious talent in art, music, or number skills.
  • An early interest in reading, often by age 3.
  • Showing kindness, understanding, and cooperation toward others.

    (Alvino et al, 1996)

Not Just Academic Intelligence

Notice that the list goes beyond “academic” intelligence. Children may be gifted in many ways other than a high I.Q. In fact, if artistic talent, mechanical aptitude, music appreciation, athletic potential, etc., are considered, many children have a “special gift” of one kind or another. Limiting giftedness to high I.Q. can short-change many children with special talents. This is especially true of ethnic minority children, who may be victims of subtle biases in standardized intellectual tests. These children as well as children with physical disabilities, are less likely to be recognized as gifted (Ford & Moore, 2006).

Key Examples

Consider Sho Yano who was playing Mozart by age 4, aced the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) at age 8, and graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University at age 12, when he began combined Ph.D. – M.D. studies at the University of Chicago. 

Or consider Jean Plaget, who by age 7 was devoting his free time to studying birds, fossils and machines; by age 15 began publishing scientific articles on mollusks, and who later went on to become the twentieth century’s most famous Developmental Psychologist (Hunt, 1993).

Children Not All Alike

What must be understood is that educating children as if all were alike is as naive as assuming that giftedness is something like blue eyes. You either have them or you don’t. One need not hang labels on children to affirm their special talents, or challenge them at the frontiers of their own ability. Providing “appropriate development placement” suited to each child’s talents, we can promote both equity and intelligence for all (Colangelo Et al., 2004).

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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