Do you think you may have a gifted child? Are there tell tale signs that help parents know if their child is advanced for their age? No gifted child is exactly the same and they usually demonstrate unique patterns and traits. However, there are intellectual, behavioural, emotional and creative traits that gifted children have in common that parents can look for.
Intellectual traits that can be present in gifted children include:
A large vocabulary
Early reading ability and an insatiable appetite for books
Advanced problem solving skills
Ability to understand abstract concepts and ideas
Ability to work and play independently
Behavioural traits that gifted children can demonstrate include:
Non stop talking and chatting
High energy levels
Curiosity and asking lots of questions
Being spontaneous and enthusiastic
Being spirited and impulsive
High levels of perseverance with tasks
Intense focus on passions and interests
Emotional traits are present in gifted children and can include:
Feeling intense and deep emotions
Highly sensitive and easily hurt
Extremely empathetic towards others
Easily frustrated, particularly if unable to meet high levels of expectation of self
Having a strong sense of justice and an ability to use moral reasoning
Creative traits are also present in gifted children and can include:
High levels of creativeness and inventiveness
Keen sense of humour
Wide range of interests
Self-acceptance and unconcern for social norms
* Source: Clark B (2008) Growing Up Gifted
How to identify if your child is gifted
A teacher or parent can informally identify giftedness in various ways including conducting observations, recording advanced skills and looking at work samples. Formal identification of giftedness is through an assessment with a psychologist.
A psychologist will conduct an intellectual, or IQ, test which measures the child’s cognitive skills and can tell how advanced they are for their chronological age. An educational assessment of the child’s academic skills is also useful to pinpoint which areas they are advanced in such as reading, writing or mathematics.
Butterfly Psychology for Kids are highly skilled in identifying giftedness. Assessments used include the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V) and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III). Reports and assessments from school are also examined. An investigation of the child’s developmental, medical, educational and family history is also an important part of the assessment and identification process.
Identifying if your child has gifts and talents can help parents as well as teachers better support their child’s learning and development needs. It can also help avoid some of the challenges that can result from being gifted, such as boredom at school and home. In addition, some children may benefit from subject or grade acceleration and an assessment with a psychologist can provide important information to help decide if this is an option your child may benefit from.