What is giftedness?

Gifted individuals show incredible talent, ability, competence or skill in one or more areas as compared to peers. Giftedness can be found in intellectual ability, physical skills, creativity and many other domains. True giftedness is incredibly rare, affecting approximately only 3% of the population.

Common characteristics of gifted children include:

  • Early language skills and/or mathematical skills
  • Long attention span
  • Early development
  • Early Reader (before 5)
  • Prowess for numbers and symbolic learning
  • Making connections others don’t
  • Typical child requires 6-8 repetitions for mastery, gifted requires1-3 repetitions
  • Asks a lot of questions rather than just accepting what they are told. Questions tend to be sophisticated for the age of the child.
  • May have a difficult time making true friends with same age peers
  • May prefer the company of older children and adults over peers
  • Enjoys learning but may not enjoy school
  • May be own worst critic & show perfectionistic qualities

What giftedness is not

  • Knowing all of the answers
  • Always being right
  • Getting straight A’s
  • Being very outgoing and social
  • Loving school
  • Good memory
  • Performing well at school

Parents are typically the first to identify gifted characteristics in their children. Gifted traits may be noticeable as early as infancy, while some children are not identified until the school years.  In young children, observing children at play in a stimulating and rich environment can be very insightful.  Being well educated on the nature and needs of gifted children is the best way to ensure that your child is receiving the support, education, and services that will allow him or her to be most successful. Ideally the child’s parents, educators, doctors, and support staff all work in collaboration to meet the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the child.

When to seek help:

  • For testing to determine giftedness
  • When you are not sure what the appropriate educational path for a child should be
  • When you are having difficulty meeting the social, emotional, or educational needs of your child
  • When you need guidance and education on the nature and needs of a gifted child