Gifted children: who are they?

Gifted children have exceptional ability in one or more of the following areas:

  • intellectual ability
  • academic achievement in a specific area
  • talent in visual or performing arts
  • creative thinking
  • physical or athletic talent
  • leadership or social skills

Many school districts now consider children who score in the top 2 to 5% of the population on standardized intelligence tests intellectually gifted.

Identifying gifted children

Young children are often characterized as exceptional learners by their family, friends, or teachers. The school or the parents may then decide to have the child tested using standard psychological tests to determine the child's IQ, and other indicators of their ability. It is well known that intellectually gifted children are capable of learning earlier and faster than others in their age groups.

How do I know if my child is gifted?

Some of the characteristics parents and teachers look for to identify students who may be gifted are:

  • exceptional creativity
  • academic excellence in one or more subjects
  • outstanding leadership ability
  • maturity
  • independent learning ability

Why should potentially gifted children be tested?

Children have to be tested to qualify for any special programs for the gifted offered by public schools. These programs usually begin in grade 4. Some private schools offer programs for gifted children beginning in grade one. They require testing before accepting children into these programs. Some parents feel that their child is very bright, but is not challenged enough at school and may not be doing well because of boredom. For these parents, often an independent psychological assessment can tell them whether their child has the ability to learn at an advanced level. If their child is underachieving, the assessment can explain why this is happening and suggest some steps to take with the school to improve the situation.

The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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