is my child gifted?

So, how do you know if your child is gifted? Parents often arrive at the conclusion that their child is bright, but how do you distinguish between whether your child is a smart cookie, or if they are actually gifted? There are differences between children who excel at school, or high-achievers, and children who are gifted. Contrary to some people’s opinions, not all gifted kids do well at school. Many do, of course, but this is not always the case. The links on this page will provide you with the knowledge you need to help you determine whether or not your child may be gifted. Discovering that your child is gifted is a journey, a life long one, and parents often learn a great deal about themselves and their own childhood along the way. Read the resources and articles you find on this site, then search online, and read some more! Being proactive in understanding giftedness is the best possible way to ensure that you are able to best support your child as they grow up.

It is also important to note that not all gifted children will have the same abilities. There are several different levels of giftedness. Children can be identified as being mildly, moderately, highly, exceptionally or profoundly gifted, and the differences in each child’s potential can vary greatly depending on their level of giftedness. Once you establish that you believe your child may be gifted, your next step may involve determining ‘how’ gifted your child is. Below there are also links to articles to help you understand the levels of giftedness. This should enable you to better determine what your child’s academic, social and emotional needs may be. Most importantly, a gifted child is not the sum of their intellectual parts, or their academic potential. Gifted kids need gentle handling, and to be nurtured holistically – respected not only for their brilliant minds, but their whole selves. Consideration of their social and emotional needs cannot be underestimated.

It may all sound a bit daunting! But it’s not :) . The more you read and understand about giftedness,  the better position you will be to be able to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for your child. Happy reading :)

Bright, Talented  or Gifted – What’s the Difference?

Facts and Myths of Gifted Children:

Facts and Myths of Gifted Children from Renegarmath

In this chart, Bertie Kingore, an expert in gifted education, explains the differences between children who are bright, or high achievers; those who are gifted; and also gifted kids who are creative thinkers.  Click here to see Dr. Kingore’s chart

Ten Characteristics of Gifted Children – a succinct little blog post on what a gifted child may look like.

This page, from about.com, traces the history of the term ‘gifted’ and explains why a simple definition of giftedness is not an easy task, and Psychology Today offers a great article titled ‘Is your Child Gifted? What to Look For and Why you Should Know’.

Whilst all children are special, it is a common myth that all children are gifted. This is not the case. That would be the same as saying all children can speak a foreign language, or that all children need glasses! Giftedness is an inherent part of a child: it does not mean that they are better than other children, it simply means that they may be better at something – to say that all children are gifted just simply isn’t true. Here you can read about Gardner’s ‘Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ which looks at the different domains in which children can be considered to be gifted. However, children must be in at least the top 10% in either potential or achievement of any given area to be considered to be gifted or talented. But what is the difference between a child who is gifted and a child who is talented? In its simplest form the term gifted refers to the exceptional ability of a person, whilst the term talented refers to the achievement of an individual. As such, it is possible to develop talent; talent is often demonstrated as a result of a child’s opportunities and learning experiences. Giftedness is an inate part of an individual – it cannot be ‘trained’ into a child through practice. If you would like to read more about the difference between giftedness and talent then it is worth reading this article which describes Gagne’s ‘Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent’.

Even professionals in the field struggle to agree on what percentage of the population should be considered to be gifted, but here the National Association for Gifted Children does a good job of explaining the intricacies involved in differentiating what giftedness actually means.

Here you can find out more about what giftedness is, and also read about characteristics that are commonly found in gifted children.

Check out this link to find out more about common misconceptions about gifted children.

A presentation outlining what a gifted child may look like. And a comprehensive webinar presentation provided by the Gifted Kids in Ireland offering a wealth of information on gifted children.

This link will take you to a short video where a group of mums discuss gifted children and what they may look like, and what to do next. Do bear in mind that this video is American so not all of the comments relating to education are necessarily relevant to Western Australia.

 

Two short videos by Doreen Woolley about gifted kids:

 

Wisdom begins with wonder.   ~ Socrates