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Signs Your Child Is Gifted


Signs Your Child Is Gifted

"Is my child gifted?" Parents often wonder at one point or another whether their child is gifted. Here we’ve rounded up some basics on identifying giftedness in children.

What does "gifted" mean?

The term “giftedness” is used by different schools, organizations and cultures in different ways, with some using the term strictly to indicate people with well-above average intelligence as measured by IQ scores; others embrace a broader range of criteria. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), offers the following definition:

Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains.  Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports) 

20 Common Signs of Giftedness 

While IQ tests and other assessments can help identify giftedness in school-age children, kids are also commonly identified as gifted by the observations of families, teachers, and friends. Below are some of the many characteristics that gifted children often exhibit, adapted from X. Note: no one gifted child exhibits all the traits. For an even more complete checklist, see X

  1. Has early interest in words and reading
  2. Has exceptionally large vocabulary for their age
  3. Learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
  4. Is curious about objects or situations, asks provocative questions; enjoys exploratory activities
  5. Has an unusually strong memory, but is bored with memorization and recitation
  6. Is flexible in thinking patterns; makes unusual associations between remote ideas 
  7. Is independent
  8. Has a wide range of interests
  9. Demonstrates unusual reasoning power
  10. Likes structure, order and consistency
  11. Show unusual degrees of originality, concentration and persistent hard work on projects that capture their interest and imagination
  12. Is perceptually open to his or her environment
  13. Has an advanced sense of humor
  14. Is sensitive to feelings of others
  15. Shows more interest in creative effort and new activities than in routine and repetitive tasks
  16. Shows an intense interest and aptitude in an artistic activity, such as drawing, singing, dancing, writing, or playing a musical instrument
  17. Is intellectually playful, interested in fantasy, imagination 
  18. Acts as a leader among children of their own age
  19. Tries to excel in almost everything she does
  20. Senses when problems exist; always trying to adapt or improve things

Image Source: Wellsprings CS via Flickr/Creative Commons

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