Since it is widely agreed upon in the educational and child development communities that early recognition of the characteristics of a gifted child, is a key factory in successfully developing the child, it is important for the parent to have at least a general understanding of these gifted characteristics.
First of all, in order to be classified as a gifted child, the child must have the ability to perform at a level that is significantly beyond other children of like age. O.K. So, for a parent, what might this look like or what should I look for in my child?
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The following are some guidelines to help your awareness when it comes to recognizing the characteristics of a gifted child. Keep in mind that there are varying levels of giftedness, as you view the guidelines.
Cognitive Skills (thinking or though processing)
Ability to master new skills with extraordinary speed.
A deeper knowledge than other children the same age.
Extraordinary memory and recall of events, facts, and/or figures.
Advanced creativity and ability to improvise.
Acute alertness to their surroundings.
Advanced or more complex sense of humor.
Great and constant curiosity along with high level of motivation to learn.
As a result of the previous, being bored easily if not challenged
Advanced ability to stay focused or lengthy attention span. Even with more difficult topics.
Advance organizational or planning skills.
Advance logic and problem-solving skills.
Speech and Language
Well-developed word vocabulary and language compared to children of the same age.
Creative uses of words and sentence structure and again, sense of humor.
Ability to adapt their use of the language to a given level to fit the situation.
Ability to understand and carry out complex instructions.
General advanced ability in reading, writing, and working with numbers.
Sensitivity to other’s feelings
Use of their advance language skills to resolve conflict or debate.
Organize and direct behavior of other children (may seem bossy to other children).
Many times, will feel more ‘at home’ with older children.
May have high expectations of themselves (and others) that can lead to frustration and even anger.
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A generally high aptitude for logical problems, games, puzzles, or any type of problem solving or activity that requires creative thinking and reaction.
Final Note: Although these characteristics of a gifted child may provide you with some initial insight and understanding, it is important to seek a formal assessment of your child in this area if you feel that your child exhibits several of these characteristics.