12 signs of a gifted child
How to identify a gifted child can be a difficult process, Many parents are scared to dare think their child has a talent above the norm and may find other parents and teachers may not believe them thinking they are just overly proud of their child. The truth is that most schools are not equipped to deal with gifted children as they are fewer and further between than the average child and since they learn what they need to easily the teacher ignores them to concentrate on the less gifted ones.
Using these 12 points you can gain some insight into your child’s potential genius. Generally a young child who shows many of the following traits is likely to be gifted, however other less gifted children may show some of these traits and a gifted child will very rarely show all traits. While this guide is written for young children many of the points can also apply to older children.
1. Advanced Development
A young gifted child frequently achieves certain milestones such as first speech and walking much earlier than other children. They may also have a greater vocabulary than other children of the same age and love to define words, read books and can often be self taught readers at pre-school and kindergarten.
2. Early Intellectual Talent
Gifted young children can have a very good memory and can learn simple math, science and social studies concepts eagerly. They may also grasp onto a particular topic (Space and planets for example) and have an amazing understanding of the subject! They can also simply have a wide interest in everything and a thirst to learn all they can moving from one area to another very quickly.
3. A Thirst for Knowledge
Gifted children often have a drive to learn and a ‘thirst for knowledge’. Without having any particular agenda children often want to discover and learn for the sake of discovering like a true scientist or philosopher. They may study everything or pull toys and devices apart to see what makes them work. Or may be overly interested in simple things then discard them quickly looking for a new learning challenge.
4. High Level of Activity
Unlike hyperactivity which can often have no focus just amazing amounts of energy a gifted child can often be very active and have a reduced need for sleep as they divert this energy to a purpose. Also, unlike hyperactivity a gifted child may have a long attention span when they find something of particular interest.
A gifted child may have a great ability to read more into situations and the future than their peers. Because of this they may seem to hold back in new situations as they work out the implications and possibly worry about the possibility of failure. While this may make them appear shy or slow a gifted child can show their true ability by answering questions brilliantly or excelling at the task given.
Some young gifted children can be very sensitive, general anger or criticism is taken personally; they suffer along with the starving children on TV, the injured animal, etc. and when overloaded with impressions, may become introverted and withdrawn.
7. Uneven Development
Some children are gifted in a narrow field while others have a more ‘all round’ aptitude; however there is often a large gap between their mental, social, physical and emotional development. This can lead to frustration and confusion on the child’s behalf as their advanced mind may be trying to grapple with concepts they are not emotionally advanced to deal with. Examples may be over concerned with death, the future or sex. Also their manual dexterity may lag behind what they are trying to achieve in a task.
8. Can Distinguish Between Reality and Fantasy Early
This may lead to discussions on, and the acceptance of, the inevitability of death; the frequent need to analyze stories to see which parts "really could happen" and awkward questions about Santa and the tooth-fairy!
9. Early Insight Into Social and Moral Issues
Some gifted children have a highly developed social conscience and can become worried about war, pollution, injustice and violence. They can often see through adult hypocrisy and can become angry and scared when they see that adults are inconsistent and unreasonable.
10. Greater Reasoning Power and Manipulation
A young gifted child tends to use their verbal ability rather than actions when communicating, this means you can often reason with a gifted child from a young age. This ability with their greater logical prowess and understanding of relationships can sometimes lead them to understand the benefits of dishonest behavior such as lying, stealing and cheating. Being able to manipulate adults can be a very disturbing feeling for a child however who needs a parent’s security.
A great number of gifted children can be seen as “odd” or unconventional and learn in different ways. Strictly organizing a child like this can hamper their development as they need some time to do their own thing to bring forth their creativity.
12. The Importance of Adults
Gifted children may not be interested in very structured activities or meeting other's standards, often preferring to develop their own projects. Despite this, adult guidance is very important - to help them determine in which situation it is necessary to conform and when it is O.K. to be "different", to put realistic limits on an often overambitious project, to lend a hand when manual dexterity doesn't meet mental visions and to avoid self-criticism becoming destructive. Help may be needed to set realistic standards.
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Lisa Bean from Nevada on January 20, 2019:
Lots of good info here! My son has recently tested into a gifted program at school and I'm so happy they're challenging him and getting him into things he's been interested in for a while.
Johnb359 on September 27, 2014:
I really enjoy the article post. Cool. efeecfdaeakg
aajdroberts on November 07, 2013:
I am very curious as to whether or not there is anywhere to find advice on how to reel my child back in. He has been showing signs of highly exceeded advancement since he was around 11 mos old. He is now 9 and I fear the public school system has ruined him (as far as his self esteem is concerned). Both my husband and I have been recognized as advanced from an early age, but I feel that our son is exponentially advanced in comparison (as adults). His teachers think I am crazy, we live in a small church town, and now I am coming to the realization that my 15 mo old daughter is also highly advanced. I understand the implications of my claims, as far as the school is concerned, but I need some back up! He is a true to form engineering genius, and engineering is his passion; but I need help in re-affirming the thought in his own head- the biggest obstacle being the fact that he is so much more advanced than my husband and I combined. It feels as if he has unwittingly manipulated himself into Imposter Syndrome (as I did willingly). It took Adderall to "realign" myself, but it's not too late for him.
Esmenay on March 27, 2013:
Please help I was reading a comment about how bad these person feels because the way that society look at him or her. I'm looking for help because my boy is 6 he can speak 3 languages read 2, love to read and I got exuding expectation on his report card but his feeling are getting affected by his class mates. My son said they are jealous some times call him not cool, stupid kid, etc. the problem is that is hurting him in his auto-steam a lot. To the point that he said he doesn't want to be smart :( I feel lost I want to help but I have ask for help in school but they seem to see him as a problem instead of help him out :( please help me if some body knows a way to get him diagnostic or an institution that can help tell me
cleansweeping on March 26, 2013:
Nice compilation! I am a gifted teacher. Love to see others spreading the knowledge!
hengster (author) on February 08, 2013:
@Pong_tan17: The walls you have built around yourself due to your upbringing and societies seemingly uncaring attitude will certainly make things hard for you.
A quest for acceptance is also going to make you dull your abilities because people do not accept genius easily due to jelousy, ignorance, or misunderstanding.
Too many talented people discard their gifts to fit in. some are happier there - but those who abandon those chains of acceptance of societal norm will usually flourish most and gain acceptance in a diffeent place, time, and field.
Pong_tan17 on February 07, 2013:
Hi! Great article, i'd love to see more of your works; hope you'll write something as good as this one. In my opinion, society has changed a lot, even a child of today doesn't show any interest in some areas in Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Art and even Music. They've shown no interest, and parents aren't willing enough to further develop their child's potential. I have lived long enough with these special abilities. No one would even care to see my achievement so far. My dad thinks that i'm a lunatic, crazy, and even wouldn't mind to bother my special abilities. This have changed the way I behave socially and mentally, it derives me to do things that are violent enough only to gain much attention from my love ones. Before when I was a child, no one took notice on my drawings. I can sketch things, animals and even buildings. When I was three, I build a skyscraper made out of Legos. I even read college level encyclopedia's at the age of nine. I know I have potential to succeed with these special kind of abilities, however, society has changed everything I wanted to be. Acceptance is all what I needed for, but its hard to gain some recognition w/ such unacceptable manner. I need some help from you? I don't know how will I ever achieve those unreachable goals if my emotions are affecting my daily progress. Does society really affected my progress? Does it mean that im gifted with those compiling evidences I'd mentioned above? Why i'm so confused right now? I'd love to hear your opinion.
krupa791 on January 31, 2013:
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pattyoneill on January 04, 2013:
Great lens; it's also interesting to consider how necessary proper relaxation and "decompression", so to speak, is to advanced cognitive development. I saw a recent blog post describing how recess is just as important a component to a child's intellectual success as his or her studies.
Esmenay on November 15, 2012:
@Iammelvin: Hi I would like to know if is a place were they can be diagnostic my son has all the signs but I would like to know if is a place to get diagnostic?
Anna2of5 on April 30, 2012:
Hi there. Just read your lense and liked what i read. One variation on this is the mysterious 2-E student. We thrive on learning and have a lot of the gifted traits, but also have some learning difficulties or Disabilities, as well. It makes finding these people (often girls/women) because we can blend in. Thereby negating some of the gift while still struggling with the disability(s). Sometimes boy and girls get so used to failing that they don't even know they are gifted. especially if they are Visual Spacial learners (term coined by Linda Silverman).
I hope this info. helps. :)
Sincerely, Anna2of 5
margaux-jones on April 21, 2012:
I found www.ismypreschoolergifted.com had a lot of good info- such as side by side comparisons of developmental milestones of gifted versus "normal" kids. Resources for parents of gifted kids. They also have some interesting videos too.
markettrol on November 04, 2011:
Great lens!!!! Parents of gifted children must learn how to parent them and how best to help them!!!
hengster (author) on July 11, 2011:
@sandralynnsparks: Hi Sandra - I added an image to spruce the page up! Thanks for the support.
outsource123 on December 06, 2010:
Great lense guys!
anonymous on September 03, 2010:
Great lens... very informative. Thanks for the good read.
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Iammelvin on February 20, 2010:
Only 3 signs are persistent
1) early development at different stage
2) active mind in early age (not being a lazy mind)
3) great memory
verbal skill is important, the tricky part is when a child living in an environment of 3 languages (at least 3) it complicates the "pick up" of verbal skills. In addition, verbal skill can be compromised by situation when there is no much language stimulus in a very young age (experiment, compare a child only observe silent movie up till 3 y to a child where constant verbal stimulus is available to him)
sandralynnsparks on September 15, 2009:
A good list. Please do add an image, so it will not look unfinished; but overall a good lens,and thank you for it! I have featured it on my lens on bullying gifted children.
anonymous on June 12, 2009:
Very useful information. I just read it all a second time to pick my favorite part.
However - it's all excellent. Well done. I suggest adding a few more modules when you find time.