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DEPARTMENTS   »   Curriculum and Instruction Support   »   Gifted and Talented   »   Special Topics   »   Is My Child Gifted?

Is My Child Gifted

All children are special and have their own areas of strength. However, some children have unusually advanced abilities that require special adjustments at home and school to help them grow and learn. As you watch your child grow and develop, you may notice skills or characteristics that are quite different from those of other children the same age. For example, your child may,

  • Be very curious arid observant
  • Use adult-sounding words and reasoning
  • Think of many unusual ideas
  • Recognize complex patterns or relationships
  • Come to surprising solutions to problems
  • Show a strong memory
  • Ask unusual questions
  • Demonstrate advanced talent in a certain area (such as mathematics, science, writing,  art, music, or drama)
  • Learn letters or numbers early and read before being formally taught

Children can show giftedness in a a variety of ways, arid often  parents are the first to notice special abilities. If you are seeirlg a number of these behaviors in your childrenl, it mignt be a signal that their development is somewhat advanced.

Family members play an important role in providing learning experiences for children. You can recognize and build on the strengths and talents you witness in your children. Encourage your children's curiousity and creativity. Help your children find activities they love. Give your children opporturlities to take healthy risks as they explore tne wonder around them. Like all children, young gifted children need to become comfortable with trying new things and learning from mistakes. When your child has mastered one activity, present an opportunity for new challenges. Recognize that your child may be ready for experierlces earlier than other children, and that his or her questions and interests may surprise and challenge you. Educate yourself about gifted children and about learning opportunities for tnem in your community.  There may be times when you wish  to consult with your family pnysician or a psycologist who has experience working witn gifted children.

 

You know your child better than anyone else, and that makes you your child's best advocate.  Gifted learners benefit when parents and schools work in partnership to recognize and respond to children's advanced learning needs.  Consult with your child's teacher to learn more about what is happening in the classroom and to share observations about your child's strengths and interests.  There may be gifted programs, gifted specialists, or other resources in your school or district to help you and your child.  Many options exist for gifted children, including enrichment pull-out classes, cluster grouping, subject or grade skipping, independent studies, and summer or weekend gifted programs.  You and the school can work together to determine the best program to meet your child's needs.  Learn about parent advocacy and advisory groups in your district and how you can get involved. 

 

Some school districts are very responsive to  the needs of gifted children, while others are not.  It is important to be respectful and patient, but equally important to persevere and be determined.Some gifted children may show strengths across all academic areas and continue to excel throughout school.  Other gifted children may excel in one area, but be average or even below average in another area.  Still other gifted children may start by showing high achievement across all areas, but later demonstrate high ability only in one or two areas.  It is not uncommon for gifted children to show an uneven pattern of performance.  However, if a child is significantly struggling in an area, consult with school professionals about the possibility of a learning disability.  A trained psychologist and school personnel can work together to develop an educational plan that will respond to both giftedness and the learning disability.

Gifted children are children first, and like all children may sometimes misbehave.  Although giftedness itself doesn't cause behavior problems, some of the special characteristics of giftedness may affect behavior.  For example, gifted children are often intense and strong-willed.  Some gifted children are overly perfectionism and impatient with themselves and others.  Gifted children may also sound so adult-like that parents sometimes expect behavior beyond their children's level of maturity.  In school, gifted children may sometimes act out because they are not being academically challenged.




You should visit the websites of two national organizations for premier resources and information about gifted children and the supports they need at home and at school. The Internet also provides ready access to information about giftedness and is often the  best first step in finding the  information you need to guide your child. You can also contact your state department of education and your state's gifted education  association for information about your state's policies and resources to support gifted children.


National Association for Gifted Children

1707 L St., NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 785 4268
Email: nagc@nagc.org
Web: www.nagc.org

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
P.O. Box 488
Poughquag, NY 12570
Phone: 845 226 4660
Email: office@sengifted.org
Web: www.senglfted.org