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How do I know if my child is gifted?

How do I know if my Child is gifted

As you watch your child grow, you notice milestones being hit before the other toddlers in the play group. As time goes on, the evidence is mounting: you’ve got one smart kiddo on your hands, and you begin to wonder, “How do I know if my child is gifted?”

When you begin searching for an informal answer to this question, you may find lists of hallmark characteristics that parents, psychologists, and educators look for in children that often point to giftedness, such as:

  • High level of focus compared to peers, particularly in an area of interest
  • Self-motivation to learn
  • Reading before age five, especially when self-taught
  • Making associations between seemingly unconnected things (big-picture thinking)
  • Exceptional ability in a one or more areas, such as art or science 
  • Extensive vocabulary 
  • Keen sense of humor 
  • Advanced problem-solving (can find many and often-creative solutions to a single problem)
  • Heightened sense of justice and ethics
  • Sensitivity, both emotionally and physically (e.g., a tag on a shirt makes them extremely uncomfortable)

To Test or Not to Test: That Is the Question

gifted testing

The question “How do I know if my child is gifted?” is often immediately followed up by well-meaning people insisting, “Get them tested!” Indeed, that might be the best course of action for many families, but we know that it isn’t an option for everyone. And like every choice, it has its pros and cons. 

Pros of Testing

  • Testing can identify specific areas of giftedness.
  • The results can serve as a baseline for future comparison.
  • Testing identifies areas where there may be deficits (twice-exceptionality).
  • A professional diagnosis can be used in schools to advocate for specialized education.

Cons of Testing

  • It can be costly.
  • If a child does not technically qualify as gifted, some parents may stop seeking additional resources to challenge their bright child.
  • If a child is identified as gifted, it can be a label that some peers, parents, and educators resent because of the stigma it carries in some circles. 
  • Adults may fail to offer additional assistance to a child whom they believe doesn’t need help because of an advanced intellect.  

gifted student

Raising an Intellectual, Regardless of Labels

At Royal Fireworks, we know that, whether or not students have been tested and identified as gifted, an education crafted for gifted students helps them thrive. Bright, curious, and discerning kids deserve to learn in ways that stretch their minds. Boredom is a killer of intellectual advancement, and we want kids to grow more capable and intelligent every day. So whether or not your child has been tested, we recommend that students who are bright be given a gifted education. 

Parents of bright and gifted kids should:

  • Seek out educators and curricula that specialize in gifted children.
  • Find areas of interest for their children, and support the children in exploring these areas in depth.
  • Be on the lookout for underachievement due to boredom or perfectionism.
  • Check in frequently with their children concerning their educational experiences, and continue to look for ways to challenge them.

Gifted and intellectually bright kids are the leaders of tomorrow. Giving them the tools they need to succeed today will help them become the best versions of themselves, setting them up for a lifetime of intellectual curiosity, exploration, and achievement!

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