Do You Have a Gifted Child?

A Checklist of Characteristics for Giftedness

While many schools and educational professionals are trained to identify gifted children, here is an easy way for parents to get a first glance at their child’s potential

Some parents choose not to know the gender of their baby before birth, and some want to know what color to paint the nursery. In the same way, some parents don’t want to know if their child is gifted and all that goes with it for fear of labeling or having greater expectations placed on their son or daughter. Despite that, parents of gifted children pretty much always know that something is different about their child, and this is where this giftedness inventory can help parents take a few first steps into the world of gifted education.

Why Do Schools Test for Giftedness?

Generally speaking, the one major reason a school would screen students for giftedness is to provide those children with a different kind of educational program that would best meet their needs. In the same light, parents could want to know about their child’s giftedness so they could get as much support in place as they can. In many cases, raising a gifted child is not an easy task, so the sooner the identification can be made, the sooner the parents can get to work. It is especially important to focus on gifted children in their early years as this is when a great deal of cognitive growth occurs, and when the children are forming their self-images about themselves. It is during this period when children decide if being gifted is okay for them if it’s really bad, or somewhere in between.

The school district or private educational professionals are the experts at identifying a gifted child after administering the appropriate investigations, including intelligence tests and teacher testimonials.

How Can Parents Tell If Their Child Is Gifted?

There are some anecdotal kinds of observations that can be made by parents to see if they might want to move ahead with testing sooner than the school’s efforts. These are offered only as general thoughts and are not accurate for children of all ages. So, you might have a bright and talented or gifted child if he or she:

  1. Reads at an early age, often before five
  2. Gets along well with adults or older children
  3. Has a wild imagination
  4. Has strong opinions
  5. Has a very good memory for details
  6. Is very curious
  7. Is critical of himself or herself
  8. Asks a lot of questions
  9. Sees himself or herself as “different” from the other kids
  10. Can plan ahead
  11. Does not always respond well to external motivation
  12. Becomes uninterested when things slow down
  13. Can be critical of self and others
  14. Exhibits uneven, or asynchronous, development of his or her emotional, social, physical and academic levels
  15. Understands adult jokes and stories
  16. Makes good guesses at things
  17. Has a well-developed sense of right and wrong
  18. Likes to learn for the sake of learning
  19. Might be experiencing discipline issues at school; especially at staying focused
  20. Has a well-developed vocabulary

If your child exhibits some or several of these characteristics, you might want to consider taking the next step with testing to identify if your child is gifted.