Identifying a Gifted or Talented Child.
‘Gifted’ characteristics can be observed either by a parent, a teacher or even a friend or anyone close to a child. Exceptional skills or advanced vocabulary and learning abilities cannot escape the ones close to a gifted child. Researches on giftedness indicate that the best way to identify giftedness in your child is by carefully observing his behavior, not by formal testing of IQ especially if the child is very young. Most of the indicators of giftedness become evident even before a child turns one!
Identifying a Gifted or Talented Infants, Babies and Child
On further testing, an IQ score of over 130 points can confirm the basic observations.
- 100 to 114 – upper normal
- 130 to 144 – gifted
- 145 to 159 – highly gifted
- 160 and above – profoundly gifted
Most school systems are thus able to classify 10 to 15% or more of its student population as gifted or talented. But the cream will fall into the top 2 to 5%. The connection between high intelligence and gifted behavior is far from absolute. Many creative and gifted children don’t necessarily score high IQs because certain ‘intelligences’ do not test well on standardized IQ examinations.
A gifted child demonstrates unique and clever behavior long before a school acknowledges it. Though, parents-especially new parents with little experience-may not recognize the special talents of their child until a standardized test or a teacher evaluation identifies those talents.
Some parents may suspect that something is different about their child, but they shy away from the subject. Most gifted children display a higher rate of concentration and memory capacity. There is no typical gifted child, for particular talents and social environments give rise to varying personality patterns. Achievement patterns also vary.
The gifted mathematician may be an average reader, the gifted artist may be poor in mathematic and the early reader may lack the ability to organize time and materials. Gifted traits can be recognized in infants. It is difficult to know if your baby has intellectual gifts.
Characteristics of Giftedness in Infants :
- Extremely alert — always looking around
- Interest in books (turning pages of books before 1 year of age and paying attention when read to within 6 months)
- Unusually active and high levels of energy (but not hyperactive)
- Playing with shape sorters by about 11 months.
- Ability to form two word phrases by 14 months
- Ability to understand instructions by 18 months
- Ability to say and understand many words before 18 months
Characteristics of Giftedness in 1-2 years old baby :
- Could stay still and enjoy a TV programs (e.g., Sesame Street) by the age of 1
- Has favorite TV shows/VCD/DVDs by age 1
- Appears to require less sleep (yet not sleepy or irritable due to lack of sleep)
- Recognition of letters/alphabets by age 2
- Recognition and rote counting of numbers 1 â€“ 10 or higher by age 2
- Recognition of colors by age 2
- Recognition of first word by age 2
- Interest in puzzles by age 2
- Has long attention span in interest areas by age 2
- Ability to form at least 3 word sentence by age 2
- Interest in time by age 2
Characteristics of Giftedness and Talented Child
- Ahead of the game : Is your child always one step ahead of the game? If he or she does everything early and meets developmental milestones before his peers, then your child might be a genius. Gifted infants usually crawl, walk, sit, smile, and talk much earlier compared to other infants. They also have better motor skills.
- Problem-solving skills : Is your child good at problem-solving? Gifted infants usually show off their originality and creativity by tackling challenges in surprising ways, such as through pretend play, sign language, or tools (for example, scooping a thing out of a narrow-necked container using a spoon). Your child may also have gifted traits if he or she demonstrates an exceptional ability to concentrate and focus.
- Making connections : Does your baby make connections? If he or she does, chances are your child is gifted. Babies with unusually bright minds can apply previously learned knowledge to many situations. For instance, your child might point to the TV at a friendâ€™s house when he or she wants to see something moving on the idiot box, even if it has different size and color than the one you have at home.
- Perception to stimuli : Is your child particularly perceptive? Gifted infants usually notice changes in their surroundings (a change in the color of window curtain or new appliances), your appearance (a different make-up or new haircut), and your mood (why is Mommy sad?).
- Gifted babies want mental stimulation : They usually get fussy when they donâ€™t get the stimulation they want. You can tell if your baby is getting upset from a lack of stimulation if he or she suddenly stops crying and fussing when you turn him or her around to face a different direction or give something different to look at.
- Other signs : Here are some other signs to look for if you suspect you have a gifted child: mimics sounds earlier than other infants, extremely alert, and tend to be extraordinarily sensitive to smells, sounds, tastes, and textures, tastes. Your child may also cry loudly in response to strong or unpleasant senses.
Different children develop their skills at different speed, unfortunately, the late bloomers are usually at risk of being neglected. Therefore, the guidelines given on characteristics of gifted children serve as a useful indicator, but again, there will always be exceptions to the case.
Children, all children, are deserving of the best that we can give them. For the gifted child, this means identification of their needs and then adapting and modifying both our parenting style and the educational environment so that each child can grow and blossom. The lack of understanding and the lack of priority given by our society to these persons foster a climate in which the emotional needs of gifted children are neglected.
Gifted and talented children are, in fact, deprived and can suffer psychological damage and permanent impairment of their abilities to function well. To do otherwise not only robs the child of his birthright, intellectual giftedness, but in the extreme is cruel and unusual punishment. The child did not ask to be intellectually gifted. It’s time our society stopped punishing him for having significantly different needs, emotional, social, and intellectual, as a result of having a significantly higher IQ.