How do you know if your child is gifted? Some schools have different programs and screening tests to see if a child has the characteristics and traits of “giftedness.” The Association for Bright Children of Ontario states “Giftedness can occur across all demographics and in combination with physical impairments and communication or behaviour disorders.” What are some clues to help a parent determine if their child might benefit from gifted programs?
Below are the characteristics child development experts have defined as indications a child may be gifted:
- Highly developed vocabulary and the ability to learn new words easily.
- A tendency to speak quickly.
- Early use of longer, more complex sentences with appropriate grammar.
- Early reading, if given some instruction and opportunity. Many gifted children have learned how to read before entering school.
- Frequently asks questions about what they see and hear; wanting to receive thorough responses and explanations.
- An ability to understand and participate in adult conversations.
- An ability to pick up new ideas and skills, with little effort.
- A tendency to become highly focused on certain areas of interest (e.g., bugs, space, animals) and independently seek information on these topics.
- Asks questions that show advanced insight or understanding.
- Excellent memory and easy recall of what they previously heard, saw, or learned.
- A tendency to read often independently; often prefers reading to more physical activities.
- Little need for instruction or directions when beginning a new activity, learning a new game, or acquiring a new skill. The child may also insist on doing things on his/her own, or in their own way.
- Pleasure in talking to older children and adults about topics that interest them.
- An understanding of their own thinking and learning processes. The child may have preferred ways of learning and can sense how much effort is necessary to master a skill.
- Enjoys problem-solving and making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts.
- An ability to concentrate on a point of interest for a long period of time, but shifts attention when the current topic seems unchallenging or uninteresting.
- Views learning activities as fun and enjoys discovering new interests and grasping new concepts.
Emotional or Behavioural Traits
- A tendency to think and talk quickly.
- Strong leadership qualities.
- An ability to relate to older kids and adults.
- Enjoyment of alone time.
- Appreciation for natural beauty and art.
The giftedness of a child does not solely rely on these characteristics; every child has a different set of unique attributes, and there are different types of giftedness traits. York Region Psychological Services can perform gifted assessments to help you determine how to guide your child as they grow and learn. Please call us at (416) 602-3230 for an appointment.