How do I know if I have a gifted child or children?

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Answered by: Nycole, An Expert in the Gifted Children Category
Determining if you have a gifted child or children can seem like a daunting task. We all want to believe that our children are special and that desire to believe the best of our children may lead many parents to believe they have a biased opinion. However, the opposite is all to often more accurate. Most parents tend to be skeptical of their own child/ children's abilities and therefore judge them more harshly than an outsider would.



I would suggest that you, as a parent, take a moment to consider your child and see if they are displaying the signs of a gifted child. A gifted child or children will be able to learn and incorporate new ideas more quickly than his/ her peers. Typically speaking a gifted child can learn new information in one to two repetitions where an average student needs 10-15 repetitions to learn the same information. As a result, if your child is picking up new information quickly and seems to be absorbing things then he is probably gifted.

This is because gifted children's brains actually fire more synapsis than the average brain. Since more synapsis are firing they are more acutely aware of the world around them. This makes it easier for them to comprehend and observe the world and how it functions around them. Often these observations will lead a gifted child to understand concepts and to pick up on larger vocabulary at an early age. Gifted children also tend to read at an earlier age than their peers and often seem to know or grasp concepts that they haven't been taught.



However, this does not mean that gifted children don't struggle. A gifted child may be gifted one area and acutely deficient in another. Also, gifted children can be accelerated academically and deficient socially. Since they are so advanced in their speech and intellectual understanding it can often be difficult for gifted children to find playmates who understand them. This can cause the gifted child to appear socially inept. Many times gifted children are misdiagnosed with ADD or autism as a result of their giftedness.

However, you as a parent are your child's biggest advocate and will always know your child better than any provider. If you are researching this then it is likely that you have an inclination that your child might be gifted. It is interesting to note that giftedness typically runs within families. Think back to your own childhood or perhaps your siblings, or your child's siblings and take note if any of these individuals seemed smarter or more advanced than fellow classmates. This may give you a better idea of weather or not your child is gifted.

Either way, I would suggest that you contact the national advanced learner or national gifted child resource pages. You can also contact your local gifted and talented teachers. These are often located within your local school district. After talking with them you can have your child screened for giftedness. Remember that if you have concerns or questions these can only be addressed with information and knowledge. Regardless of weather your child is gifted or not knowing and understanding your child and his learning style and skills will make it easier for you to parent and to educate your child.

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