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Kathy Marshack News

How Do You Know if Your Child is Gifted and Why It Matters

Monday, February 29, 2016


Gifted children are fundamentally different and they need their parents and teachers help to learn social and self-development skills to relate to others.Every parent should think their child is special, because they are all special. But are they all gifted? The definition of gifted is: “someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression.” So how do you know if your child is gifted?

One way to identify giftedness is to have your child’s IQ scored. An IQ over 130 is usually an indication of superior intelligence or giftedness. But a person doesn’t have to have a high IQ to be gifted in a creative sense.

Observations by parents and teachers are an important factor in identifying gifted children. The following typical intellectual characteristics are things you can look for:

  • Unusually large vocabularies for their age
  • Ability to read earlier than most children, often before entering school
  • Greater comprehension of the subtleties of language
  • Longer attention span, persistence and intense concentration
  • Ability to learn basic skills more quickly and with less practice
  • Wide range of interests
  • Highly developed curiosity and a limitless supply of questions
  • Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
  • Tendency to put ideas of thing together in ways that are unusual and not obvious (divergent thinking)
  • Ability to retain a great deal of information
  • Unusual sense of humor

After identifying your child as gifted, it’s critical that you educate yourself. Gifted children are fundamentally different and they need their parents and teachers help to learn the social, interpersonal and self-development skills to relate to the rest of humanity. Take specific steps to help your gifted child become positively motivated, to encourage desirable behaviors and to help them develop a good self-concept.

By doing this, you can understand and perhaps even avoid some common problems gifted children commonly face such as a lack of motivation, boredom, perfectionism, cynicism and even depression. Encourage, nurture, stimulate, and challenge your child. Give him or her freedom to experience the natural consequences of their behaviors. In this way you will help them to know, trust and value themselves.

To get a thorough and realistic appraisal of your child’s potential, parents may decide to have an individual intellectual and achievement evaluation by a qualified psychologist. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my office and schedule an appointment, and I’d be happy to administer the evaluation.



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