The definition for gifted children given by National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is
Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude i.e. an exceptional ability to reason and learn or an exceptional level of competence in documented performance or achievement in top 10 percent or rarer in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g. mathematics, music, language or set of skills like painting, dance, sports.
An example would be young Richard, who at the age of four was capable of doing mental arithmetic problems and who was also a formidable composer and chess player. Another would be Oliver who when tested, had an IQ of 140 and a vast knowledge of geographical facts. For more examples you might want to check out the site SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
Normally parents, family and teachers observe these traits in young children. Once identified the parent or teacher might want to enhance these skills by giving the children opportunities to learn new things by providing the required learning material and also allowing them to study under the tutelage of gifted tutors. These children need challenges in order to further hone their skills so be sure to provide them with a harmonious mix of things to do; some activities which they find enjoyable and some which are not so easy.
Some of the signs of gifted children are:
1. Learns rapidly, easily and efficiently.
2. Has an exceptionally large vocabulary and understanding for their age.
3. Demonstrates a high and an unusual reasoning power.
4. Solves problems by own devised methods.
5. Curious and interested in science or literature.
6. All thoughts whether written or oral are unique.
7. Has a very strong memory and normally will not recite or memorise.
8. Will be more self-disciplined.
9. Will like to be organized and structured.
10. Will ask a lot of questions with great interest and curiosity.Also will answer questions with unusual answers.
11. Would explore unusual ideas and themes.
12. Tends to be over confident and dominating at times.
13.Common sense is displayed most often.
Parents of gifted children need to be aware of certain things such as:
1. Your child will be an expert in one but not in all.
2. Never show off your child in front of other’s as this would lead to boasting and a dominating spirit in the child.
3.Remember to be considerate because most of the time you are dealing with a child who has an IQ above his peers.
4. Keep in mind that they are still your children who need your love, support and deserve a normal life, just like other children their age.
So if you have a gifted child encourage them to enhance their inherent abilities. There is no structured way to deal with gifted children, you will have to explore different avenues to expand their abilities.
Please read our other article Memory Power for children.
To find out more you might want to check out the following books:
The Drama of a Gifted Child by Alice Miller- Purchase from Amazon
Awaken the Genius in Your Child: A Practical Guide for Parents by Shakuntala Devi – Purchase from Amazon
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children by James T. Webb et. al. – Purchase from Amazon
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