You can detect gifted children if you know the characteristics and symptoms they show normally, whether they are 3, 5 years old or they are teenagers. In this article I will show you the most important signs and keys that you have to observe.
François Gage, Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Montréal explains: ” gifted children are those students whose potential differ from the average in one or more of the domains they follow: intellectual, creative, social, and physical ability.”
For Gage the key word is potential. It gives more importance to environmental factors than to innate intelligence; a child needs to be stimulated so that he can reach his or her potential.
Put another way, without proper stimulation by your environment, innate intelligence may not develop.
9 Characteristics of gifted children
If you suspect your child can be gifted, it is important that you are informed so that you can detect it as soon as possible. These keys can help you in the process:
The best way to recognize gifted children is through observation by teachers and, above all, parents. They should be alert to any sign that seems unusual.
If we fail to identify gifted children we can run two risks:
- First, make the child feel socially maladaptive because they feel different from other children and do not understand why.
For example, Java is an 8 year old boy who enjoys reading about the universe in his spare time.
When several families get together with other children of his age, Java tries to play with them but after a while he gets bored and goes where the parents are.
He eventually chooses to stay with them by trying to engage in some conversation or just listening.
This example shows typical behavior of a gifted child.
What we see happening with children like Java is that other children his age see him as the strange child and so they let him know. This makes them feel that they are strange and different from others, which negatively impacts their self-esteem.
- The second mistake we make when we do not identify gifted children is to lose the special abilities that a child with these characteristics can bring to society.
It should be clear that a gifted child does not project it on school scores or test scores.
Therefore, it is not a relevant factor to take into account when it comes to recognizing a gifted child. You have to have a look that goes beyond academic results.
What can parents do to empower and take advantage of their abilities?
- Focus on reading
- Play games like Scrabble, Rummikub, and Boggle…
- Assign personal tutors
2.Look at language skills
While most children develop the ability to articulate phrases and understand complex language over the two years, gifted children usually develop it at an earlier age.
The characteristics of the language to take into account when identifying a child is gifted are the following:
- A high vocabulary development as well as greater ability to learn new words.
- Tendency to talk fast.
- They learn to read at an earlier age than children their own age. A large number of gifted children learn to read before they even begin school.
- They continually ask why they see and what they hear waiting for a response or an explanation.
- They have the ability to adapt their language depending on the situation in which they are. For example, they are able to speak in a more complex and organized way when talking to adults, and instead adapt their language to a simpler and more neglected way when speaking to younger children.
- They are able and tend to get into the conversations of adults. They are easy to understand subliminal messages or with ulterior motives, so be careful what you say!
- Unlike normal children of their own age, gifted children are able to understand and carry out orders that carry multiple tasks, such as: make the bed, keep the teddy bear in the closet, lift your suitcase to the car and then take out the trash.
3.Analyze cognitive abilities
All children have an imperative need to know and investigate the world around them. What distinguishes gifted children is the way in which they do it.
Their brains are mental sponges in continuous development and in an unstoppable way they incorporate new information and new ideas. They have a series of natural abilities like the following ones:
- They have a great ability to observe and give meaning to what they see. They have an observation based on detail.
- They quickly establish cause-effect relationships between things.
- They usually have an internal storage of a large number of themes and can access them quickly.
- They have good ability in analyzing complex elements by separating them into more elementary components and analyzing them systematically.
- They can easily extract principles and can make generalizations about objects, people or events.
- They are easy to grasp inconsistencies and inconsistencies. Critical ability.
- They have a great ability of abstraction, conceptualization and synthesis.
- They usually enjoy intellectual activities.
- They tend to be more interested in books recommended for older children than their age.
- They have originality in their thoughts. They usually make unusual and unconventional associations.
- They have the ability to make relationships between objects or ideas that apparently have no relation whatsoever.
- They do not feel inhibited when expressing their ideas and opinions. They often express disagreement in an emotionally intense way.
- They have a flexible mindset and can see different alternatives and different approaches to a problem.
4. Observe emotional and behavioral abilities
Gifted children are often more sensitive than other children. They tend to feel a greater emotional intensity; they are empathetic with the feelings of the others in situations in which the other children feel indifferent.
Emotional characteristics possessed by gifted children can be:
- By having that sensitivity, they often appreciate music and art. They can also feel easily aroused by the natural beauty of mountains, sunrise, sea or animals.
- They enjoy spending time alone. Unlike other children who prefer to spend time with other children or their families, gifted children enjoy doing activities themselves, such as writing, painting, and reading or just go into their thoughts.
- It seems that they do not run out of batteries because they have a high level of activity. They are constantly moving, talking, exploring, and prying.
- They often feel that other children talk very slow and get nervous about it. As well as feeling restless when they see that the person with whom they are talking takes many turns and is slow to reach the important point.
- They are often able to move to a new direction.
- Because of their advanced skills, they are able to relate to older children as well as adults.
5. Do you have leadership skills?
- They manifest great leadership skills in a natural way.
- They are good at stimulating the potential of others and recognize their successes and abilities.
- They have the ability to organize others in different tasks.
- They are empathetic people and therefore have great ability to listen to others and understand their feelings. That is a fundamental aspect that makes them become leaders.
- They are not authoritarian but by their abilities they end up exercising authority but in a responsible way. Never abuse her.
- They often support group members when they think it is necessary.
- They are good team coordinators.
- Others often expect a response from you when making a decision.
- They recognize the successes of a group.
- They understand how people feel and how groups work.
- They are able to give guidelines in a clear and effective way.
6. Evaluates psychomotor skills
- They are rhythmic.
- They are athletic.
- They have coordination, balance and feel secure in physical activities.
- They are original when changing the game mode and find new variants.
- They are energetic.
- They are able to understand the intellectual aspect of psychomotor activities.
- They demonstrate hardness and persistence in physical activities.
7. Consider artistic abilities
- Good sense of rhythm.
- Understands musical relationships.
- Ability to discriminate sounds.
- Good rhythmic coordination.
- Good musical memory.
- They use music to express feelings and experiences.
- They perform original tones.
- It shows interest and enjoys in corporal expression activities such as theater.
- They immediately feel good interpreting roles of other characters.
- Communicate the feelings with a good facial expression, gesture and postural movement.
- They use the voice to reflect mood swings.
- They like to evoke emotional responses to their listeners.
- They draw a variety of objects.
- They draw with depth and good proportions.
- They like to make three-dimensional figures with clay or plasticize.
- They use art to express emotions and experiences.
- They treat art seriously and enjoy it.
- They like to try new materials.
8. Other skills to observe
- Unusual alertness from infancy.
- Idealism, morality and sense of justice at an early age.
- Aware of social problems and political issues and justice.
- Ability to provide lasting attention and intense concentration.
- Great memory capacity.
- Absorbed in their own thoughts – dreamers.
- Unusual sense of humor.
- They like structure and order.
9. Detects covert skills
Not all gifted children meet these skills in different areas. Often, they show just a few of the many signs discussed above.
For example, some people start talking later than expected or are emotionally more reserved.
It is not, therefore, a matter of establishing rigid patterns, but of helping parents and teachers to have a starting point. From which, the differences are evident.
You should also keep in mind, that a gifted child can have a great ability in learning and emotional skills, and not have an exceptional ability in cognitive abilities.
What often happens is that these children hide their skills in order to fit better with other children their age, or to avoid the pressure to meet high expectations.
The tests that calculate IQ (CI) are often not sufficiently accurate and appropriate when detecting gifted children. With what these kids can take an average score on these tests.
The reasons may be different. Sometimes the anxiety levels they may present at the time of testing interfere with their score.
Another factor of interference is that these tests usually have timed subtests in which the highest scores are obtained by those who have performed the test more quickly.
Thus, those children who are very perfectionists and respond more slowly because they seek accuracy in their answers will get a lower score in the IC total.
A child with high activity may also have greater difficulty concentrating on more structured tasks such as those that usually incorporate these tests.
As we see, the tests that evaluate the IQ are limited when it comes to identifying children with special abilities, so we must interpret the tests as one more piece of the puzzle.
To complete the puzzle, it is necessary for the adults in their environment to be perceptive, observant and able to detect them, in order to stimulate and empower these children to develop their exceptional abilities.