What are some challenges I might see from my gifted child?
One thing to keep in mind is that gifted children are children first. Some of their special characteristics and behaviors may include:
- Intense and strong-willed
- Extreme perfectionism
- Impatient with themselves and others
- Act out because they are not being academically challenged
- Sound so adult-like that parents sometimes expect behavior beyond their children's level of maturity
Are Gifted Children Good at Everything?
Some gifted children may show strengths across all academic areas and continue to excel throughout school. Other gifted children may excel in one area but be average or even below average in another area. Still other gifted children may start by showing high achievement across all areas but later demonstrate high ability only in one or two areas.
It is not uncommon for gifted children to show an uneven pattern of performance. However, if a child is struggling significantly in an area, consult with school professionals about the possibility of a learning disability. Children can be gifted and also have a learning disability. An educational plan can be developed to respond to both the giftedness and the learning disability.
Is My Child Gifted?
How do I know?
All children are special and have their own areas of strength. However, some children have unusually advanced abilities that require special adjustments at home and school to help them grow and learn. As you watch your child grow and develop, you may notice skills or characteristics that are quite different from those of other children the same age.
For example, your child may:
- Be very curious and observant
- Use adult-sounding words and reasoning
- Think of many unusual ideas
- Recognize complex patterns or relationships
- Come to surprising solutions to problems
- Show a strong memory
- Ask unusual qustions
- Demonstrate advanced talent in a certain area (such as mathematics, science, writing, art, music or drama)
- Learn letters or numbers early and read before being formally taught
Children can show giftedness in a variety of ways, and often parents are the first to notice special abilities. If you are seeing a number of these behaviors in your children, it might be a signal that their development is somewhat advanced.
Can Children with Learning Difficulties also be Gifted?
Some gifted children also have disabilities that affect learning, including:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Learning Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
In these cases, schools and families should provide support to respond to both the giftedness and the learning difficulties. Education and medical professionals will help to make an appropriate intervention plan for children with these types of dual exceptionalities, but it is important that the characteristics of giftedness be considered in that planning. It is important for medical professionals to include attention to a child's ability and school environment in making an assessment for ADHD.
My Child is Gifted
What should I do?
Family members play important roles in providing learning experiences for children.
- Recognize and build on the strengths and talents you witness in your child.
- Encourage your child's curiosity and creativity
- Help your child find activities they love
- Give your child opportunities to take healthy risks as they explore the wonder around them
Like all children, young gifted children need to become comfortable with trying new things and learning from mistakes. When your child has mastered one activity, present an opportunity for new challenges. Recognize that your child may be ready for experiences earlier than other children and that his or her questions and interests may surprise and challenge you!
Educate yourself about gifted children and about learning opportunities from them in your community. There may be times when you wish to consult with your family physician or a psychologist who has experience working with gifted children.
Information about Gifted
Where can I look?
Visit the websites below for excellent resources and information about gifted children and the supports they need at home and at school.
The internet also provides ready access to information about giftedness and is often the best first stop in finding the information you need to guide your child You can also contact the Colorado Department of Education Gifted and Talented and Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented for information about policies and resources to support gifted children.
National Association for Gifted Children
Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted