Characteristics of Gifted Children
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D.
To recognize if a child is gifted, there are numerous characteristics that are distinct to gifted individuals and quite easily observable, especially for parents. The following description would give a rough indication of these characteristics.
By the broad category of giftedness, characteristic traits are listed as general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative thinking and production, leadership, psychomotor ability, visual and performing arts. More specifically, if your child demonstrates about three quarter of the following characteristic traits, it is likely that s/he is gifted.
- Variety of interests
- Excellent memory
- Long attention span
- Unusual curiosity
- Persistence in attacking difficult mental tasks
- Creative ability/Divergent thinking skills
- Good problem solving/reasoning abilities
- Rapid learning ability
- Leadership qualities
- High degree of energy
- Above average language development
- Early/avid reader
- Preference for older/matured companions
- Unusual emotional depth and intensity
- Heightened sensitivity
- Non-conformity behavior
- Above average ability with numbers/jigsaw puzzles
- Keen powers of observation
- Vivid imagination
- Good sense of humor
- Sense of justice and moral sensitivity
- Apparent maturity in judgment
Research on giftedness indicates that the best way to identify giftedness in your child is by carefully observing his behavior, not by formal testing of IQ especially if the child is very young. The best age to do an IQ test is still debatable. I suppose, as soon as the child is able to read/write and understand questions, s/he may be able to do such tests without much bias. Most of the indicators of giftedness become evident even before a child turns one! So perhaps that's when you may be able to look out for some of the indications listed above. However, do be aware that your child may not necessarily be gifted in all areas.