Being smart is one thing but excelling way more than your current age-mates and displaying extraordinary intellect is what we are talking about. Of course, every parent believes their child is special.
In reality, some are actually next in line with Einstein, Mozart and all the other intellectuals of their time. These are the “gifted” children – The National Association for Gifted Children defines the term as “those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains.” and, according to their statistics, 3 million children in America are gifted.
The question stands, how do you know if your child is actually gifted? Of course, there are tests and all the measuring criterions. But assessment of these remarkable children goes beyond any test scores.
Here are some of the signs which stand greatly helpful in knowing if your child is one of the exceptional beings.
1. Racing through milestones
Consider what Eboni Hollier, MD, board certified in developmental and behavioral pediatrics says: “Many parents of gifted children note that they often master developmental milestones at an earlier age than expected. In particular, language skills may be significantly above age level. Many gifted children often develop an extensive vocabulary and speak in complex sentences at an early age.”
2. Eagerness to learn more about the world
It is normal for a child to develop interest in the world around him but a real geniuses poses questions you find hard to answer – they make you wonder where all these questions are coming from anyway. They have insatiable curiosity about the world and how everything works!
3. Early pattern recognition
Basically, these smarty pants are capable of differentiating repetitions – not only when it comes to sizes and shapes but repeated behaviors and activities too. A PhD from SuperBaby, Niranjan Reddy says: “Gifted children notice everything, from which bus passes the house after breakfast time to how many bricks can fit inside the toy trunk. They are very good at observing and remembering key information.”
4. Preference for the company of old peers or adults
Since they are ahead of their age, they find it difficult to relate to their usual age-mates. They find conversations with adults people more stimulating. It isn’t something they do on purpose so you can actually help them become friends with people of all age by teaching them empathy and social skills.
5. Focus and determination
Founder and CEO 0f Tutorbright, Sunny Verma says: “Gifted children typically have an amazing sense of focus. When given a task, they tend to work on it without distractions until completion. TV, video games, and social media do not divert their attention, allowing them to finish with efficiency.”
6. A thorough interest and knowledge of their favorite topic
If they can inquire about the world in general, imagine the curiosity they would have for the topic of their interest! They possess in-depth information about their area of interest. The sciencedaily.com explains: “A prodigy is someone who, by the age of roughly 11, displays expert proficiency or a profound grasp of the fundamentals in a field usually only undertaken by adults.”
7. Leadership skills
You know how we say about some people that they are born to be leaders? Well, these child prodigies are few of those leaders! Verma says that gifted children “typically can take charge to find the most effective solution. They also self-regulate their performance, making them always look for ways to improve—a desirable trait of leaders regardless of age. Because of this ability, they usually can lead their peers, as they have more confidence in their sense of direction and experience in taking charge.”
8. Originality is their forte
Their imagination and creativity isn’t limited to what they know. Instead, they are capable of drafting their own, unique solutions to puzzles and problems presented. They are capable of generating original ideas and insights. They challenge themselves to look for various ways a problem can be solved.
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9. They love reading!
Some children read for pleasure and some read for meaning. These child prodigies read for both! They have an immense love for reading and learn to read at a very early age. If the answer to the following question is yes, then you have a gifted child: Has my child worked their way through Matilda’s reading list?
10. They aren’t perfect
Even though gifted, these children aren’t perfect – they aren’t flawless across aptitudes and tend to make mistakes like any other child. They will misbehave, they may not be good at some things and they will test your patience every once in a while. Mallory Kojkowski, EdD, director of admissions and outreach at Fusion Academy in Miami, says, “Gifted students benefit from advanced cognitive competencies, but may still struggle in areas related to frustration, carelessness, lack of executive functioning skills, or poor concentration skills.”
11. Of course, there are tests!
As mentioned earlier, one of the indicators of your child being gifted is to assess them on standard tests designed for the respective purpose. There is this one test from ORIIG3N which may tell if your child has exceptional aptitude in an array of subject areas. Then there are some tests which take into account the genes impacting childhood development in a number of areas.
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