What is Giftedness?
There is, as yet, no universally agreed upon answer to this question. Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Even within schools you will find a range of personal beliefs about the word "gifted," which has become a term with multiple meanings and much nuance.
Although interpretations of the word "gifted" seem limitless, there are a handful of foundational definitions that may be categorized from conservative (related to demonstrated high IQ) to liberal (a broadened conception that includes multiple criteria that might not be measured through an IQ test).
Is my child gifted?
According to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), a gifted child demonstrates or has the potential for showing extraordinary achievement in at least one area — such as art, music, language, or math. Gifted children not only often learn more easily and in greater depth than their peers, but also move ahead at a very rapid pace.
Although some children do show signs of being gifted before kindergarten — having a flair for language, reading early, or showing an unusual facility with numbers — many don't show signs of being gifted until they enter elementary school. That year, when asked to perform certain academic tasks, they stand out far ahead of their peers.
If you or a teacher thinks that your child is gifted, then a child psychologist, a mental health professional who specializes in administering tests and evaluating performance, should evaluate him.
But receiving the label of "gifted" isn't a ticket to instant success in school. It is just a way to say this child needs something different. While the rewards are great, gifted children and their families can also face many challenges. Although gifted children tend to do well in school, some struggle, both in the classroom and on the playground.
American Academy of Pediatrics
National Association for Gifted Children
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