1. Can it be true?
Most parents believe that their baby is special. But what if your baby is more special — like a genius? With over 3 million kids in grades K-12 recognized as academically gifted, it’s definitely possible. The National Association for Gifted Children and the American Association of Gifted Children at Duke University say there are a few traits that can be early indicators that your child is gifted.
2. Early speech
If your child began speaking earlier than most kids, he or she may be gifted. By speaking, we don’t mean just “goo-goos” and “gah-gahs” either; early speech that is marked by the use of advanced phrases and complete sentences is common in gifted children.
3. Advanced reading
A child who reads early and can tackle advanced topics may also be gifted. Instead of simple ABC books, this child will have already moved on to books considered several levels above his or her age group. He or she may also prefer topics that are more sophisticated.
4. The expert
Does your child have a unique hobby or an in-depth knowledge of certain subjects? If so, and he or she enjoys discussing the subject with adults, rather than peers, he or she may be gifted. Very bright children are able to learn and retain information quickly, which, in addition to their intellectual curiosity, allows them to become little experts quickly. These cognitive skills also mean that your child is likely an original thinker with strengths in logic and reasoning.
5. Laser focus
Devouring numbers, puzzles, and mazes can also be an indication of intellectual giftedness. These habits are tied to the long attention spans (with sustained, high energy levels) and perfectionist tendencies that gifted children sometimes have.
6. How to know for sure
When a child has two or more of the characteristics we’ve discussed, you may want to have him or her assessed by an educational psychologist or child development expert. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the “gifted” label is usually only based on intellectual capabilities, and may make a child feel awkward or different around peers. To help your child maintain balance, it’s important to involve him or her in other activities, like sports, art, or music, that can aid in social and emotional growth, as well.
National Association for Gifted Children.
American Association for Gifted Children at Duke University.
- Characteristics of giftedness.
National Society for the Gifted and Talented.
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