How to Identify a Gifted Child? A question that I am interested to know, having a son who is a fast learner. Being a hands-on mom of two, I’ve been taking notes of my kids’ milestones. The most challenging part of my parenting is with my first born child. He is a fast learner kid, an advantage on the positive side. But, there’s an issue in a traditional school that he easily gets bored when he already knew the lessons. So, when I was invited in a parenting talk “Giftedness101” with speaker Ms. Teresa Dumadag and be their social media partner, I’ve attended and supported the event. Ms Teresa Gumap-As Dumadag if the founder of Hands-on Parents While Earning (H.O.P.E.) Network and Regional Contact in the Philippines, GHF (Gifted Homeschoolers Forum), and mom of 3 boys, where two are gifted children.
Are all children gifted? This is the first question that was discussed in the Giftedness101 talk happened at the Playworks, SM Aura campus.
The answer, No. 6-10% of the student population, according to the National Association for Gifted Children in the US.
In order for us to answer “How to Identify a Gifted Child?” Let me share the gifted definitions, and the related information on how to identify and measure giftedness that were presented in the talk.
How to Identify a Gifted Child?
Giftedness is defined differently in many cultures. Gifted children definition.
According to Dr.Leticia Ho:
- “Being gifted is an innate potential that you are born with. Now, this does not necessarily develop.”
- A gifted individual needs intervening variables to develop his or her potential, and the chance factor or opportunity is one of the main catalysts, aside from family and community.
- “When these gifts are developed, they become talents. Talent means a fulfilled confidence, from potential to confidence.”
- Nature + Nurture = Giftedness Realized to full potential.
Gifted cannot be acquired. No milk formula can make a child gifted. Parents should not be deceived.
Dr. Linda Silverman:
• “Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely.”
|• Gifted = High IQ
|• Multiple forms
|• Identified using
|• Multiple ways to assess
|• Achievement-oriented||• Developmental
• School-oriented or
good in academics
|• Manifested without
|• Nurture affects the
gifted person’s future
The general consensus in psychological circles seems to be that:
• 100 = normal or average IQ
• 120 = Superior IQ
• 130-140 = gifted
• 140-150 = highly gifted
• 150-160 = exceptionally gifted
• 160+ = profoundly gifted.
How to identify and measure giftedness?
?the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological
and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict
their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in
identifying a particular subgroup of people.
?the act or process of extrapolating information about a
person based on known traits or tendencies
- IQ test
- Cognitive abilities test
- Standardized test
- Academic portfolio
- Academic case study
- School grades
- Creative portfolio (speech, arts, music)
- Artistic case study
- Motor Giftednes
- Performance evaluation track record of
I’ve learned that IQ scores only measure or approximate how mentally gifted a child is, but they are not and cannot be the only basis.
There are also kids who are gifted but also have learning disabilities. They are twice exceptional (2e).
Early signs of giftedness for Ages 0-2 (Silverman, Ho)
• unusual alertness in infancy
• long attention span in infancy
• less need for sleep in infancy
• smiling or recognizing caretakers
• early advanced progression through developmental
• high activity level
• early and extensive language development
• extraordinary feats of memory
• excellent sense of humor
• intense curiosity
• enjoyment and speed of learning
• intense reaction to noise, pain, frustration
• fascination with books
• keen powers of observation
• ability to generalize concepts
• recognition of letters before age 2
• ability to put together a 20-piece puzzle before age 3
• displays abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills
• asks complex, probing questions
• early interest in time—clocks, calendars
• vivid imagination (e.g. imaginary playmates)
• Sensitivity and compassion
Early signs of giftedness for Ages 2-6 (Silverman, Ho)
• Uses vocabulary more sophisticated for age, often injecting humor
• Makes interesting or unusual shapes or patterns with various media
• Shows exceptional creative skills in music, art, dance, drama, etc.
• Shows mastery of new skills learned through little repetition
• Reads ardently and shows keen and advanced comprehension
• Exhibits intellectual curiosity and reasoning skills more mature for
• Has remarkable reasoning powers and superior ability to handle
• Understands abstract concepts such as death and time
• Has advanced physical skills
• Communicates with adults in a mature way
* Strong curiosity
*Perseverant when interested
*High degree of energy
* Prefers older companions
*Wide range of interests
*Great sense of humor
*Early or avid reader
*Concerned with justice and fairness
*At times judgment seems mature for age
*Keen powers of observation
* Vivid imagination
* High degree of creativity
* Tends to question authority
* Shows ability with numbers
* Good at jigsaw puzzles
* Asynchronous development
HANDS-ON PARENTING AND GIFTEDNESS
“Parents are excellent identifiers of giftedness in their children: 84% of the children whose parents say that they fit ¾ of the following characteristics score at least 120 IQ (the superior range). Over 95% show giftedness in at least one area, but are asynchronous in their development, and their weaknesses depress their IQ scores.” – Dr. Linda Silverman
“Being a naturally gifted child does not necessarily ensure success for many reasons. The first is that gifted children in the Philippines have to struggle with the machinations of educational systems that are not built to support such young talents..” – Dr. Leticia Ho
The early signs of giftedness presented to us in the talk are an eye-opener to me. While my son is growing up, there are many people (pediatrician, teachers, friends, co-parents) who told me that my son is intelligent, a fast learner, have a sharp memory, and last year the vice principal said that he was showing signs of gifttedness. I told them that what I know is that my son is just a fast learner and have a good memory. It actually saddens me when they told me that they do not have a program for gifted kids. Almost all the signs of giftedness were manifested by son. As a concerned mom, all I wanted for my son is for him to be just like a normal kid. So, to adapt in his traditional school since he is a fast learner, we only review his lessons when there is already an exam. I refrain my son in reading his textbooks in advance. Because once he opened a book, he has this eagerness to read the book till the end. My son is very sensitive and emotional, a challenge affecting his behavior in a traditional school. So what should I do?
Now, I think it is time to let my son be the person he should be. That I should nurture these signs of giftedness. These summer season, I will be enrolling him in nurturing his talents and giftedness. Thankfully, we found a school that have a low student class ratio and is a child brain focus. They have activities and program for fast learners. Both of my kids completed the assessment. They passed. They have this test to identify the level of profieciency of the student and the areas of strenght of the student. There are markings: my son have listening skills of grade 6, word recognition grade 2 – grade 9, has a good comprehension in appropriate story in his grade level. We’re excited this coming school year. Well, so much about my son.
For teachers, I found a helpful website that answers on how to spot a gifted child?
HOW DOES A GIFTED CHILD BENEFIT FROM HANDS-ON PARENTING?
1. Early identification.
2. Understanding and acceptance of the child’s traits and behaviors.
3. Deal with the child appropriately and does prevent or minimize problems.
4. Provide the necessary environment to help nurture the child’s gift/gifts.
5. Better chances of realizing his potential.
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?
1. Observe their children and take note or document their milestones, achievements and outputs.
2. Validate observations with other witnesses.
3. Consult an expert to help assess the child.
4. Accept the child and love him unconditionally.
5. Provide the necessary support or intervention based on assessment.
6. Let the child enjoy his/her childhood.
7. Guide your gifted child in using his/her gift.
This talk empowers parents most especially moms who have a challenge in raising gifted kids or potentially gifted kids. I can relate how Ms. Teresa shares her experiences about her gifted children. His son Geordan turns to his side at 2 months old. My son has this milestone too. Her two-year-old son sings Our father, my son can fully pray Our father at 2 years old. Ms. Teresa’s son, Yanthy is a music prodigy. I witnessed how he played the piano so well during the event.
Although I am not homeschooling my son, there are advantages of homeschooling a gifted child.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HOMESCHOOLING A GIFTED CHILD?
1. The child will have a program that is customized to his needs.
2. The child is protected from negative experiences that could traumatize him or scar him for life and make him lose his natural zest for learning.
3. The child can progress according to his own pace.
4. The child can spend more time honing his knowledge and skills in his area/areas of giftedness.
I’ll be sharing more about the giftedness101 talk in my upcoming posts with some photos.
To keep in touch with the speaker, Ms. Teresa Gumap-As Dumadag, here are her social media accounts: