January 22, 2017
GIFTEDNESS AND WHAT IT MEANS
Most experts agree that there is no single, accepted definition to giftedness. Unfortunately, the absence of a true definition can lead to misunderstanding. This makes it difficult to address the needs of these children.
Gifted children are unique individuals like other non-gifted children. Their talents are not always expressed in recognizable ways. The common ground may be that gifted children are different from the normal children. Some traits or signs that may point to giftedness:
- Excellent reasoning skills, abstract and conceptual thinking
- Elaborate and original ideas
- Extreme curiosity and vivid imagination
- Advanced language skills and extensive vocabulary
- Preference for interaction with adults or older children
- Unusual interests include exploring, examining, and problem-solving
- Enjoys learning and intellectual activities
- Asks difficult and “what if” questions and has strong opinions
- Has excess energy and engages in physical activities
- A perfectionist, intrinsically motivated
- Shows a good sense of humor
- Exhibits leadership skills
Many parents would want to think their child is gifted. Testing may be needed in some cases to verify giftedness. Placing the normal child in a special program can be frustrating in the same way that “under-stimulating” the gifted child can lead to boredom and impatience. A common problem for the gifted child is that they may be underachievers.
Most gifted children have good social skills. Some have trouble getting along with others because of attributes of their giftedness such as: low tolerance for the thoughts of others, belief that their way is the only correct way, higher knowledge level than their peers, and attempting to organize people to the point of being bossy.
Help your child be more comfortable with his high abilities by:
- Educating yourself on the subject of giftedness
- Exposing your child to diverse experiences
- Spending time with your child so you can be familiar with her interests
- Following the lead of the child in support of their interests and talent
Help your child fit in by teaching:
- Respect for other children and adults
- Accepting different ideas or opinions
- Being considerate of the feelings of others
- Appropriate behavior in various situations
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