3 Ways To Identify If Your Child Is Gifted

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“All his teachers say the same thing – he is very bright but extremely distracted. He finishes his sums and then starts disturbing all the other kids that sit around him. What’s more, he doesn’t do all the questions he is given in homework. The ones he does he gets right, the rest he just leaves. I am at my wit’s end. What do I do?” said Preeti, mother to seven-year-old Arpit.

Like most moms, Preeti was worried that Arpit wasn’t exploring his full potential in school. His class teachers complained he was easily distracted and sometimes disobedient. Despite being called bright by all his teachers, Arpit was scoring less than all his classmates and his mom was worried he might have ADHD or a learning disability, so she came to me for counselling.  After a few conversations with Arpit and Preeti, and running a few play-based tests I realized quite the opposite was true – Arpit was in fact a gifted child.
Often confused with ‘talented’ or ‘bright,’ the word ‘gifted’ refers to a child who has a high achievement capability in them. While talented children show high aptitude in a particular academic or art domain, ‘gifted’ children show high aptitude across multiple domains of life such as intellect, creativity, art, leadership, and academics. These children not only think faster but also show unusual creativity at an early age. In psychometric testing, gifted children generally have a high IQ of 140 or above.
Many famous historical and contemporary personalities such as the music composer Mozart, the mathematician Ramanujan, the artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci, and entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg were all once ‘gifted’ children.
So as a parent why is important for you to identify if your child is ‘gifted’? Gifted children have different emotional and intellectual needs to reach their full potential than ‘non-gifted’ children that conventional educational institutions can fail to completely provide. For instance, when gifted children are not given challenging problems or work that aligns to their interest areas in the school or at home to solve they tend to lose interest, get distracted, and trouble other students around them.
This can give teachers and parents the impression that the child is undisciplined, lazy, demotivated, has ADHD or an attention problem, or a learning disability. Thus, it’s essential for teachers and parents to identify ‘gifted’ children and create programs and systems for them so that they can reach their full potential and develop holistically.

Here are three ways that you can know whether your child is ‘gifted’:
Certified ‘Gifted Children’ Assessment Tests:
The most reliable way to know if your child is gifted is to visit a qualified child psychologist and get a ‘Gifted Child’ assessment done. These assessments use a combination of play-based tests, IQ tests, and ability tests to determine whether your child is gifted or not. What’s more, they also provide a comprehensive analysis of the domain areas in which your child is gifted.
The other advantage of visiting a child psychologist is that he/she can help your child address some of the behavioural challenges that ‘gifted’ children generally face and share tips and techniques with you to help your child develop his abilities holistically.

 Teacher-Facilitator Feedback Sessions:
Another great way to know if your child is ‘gifted’ is when your child’s teachers or play-school facilitators share stories or incidents of how talented or bright your child is. If your child is consistently performing much better than his/her classmates or is able to solve problems or grasp concepts for higher classes with ease, chances are he/she is ‘gifted.’
Parents should note however that the metric of ‘gifted’ here is not necessarily marks but deep understanding, creative application, and memorization of concepts taught in class.

Distinct ‘Gifted’ Children Behaviors:
Most ‘gifted’ children exhibit similar behaviours such as fast learning speed, sharp memory, high levels of creativity and original thought, and ability to hyper-focus on domain areas they are deeply interested in. One great way to know if your child is gifted is to see how they respond to challenging problems for their age. Do they use a high degree of creativity and feel stimulated when then solve these problems or do they feel stressed out or demotivated? Similarly, do average level problems stimulate them or make them feel restless and bored?