Raising and nurturing a gifted child can be exciting (and yet overwhelming) for parents and their caregivers. Because a gifted student’s cognitive abilities increase at a much faster rate than their physical and emotional development, these remarkable kids may also experience life with heightened intensities, which can potentially expose them to more complex situations and emotions. It’s the uniqueness of gifted learners that makes them more vulnerable to this type of exposure and challenging. Early recognition and intervention are equally important.
How Do I Know If My Child Is Gifted?
Early recognition of a gifted child enables the opportunity to make modifications in teaching, counseling and parenting – which will optimize overall development. Some of the earliest signs of a gifted child may include:
- Less need for sleep or unusual alertness during infancy
- Long attention spans
- High activity levels
- Smiling or recognizing caretakers early
- Intense reactions to noise, pain or frustration
- Advanced progression through developmental milestones
- Extraordinary memory
- Enjoyment and speed of learning
- Vivid imagination (such as, imaginary friends)
- Early and extensive language development and comprehension
- Excellent sense of humor
- Abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills
- Fascination with books
- Sensitivity and compassion
Ways to Support Gifted Learners
- Responsive Parenting – Helping a child discover personal interests, providing learning enrichment opportunities, and encouraging exposure to a wide variety of subjects (art, cultures, nature, music, sports, etc).
- Family Relationships – and support network
- School Placement – With children of similar abilities, in programs designed to foster programs at the appropriate rate of development. Opportunities for enhanced independence and creativity.
- Parent Advocacy – Parent groups are an excellent opportunity for sharing experiences and resources.