Raising and nurturing a gifted child can be an exciting, yet overwhelming for parents or caregivers. Because a gifted student’s cognitive abilities are increasing at a much faster rate than their physical and emotional development, these remarkable kids may also be experiencing life with heightened intensities, which potentially expose them to more complex emotions. This exposure can create challenging concerns, but it’s the uniqueness of gifted learners that makes this student vulnerable. Early intervention is 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
Additional ways to support gifted learners include:
- 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.