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Is Your Child Gifted?

gifted child playing chessThere is no standard psychological definition for giftedness.  This ambiguity can leave you to navigate the question alone, but navigate you must – as a gifted child may not fit well into a traditional school environment.

To help, the following checklist is from the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented.  If you answer a number of these questions with a yes, you may want to pursue outside testing to verify your instincts.

To pursue outside testing, you will need to locate a “clinical psychologist” that does gifted and talented testing. They will typically give an IQ test and some sort of achievement test depending on the age of the child.

Most, but not all, of the following questions will apply to children of various ages.  This is a checklist of the abilities revealed by many gifted children.  No child one child will exhibit all of these abilities.

The Gifted Child Checklist

  1. Did your child walk and talk earlier than most other children of his age and gender?
  2. Did she show a comparatively early interest in words?
  3. Does he have an exceptionally large vocabulary for his age?
  4. Did she show an early interest in clocks, calendars, jigsaw puzzles?
  5. Did he show an early interest in numbers?
  6. Did she show an early interest in reading?
  7. Does he express curiosity about many things?
  8. Does she have more stamina and strength than other children of her age and gender?
  9. Does he tend to associate with children older than himself?
  10. Does she act as a leader among children of her own age?
  11. Does he have a good memory?
  12. Does she show unusual reasoning power?
  13. Does he have an unusual capacity for planning and organizing?
  14. Does she relate information gained in the past to new knowledge she acquires?
  15. Does he show more interest in creative effort and new activities than in routine and repetitive tasks?
  16. Does she try to excel in almost everything she does?
  17. Does he concentrate on a single activity for a prolonged period of time without getting bored?
  18. Does she usually have a number of interests that keep her busy?
  19. Does he persist in his efforts in the face of unexpected difficulties?
  20. Does she figure out her own solutions to problems and show uncommon “common sense”?
  21. Does he have a sense of humor that is advanced for his age?
  22. Does she show sensitivity to the feelings of others?
  23. Does he show a comparatively early interest in questions of right and wrong, religion, God, and/or justice?
  24. Does she make collections that are more advanced or unusual than those of others in her age group?
  25. Does he show an intense interest in some artistic activity, such as drawing, singing, dancing, writing, or playing a musical instrument?
  26. Does she make up stories that are vivid and dramatic, or relate her experiences with a great deal of exact detail?
  27. Does he like puzzles and various kinds of “problem” games?
  28. Does she have exceptional abilities in mathematics?
  29. Does he show an unusual interest in science or mathematics?
  30. Does she show awareness of things that are new or novel?

You know your child best.  If the above questions trigger more questions, it’s time to seek outside help.

Additional Resources:

The National Association for Gifted Children

Northwest Gifted Child Association

Free eBook Download: You Know Your Child is Gifted When


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