For many years, eductors have been concerned with identifying and educating gifted children. Children with high IQ’s are particularly quick at academic work, have keen memories, and an exceptional capacity to solve challenging academic problems. Yet these abilities alone do not convey the full story of human mental skills. Recognition of this has led to an expanded conception of giftedness in students.
As defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, gifted students are described below:
“The term gifted and talented, when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.” Or simply put, the child has an IQ over 130 on a standard individual intelligence test.
Children who are seen as gifted have some or all of the following characteristics:
- They walked or talked before other children their own age
- They have an early ability to categorize objects
- They have the ability to use their imagination
- They have the ability to concentrate, working on tasks longer than other children of their own age
- They have an interest in collecting things
- They have an early interest in music, art, mechanics, and math
- They have a good sense of humor
- They tend to be self motivating
They also have the following three criteria: they are precocious, they “march to their own drummer”, and they have a passion to master whatever task they take on.
So, Parents do you have a gifted child? One of the best predictors has little to do with the child directly and has more to do with the parents and the home. Research illustrates that the quality of the environment provided by the parents in the early stages of the child’s giftedness will play a large role in developing this. Discovering a child’s domain-specific talent and then providing the child with appropriate and optimal educational opportunities needs to happen in order for that child to take advantage of his own talents and abilities. Many children may be born with the capability of brilliance in a certain area and the home life and environment must stimulate this in order for it to grow.
Remember, parents are their child’s first teacher!
To find out more about gifted children, stop at Bogart’s Book Store and check out their large selection of child development books. Or, check out your local libraries in Vineland or Millville for a good selection. While you are there, get a library card for your child!