The U.S. Department of Education estimates that approximately 300,000 U.S. school children are gifted and/or talented. Students are usually defined as "talented" if they have remarkable abilities in the visual or performing arts. Some individuals are talented in these areas, but do not excel academically in other subjects. Other individuals are gifted in a particular academic area, such as math. Some of these gifted students may also have a learning disability or special need in other areas.
The following guidelines will help you determine if your child is gifted and/or talented, provide ideas to enhance skills and help you advocate for programs in your school, if they're not available.
Defining the Term
Experts have yet to agree on definitions of gifted and talented. IQ tests, while still used as a chief indicator, are no longer the only criteria. Consequently, different states and even neighboring school systems may have different interpretations of the terms.
The National Association for Gifted Children has developed a list of characteristics of a gifted and/or talented child, which includes:
Developing Your Child's Potential
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Gifted and Talented suggests the following tips to help children fulfill their potential:
Fostering your child's gifts and/or talents requires a cooperative partnership between home and school. But if a problem occurs, such as a lack of programs in school that are specifically tailored to your child's unique learning requirements, you need to understand how to be an effective advocate. The following tips can help:
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Knowing the characteristics of gifted children can help you spot intelligence in your child, but only professional evaluation can tell if your child is truly gifted.
Gifted child testing is the only way to tell the difference between a bright and a gifted child. Learn why school IQ tests may not be enough and how to get the most accurate results with your child.