According to the National Association for Gifted Children, “Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).” And, gifted children will exhibit many, if not most, of the following characteristics:
- Unusual alertness, even in infancy
- Rapid learner; puts thoughts together quickly
- Excellent memory
- Unusually large vocabulary and complex sentence structure for age
- Advanced comprehension of word nuances, metaphors and abstract ideas
- Enjoys solving problems, especially with numbers and puzzles
- Often self-taught reading and writing skills as preschooler
- Deep, intense feelings and reactions
- Highly sensitive
- Thinking is abstract, complex, logical, and insightful
- Idealism and sense of justice at early age
- Concern with social and political issues and injustices
- Longer attention span and intense concentration
- Preoccupied with own thoughts—daydreamer
- Learn basic skills quickly and with little practice
- Asks probing questions
- Wide range of interests (or extreme focus in one area)
- Highly developed curiosity
- Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
- Puts idea or things together that are not typical
- Keen and/or unusual sense of humor
- Desire to organize people/things through games or complex schemas
- Vivid imaginations (and imaginary playmates when in preschool
The most common testing definition of giftedness is IQ of 130 or above. For parents wishing to have their child evaluated, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics in Wilmington, Delaware offers psycho-educational evaluations performed by licensed, clinical psychologists on staff.
Recommendations will be made to parents and educators regarding the best teaching methods and educational environment for the student to reach his or her full potential. The resulting formal report can also be used to evaluate for entrance into a school gifted program.
What to do if your child has already been identified as talented or gifted?
This is an exciting development in your child’s life that will expose him to innovative ideas, increase his problem solving skills, and even offer him completely new ways of looking at the world!
According to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 126,000 K-12 students enrolled in Talented and Gifted Programs (TAG) throughout Delaware and 3 million nationwide. These students have demonstrated outstanding levels of aptitude (ability to reason and/or learn) or competence (achievement in top 10% or higher) in one or more areas.
TAG Programs throughout the state vary widely. Some include a pull-out element, where children are pulled out of regular class to attend TAG class. Or the program can include cluster groups, where students identified as talented and gifted work in small groups outside the regular classroom setting. Whatever format your school’s TAG Program follows, there are ways that you can help your child succeed.
CLICK HERE to review the State of Delaware’s Talented and Gifted Program information.
Resources for parents of talented and gifted kids
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization that addresses the special needs of talented and gifted children. NAGC offers practical tools for parents, several publications, conferences, and more. All are geared to help the parent understand the many exciting options available to their children.
Another national organization that offers help for parents is the National Society for the Gifted and Talented. NSGT celebrates the accomplishments of talented and gifted children and provides access to educational resources, scholarships, and advanced learning/enrichment opportunities.
The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children establishes opportunities for the worldwide exchange of ideas, experiences, and teacher training, supporting and enhancing national groups in providing for the gifted and talented children in their countries. Publications and many resources are available.
How parents can encourage their talented and gifted children
Providing additional enrichment opportunities is crucial. Learning a new language, participating in space camp, or visiting local museums are just a few of the many ways that parents can help stimulate intellectual curiosity and exploration in their children.
There are also many formal programs that address specific interests. Some of the best include:
Odyssey of the Mind. This international educational program provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.
Future Problem Solving Program International. FPSPI stimulates critical and creative thinking skills, encourages students to develop a vision for the future, and prepares students for leadership roles. FPSPI engages students in creative problem solving within the curriculum and provides competitive opportunities.
Science Olympiad. This program is open to students in both the K-6 level, as well as grades 6-12. Teams learn preparation, commitment, and lots of science as they practice throughout the year, gearing up for competition.
Other proven programs include National History Day, National Geography Bee, National Spelling Bee, National Numbers Bee, and many more. For an extensive list you can visit the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Learn about more educational summer camps, summer school, original credit and enrichment options in Delaware.
Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is not in partnership with, or affiliated with, theses organization. This post is simply intended to inform Back to Basics’ clients and readers about relevant opportunities for children, youth, and adults.