I THINK MY CHILD IS GIFTED.
Navigating potential giftedness in your child.
While giftedness may manifest differently in each child, there are certain traits which are commonly presented in gifted children. If you are wondering whether your child is gifted, try to assess him or her on the following traits provided by The National Association for Gifted Children:
Cognitive: Keen power of abstraction, Interest in problem-solving and applying concepts, Voracious and early reader, Large vocabulary, Intellectual curiosity, Power of critical thinking, skepticism, self-criticism, Persistent, goal-directed behavior, Independence in work and study, Diversity of interests and abilities
Creative: Creativeness and inventiveness, Keen sense of humor, Ability for fantasy, Openness to stimuli, wide interests, Intuitiveness, Flexibility, Independence in attitude and social behavior, Self-acceptance and unconcern for social norms, Radicalism, Aesthetic and moral commitment to self-selected work.
Affective: Unusual emotional depth and intensity, Sensitivity or empathy to the feelings of others, High expectations of self and others, often leading to feelings of frustration, Heightened self-awareness, accompanied by feelings of being different, Easily wounded, need for emotional support, Need for consistency between abstract values and personal actions, Advanced levels of moral judgment, Idealism and sense of justice.
Behavioral: Spontaneity, Boundless enthusiasm, Intensely focused on passions—resists changing activities when engrossed in own interests, Highly energetic—needs little sleep or down time, Constantly questions, Insatiable curiosity, Impulsive, eager and spirited, Perseverance—strong determination in areas of importance, High levels of frustration—particularly when having difficulty meeting standards of performance (either imposed by self or others), Volatile temper, especially related to perceptions of failure, Non-stop talking/chattering.
Understanding the Complexities of Giftedness
Keep in mind that your child's giftedness can exist in one or more domains, which can be intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or academic.
Moreover, your child may display asynchronous development, overexcitabilities/supersensitivities, twice-exceptionality, underachievement, and so on. Read more about these crucial terms in the GI glossary.
Considering Formal Assessment
ASSET, Jnana Prabodhini, MENSA, and others in India provide formal assessments for potentially gifted students. You can read more about your available options at GI's resource page.
According to the National Association for Gifted Children, 'Testing provides an objective and systematic way for identifying gifted children. Ability and achievement tests provide numbers or scores to describe a student's performance in relation to others. Tests are often used as benchmark requirements for entrance into specific programs or if a discrepancy in learning is suspected. However, formal assessments are only one tool in determining giftedness. Tests should be used in conjuction with subjective assessment tools.'
Read more about different types of testing and assessment for giftedness here.
Providing a Supportive Atmosphere at Home
Given the unique characteristics of gifted children, creating a supportive environment at home is important. Dealing with your child's curiosities, intensities, socio-emotional problems, behavioral attributes, adjustment issues, and so on can be daunting, but there exist resources that can help you parent your gifted child.
Davidson Institute offers a comprehensive list of parenting tips.
Hoagies offers a list of articles, books, and other reading material on the same.
Also see VeryWell Family's list of must-read books for parents of gifted children.
Within India, organizations like KGERC provide training sessions for parents of gifted students.
Exploring Opportunities for Gifted Children in India
Several organizations in India, specially (though not limited to) Bangalore and Pune, provide summer schools, training camps, and other such opportunities for gifted children. You can start your journey by exploring GI's resource page here.
Joining a Community of Fellow Parents, Students, and Professionals
You can create a community in your child's school, and can join GI's Facebook page to meet like-minded people who are also invested in developing giftedness in India and seeking the best possible opportunities for gifted children.